Category Archives: Deep State

Conversation: ‘Weaponized media’ turns up heat, targets dissident thought

UK Column editor Mike Robinson with co-host Patrick Henningsen and guest geopolitical analyst Alex Thomson, breaking down this week’s news in Britain, Europe and Eurasia.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Enantiodromia in Russian politics, by Alexander Dugin

Source: Fort Russ

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This article was first translated at Fort Russ by “Soviet Bear” & subsequently edited by Jouaquin Flores.

In the world there is one major power, a few minor powers, and many passive objects in someone else’s game, with microscopic local interests. They are called “sovereign states” and most of them are represented in the UN. But today such formal “sovereignty” is fictitious and in name only. Sovereignty is a measure of power. No power – no sovereignty. According to American political scientist S. Krasner: “Sovereignty is organized hypocrisy”[1]. This is truth.

Power is distributed hierarchically in the world [2]

At the top of the pyramid of powers is the United States. It is served by a number of influential, sometimes obstinate, but always loyal vassals: the EU, Japan, Turkey, as well as distinctive proxies in the Islamic world: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan.

The next countries in the scale of power are those who are able to effectively compete in some areas with the United States. They belong to the “second world” (not the first, but not the third): this is the BRICS countries and others like them. Brazil (collectively, Latin America), Russia, India, China and South Africa (collectively, TRANS-Saharan Africa in General). Potentially it is possible that this list can include some of the Islamic powers, seeking to be independent from the USA as much as possible.

All of the other countries in the world are irrelevant and only get underfoot, every time adjoining to someone who is stronger in each particular local case. They are the pretext for sorting things out between the powers of the first and second degree, a kind of Gastarbeitern of world politics.

The US: a structure of power of the first degree

Now the most important thing. The structure of the first power (the United States) is: the highest expression of a certain ideological formula — liberalism ( i.e. globalism or the establishment of a global liberal democracy as the most important mission), as well as two means to achieve the ultimate goal — the victory of liberalism on a global scale —

1. By peaceful trade
2. By military force

Continue reading Enantiodromia in Russian politics, by Alexander Dugin

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Conversation: Freedom in the Empire, a brilliant discussion with Eric Draitser, Don Debar & Laura Carlsen

After reading Pepe Escobar’s previous piece on the Chinese vision for the world, contrast that with this excellent look into the inner workings of Empire by Eric Draitser and Don DeBar.

Brilliant stuff. Your dose of reality.

Augmented Ether
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Source: counterpunch

Click the picture below to go to counterpunch and play the audio!

Capture

This week, Eric welcomes two brilliant guests to the show. First, Eric speaks with Don DeBar, independent broadcaster and Senior Producer at Community Public Radio (CPRmetro.org). Eric and Don discuss the state of the independent media, and how it has been rapidly transformed in recent years. Don presents an inside account of the corporate takeover and purge of Pacifica Radio and its NYC flagship station WBAI, pulling back the curtain on how Pacifica operates, and why some of its good work has come to be overshadowed by the bad, especially when it comes to issues of war and peace. Eric and Don also touch on the war in Libya and how that exposed much of the media for being aligned with the US-NATO war agenda.

In the second half of the show, Eric welcomes Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy to the program. Eric and Laura discuss the 2014 Ayotzinapa massacre of student teachers in Mexico, and the obvious government cover-up of the incident. Laura explains what happened in late September 2014, what the circumstances were leading up to the massacre, and the inconsistencies in the initial government investigation. Eric and Laura also discuss neoliberalism and privatization, and how this massacre should be understood as part of a broader political process ongoing in Mexico with direct US involvement.

Musical interlude from Boukman Eksperyans – “Jou Nou Revolte”
Intro & Outtro from David Vest

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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The Fog of Intelligence Or How to Be Eternally “Caught Off Guard” in the Greater Middle East, by Tom Engelhardt

This piece by Tom Engelhardt is a must read for anyone who follows the follies of Empire in their quest to subdue the planet. As much as money and technology has been used to extend the Empire’s reach and control of the world, it is not a substitute to the salient fact that the world is fundamentally uncontrollable.

Tune into TomDispatch to read more about the world we live in.

Augmented Ether

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Source: TomDispatch

1,500.

That figure stunned me. I found it in the 12th paragraph of a front-page New York Timesstory about “senior commanders” at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) playing fast and loose with intelligence reports to give their air war against ISIS an unjustified sheen of success: “CENTCOM’s mammoth intelligence operation, with some 1,500 civilian, military, and contract analysts, is housed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, in a bay front building that has the look of a sterile government facility posing as a Spanish hacienda.”

Think about that.  CENTCOM, one of six U.S. military commands that divide the planet up like a pie, has at least 1,500 intelligence analysts (military, civilian, and private contractors) all to itself.  Let me repeat that: 1,500 of them.  CENTCOM is essentially the country’s war command, responsible for most of the Greater Middle East, that expanse of now-chaotic territory filled with strife-torn and failing states that runs from Pakistan’s border to Egypt.  That’s no small task and about it there is much to be known.  Still, that figure should act like a flash of lightning, illuminating for a second an otherwise dark and stormy landscape.

And mind you, that’s just the analysts, not the full CENTCOM intelligence roster for which we have no figure at all.  In other words, even if that 1,500 represents a full count of the command’s intelligence analysts, not just the ones at its Tampa headquarters but in the field at places like its enormous operation at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, CENTCOM still has almost half as many of them as military personnel on the ground in Iraq (3,500 at latest count).  Now, try to imagine what those 1,500 analysts are doing, even for a command deep in a “quagmire” in Syria and Iraq, as President Obama recently dubbed it (though he was admittedly speaking about the Russians), as well as what looks like a failing war, 14 years later, in Afghanistan, and another in Yemen led by the Saudis but backed by Washington.  Even given all of that, what in the world could they possibly be “analyzing”?  Who at CENTCOM, in the Defense Intelligence Agency, or elsewhere has the time to attend to the reports and data flows that must be generated by 1,500 analysts?

Continue reading The Fog of Intelligence Or How to Be Eternally “Caught Off Guard” in the Greater Middle East, by Tom Engelhardt

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The Age of Imperial Wars, by James Petras

Source: Global Research

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From Regional War, “Regime Change” to Global Warfare

2015 has become a year of living dangerously.

Wars are spreading across the globe. 

Wars are escalating as new countries are bombed and the old are ravaged with ever greater intensity.

Countries, where relatively peaceful changes had taken place through recent elections, are now on the verge of civil wars.

These are wars without victors, but plenty of losers; wars that don’t end; wars where imperial occupations are faced with prolonged resistance.

There are never-ending torrents of war refugees flooding across borders.  Desperate people are detained, degraded and criminalized for being the survivors and victims of imperial invasions.

 Now major nuclear powers face off in Europe and Asia:  NATO versus Russia, US-Japan versus China.  Will these streams of blood and wars converge into one radiated wilderness drained of its precious life blood?

[Please click below to continue reading]
Continue reading The Age of Imperial Wars, by James Petras

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The Ethical Demise of the American Psychological Association, by GEOFF GRAY

The conscience of the American Psychological Association (APA) is slowly dying as it facilitates torture, cheats its own members, and hussles junk science boondoggles to the defense industry. But the APA wasn’t always this way. Founded in the late 19th century by the intellectual giant William James and others, it had a proud history of advancing the science of psychology, defending the rights of those served by psychology, and promoting the interests of its members.

In 2005 the leadership of the APA violated its governance rules to allow psychologists to support the Bush era torture program. This was critical because the Justice Department had ruled that a health professional needed to be present during “enhanced interrogations” and because other professional organizations such as the America Medical Association and the America Psychiatric Association had unequivocally declared these programs unethical and out of bounds for their members. A national panel of human rights experts investigated a newly released cache of emails showing the APA, with the collaboration of the White House and CIA personnel, secretly modified its ethics policy to keep psychologists involved in torture. The New York Times reported on the panel’s findings on its front page late last month.

In its official response, the APA characterized the report as “recirculated allegations” and maintained that “last October we released a statement refuting these allegations.” But this response is a lie. The human rights experts presented new evidence of APA support of torture and refuted earlier APA denials. One email from Kirk Hubbard, the CIA agent overseeing the torture program, gives a shout out to former APA president Martin Seligman, saying he “had helped a lot over the last 4 years.” [2] Seligman had earlier denied involvement.

The APA describes the whole issue as a “public misunderstanding” and it has reluctantly hired an attorney to investigate the matter. It intends to publish its own report after which it plans “an aggressive communications program” to set the record straight. Sounds like they’ve already decided what their investigators will find.

Deceit is baked into the APA. Over the last several decades the compensation for APA leadership and staff has become increasingly generous and secure as the ability of the members to earn a living has become more precarious. During this time the organization’s relationship to its members became increasingly exploitative.

The APA recently settled a class action lawsuit. For 24 years APA members practicing as clinicians thought they had to pay a substantial special assessment that was not charged to academic psychologists. Why did clinicians think that they had to pay the extra assessment? Because the APA called the special assessment “mandatory” and said clinicians “must pay.” The APA leadership perpetrated this deception until 2011 when a disgruntled clinician learned that the mandatory assessment had never been approved.

Last month after four years and undisclosed legal expenses the APA proposed a settlement of 9.02 million dollars and agreed to change its Orwellian member communications practices. But the organization is not apologizing. According to its president, one Barry Anton, Ph.D., “we do not concede that there was any wrongdoing on our part.”

A professional organization should be guided by its membership. If the members want to pay lower dues for scaled back services that should be the end of the story. A professional organization struggling in a legal battle with its membership, as if it represents something other than its membership, has clearly lost its way.

So what about the integrity of psychological science and services? More spin, deception, and bullshit as the APA shills behavioral programs to the military-security state. Building on relationships developed while crafting torture policies, APA and APA connected psychologists have spun off a series of ventures noteworthy for their pseudoscientific underpinnings, lack of real world effectiveness and high cost. Some of the programs the APA has sponsored, abetted or profited from include:

Comprehensive Soldier Resiliency Program (237 million dollars) was developed by Martin Seligman and is now deployed throughout the military . This program aims to prevent stress-related mental health problems by teaching soldiers to be more resilient and optimistic. The APA enthusiastically promoted the program in a slew of puff pieces in its peer reviewed flagship journal, the American Psychologist. But independent evaluations show the program doesn’t work. An Institute of Medicine scientific panel noted that the program was never vetted for effectiveness and could, in fact be harmful. USA Today article cites “startling negative results.”(6) When USA Today confronted the Army, military psychologists went back and lowered the threshold for optimism to make the results look less bad.

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (81 million). Two psychologists, James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, created interrogation techniques using principals developed by the same Martin Seligman. However, this program has not only failed to elicit useful information via torture, it has blackened America’s name around the world and contributed to Middle East instability and blowback.

Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, SPOT (900 million dollars). Developed by psychologist Paul Ekman, the program trains“behavior detection officers” to identify potential threats at US airports based on personal characteristics, behavior and facial expressions. To date there has not been one verified case of a successful terrorist detection using the program.

The American Psychological Association poses as a professional organization. In truth it is a racket benefiting a few insiders. It reflects the larger society where the accumulation of money and power is the measure of success and the public good an afterthought; a society in which our president lauds bankers who impoverish millions of ordinary workers as “savvy businessmen.” The APA’s failure to fulfill its broad social mission impoverishes us all.

Geoff Gray has a Ph.D. in psychology.

Source: Counterpunch

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Conversation:The interest groups that control America

The Saker interviews Paul Craig Roberts

I had been wanting to interview Paul Craig Roberts for a long time already. For many years I have been following his writings and interviews and every time I read what he had to say I was hoping that one day I would have the privilege do interview him about the nature of the US deep state and the Empire. Recently, I emailed him and asked for such an interview, and he very kindly agreed. I am very grateful to him for this opportunity.

The Saker

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The Saker:  It has become rather obvious to many, if not most, people that the USA is not a democracy or a republic, but rather a plutocracy run by a small elite which some call “the 1%”.  Others speak of the “deep state”.  So my first question to you is the following.  Could you please take the time to assess the influence and power of each of the following entities one by one.  In particular, can you specify for each of the following whether it has a decision-making “top” position, or a decision-implementing “middle” position in the real structure of power (listed in no specific order)

  • Federal Reserve
  • Big Banking
  • Bilderberg
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Skull & Bones
  • CIA
  • Goldman Sachs and top banks
  • “Top 100 families” (Rothschild, Rockefeller, Dutch Royal Family, British Royal Family, etc.)
  • Israel Lobby
  • Freemasons and their lodges
  • Big Business: Big Oil, Military Industrial Complex, etc.
  • Other people or organizations not listed above?

Who, which group, what entity would you consider is really at the apex of power in the current US polity?

Paul Craig Roberts: The US is ruled by private interest groups and by the neoconservative ideology that History has chosen the US as the “exceptional and indispensable” country with the right and responsibility to impose its will on the world.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading Conversation:The interest groups that control America

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Washington is in Revolt Against Obama, by Thierry Meyssan

The crisis gripping the US state apparatus is directly threatening the survival of the Empire. This is no longer merely the opinion of Thierry Meyssan, but the subject that is shaking the ruling class in Washington to the point that the honorary president of the Council on Foreign Relations is demanding the resignation of the chief advisers of President Obama and the appointment of a new team. This clash has nothing to do with a typical opposition of Democrats and Republicans, nor even with that of the doves / hawks. What is at stake is leadership in the United States and NATO.

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For several months now, I’ve been noting that there is no foreign policy in Washington, but two factions that oppose each other in all things and separately conduct contradictory and inconsistent policies. [1]

The climax of this situation has been reached in Syria, where the White House first organized the moult of Daesh and sent it to ethnically cleanse Iraq, then fought it even though the CIA continues to support it. This inconsistency has gradually spread to the Allies. Thus, France joined the anti-Daesh coalition while some of its legionaries are part of the Daesh cadre [2].

When the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, requested written clarification, he not only received no answer, but he was fired. [3]

[Please click below to continue reading]
Continue reading Washington is in Revolt Against Obama, by Thierry Meyssan

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Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity?, by Charles Hugh Smith

Source: Of Two Minds

I recently discussed the Deep State and “throwing Wall Street under the bus” with my friend and colleague Jim Kunstler.

When we speak of The Powers That Be or the Deep State, this ruling Elite is generally assumed to be monolithic: of one mind, so to speak, unified in worldview, strategy and goals.

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In my view, this is an over-simplification of a constantly shifting battleground of paradigms and political power between a number of factions and alliances within the Deep State. Disagreements are not publicized, of course, but they become apparent years or decades after the conflict was resolved, usually by one faction winning the hearts and minds of decision-makers or consolidating the Deep State’s group-think around their worldview and strategy.

History suggests that this low-intensity conflict within the ruling Elite is generally a healthy characteristic of leadership in good times. As times grow more troubled, however, the unity of the ruling Elite fractures into irreconcilable political disunity, which becomes a proximate cause of the dissolution of the Empire if it continues.

I recently proposed the idea that Wall Street now poses a strategic threat to national security and thus to the Deep State itself: Who Gets Thrown Under the Bus in the Next Financial Crisis? (March 3, 2014)

Many consider it “impossible” that Wall Street could possibly lose its political grip on the nation’s throat, but I suggest that Wall Street has over-reached, and is now teetering at the top of the S-Curve, i.e. it has reached Peak Wall Street.

Consider what the extremes of Wall Street/Federal Reserve predation, parasitism, avarice and power have done to the nation, and then ask if other factions within the Deep State are blind to the destructive consequences:

How The Fed Has Failed America, Part 2 (March 12, 2014)

The Fed Has Failed (and Will Continue to Fail), Part 1 (March 11, 2014)

Can anyone not in Wall Street or the Fed look at this chart and not see profound political disunity on the horizon?

source: Poll Shows Why QE Has Been Ineffective (STA Wealth Mgmt)

source: Poll Shows Why QE Has Been Ineffective (STA Wealth Mgmt)

I recently discussed the Deep State and “throwing Wall Street under the bus” with my friend and colleague Jim Kunstler: here’s the resulting podcast, which you can download or listen to on whatever device you are using at the moment: KunstlerCast 250 — Chatting with Charles Hugh Smith

Jim’s trademark wit and clarity guide the discussion, and he kindly lets me blather on about the Deep State. I think you’ll find the discussion of interest; you certainly won’t hear this topic being aired elsewhere.

I have covered the Deep State and profound political disunity for many years:

Going to War with the Political Elite You Have (May 14, 2007)

The Shape of Things To Come (July 8, 2011)

The Master Narrative Nobody Dares Admit: Centralization Has Failed (June 21, 2012)

Charles Hugh Smith

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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