There’s not much to be said about Metanoia’s “Psywar” except that it bears watching. A history of the public relations industry, this outstanding documentary explores the highly deleterious impact of organized and well-funded propaganda efforts on a would-be democratic society. [END] Permalink: Psywar
Above, ex-Scientologists-turned-whistleblowers Larry Brennan and Nancy Many and ex-Moonie-turned-cult expert Steve Hassan have a post-rally conversation about why people, intelligent people no less, join cults, among other topics. Below, Scoobie Davis presents some information on the dangers of the Moonies from a political perspective.
From the 1970′s to the 1990′s, a string of mail bomb attacks gained America’s attention. The bombs were peculiar in nature, having been made of wood and sometimes adorned with carvings. Eventually, a political manifesto, said to have been written by the bomber (or bombers — the authors refer to themselves as “we”) was published in the New York Times and Washington Post. In 1995, a Montana hermit named Ted Kaczynski was apprehended by the FBI and became known as the “lone nut” solely responsible for the attacks. So many times in the cases of the high-profile mass shootings, bombings and assassinations, there is speculation about some sort of MKULTRA-style mind control of the patsy, MKULTRA generally being used as a blanket term. In the case of the Unabomber, however, Kaczynski literally was a victim of a branch of the CIA’s MKULTRA proper at Harvard University, where he had been enrolled at the age of sixteen, and yet very little has been written about it from a skeptical viewpoint. As his brother, David, explains above, Ted was abused for three years in a program disguised as graduate psychological research but which actually sought behavior modification by covert means (and sounds a lot like Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Jeremy Glick). In Ted, we have all the ingredients of a supervillainous patsy, a new model of enemy to be devoured by the wrath of Joe Public, but is he really the guy, especially since it seems like guys like him — Atta and co., McVeigh and Nichols, Harris and Klebold, etc. — never really are, or at least that’s not the whole story? Many of the bombs, for instance, seem to have been beyond the ability of a man who lived without electricity. More information can be found here, here, here, here and here. [END] Permalink: Was Ted Kaczynski Really the Unabomber?
This media-critical film from Robert Greenwald singles out Rupert Murdoch, his giant News Corporation and its far-right Fox News channel for some well deserved thrashing. The video was produced in 2004; this video from Rachel Maddow updates Fox News’ overlaps with the far-right Republican Party to late 2010. As recent elections have shown, however, simply pointing a finger at the Republicans, no matter how justified, is not going to be enough for the Democrats as a campaign strategy. And would a majority of Democrat wins really make for a significantly better America? The standards have fallen way too far across the board and it’s going to take a lot more than rule by the “Republicans Lite” to get things where they need to be. [END] Permalink: Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism
This incredibly frank Vietnam war documentary takes a bold look at the outrageously cynical political maneuvering behind the United States’ military involvement in Southeast Asia, first as a financial and political backer of imperial France, then as an installer of various puppet regimes, and finally through the stupefying and horrific violence of the many years of combat which followed. No matter how much or how little you may know about the Vietnam war, “Vietnam: American Holocaust” is simply not to be missed. [END] Permalink: Vietnam: American Holocaust
Arms for hostages. Covert operations. Executive sessions. You may have heard these terms before, or others, like “invisible government,” “secret government,” or “Secret Team.” The U. S. Congressional investigations into the Iran-Contra affair, as it was known, brought the secret dealings of the CIA and private mercenary firms abroad to light as never before, along with hidden right-wing plans for the suspension of the U. S. Constitution in the event of an uprising by American dissidents. And of course, one of the major players now has his own show on Fox News. As the above video, “Coverup: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair,” argues, the Iran hostage crisis was a major topic of national discussion going into the 1980 U. S. Presidential election. Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter’s efforts to bring home American hostages in Iran had failed, which may have been a major factor in his losing of the election to the Reagan-Bush Republican team. After Reagan’s inauguration, however, it was revealed that secret Republican agreements had been made with the hostage holders not to release the hostages until after the election was over. In return, Reagan and Bush’s people (Bush, of course, being a former CIA chief) had promised to supply arms to the Iranians. The teams responsible for the deal, however, put a huge markup on the weapons and apparently used the profits to create right-wing paramilitary death squads in Central American countries which were to be used to suppress violently left-wing peasants’ and indigenous peoples’ rebellions. Guns, drug trafficking and enormous sums of money figure prominently in this sordid tale of espionage and many of the major players, who had previously made huge fortunes from their off-the-books military adventures in Southeast Asia during the U. S. military battles in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, would later rise to prominence once more during the Bush II years, some as targets of the 9/11 skeptics’ movement as possible “inside job” suspects. Below is more footage from the hearings on 8 July 1987 and 14 July 1987, respectively.
This wide ranging and highly informative talk by investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker centers primarily on Hopsicker’s research into the pre-9/11 activities of several alleged 9/11 hijackers including Mohammed Atta in and around Venice, Florida where some of them are supposed to have attended flight school. Hopsicker’s past research has focused on the CIA’s drug trafficking activities in Arkansas and elsewhere and it is partly through these links that his 9/11 information came to light. Hopsicker makes an excellent point in this speech about how full the internet is with mere opinions and suggests that if social activists want to move forward, they ought to consider training in journalism. The video includes footage of Hopsicker’s interview with exotic dancer Amanda Keller, Mohammed Atta’s alleged American girlfriend in Florida. [END] Permalink: Daniel Hopsicker at the 2008 New England 9/11 Symposium
This presentation by The Corbett Report details the secret history of the Mujahadeen which, after a series of mutations, gave rise to what is known today as “Al Qaeda.” According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, an advisor to U. S. President Jimmy Carter, a directive signed by Carter in July 1973 gave secret funding to Muslim religious extremists in Afghanistan, the subsequent organization of whom contributed to a decision by the USSR to invade that mountainous country. In response, the U. S. gave more aid, arms and training to the Afghanis, among whom were counted Saudi exile Osama bin Laden and his followers, to help them combat the Soviets. In this way, the seed was planted, fed and watered, and this aid from the U. S. continued through the 1990′s. [END] Permalink: Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist
Here, the CBC walks us through some of the many flaws in the casus belli that led to the U. S. military and the private mercenary firms that they contracted to aid them, and to share in the loot, both foreign and domestic, entering Iraq with the intention of overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003. While some attention is given here to reporter Seymour Hirsch’s take on the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a “neoconservative” think-tank who have been credited as the authors of the plans for the war, as a group of utopian idealists, it ought to be considered that the PNAC plans revolve around the astoundingly violent concept of “full spectrum dominance” by the U. S. worldwide which includes even the will to deny other nations the use of outer space. Theirs is literally a proposal of world conquest. “Former” CIA operative Robert Baer also adds what should be the already obvious fact that there is “no evidence” that Saddam Hussein had any links to the 9/11 attacks, perhaps to imply the “Afghanistan-war-good, Iraq-war-bad” line of argument which has been taken up by many members of the Democratic Party. However, there is also questionable evidence at best that “Al Qaeda,” however that term may be defined, was linked in any way to the 9/11 attacks, itself, as FBI publicity chief Rex Tomb has told reporters that there is, quote, “no hard evidence” even that Osama bin Laden, when it gets right down to it, was responsible for 9/11. The current state of the Afghanistan war, ostensibly being fought against these same “Al Qaeda” terrorists, now nine years on with no end in sight and almost no “progress” of any kind by any definition having been made, except, perhaps, in the financial sense for those “in the club,” ought to speak to the intentions of those who originated these claims in the first place. [END] Permalink: Lies of the Iraq War
“The Corporation” is one of the best criticial overviews of the modern industrial corporation to date. Businesses fashioned in the model of a corporation have been granted legal personhood in the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment and all of the Constitutional rights which go along with that. Multinational corporations, operating across borders in what this film argues is a pathological manner, has had intense impacts on global ecology and society. From efforts to privatize Bolivia’s rainwater to sweatshop labor in China, “The Corporation” takes a look at the many consequences of the corporate directive to earn maximum profit with no inherent regard for anything else. [END] Permalink: The Corporation