In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate called Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.”
Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that “extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan” to “disorderly regions and diffuse enemies”. He called this “global security” and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which America has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: “We have no interest in occupying your country.”
Hayden drew a Venn diagram to explain where the CIA needs to operate. First, he drew three circles that represent the traditional parameters: An activity must be technically feasible, operationally relevant and lawful. Then he added a fourth requirement. The activity must also be “politically sustainable,” through more transparency with Congress and the public. “We need a program that does not have an on-off switch every two years,” he said.
Omand argued that the intelligence community must accept a “paradigm shift.” The old “secret state,” in which intelligence agencies could do pretty much as they liked, is gone. In its place is a “protecting state,” in which the public gives the intelligence agencies certain powers needed to keep the country safe. It’s a “citizen-centric approach,” Omand explained, based on the reality of mutual dependence. The spies need information from the community (especially the large Muslim population in Britain), and the public needs protection.
Phi Beta Iota: Reformation finds new means for old ways, Transformation adapts new means to new ways. Empires consume their own citizens at the same time they destroy other cultures. For serious journalism, see the work of John Pilger.
Integrity Takes This to a Full Five–Part of a Review Trilogy
September 6, 2009
John Pilger was brought to my attention recently. I have known a few really great investigative journalists such as Robert Young Pelton, David Kaplan, and John Fialka, but John Pilger was new to me, and I am *very* glad to have been pointed in his direction. I found in all three books a combination of integrity, insight, and optimism that is heartening and bodes well for the “average” person getting a grip on their out of control governments and corporations who are as criminal in their own way as transnational crime networks.
Although the book is daunting at first site, at 626 pages, it is MUCH easier to read than Laurrie Garrett’s Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, for the simple reason that it is a collection of twenty-nine stories by different investigative journalists and can be read in pieces.
Use “Inside the Book” provided by Amazon to see the range of the stories. This is mostly about government terrorism against its own people, or in a few instances (e.g. thalidomide, fast food) government complicity in corporate atrocities against the paying public.
Eight of the pieces center on Iraq from 2002 onwards.
I read this book with the advantage of having first gone through the two listed above. C. Middleton has summarized the chapters so I will not do that. Here are my fly-leaf notes for those that follow my reviews (Amazon deletes votes from my 500+ “fans” something else that rankles).
Chapter 1. The entire nation of British CITIZENS that once inhabited the island group known as Diego Garcia was destroyed by US-UK secret agreement without Parliamentary knowledge. This is a crime against humanity, a genocide. The US Executive lied to the US Congress about the matter.
John Richard Pilger (born 9 October 1939) is an Australianjournalist and documentary maker. He has twice won Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award, and his documentaries have received academy awards in Britain and the US. Based in London, he is known for his polemical campaigning style: “Secretive power loathes journalists who do their job, who push back screens, peer behind façades, lift rocks. Opprobrium from on high is their badge of honour.”
Below is a slam on “Brand Obama” as a continuation of Empire as Usual that is being heard around the world. It is rocketing through the YouTube circles, being Twittered, and could well be the first real articulation of the left waking up to the fact that Wall Street owns the White House. The Brzezinski/CIA backdrop is touched upon–we anticipate Bob Gates being “sacrificed” and John Hamry replacing him in January, all as part of Washington “theater for the masses.” John Hamry is of course Zbigniew Brzezinski’s caretaker or ward, take your pick. “Junk Politics” and “Empire of Illusion” are touchstone phrases.