One World Digital Dictatorship

Søren Roest Korsgaard

Introduction

Dystopian classics are back into the spotlight, like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984. They have roared back onto bestseller lists due to whistleblowers’ exposés of government imperialism and totalitarian surveillance of their citizens and foreigners. While the kakistocracy and dystopian surveillance state depicted in 1984 undoubtedly reflected, to some extent, contemporary sociopolitical realities, Orwell extrapolated worst-case scenarios set as warnings for future generations. Nonetheless, his book and implicit warnings seem to have been ignored as an authoritarian surveillance state is now a reality for most people in first and second world countries. In lieu of accountability for criminal mass-surveillance or these revelations deterring or limiting the prying eyes of government-sponsored spy programs, the establishment in conjunction with their media platforms has used it to their full advantage, almost as if they, themselves, masterminded the leaks. Rather than being dismantled, the establishment has openly added advanced surveillance technology to their arsenal in their cataclysmic War on Truth. The mainstream media now parallels Orwell’s Ministry of Truth that broadcasts official explanations, while it effectively neutralizes those who venture outside the parameters of government-approved thinking, which so often equates to threatening their interests. While the current Western population control via advanced surveillance technology and social engineering is unparalleled in history, China has nevertheless rolled out a system that sets new standards for government control, the so-called social credit system. In a few decades from now, if the Chinese government succeeds, those who are imprisoned by the social crediting system will have no reference point or conception of freedom; digital tyranny will have become the norm. To some extent, Western policymakers have been apprehensive of the Chinese program, but as we shall see, it is nevertheless evident that they themselves are working diligently behind the scenes to implement the same technology that makes the Chinese digital prison possible.


Julian Assange: "Truth ultimately is all we have."

“I am defenceless and am counting on you and others of good character to save my life.”

Below is the full text of Assange’s letter to Gordon Dimmack:

I have been isolated from all ability to prepare to defend myself, no laptop, no internet, no computer, no library so far, but even if I do get access it will be just for half an hour with everyone else once a week. Just two visits a month and it takes weeks to get someone on the call list and the Catch-22 in getting their details to be security screened. Then all calls except lawyer are recorded and are a maximum 10 minutes and in a limited 30 minutes each day in which all prisoners compete for the phone. And credit? Just a few pounds a week and no one can call in.

A superpower that has been preparing for 9 years with hundreds of people and untold millions spent on the case. I am defenceless and am counting on you and others of good character to save my life. [Press 'More' to continue reading Julian's letter.]

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CIA torture and the crimes of the state

Barry Grey

The unclassified executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, released Tuesday, describes, in extensive detail, horrific crimes that unquestionably violate domestic and international laws.

The review of the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation program” documents the systematic use of sadistic forms of torture, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation (for up to a week at a time), head-banging, sensory deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, holding detainees in stress positions, confinement in coffin-like boxes, “rectal hydration” and “rectal feeding.” See, “Senate report on CIA interrogation details brutal torture methods.”

The report condemns these practices as illegal, immoral and ineffective, and denounces the CIA for withholding information from Congress and falsely claiming that its brutal interrogation methods helped foil terror attacks, capture and kill Al Qaeda operatives and “save lives.”

However, the most pertinent and obvious questions that arise from the report are not even being raised in the political establishment or the media: Who will be held accountable? Who will be indicted? Who will be prosecuted?

The Intelligence Committee Democrats, led by Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, do not name a single top Bush administration official, limiting their exposé to former high-ranking CIA officials. There are no formal proposals or calls for criminal prosecutions or other actions to hold those responsible for these heinous actions accountable. The report seeks to maintain the absurd fiction that the torture program was an isolated aberration, involving only a handful of operatives.

In fact, the program of CIA torture was planned, implemented and monitored at the highest levels of the state.


War by media and the triumph of propaganda

John Pilger

Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what's called the mainstream media is not information, but power?

These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war - with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.

The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an "invisible government". It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.

The information age is actually a media age. We have war by media; censorship by media; demonology by media; retribution by media; diversion by media - a surreal assembly line of obedient clichés and false assumptions.


The siege of Julian Assange is a farce - a special investigation

John Pilger

The siege of Knightsbridge is a farce. For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.

The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Even the British government clearly believes it must end. On 28 October, the deputy foreign minister, Hugo Swire, told Parliament he would "actively welcome" the Swedish prosecutor in London and "we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that". The tone was impatient.

The Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has refused to come to London to question Assange about allegations of sexual misconduct in Stockholm in 2010 - even though Swedish law allows for it and the procedure is routine for Sweden and the UK. The documentary evidence of a threat to Assange's life and freedom from the United States - should he leave the embassy - is overwhelming. On May 14 this year, US court files revealed that a "multi subject investigation" against Assange was "active and ongoing".

Ny has never properly explained why she will not come to London, just as the Swedish authorities have never explained why they refuse to give Assange a guarantee that they will not extradite him on to the US under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington. In December 2010, the Independent revealed that the two governments had discussed his onward extradition to the US before the European Arrest Warrant was issued.


The legacy of US Attorney General Eric Holder

Tom Carter

Holder’s real legacy includes providing pseudo-legal sanction for assassination of US citizens, military commissions, and incommunicado detention; shielding war criminals, corporate criminals, and Bush-era officials from prosecution; persecuting whistleblowers and journalists; targeting protesters and antiwar activists under antiterror laws; asserting unlimited executive powers; justifying government secrecy; deporting immigrants en masse; abetting the expansion of illegal domestic spying; slashing wages and benefits for workers; and infiltrating authoritarian and fascistic legal doctrines into American jurisprudence.

On Thursday, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he would resign from his post in the Obama administration after six years in office. His departure was greeted with a chorus of praise in the establishment media, in which he was acclaimed as a “defender of civil rights.” Announcing Holder’s resignation, Obama said, “Through it all he’s shown a deep and abiding fidelity to one of our cherished ideals as a people, and that is equal justice under the law.” At a joint press conference to announce the resignation, Obama and Holder made repeated reference to the country’s founding documents, civil rights, equal justice and so forth.


What Happened to the Malaysian Airliner?

Paul Craig Roberts

Washington’s propaganda machine is in such high gear that we are in danger of losing the facts that we do have.

One fact is that the separatists do not have the expensive Buk anti-aircraft missile system or the trained personnel to operate it.

Another fact is that the separatists have no incentive to shoot down an airliner and neither does Russia. Anyone can tell the difference between low-flying attack aircraft and an airliner [even] at 33,000 feet.

The Ukrainians do have Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, and a Buk battery was operational in the region and deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.

Just as the separatists and the Russian government have no incentive to shoot down an airliner, neither does the Ukrainian government nor, one would think, even the crazed extreme Ukrainian nationalists who have formed militias to take the fight against the separatists that the Ukrainian army is not keen to undertake–unless there was a plan to frame Russia.

One Russian general familiar with the weapon system offered his opinion that it was a mistake made by the Ukrainian military untrained in the weapon’s use. The general said that although Ukraine has a few of the weapons, Ukrainians have had no training in their use in the 23 years since Ukraine separated from Russia. The general thinks it was an accident due to incompetence.

This explanation makes a certain amount of sense and far more sense than Washington’s propaganda. The problem with the general’s explanation is that it does not explain why the Buk anti-aircraft missile system was deployed near or in a separatist territory. The separatists have no aircraft. It seems odd for Ukraine to have an expensive missile system in an area in which it is of no military use and where the position could be overrun and captured by separatists.

As Washington, Kiev, and the presstitute media are committed to the propaganda that Putin did it, we are not going to get any reliable information from the US media. We will have to figure it out for ourselves.


Washington’s Arrogance Will Destroy Its Empire

Paul Craig Roberts

Washington reeks of the stench of evil

Alone among the governments in the world, Washington requires sovereign governments to follow Washington’s laws even when Washington’s laws contradict the laws of sovereign countries.

The examples are endless. For example, Washington forced Switzerland to violate and to repeal Switzerland’s historic bank secrecy laws. Washington executes citizens of other countries, as well as its own citizens, without due process of law. Washington violates the sovereignty of other countries and murders the countries’ citizens with drones, bombs, and special forces teams. Washington kidnaps abroad citizens of other countries and either brings them to the US to be tried under US law or sends them to another country to be tortured in secret torture centers. Washington tells banks in other countries with whom they can do business and when the banks disobey, Washington blackmails them into compliance or imposes fines that threaten their existence. Last week Washington forced a French bank to pay Washington $9 billion dollars or be banned from its US operations, because the bank financed trade with countries disapproved by Washington.

Washington issues ultimatums to sovereign nations to do as they are told or “be bombed into the stone age.” Washington violates diplomatic immunity and forces down the planes of presidents of sovereign countries to be illegally searched. Washington ordered its UK vassal to violate the laws and conventions governing political asylum and to refuse free passage to Julian Assange to Ecuador.

Washington ordered Russia to violate its laws and to hand over Edward Snowden. Russia is strong enough to refuse to comply with Washington’s orders. So what did Washington do?


Defend Julian Assange!

Bill Van Auken

Two years of asylum in Ecuadorian embassy

Today marks two years since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was forced to take refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy, having been made the target of a filthy campaign by the Obama administration to have him extradited to the US to face espionage and treason charges punishable by life in prison or even death.

Assange’s sole “crime” was to publish secret documents exposing war crimes carried out by the US government in Iraq and Afghanistan and conspiracies hatched by the US State Department in countries around the world.

In a telephone press conference on the eve of the grim anniversary, Assange demanded that US Attorney General Eric Holder drop an ongoing national security investigation against WikiLeaks or resign. He also spoke on the legacy of President Barack Obama, noting that the “former constitutional law professor” will be remembered for “the construction of extrajudicial kill lists of individuals, including of American citizens,” and “being the president who conducted more Espionage Act investigations against journalists and their sources than all previous presidents combined going back to 1917 and the original issuance of the Espionage Act.”

Since June 19, 2012, Assange has been forced to hole up in the Ecuadorian embassy to stay out of the clutches of British authorities. The UK government denied him safe conduct to Ecuador, which granted him asylum on the grounds that he faces the threat of torture and death if sent to the US.

London is seeking to have Assange arrested and extradited to Sweden on the basis of trumped-up sexual misconduct allegations, a transparent subterfuge to effect his delivery into the hands of the US government.


The Detroit model: Permanent rule by the banks

Jerry White

The Michigan legislature is debating a series of bills to impose a financial authority on Detroit that would remain in place long after the city emerges from bankruptcy. An unelected financial “oversight” committee, known as the Michigan Settlement Administration Authority (MSAA), would run the city for two decades, effectively usurping the local government.

When the governor of Michigan installed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr in Detroit last March, it was presented as a temporary measure, lasting 18 months at most. Now, according to the restructuring plan submitted by Orr, a bankruptcy lawyer with close ties to Wall Street, a new body “composed of individuals with recognized financial competence and experience” will have the authority to limit city borrowing and expenditures and tear up labor agreements.

The authority is to be charged with ensuring that the city “continues to implement financial and operational reforms” outlined in the restructuring plan. This includes an effective 30 percent cut in pensions and health care benefits for more than 30,000 current and retired public employees. The “robust governance structure” outlined in Orr’s plan will promote “long-term public confidence in the fiscal health and stability of Detroit, in particular with financial markets.”

It could hardly be stated more clearly: the proposed body will be accountable solely to Wall Street. It will remain in power indefinitely and will not be subject to a popular vote or recall.


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