Wednesday, June 06, 2012

the high price of "dark fusion"

aljazeera | It was the height of the dot-com boom in the United States, but the bubble that fuelled the Clinton years wasn't fooling the American military. The top strategic planners of the day were still worried about potential threats to the US in the still young post-Cold War era - not despite, but because of the rapid spread of a still poorly understood globalisation.

Projecting ahead to the year 2020, the military planners and dozens of major corporations who were involved in the research argued that globalisation was making the world a more dangerous place precisely because it would widen the gap "between 'haves' and 'have-nots'" . This situation demanded that the US establish a "full spectrum dominance" over literally every plane of human existence - under and on the sea, on land, in the air and even in space.

Four years later, the September 11 attacks provided the pretext for launching a full spectrum war for global dominance that could not be launched during the "peace dividend" years of the Clinton presidency.

What documents such as the US Space Command's "Vision 2020" did not discuss was that the launching of a new "global war" would ultimately involve turning the American military, judicial and diplomatic machines on American citizens. It happened before: during the Vietnam and civil rights eras with the deployment of military-inspired SWAT units and COINTELPRO monitoring and infiltrations tactics against activist and minority communities.

During the last decade, more than 15 million Americans have entered the ranks of the global "have nots" whom Pentagon planners were, and no doubt remain, so worried about. It's no wonder that the militarisation of law enforcement, coupled with the reduction of constitutional protections for American citizens, have served as natural complements to large-scale incarceration and military recruitment as the best strategies for dealing with the problem of the unassimilable poor.

Yet at some point, gung-ho, ignorance-is-bliss patriotism, large scale imprisonment, foreign wars, even 1,000 TV channels and high speed internet won't keep people off the streets - especially in the wake of the worst recession in 70 years and a decade filled with multiple wars. And thus, the Occupy movement burst to life: inspired by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt and ultimately sparked by the same underlying global neoliberal system that has concentrated wealth and power and increasingly criminalised dissent everywhere.

Full spectrum propaganda
In Tunisia and Egypt, the "secret" or "security" police were infamous for ensuring that regime propaganda was put out as truth, and worse, for spying on citizens and abductions and long-term detention of anyone deemed a threat to the state. And yet now, as these countries struggle to create states that will be less inclined to inflict these practices on their citizens, the United States is moving in the direction they are trying to leave behind.

There are three new and interrelated threats to fundamental freedoms that are directly related to the ongoing war on terror; they involve attempts to permit the US government to deploy propaganda inside the United States, to increase the ability to spy on American citizens and to detain Americans indefinitely without trial for involvement in what until now have been constitutionally protected activities.

All three are direct results of a war on terror abroad that has morphed into a war on the have-nots and the want-nots - those who no longer want to be part of the existing system - at home. While the Obama Administration has not wholly embraced all three tactics, the groundwork is being laid for a full scale assault on the American people should the Republicans strengthen their control of the Congress and even win back the presidency this year.

Beginning with increased propaganda efforts, the most recent National Defense Authorization Act includes an amendment sponsored by Republican Representative Max Thornberry of Texas and Adam Smith, a Democrat from the state of Washington, referred to variously as the "Dissemination of Information Abroad" amendment, and as a separate bill, HR 5736, "The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012." Whatever one calls it, this legislation would overturn a 64-year old prohibition against the US government directly deploying propaganda material towards American citizens inside the United States, thereby "wiping out the distinction between domestic and foreign audiences".

Supporters of the change argue that it merely gets rid of an "artificial handicap to US global engagement while creating domestic awareness of international affairs". But in fact it does much more. It expands the authority to develop and disseminate propaganda from the Office of Public Diplomacy to the State Department as a whole and the Broadcasting Board of Governors - a presidentially-appointed body that includes entertainment executives, investment bankers and former White House press secretaries. These are people who have no institutional history of providing truthful or accurate information to the public, in or outside the United States. Fist tap Arnach.

2 comments:

Ed Dunn said...

After looking at this dead cat quadcopter video, I realize that it is possible for our government to create autonomous quadcopter drones made out of dead cats to spy and harrass it's citizen. If you think about it, a carcass less visible to the human eye than a metal object flying around. I have a feeling we going to see drone swarms of dead cats quadcopters created as a result..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMQHHObgnSg

CNu said...

flying zombies...,

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