Reflections on Lincoln, Principle, Compromise, Autonomous Internet & Citizen Intelligence / Counter-Intelligence 2.0 with Meta-RECAP
EDIT of 21 January 2013: I have gotten both sharp criticism from folks I revere, and complements. I am more than willing to delete this, but I am more interested in having people think outside the lines. I’ve made some revisions, adding issues and readings in each section. Email me as you please, robert.david.steele.vivas [at] gmail [dot] com. I’m doing this to raise some ethical nuances, not to deny or revise history. Relevance to today: the “government” rarely tells the truth, and the “reasons” it gives for doing things that ultimately benefit the few at the expense of the many are generally, at best, “flimsy” and at worst, “calculated lies.” All institutions are lacking in both intelligence (decision-support) and integrity (holistic transparent analytics). Wars are a form a global crime, they are not fought for the reasons given, and the public ALWAYS loses while bankers ALWAYS gain. We need to change that. Thomas Jefferson had it right — we need to be better armed than the government — not just guns, but intelligence with integrity. That’s what I think about.
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A colleague I respect very much suggested I watch Lincoln, the new movie, for an understanding of a leadership style that worked. Having dismissed the movie because of its erroneous depiction of the Civil War as being about slavery (it was actually a war for and against secession, and a war of conquest from the north of the south), I demurred. Today I read the following from Bill Clinton speaking to an adoring crowd in Hollywood, and it put me to thinking about the point my colleague was trying to make:
“A tough fight to push a bill through a bitterly divided House of Representatives: Winning it required the president to make a lot of unsavory deals that had nothing to do with the big issue.” A little shrug. “I wouldn’t know anything about that,” Clinton said. His audience laughed.
President Abraham Lincoln’s struggle to abolish slavery “reminds us that enduring progress is forged in a cauldron of both principle and compromise,” Clinton went on. This film “shows us how he did it, and gives us hope that we can do it again.”
I have known for some time that I am viewed as uncompromising, perhaps even arrogant, in my insistence on intelligence with integrity, and my intolerance of the civil service and uniformed leaders who pander to politicians who shake down corporations and banks for campaign contributions, and then discount the public treasury by 95% solely for the purpose of getting their 5% kick-back, without any deep thought of the public interest, and certainly without considering any ethical evidence-based decision-support. Those same civil service and uniformed leaders are never held accountable for failure and roll over into retirement jobs with the industries they have not been holding accountable themselves. At the end of the day, 50 percent of every federal dollar is waste, and the other 50 percent is primarily beneficial to the recipient of the taxpayer revenue, not to the taxpayer.
A mass murder and an alleged suicide are very much on my mind these days. The mass murder is that of Sandy Hook, and the alleged suicide is that of Adam Swartz. I am quite certain that the government is covering up the facts on Sandy Hook, and not investigating the death ostensibly by hanging, of Aaron Swartz. I will return to these in my conclusion.
First I will touch on The War, Principle, on Compromise, and then on Citizen Intelligence / Counterintelligence and finally on Autonomous Internet.
ISSUE: When are “unsavory compromises” justified in the pursuit of a principle, and what metrics should be used to evaluate the principle?
ISSUE: When states unite, each voluntarily, and states desire to secede, also voluntarily, what principle–at what price–justifies forcible “unity”?
I touch on The War because a brief examination lends credence to my belief that principle and compromise on the basis of lies are like paint on the Titanic. Cosmetic at best. Too few are educated to the point of understanding the difference between a Civil War (each side fighting to own the whole — only the North wanted to own the whole) and a War of Secession (fighting for the inalienable right to withdraw from a union of states one joined voluntarily without surrendering one’s state sovereignty). This was not a war to free slaves — Lincoln did not free the slaves in the North or the West, and he issued the Emancipation Proclamation with great reluctance and only out of military necessity. This was a war to enable the North to loot the South for twelve years of carpettbagging. This was a war needed by the North to rescue an industrial economy that was inploding. This was a war of, by, and for the bankers who lent money to both sides confident that in war the only sure winner is the bank. In waging war on the South, which was already in the process of ending slavery, the North destroyed a civilization — a Jeffersonian civilization — while advancing its own civilization of industrialization, something Lionel TIger has called “the manufacture of evil.” When one goes to war on the basis of lies — 935 now-documented lies in the case of the second Iraq war — it is not possible for the war to be just, effective, or affordable. Lies are like sand in the gears of a complex delicate machine. Information pathologies are directly responsible for the disconnect between nature, the public, and the leadership. On the basis of information pathologies, decisions are made that are quite costly, generally more so to the public and to nature than to the leaders, who are buffered from calamity by their control of other people’s money. After a war, more lies are told, and the truth buried with the vanquished.
One small point of honor: General George Meade, on three days notice, beat Lee at Gettysburg. He took a dispirited scattered Union Army, brought it together, and because Lee was arrogant and Meade was not, because Lee’s subordinates were more fearful of Lee than the Union, while Meade’s subordinates were more confident of their commands and their relationship to Meade, history turned. Meade’s reputation until recently has been very poor because General Sickles, among others, was in a position immediately after the war to tell lies about Meade to credulous politicians. It took a modern intelligence professional and gifted researcher of the Civil War, to set the record straight in 2012, and I list the book below with a strong recommendation — my review is still the ranked review. There was nothing principled about the war, nor were Lincoln and his northern cohorts willing to compromise — had they allowed secession and a non-interventionist policy instead of killing perhaps 750,000 mostly able-bodied men, America would be a different — and I dare to say — and much better place today. What was done to Meade as an individual of the North, was done to the South over-all. It is in this context that I must question the ultimate value of Lincoln’s principle and Lincoln’s many “unsavory” compromises.
ISSUE: What determines the legitimacy of a principle?
ISSUE: Can elites be trusted to define and pursue principles in secrecy?
A principle in isolation of the whole is not a principle, it is a protocol. The whole point of ethics is to transfer the accumulated wisdom of the past forward. Morality has a strategic value that is priceless — I list four readings below, each of which makes this point in its own way. I know of no “just war” fought by the USA, including the two World Wars, both banker’s wars — and in the second of these, with Hitler knowingly and admiringly funded by American bankers, and a host of Nazis brought into the USA after the war, while CIA used the gold captured in the Philippines (the Black Lily fund) to restore fascists to power in Germany, Italy, and Japan. The history we are taught is not just erroneous, it is downright misrepresentative. We are not taught that it was the US that fabricated pretexts for war time after time, and in some cases fabricated “false flag” terrorist attacks in order to justify very expensive very unjust war that the public would not have supported absent the “big lie.” In my round-about manner, I am suggesting that there are two preconditions to principled behavior: first, a whole systems view with a “first do no harm” precept; and second, a fully informed public rather than a credulous public being played like a “grand wullitzer” piano. Invariably, principles are both sacrificed and perverted when secrecy rules. The only credible principle is the public principle.
ISSUE: Who gets to make the compromises, or put differently, who gets to compromise the public interest?
ISSUE: What is the moral (eternal) dimension of any given compromise?
ISSUE: What is the difference between an honorable compromise and an “unsavory” compromise?
A compromise with evil is not a compromise, it is appeasement, and based on at least one false premise, that somewhere down the road evil will relent and a bit of goodness will creep in. The unwillingness to compromise is good when an “absolute good” is at stake, and it is quite bad when an “absolute wrong” is at stake. Saving Jews from the Holocaust is an example, as Shindler’s List so movingly illuminates, of an “absolute good.” Allowing Zionist Israel to continue to commit genocide and other atrocities against the Palestinians is appeasement, and perpetuates an “absolute wrong.” For compromise to be just, it must embrace clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability as its attributes, and there must be a common commitment to good for the greatest number rather than profit for the few at the expense of the many. This is where Lincoln failed in the Civil War–sacrificing over 750,000 lives and assuming indebtedness to the banks for a questionable enhancement of the lives of slaves in the South (not in the North or West), an enhancement most historians now agree was inevitable — what Lincoln did in destroying Southern civilization, Southern manhood, and carpetbagging the South for twelve years was a crime against humanity, and the mythos of ending slavery is just that — a myth. Instead, many more were enslaved in the velvet glove of industrialization and its commoditization of the human being, a commoditization that is color-blind. As Lionel Tiger puts it, the Industrial Era’s primary output was “the manufacture of evil.” Hence, compromise is contextual. It must occur without information pathologies or asymmetries, in an atmosphere of dignity, with a general shared interest in both sides continuing to have good relations and mutually beneficial shared interests into the future. The kind of “scorched earth” politics that Newt Gingrich introduced when he destroyed Speaker Jim Wright, and the kind of devil’s pact made by the Republicans and Democrats in disenfranchising the League of Women Voters and all third parties out of the presidential debates — the ONE TIME most Americans can tune in and hear substance every four years — this is not compromise, this is collusion. In brief, compromise demands a respect for the truth, shared information, and a commitment to sustain the Republic, not hollow it out in the near-term and devil may care on the long term. On this basis, both the Republican and Democratic parties as they now operate may be said to have betrayed the public trust, and they do not deserve to control either the Senate or the House in 2014, or the Presidency in 2016. The time for electoral, governance, intelligence, and public budgeting reform is now upon us.
Citizen Intelligence and Counterintelligence
ISSUE: Can the government be trusted to determine, respect, and share the truth?
ISSUE: Should we trust elites to make public decisions in secret without documentation or justification?
Now we come to the crux of the matter. Both principle and compromise, when in effect rather than in the abstract, are rooted in information. A principle is ethereal in the absence of a context and specifics within which that principle may be applied. Similarly a compromise is at best an agreement to avoid conflict and at worst bad theater, in the absence of specifics with respect to starting point, true costs, and realized outcomes. Promising everything and delivering nothing is neither principled nor a compromise, yet that sums up the method of US politics these past fifty years. Beginning with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, an assassination that evidently included George Bush the father as an active co-conspirator present in Dallas on the day, US politics has been corrupt to the bone. It has always been corrupt, but the discovery by a melange of rogue government elements, crime families (both organized and white collar) that they could not only assassinate a president but also count on the vice president to cover their assassination up, took what little justice was in the system right out of it. Today the Department of Justice claims it has the right to lie to the Courts; the Supreme Court has certified that corporations are people; and Congress has abdicated its Article 1 responsibilities so thoroughly that most legislation today should be considered theatrical.
The essence of democracy is an educated engaged public in which all available information is brought forth, appreciative inquiry is conducted, deliberative dialog is the order of the day, and a consensual decision is arrived at in which all parties concur on the basis of both principle and compromise.
This is not the case in the USA today. I have no confidence in the veracity or integrity of the US Government. Of course most people in the US Government are good people who mean well. However, at the highest levels, politicians and senior executives (civil servants) and flag officers have set aside their sworn oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, domestic and foreign, and instead sworn loyalty to a two-party tyranny and an administrative state — substituting loyalty for integrity — such that the public interest is not the primary consideration in any major decision by the government.
At lower levels, including state and local law enforcement levels, the tyranny and the mythos of national security have been employed to bribe local law enforcement with funding that is mis-directed toward pervasive surveillance and SWAT teams instead of neighborhood and preventive policing, and at the same time the FBI and the CIA appear to have cut major deals with major crime families, both domestic and foreign, as a means of “controlling” rival gangs while continuing to justify their existence….imagine if you will, if CIA and the FBI were actually committed to being effective!
ISSUE: If experts are wrong and elites are corrupt, how do we harness the collective intelligence — and the collective integrity — of the whole?
Thomas Jefferson has it right — we must be armed with the tools necessary for self-governance. I believe this to include the absolute right to bear arms, the absolute right to shut down intrusive government surveillance, and the absolute right to an Autonomous Internet that cannot be shut down, censored, delayed, or monitored by the government.
It is in this context that I return to both Sandy Hook and the alleged suicide of Aaron Swartz. As an intelligence and counterintelligence professional, with no direct knowledge but the ability to cast a very wide net and to do my own analysis of a mosaic of information, I am absolutely certain that Sandy Hook was either a false-flag terror event or a Boston crime family hit that disposed of seven children being used for pedophilia; as best I can tell, the claimed number of deaths is grossly over-stated by the authorities, the gun used to kill the seven (allegedly 20+) was NOT found in the schoolhouse, and there were at least two and possibly three adult males involved in the over-all operation, with the autistic kid as the patsy. In the case of Aaron Swartz, I see too many similarities to the death by hanging of Mark Lombardi, also an alleged suicide, and I cannot help but observe the trend in which enemies of corruption die, often by alleged suicide, while bankers and generals and others who are actively engaged in or covering up for corruption, do not die before their time.
On this basis, I believe the time has come for a completely independent national network of citizens who are able to carry out citizen intelligence and counterintelligence against all threats, across all policies, with careful open legal ethical observation of every federal, state, and local organization — how they spend money, how they spend time, who and when and why they meet with anyone. We also need citizen counterintelligence teams that can swoop in on a Sandy Hook or an Aarom Swartz situation, and quickly identify, document, and disseminate both the national security interventions that are totally uncalled for, and keep the local authorities honest. I am certain that the authorities in Connecticut and New York City are being dishonest. I cannot, absent direct access, be certain about the details.
We must also achieve, as quickly as possible, an Autonomous Internet, local oaths of loyalty from police to the citizens that employ them, a broad commitment to preserve our right to bear arms at any cost, and as much localized resilience as possible. Personally I believe we must end all federal income taxes on corporations and individuals, and move instead to states paying the federal government for services of common concern that are validated each year. The federal government is both bloated and dishonest. It cannot be trusted to tell the truth and it cannot be trusted to act on principle or to compromise on the basis of truth and in the public interest.
We are on our own. Again.
Robert David STEELE Vivas
Editorial Note: When we added most (not all) of the existing past links on US Government corruption and US commercial fraud, we were quite surprised by the voluminous nature of the list. We have re-organized it to break it up into categories, but the bottom line is that there is no lack of wealth in the USA, only a lack of integrity.
Aaron Swartz Death by Hanging, Probable Murder
Alternative Explanations of Sandy Hook Mass Murder
Aurora Uninvestigated — Multiple Shooters with Court Records Sealed
Banking Fraud with US Government Complicity, Drugs & Eugenics on the Side
Books and Book Reviews
Durant, Will and Ariel Durant (1968), The Lessons of History (Simon & Schuster)
Gray, Colin (1999), Modern Strategy (Oxford University Press)
Manwaring, Max, Edwin Corr and Reobert Dorff, eds. (2003), The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century (Praeger)
Peters, Ralph (2012), Cain at Gettysburg (Forge Books)
Peters, Ralph (2011) Lines of Fire: A Renegade Writes on Strategy, Intelligence, and Security (Stackpole)
CIA and FBI Lack of Integrity (Along with Local LEA Going Along)
Civil Disobedience, Corruption, Criminalization of the Truth, Myths & Challenges
Cyber-Insecurity Because of Government Corruption
Department of Defense as Poster Child for Corruption & Fraud
General Lack of Institutional Integrity (Academia, Government, Media, Etcetera)
Gun Control & Madness — Assassinations, Buy-Outs, & Other Concerns
Integrity By Example
Isaeli Zionism (not US Jews) as a Cancer
Philosophical Reflections by Others
Solutions from Robert Steele
Third Party Politics — Still Lacking in Integrity