The Corporate Security State is tipping the balance between the self-interest of a governing corporate elite and the rights of the rest of us to freedom, privacy, safety, and fairness. We can see the power shift manifest in six clear and evolving trends since 2001: Average citizens are subject to ever-expanding surveillance by the government-corporate complex.
- Control of information by the government-corporate complex is expanding.
- The separation of powers established by the Constitution is eroding. Rights guaranteed by constitutional amendments are becoming irrelevant. Reporting a crime may be a crime, and informing the public of the truth is treason.
- The government-corporate surveillance complex is consolidating. What has been a confidential but informal collaboration now seeks to legalize its special status.
- Financial reforms enacted after the crisis are inoperable and ineffective because of inadequate investigations and intensive corporate lobbying.
- Systemic corruption and a fundamental conflict of interest are driving us toward the precipice of new economic crises.
James Clapper discredited himself as well as the NSA when Snowden’s first disclosure exposed his lie of March 12, 2013, to an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) had asked him whether the NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper answered unequivocally: “No, sir.” Then he equivocated a bit and added: “Not wittingly.”
“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner, by saying ‘No.’” He then tried to explain his explanation by saying that he was confused about what Senator Wyden was asking. Subsequently, though, we discovered that Wyden’s office sent Clapper the question twenty-four hours in advance and therefore gave him ample time to clarify it, as well as to compose his answer. So Clapper not only lied in answer to the senator’s question in March, but he also lied in July when explaining his earlier lie. By September, no one believed anything Clapper said anymore, but he nevertheless kept talking. One reporter opined that Clapper should be fired simply because every
==The Rise of the American Corporate Security State: Six Reasons to Be Afraid (Beatrice Edwards)
Former CIA Deputy Director Frank Wisner even referred to the CIA’s worldwide propaganda machine as “the mighty Wurlitzer.” The CIA’s orchestration of the media includes books, newspapers, magazines, and television. Although sometimes hard to prove, it is known that the CIA has published hundreds of books, owns dozens of newspapers and magazines, and has people in every major US news organization on the CIA payroll. Former CIA Director William Colby even admitted “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
The CIA started a program in the 1950’s code-named MK-ULTRA in order to develop more mind control options. MK-ULTRA tested radiation, electric shocks, electrode implants, microwaves, ultrasound, and a wide range of drugs on involuntary subjects, including hundreds of prisoners at California’s Vacaville State Prison. The CIA saw mind control as a way of making their agents torture-proof. The agency has even gone as far as to rent out apartments, staff them with prostitutes, and watch through one-way mirrors to see the effects of various substances that the prostitutes slipped to the their unlucky customers.
The continuous bombardment of propaganda in America makes it very difficult for individuals to see things from any viewpoint not in accordance with their earlier convictions. In most cases, any incoming information which conflicts with that which they learned fundamentally at an earlier age is quickly dismissed and is never considered as possibly true.
There will be a time when our descendants look back at America’s militarism, manipulation, and corporate greed and acknowledge the United States as the most destructive and contradictory entity of this historical era.
===Land of Hypocrisy (Kennie Anderson)
I believe in the American vision as laid out by this nation’s founders, particularly those of James Madison’s whose now failed attempt to create a system that checked democracy’s inevitable march to tyranny stands, at the very least, as a testament to the inherent evils of a powerful centralized government, democracy or in any other form. The myths we have all rallied around since childhood, in battle, church or in our own solitude are simply that, myths. The reality most of us wish to deny, need to deny in order to make it through the day, in order to retain our sense of unity with a national purpose, is more than disturbing.
Waking up to what America has become, what we have been for many years and fight for what we should be, what we can be someday, perhaps many years from now. In the meantime, the tyranny of the total surveillance police state becomes more complete. No matter who we elect in our faux democracy, the process continues at an accelerating rate and it will do so until the noose is so tight no American will be left free except, of course, the ruling power elites and maybe not even these few. Awareness and knowledge will, at least, serve as an essential wolfsbane to ease the shock of what lies ahead for America and the world over the next five to ten years. Outrage might help as well, but apparently we are too immersed in the massive control systems and propaganda to care?
Clearly, for anyone who really bothers to do the necessary readings and research seeking to discover the reality of American history, particularly since 1898 when this nation made the very wrong decision, although likely preordained, to become an empire. An empire of blood and destruction. Doctor Pangloss was not correct, we do not live in the best of all possible worlds. We do not live in the best of all possible America’s, not remotely.
Internet privacy and net neutrality would become things of the past if the secret Trade In Services Agreement comes to fruition. And on this one, the secrecy exceeds even that shrouding the two better-known corporate giveaways, the Trans-Pacific and Transatlantic partnerships.
Yet another tentacle in the octopus of multi-national corporations’ attempt to achieve dictatorial control, the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) is intended to eliminate government regulations in the “professional services” such as accounting and engineering but goes well beyond that, proposing sweeping de-regulation of the Internet and the financial industry.
Another snippet of TISA’s text has been leaked, this time by the freedom-of-information organization Associated Whistleblowing Press. Without this leak, and an earlier leak published by WikiLeaks in June 2014, we would know absolutely nothing about TISA and its various annexes. No matter what a negotiating government might claim about it, should one actually deign to discuss it, TISA is not about your right to hire your accountant of choice. Here is Article X.4 on “movement of information”:
“No Party may prevent a service supplier of another Party from transferring, accessing, processing or storing information, including personal information, within or outside the Party’s territory, where such activity is carried out in connection with the conduct of the service supplier’s business.”
NSA Drops Christmas Eve Surprise – The Intercept
The National Security Agency on Christmas Eve day released twelve years of internal oversight reports documenting abusive and improper practices by agency employees. The heavily redacted reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board found that NSA employees repeatedly engaged in unauthorized surveillance of communications by American citizens, failed to follow legal guidelines regarding the retention of private information, and shared data with unauthorized recipients.
While the NSA has come under public pressure for openness since high-profile revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the release of the heavily redacted internal reports at 1:30PM on Christmas Eve demonstrates limits to the agency’s attempts to demonstrate transparency. Releasing bad news right before a holiday weekend, often called a “Christmas Eve surprise,” is a common tactic for trying to minimize press coverage.