Wednesday, December 17, 2014



or a series of notes and thoughts on 

The following notes were taken by myself during viewings of the film. The text presented includes some direct references to statements made on camera (indicated by quotation marks), as well as a number of observations, side references and potential avenues for further inquiry that came to mind as I watched. I do this because I believe this film to be an important document in the field of parapolitics, and anything I can do to help get it seen by more people - and, in particular, the RIGHT people - I see as worth doing. Secondly, I wanted to create an easy-to-use text and image based "study guide" that both documents and compliments the information presented in the film. As always, I leave it for you readers to decide whether or not I have succeeded on that count. - YOPJ 15/16/2014


The Power Principle II - Propaganda from S DN on Vimeo.

“This film contains controversial subject matter. Interview subjects and creators of some source material may not agree with certain views presented. The Power Principle is a non-profit documentary and has been released online for free.”
"The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy."
- Alex Carey

- We kick things off with a typically ham-fisted clip from an anti-Communist "educational" film from the 1950's. Literally thousands of these short industrial movies were created during the Cold War, the vast majority of them shot by private industrial film producers, like Coronet, under the guidance of the Defense Department, and paid for by the American taxpayer.

- Here, for your delectation and amusement, is the full version of the short film COMMUNISM, by the aforementioned Coronet, which is excerpted at the onset of The Power Principle II - Propaganda (TPPII-P):

- The dominant narrative of the Cold War was always simple: "The Soviet Union is engaged in a massive conspiracy, run out of the Kremlin. The goal? World domination! In light of this threat, the USA has no choice but to counter the Soviet menace with massive military spending and constant interventions in the internal politics of sovereign states around the world."

- A brief recap of the first chapter of this documentary series ensues: The illegal, CIA-planned, petro-biz-funded overthrow of the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, in 1953. The Bernays-concocted media-blitz that led to the ouster of Guatemala's Arbenz one year later. The CIA's cold-blooded murder plot against the Congo's first democratically elected leader, Patrice Lumumba, in 1961. The interventions in Grenada and Chile are also recapped. Check out my concordance for the previous episode to learn more about these issues.

- Just in case anyone was laboring under the sad misapprehension that the above "extra-legal interventions" were the only ones laying heavy on America's collective conscience, TPPII-P lists more, even bloodier actions. There was the (very likely) American-sponsored 1961 assassination of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, followed by the 1963 coup that ousted Juan Bosch, that country's democratically-elected President, followed by the 1965 coup that kinda put him back in charge! Another CIA-backed coup, this time in Brazil in 1964, saw the ouster of (you guessed it) democratically-elected leader Joao Goulart. And then there was the 1971 coup against Juan Jose "J.J." Torres in Bolivia. The CIA had him replaced with a torture-loving freak named Hugo Banzer who banned all political parties! And let's not forget the US-backed "Dirty War" (and subsequent 1976 coup) in Argentina, deposing the Peron regime in favor of a brutal military junta! Those cats were a special kind of crazy, "disappearing" over 30,000 civilians.

- Had enough? Too bad, because all that stuff above was just for starters. Now we're getting to the 80's and some truly evil shit is about to go down.

- For instance, how about American meddling in the never-ending atrocity exhibition that was the Salvadoran Civil War in El Salvador? That's where the US-backed junta killed untold tens of thousands of civilians and indigenous people... oh, and they also raped, tortured and murdered a bunch of priests and nuns, too. But you probably shouldn't feel too bad about that. See, those particular clerics? They actually cared about poor people (Yuck!). So that means they were probably secret atheists, or even Communists or something.

- Which brings us to Nicaragua, where some of the Reagan/Bush administration's most notorious crimes were committed. This is where America waged a massive, semi-covert war against the widely-beloved, social-democratic Sandinista National Liberation Front in favor of a regime that liked to dispose of its victims by tossing them into an active volcano, just because they thought that was "fuckin' bad-ass", or something.

- Considering the forces arrayed against them, the levels of success enjoyed by the Sandinistas were nothing short of astonishing. In fact, I urge you to watch this John Pilger documentary, Nicaragua - A Nation's Right to Survive. - which is partially excerpted in TPPII-P - before continuing, and I'll explain why in a moment.

- Okay, now that you've seen what the Sandanistas were all about, you'll be able to better understand why Reagan/Bush Treasury Secretary George Schulz called them, quote: "a cancer, right here on our land mass."

- The information contained in the above film also goes a long way towards explaining why the US decided to arm, train, and otherwise support the "counter-revolutionary" CONTRAS, whose tactics included blowing up oil pipelines, illegally mining Nicaragua's harbors and ports, bombing farms and greenhouses, not to mention the wanton rape, murder and torture of thousands of men, women and children whose only crime was wanting to be a part of something positive for once in their miserable lives.

- The above kind of makes the video clip of Reagan praising the Contras to high heaven seem all the more vile.

- This section ends with a clip from the above Nicaragua doc in which Washington (successfully) distracts world media from Nicaragua's 1984 elections by claiming that Soviet MiG fighter jets had just been delivered to the port city of Corinto.  It would be funny if it weren't so disgusting. Also, Ted Koppel has never looked more like Howdy Doody than he does in that clip.

30 years later, Charles Rocket is found dead in a Rhode Island park.

Following World War II, American policy planners were faced with a choice: to embrace democracy in all its forms, or suppress huge populations around the globe, through violence. The first major test came from Greece. Rejecting the participatory government created by the anti-Nazi resistance during the war, both the British and Americans chose to support Fascist elements that the resistance had been fighting only months before. The resulting civil war caused over one hundred thousand deaths. Though seldom acknowledged in official histories, Western elites had long supported Fascism in Europe as a means of counteracting the Left.
- In his 1975 exposé Inside the Company, former CIA case officer Philip Agee revealed that agency training about Communism consisted exclusively of the kind of non-academic, anti-Communist "pop propaganda" titles that you could find advertized in the pages of vomitous neo-fascist William F. Buckley's wretched National Review magazine. Needless to say, you wouldn't find any Karl Marx on the CIA's "Required Reading List". I guess Sun Tzu's Art of War wasn't on there, either. Otherwise, they might have remembered the old strategist's dictum to "know your enemy."

- Christopher Simpson, author of the essential Project Paperclip exposé Blowback, discusses "a system of propaganda in which the propagandists believe what they say... and what happens in that kind of circumstance is a phenomenon that some people call blowback. In other words, you come up with messages that are aimed at ideologies or worldviews, and you put them out. And then the messages come back to you as if they were truthful... It's a cycle of self-deception."
No Russian military attack is threatened in Western Europe... I certainly do not pretend to understand the Russian mind, but for four years they have shown no intention of making a military advance beyond the zones of influence in Central Europe allotted to them at Yalta.
- Senator Robert Taft (R)
- Historian William Blum (his website) explains Joseph Stalin's essential conservatism and lack of revolutionary zeal. Trotsky was Russia's internationalist revolutionary, and he lost the internal battle with Stalin (swiftly followed by his life).

- The mainstream view (the one we're taught) is that the Cold War was an ideological battle between the Soviet Union and the United States. In reality - and quite obviously in practice - the Cold War was a a series of small, hot wars between the United States and numerous, unconnected Third World revolutionary and/or liberation movements around the globe. This is a paradigm that becomes all to clear and sharply defined when one studies history with even a modest degree of rigor. A number of examples are listed above.

- Author/historian Howard Zinn points out that the USSR was never really in a position to pull off a world-wide Communist conspiracy: "The Soviet Union didn't start the revolution in Cuba... Vietnam... China... Those revolutionary movements came out of the needs of the people in those countries." But it was all blamed on the USSR, because they were a convenient Boogey Man, and because Americans may have balked. Slaughtering poor people just because they want a better life for themselves isn't exactly pride-inducing. Attacking a faceless, sinister Evil Empire on the other hand... that's actually kind of cool.
Numerous internal documents from the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA, and other Western intelligence services reveal that many top policy planners were well aware that the International Communist Conspiracy was a myth. [A Department of Defense internal memo dated 1957], speaking of American designs against Syria, notes that "the USSR has shown no intention of direct intervention in any of the previous mid-Eastern crises, and we believe it is unlikely that they would intervene." Another document [from the UK Foreign Office Joint Intelligence committee, 1968] states that "the Soviet Union will not deliberately start general war or even limited war in Europe", and that "Soviet foreign policy has been generally cautious and realistic."
- Charles E. Wilson, President of General Electric Co. and great friend to President Truman, suggested the implementation of what he termed a "general war economy". Many in the corporate media agreed, taking to the media to declare how important "defense spending" was to the American economy. Why this sudden chorus of elite corporate voices speaking in unison?

- Turns out, it all had something to do with a 58 page "Top Secret" National Security document drafted in 1950 called NSC-68, in which (among other things) chair Paul Nitze warns that "the US and other free nations will, within a period of a few years at most, experience a decline in economic activity of serious proportions without government intervention."

- Never fear, however! Nitze found a solution to the nation's multiplying woes! He writes: "I recommend a substantial increase in military expenditures, a substantial increase in military assistance programs and some increase in economic aid to our allies in the anti-Soviet crusade, that we have a mass propaganda campaign to build and maintain confidence on our side, and sow mass defections on theirs, that we have covert economic, political and domestic psychological warfare, tighter internal security and expanded intelligence."

- Sound familiar? It should! NSC-68 was basically the Table of Contents for the final half of the so-called American Century. Chapter One? The Korean Conflict, which didn't just kick off the Permanent War Economy, but also resulted in the deaths of 38,000 Americans and a couple million Asian people. Here's a nice hot mug of historical context with which to wash this harsh truth down.


- And so it went (and goes). Instead of developing social programs or devoting its resources to bringing about the science-fiction future promised us in such shows and films as Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey, the rest of the American Century would be all about setting up a planet-straddling, military based, covert system of empire-by-any-other-name. Tax dollars would go towards enriching the already rich.

- CIA whistleblower John Stockwell defines the typical Cold War enemy: "Far more Catholics than Communists. Far more Buddhists than Communists. Most of them couldn't give you an intelligent definition of Communism or of capitalism." Thus he coined the phrase "Third World War."

- In the above video, Stockwell explains how, in terms of loss of human life, the Third World War was (at the time) the 3rd bloodiest war in human history -" bloody and gory beyond comprehension" - and it was conducted completely above or beyond the grasp of the law. Considering what's gone on around the world since the above video was shot, I wouldn't be surprised if the Third World War has since risen to second, if not first, place.

- The USA has specialized in cheap-shots, according to Stockwell, attacking only those who could not defend themselves. One need only look to the example of Iraq in 2003 - which the US made sure was pretty much completely disarmed and defenseless before daring to invade - to see that nothing has changed.

- In the mid-70's, a US Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho) conducted a massive investigation of the CIA and FBI’s misuse of power at home and abroad. The multi-year Church Committee provided extensive documentation via 14 separate reports on domestic spying, attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, efforts to infiltrate and disrupt leftist organizations at home and abroad, secret drugging of unwitting victims, Nazi-style mind-control experimentation, destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice on a massive scale, etc, etc... It's the stuff of horror movies. Just watch the video below for a tiny taste of what they (or we, if you're in the USA) were up to.

- Here's The Nation on why we desperately need a new Church Committee as soon as freaking possible, even if the probability of putting together such a bi-partisan committee again seems particularly slight in these days of neo-conservative fundamentalist extremism and "Tea Party" style rule-by-obstruction.


- Historian Michael Parenti (his website) explains: "Imperialism is the process of Empire. ... Imperialism is when the dominant interest of the Empire country go out and they expropriate the land, natural resources, labor and markets of another country for the benefit of the rich of the imperial country, and sometimes for the benefit of a collaborating, controlling class in the colonized country. It no longer means direct colonization. You have what is called neo-imperialism which involves not taking over the country and planting your flag and conquering it. It involves simply moving in and dominating its economic and political life."

- Professor William I. Robinson (his website) explains how the antagonism against the poor and powerless of the world that seems to have been one of the defining hallmarks of the Cold War - and thus excused as a by-product of anti-Communist zeal - has, in actuality, always existed. It existed before Karl Marx had even come up with the idea of Communism, much less the Russian revolution.

- And so, in the last few centuries, the contradiction between the Haves and the Have Nots has variously been ideologically framed as "Manifest Destiny", or the "Fight against Anarchists. Then the Cold War happened, and it was framed as "Struggle Against Communism". Then the Cold War ended, and it was framed as the "Struggle Against the Drug Trade". Then the terrorist attacks of September 11 happened, and we have the "Struggle Against Terror". Always somehow involving the wanton slaughter of thousands upon thousands of poor people, indigenous people, or non-White people.

- Journalist Russ Baker (his website) discusses American Imperialism in the broader historical context, going as far back as the Monroe Doctrine of 1923.

"The history of Haiti is the history of the world capital system. If you study what's happened in Haiti, the stuggle of the Haitian people, you study the history of humanity for the last 500 years.
- William I. Robinson

- Haiti was the first place Christopher Columbus landed when he crossed the "ocean blue". Upon landing there, he immediately enslaved that portion of the native population there that had survived the arrival of European smallpox and worked them literally into extinction. With all the native slaves dead, Haiti's rulers had to start importing African slaves. Thus was begun the "peculiar institution" of Africans-only, race-based slavery.

- As Spanish domination of the area waned, the French were able to wrest away control of Haiti, which quickly became the highly profitable "gem" of that nation's colonial holdings, with profits generated by 400,000 slaves accounting for a large portion of France's total wealth.

- In 1793, the Haitian slaves revolt in what would go on to become, in 1802, the first successful Spartacist rebellion ever on the planet. They set up the first independent and free republic in the Americas. The United States, of course, a republic half-composed of slave-holding states, could not rightly be called "free".

- Obviously, since wresting control away from the "Haves", Haiti's history has been the farthest thing possible from an easy one, with repercussions of the First World's animosity towards this would-be upstart slave state reaching well into the 21st century.

As with Serbia and, more recently, Libya, events in Haiti were sold to the public as 'humanitarian intervention'. This technique has long been used as a justification for imperialism. Originally, the idea was to civilize the savages. Then, to promote democracy.
"War is a racket."
- Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler
- That's not all General Smedley Darlington Butler said. He described his military career thusly: "I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Cuba a safe place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909 to 1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested."

- You can read the entirety of Gen. Butler's short but revealing book, War is a Racket, online at the link provided.

- Oh, and Butler also "snitched" on the cabal of fascist bankers and industrialists who, impressed by his successes overseas, tried to lure him into their plot to overthrow by force the Presidency of "that man", President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Quite frankly, the fact that heads didn't roll down a blood-slicked Pennsylvania avenue over this conspiracy speaks volumes about FDR's essential (if relative) kindliness and tolerance. Oh, and guess which prominent American political dynastic patriarch was balls-deep in this imbroglio? I'll give you a hint: it wasn't Joseph Kennedy.

TARGET: YOU (55:00)

- Although President Eisenhower thought the idea of an international Communist conspiracy was "the product of a paranoid imagination." Unfortunately, a paranoid imagination was exactly what The Powers That Be needed to inspire in the American public, if their plan to lock American economic growth permanently with military expansionism (see above) was ever going to fly.

- John Foster Dulles proclaimed: "In order to make the country bare the burden, we have to create an emotional atmosphere akin to wartime psychology. We must create the idea of a threat from without."

- In 1947, Senator Arthur Vandenberg told President Truman: "Scare the Hell out of the American people."

- But how could this be done? On October 30, 1938, the single most famous radio broadcast in history - Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre version of H.G Wells' classic science-fiction novel The War of the Worlds, presented in the form of late-breaking news bulletins cutting into a regularly scheduled music program - provided would-be psychological warriors with a treasure trove of priceless research data, not to mention a slew of hyper-effective propaganda techniques.

- Hadley Cantril's 1940 study is a case in point. This former college roommate of Nelson Rockefeller - who went on to have his work funded by the Rockefellers' network of "philanthropic" foundations - took apart this "Great Martian Event" to better understand the anatomy of public panic. But it wasn't in order to prevent future cases. Rather, he (and his backers) wanted to weaponize panic itself.

- And who would be the targets of these attacks? As professor James F. Tracy, author of the just-linked article, points out: "the elite class to which the Rockefeller family belongs has traditionally failed to distinguish between domestic or foreign subjects as targets for propaganda and behavioral modification."

"Weltaunshaunskrieg is German, and it means world-view warfare. The activists who were most committed to Nazi principles would confront other parts of the society and say 'you have the wrong world-view'. So this world-view warfare was a way in which they went about consolidating their hold on German society, in Nazifying universities, in Nazifying companies, or cultural institutions, or churches. You can call it propaganda, but it wasn't propaganda in the narrow sense of the term, like radio broadcasts or something like that. This was not just publicity. This was not just persuasion. This was a whole range of techniques... exploiting the psychology of fear, exploiting tensions between races... use of terror, use of violence... it was a whole range of applied manipulation of people.
- Christopher Simpson
- Simpson goes on to explain how Office of Strategic Services head and father of American intelligence Wild Bill Donovan - although an ardent anti-Fascist and anti-Nazi - looked to the example of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels with some degree of envy. He dreamed of creating an "Americanized" version of the Nazi propaganda mill, replacing, for instance the Nazi desire for a "strong leader" with the American desire for a "legitimate leader".

- And then came TV.

- Center for Media and Democracy founder John Stauber: "Television is the perfect propaganda medium because it appeals to emotion. ... People see something on television and they immediately internalize it."

- Which should mean that people who get their news from TV, what with all that "internalized information" banging around in their skulls, should be damn well informed about current events... right?

- Stauber: "There's very little actual information actually imparted in TV news. It's not a long script. After the first Gulf War, the University of Massachusetts Amherst did a study about the war, and what they found was that people who watched the most coverage of the first Gulf War were convinced that they knew the most about the war, were the most likely to support the US war to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. But in actual tests, when asked to give factual responses to questions about the war, they actually tended to know the least and get the information wrong.

- In fact, one recent study conducted at New Jersey's Fairley Dickenson University found that people who got their information from FOX News knew less about current events than people who didn't watch any news at all.


- Cold War propaganda was schizophrenic in the extreme. On the one hand, it sought to terrify Americans with the idea that the Soviets were constantly on the verge of unleashing nuclear Armageddon upon us. But they couldn't scare Americans to the point where they began insisting on a sane, rational approach to America's dealings with the USSR. Rapprochement or de-escalation would only hinder the military spending on which American prosperity precariously hinged. So The Powers That Be simultaneously mollified their subjects with light-hearted "we can do it" propaganda like the classic Duck and Cover, which implied that you could survive an ICBM strike by quite literally hiding your head beneath your comfy, cozy duvet (see below).

- Propaganda doesn't begin and end with the news. There is also the issue of the CIA and the Pentagon's long history of covert involvement in Hollywood.

- Movies were a big part of the propaganda machines during both the Great World and World War II. In 1956, the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with John Ford, John Wayne and Merian Cooper to discuss how to help foster "militant liberty" in America. By the time Top Gun was released in 1986, the Navy had recruitment booths set up at some theaters.

- Other movies that benefited from the Pentagon loaning out personnel and hardware include Armageddon, Air Force One, and Iron Man.
"Sir Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down was given similar support. This might help to explain why the character of John Grimes is not shown raping a 12-year-old Somali girl as he did during the mission portrayed in the film."
- As a particularly rabid fanatic for the films of Stanley Kubrick - I actually have an entire blog devoted exclusively to them - I was pleased (more like moved) to see that both Full Metal Jacket and Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb were among the films to which the Pentagon had explicitly denied any funding or assistance. Other "losers" include Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and The Thin Red Line.

- Although it's not covered in TPPII-P, recent revelations about the American intelligence community's covert "weaponization" of Abstract Expressionism have rocked the art world. As meticulously detailed in Frances Stonor Saunders' essential The Cultural Cold War (1999), this was a vast conspiracy, a complicated enterprise that remained pretty much completely uncovered for decades.

"A good government can no more exist without propaganda than good propaganda without a good government."
- Joseph Goebbels
Goebbels had a theory that media should be "uniform in principle" but "polyform in nuances". By this, he meant that the same message should be broadcast from all frequencies, while maintaining the illusion of multiplicity of voices and opinions.

- The mainstream media in America achieves essentially the same thing by marginalizing dissident voices even as they pat themselves on the back for giving them any airtime whatsoever.

- Yes, I know it's almost three hours long. And yes, I know that Noam Chomsky can come across as a holier-than-thou, supercilious douche. And yes, I know he's taken Pentagon blood money for his linguistics research, and I know his take on the JFK assassination and the parapolitics of 9/11 are downright toxic. But he's also very smart, and very ballsy, and you really do need to watch Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992). It's an essential "text" for all students of the parapolitical to deal with at some point. Here it is:

- Morris Berman (his website) describes how a delegation of Soviet officials visiting America were stunned by the uniformity of opinions they found there, much to their hosts' chagrin.

Corporate media today is very similar in terms of presenting stories that support the government like Pravda was to the Soviet Union. The difference is that the people in Russia knew that Pravda was an organ of the state. In the United States, we still believe it's a free press.
- Peter Phillips of  Project Censored

FULL CIRCLE (1:18:00)

- Author Nancy Snow (her website) explains how the realpolitik milieu of the late Cold War period seems like a realization and extension of the systems set up by the founders of the science of propaganda, being the aforementioned Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann who, despite his relatively low profile, was one of the most important public intellectuals of the 20th century. I guess when you coin a phrase like "the Bewildered Herd" to describe your fellow citizens, keeping a low profile is de rigeur.

- So we have to ask ourselves, what was the Cold War all about, really? Was it truly about reigning in Soviet influence around the globe? Or was it about controlling "the bewildered herd" in the Homeland for the benefit of a tiny, entrenched and connected class of elites?

- To understand why the message was so uniform, we must understand who the messengers really were.

- After the end of World War II, former OSS men like William Paley (psychological warfare expert) became head of CBS, and continued to work with the CIA on propaganda operations like Radio Free Europe. Edward Barrett, one time chief of psy-war, eventually became Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism. These were not isolated examples.

- The aforementioned Church Committee hearings into CIA and FBI abuses uncovered numerous examples of intelligence agencies covertly putting writers at national TV stations and newswire agencies on the payroll. It made for riveting viewing, even though the most damning revelations would come in executive session, away from the prying cameras of the public hearings.

- Another way we've come full circle. Back in the 1950's, Time Magazine founder Henry Luce - an early supporter of Fascism and a Skull and Bones man - wrote a document called The American Century. It called on America to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce's conduit to the CIA was C.D. Jackson, a man who ran psychological warfare office in Europe during and for a period following World War II.

- The whole thing is shockingly well explained and laid out in the 1946 pro-union documentary Deadline for Action, embedded below, in two parts.



- After the end of the Cold War, we got The Project for the New American Century with such august signitors as Dick CheneyDonald Rumsfeld and Richard Perle, about which I'm sure you've all heard lots, but if not, here's a rundown.

- The aforementioned C.D. Jackson was instrumental in establishing the infamous Project Mockingbird, the CIA's highly illegal covert infiltration and subversion of the American media, not to mention its recruiting of media personnel for covert intelligence duties overseas and at home.

- Journalists Russ Baker and Christopher Simpson do a great job of describing the porous nature of the theoretical membrane separating American media from the American intelligence community. Early on, social pressures, cooperation and (to be honest) a shared belief system led to a high degree of cooperation.

- Wow. I'd never even heard of the domestic propaganda psy-op/study known as Project Revere. TPPII-P offers an excellent overview by seemingly inexhaustible Christopher Simpson.

- William Blum discusses the "gap" cycle. In short over, during the Cold War, The Powers That Be proclaimed a "Bomber Gap", a "Laser Gap", a "Missile Gap", and a "Mine-Shaft Gap". (Sorry... couldn't help myself!)

"Donald Rumsfeld and Terry Clarke - the head of public relations for the Pentagon - designed a program to recruit 75 former military officers - most of them now lobbyists or consultants to military contractors - and insert them, beginning in 2002 before the attack on Iraq was even launched, into the major networks, to manage the messages, to be surrogates. And that's the words that are actually used. Message multipliers for the Secretary of Defense, and for the Pentagon. The program continues up until now. ... What they did was illegal."
- John Stauber, PBS NewsHour, April 24, 2008
- And that was just a tiny smidgen of the shenanigans that went on in just this tiny sliver of America's sad history of dis-and-misinformation. Remember the ridiculous "neocons only" intelligence stove-piping operation, the Office of Special Plans? What a fucking disaster.

- One area in which US elites' fear of the USSR was as sincere and heartfelt as can be is, of course, in regards to the issue of nuclear weapons. But that is a very heavy subject for a very heavy next chapter.

- Choosing to end this chapter with Pete Seegar's haunting rendition of Jose Marti's beautiful song Guantanamera - just like the blazing finale of the apocalyptic Canadian film Last Night - is a documentarian's master stroke. It is an unsettlingly beautiful and almost impossibly appropriate choice.

I believe that there is a valuable if chilling lesson for American conservatives in these documentaries for which I am currently creating these concordances/appendices. 
In the 1970's and 80's, what did the peoples of Central and South America want? They wanted to have a greater say in the politics that shaped their nations and impacted on their day-to-day lives. They wanted to kick out the entrenched, crooked elites who were bleeding them dry and who were completely unresponsive to the will and desires of those whom they were exploiting without pause or mercy. 
Basically... they wanted what YOU want, now, my conservative friend. And there's a great lesson for you in the way that the American Establishment treated those people, back then. Because that's exactly how they're going to treat YOU, if and when you should ever decide to try - and I mean, really dig in and TRY - to make a difference in your nation, in your lives, and in your futures. They will crush you without pause or mercy.

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