Top Secret America

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Re: Top Secret America

Postby JackRiddler » Wed May 25, 2011 5:35 pm

km artlu wrote:What you point out there serves to obliquely legitimize the very programs which they critically investigate. Bringing public attention to the subject fits nicely into the general trend towards a growing tolerance of constitutionally questionable, even overtly criminal, elitist activities.


I think to a large extent September 11th allowed not just a massive expansion but a coming-out and officialization of the secret state that was already there. Now that everyone could pretend 9/11 was the beginning, that which existed received its retroactive justification. Acknowledging the existence of a vast secret state allows more resources and therefore growth, but at the same time more of it becomes secret, now with the legitimacy of being acknowledged and of having an ostensible justification, a threat from nowhere that can strike everywhere at any time. (The whole point of the hijackers being that they weren't in turbans, they dressed and looked like other travelers and never broke a law until the final day.)

We become increasingly akin to medieval serfs -- the nobles come around and rape some daughters, confiscate some livestock, impose some crippling economic burdens. That's just the way it is. Get used to it.


However, I believe this is a function of decay and crisis. The system reached its limits and is breaking down, therefore turns to cannibalism and more overt class war. Previously cherished aristocracies of labor have to be sacrificed as crisis forces transformations and retrenchments. The crisis break points come more quickly and are more severe; everything accelerates, though no one can say where the real end comes, or how. Cannibalistic tendencies arise because ultimately "the nobles" are going to lose this system altogether. The more complex and specialized a hierarchical and opaque system, the more guaranteed its eventual collapse due to inflexibility in dealing with changing circumstances. Again, we're back at the need for rationalization, efficiency, consolidation; necessitating more open talk about the secret state, but the bureaucratic and corporate resistance to giving up an inch on existing organizational forms (each of which represents power and resource access for some group, often recently won and jealously guarded) must be enormous, if unseen. Even a successful rationalization will be a stopgap, just as drilling on the ocean floor doesn't solve but merely delays the crisis of hydrocarbon depletion. This thing will end. Get used to even more perpetual crisis than we've seen, and less distinction between "nobles" and "barbarians."

.
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There's a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says

Postby JackRiddler » Thu May 26, 2011 10:50 am

.

In fact, there is a secret constitution. Understand the constitution not to be the founding document of the United States, but more in a British sense: the written laws and unwritten processes by which sovereign institutions of government are called forth, organized and empowered. That constitutive language is largely hidden from view. Here is a peek:


http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05 ... atriot-act

There's a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
By Spencer Ackerman May 25, 2011 | 4:56 pm | Categories: Crime and Homeland Security

Image

You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know.

Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”


What exactly does Wyden mean by that? As a member of the intelligence committee, he laments that he can’t precisely explain without disclosing classified information. But one component of the Patriot Act in particular gives him immense pause: the so-called “business-records provision,” which empowers the FBI to get businesses, medical offices, banks and other organizations to turn over any “tangible things” it deems relevant to a security investigation.

“It is fair to say that the business-records provision is a part of the Patriot Act that I am extremely interested in reforming,” Wyden says. “I know a fair amount about how it’s interpreted, and I am going to keep pushing, as I have, to get more information about how the Patriot Act is being interpreted declassified. I think the public has a right to public debate about it.”

That’s why Wyden and his colleague Sen. Mark Udall offered an amendment on Tuesday to the Patriot Act reauthorization.

The amendment, first reported by Marcy Wheeler, blasts the administration for “secretly reinterpret[ing] public laws and statutes.” It would compel the Attorney General to “publicly disclose the United States Government’s official interpretation of the USA Patriot Act.” And, intriguingly, it refers to “intelligence-collection authorities” embedded in the Patriot Act that the administration briefed the Senate about in February.

Wyden says he “can’t answer” any specific questions about how the government thinks it can use the Patriot Act. That would risk revealing classified information — something Wyden considers an abuse of government secrecy. He believes the techniques themselves should stay secret, but the rationale for using their legal use under Patriot ought to be disclosed.

“I draw a sharp line between the secret interpretation of the law, which I believe is a growing problem, and protecting operations and methods in the intelligence area, which have to be protected,” he says.

Surveillance under the business-records provisions has recently spiked. The Justice Department’s official disclosure on its use of the Patriot Act, delivered to Congress in April, reported that the government asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for approval to collect business records 96 times in 2010 — up from just 21 requests the year before. The court didn’t reject a single request. But it “modified” those requests 43 times, indicating to some Patriot-watchers that a broadening of the provision is underway.

“The FISA Court is a pretty permissive body, so that suggests something novel or particularly aggressive, not just in volume, but in the nature of the request,” says Michelle Richardson, the ACLU’s resident Patriot Act lobbyist. “No one has tipped their hand on this in the slightest. But we’ve come to the conclusion that this is some kind of bulk collection. It wouldn’t be surprising to me if it’s some kind of internet or communication-records dragnet.” (Full disclosure: My fiancée works for the ACLU.)

The FBI deferred comment on any secret interpretation of the Patriot Act to the Justice Department. The Justice Department said it wouldn’t have any comment beyond a bit of March congressional testimony from its top national security official, Todd Hinnen, who presented the type of material collected as far more individualized and specific: “driver’s license records, hotel records, car-rental records, apartment-leasing records, credit card records, and the like.”

But that’s not what Udall sees. He warned in a Tuesday statement about the government’s “unfettered” access to bulk citizen data, like “a cellphone company’s phone records.” In a Senate floor speech on Tuesday, Udall urged Congress to restrict the Patriot Act’s business-records seizures to “terrorism investigations” — something the ostensible counterterrorism measure has never required in its nearly 10-year existence.

Indeed, Hinnen allowed himself an out in his March testimony, saying that the business-record provision “also” enabled “important and highly sensitive intelligence-collection operations” to take place. Wheeler speculates those operations include “using geolocation data from cellphones to collect information on the whereabouts of Americans” — something our sister blog Threat Level has reported on extensively.

It’s worth noting that Wyden is pushing a bill providing greater privacy protections for geolocation info.

For now, Wyden’s considering his options ahead of the Patriot Act vote on Thursday. He wants to compel as much disclosure as he can on the secret interpretation, arguing that a shadow broadening of the Patriot Act sets a dangerous precedent.

“I’m talking about instances where the government is relying on secret interpretations of what the law says without telling the public what those interpretations are,” Wyden says, “and the reliance on secret interpretations of the law is growing.”

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Re: Top Secret America

Postby JackRiddler » Sat May 28, 2011 8:12 pm

.

I cross-post this here because Hugh and Valentine implicitly present the thesis that Top Secret America ultimately does have a center, a main head that does most of the steering, and that this can be described as the CIA in its various guises. The CIA took over the US government, as Ron Paul said. I tend to conceive the secret or deep parts of the state as not a branch but a realm of government, hidden as a whole and dark on the inside, so that even those on the inside don't know all of what is happening. But I don't reject as impossible the more centralized version implied here, with its center ultimately in the CIA, its history as a quasi-executive possibly dating back to the disguised coups of 1963 and 1980, its governing parts mostly secret and using the bureaucracy and analytic wing at Langley as a beard, its agents or half-agents or associates under the cover of positions as military officers, corporate chiefs, officials at civilian agencies, elected seats in Congress, possibly even heads of state -- abroad and at home.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32199


Hugh Manatee Wins wrote:"In both reporting, and covert actions, omission indicates an intention to deceive. I think the intention in this case is to deceive the reader into thinking the writer is an authority, not to cover for the CIA. But the effect is the same: people are deceived about the CIA."

(...in the optimistic hope there are more progressive civilians reading this than mil-intel trolls and open-source honeypot-psyoperators...
Read Douglas Valentine's books about the spook drug world along with Professor Peter Dale Scott's to get a view of the real war economy since WWII._


http://original.antiwar.com/douglas-val ... ity-state/

Antiwar Reporting on the National Security State
by Douglas Valentine, February 08, 2010


Respected journalist Jeremy Scahill wrote an article on Feb. 4 for The Nation titled “The Expanding U.S. War in Pakistan.” In his article he presented as fact several assertions about the CIA and U.S. military special operations forces.

In this article I will challenge those assertions.

Why?

Because many readers of The Nation, and other public sources of information where the article appeared, accept without question the veracity of these assertions.

Therein lays my motive for writing this article. It is not a personal attack. It is an effort to counter the thesis Scahill presents in his article: that the CIA has ceded control over its operations in Pakistan to the Joint Special Operations Command.

Scahill’s thesis, I believe, is indicative of a general lack of critical analysis of national security matters within the antiwar movement. Antiwar spokespeople talk endlessly about the effects of national security policy. But they rarely discuss how it works from within.

This is not entirely their fault. The National Security State is the province of the pro-war right. To get inside and rise to a position of expertise, one must usually submit to years of political indoctrination calibrated to a series of increasingly restrictive security clearances.

The National Security State – the National Security Council, the military, the CIA, the FBI, the DEA, etc. – is designed to keep antiwar activists out.

As we saw during the Bush Administration, antiwar activists are even, in some cases, considered terrorist sympathizers and equated with “the enemy” within.

This is the daunting challenge facing antiwar voices like Scahill. It’s tough, but at a minimum they need to check their facts.

In this particular case, Scahill reports that three people killed in Pakistan last Wednesday were “special forces soldiers” training a paramilitary force run by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry. By his account, this confirms “that the U.S. military is more deeply engaged on the ground in Pakistan than previously acknowledged by the White House and Pentagon.”

But how does this assertion confirm that the military is more deeply involved in Pakistan than previously acknowledged (which certainly may be true) without first proving that the three people killed were, in fact, working for the military and not the CIA?

Indeed, Special Forces soldiers detailed to the CIA have deniability, and there are several reasons to believe the three people killed were deniable assets working for the CIA, not the military.

To begin with, correspondent Eric Schmitt at the New York Times told me in July 2009 that Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) forces “have operated closely with CIA paramilitary teams in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The typical covert arrangement is that in Afghanistan, the team leaders are military; in Pakistan, the CIA takes the lead.”

Schmitt’s assertion is supported by the fact that, historically, the CIA goes where the military cannot legally go. If Pakistan has not officially invited U.S. military forces onto its sovereign territory, the CIA would likely get the job. If the legal arrangements have changed, that needs to be demonstrated, not asserted.

Next, in describing the appearance of the three soldiers, Scahill cites an unidentified Pakistani journalist as saying that “some” of them were dressed in civilian clothes and were pretending to be journalists. He also cites sources as saying the three people were in Pakistan at the invitation of a private company (giving the government deniability), as civil affairs trainers, and were not involved in combat missions for the JSOC.

Granted, military special operations forces may disguise themselves as civilians and pretend to be journalists while training paramilitary forces. They are also known to work under cover of civil affairs. But given the fact that the paramilitary force (the Frontier Scouts) that was being trained is part of the Interior Ministry, not the Defense Ministry, it is also more likely that people killed were working for the CIA.

In expanding on the assertion that the soldiers were military personnel with the JSOC, Scahill, in the style of Seymour Hersh, turns to an anonymous source he identifies as “a member of CENTCOM and U.S. Special Forces with extensive experience in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theatre.”

“Any firefights in Pakistan would be between JSOC forces versus whoever they were chasing,” Scahill cites his source as saying. “I would bet my life on that.”

But is the source’s life at stake? And while citing an anonymous source does not lend any credibility to anyone’s assertions (even a national security “beat” reporter like Hersh or Schmitt), such melodramatic statements serve only to undermine the source’s credibility – and the thesis Scahill bases on his source’s assertions.

The thesis Scahill advances, as informed by his anonymous source, is that General Stanley McChrystal, who commands some 200 military personnel in Pakistan, has “unprecedented influence on overall U.S. military operations, opening the door for an expansion of secretive, black operations done with little to no oversight.”

According to Scahill’s anonymous source, this turning of the CIA’s traditional prerogatives over to the military indicates “battlefield preparation” for U.S. military combat operations in Pakistan.

This is a “paradigm shift,” the anonymous source asserts. “Everything is one echelon removed from before: where CIA was the darkest of the dark, now it is JSOC. Therefore, military forces have more leeway to do anything in support of future military objectives. The CIA used to have the ultimate freedom — now that freedom is in JSOC’s hands, and the other elements of the military have been ordered to adapt.”

In advancing this “battlefield preparation” thesis, Scahill’s anonymous source asserts that the CIA is “legally required to brief” Congressional intelligence committees on covert operations, but the JSOC is not. This allows the JSOC “freedom to expand or absorb traditionally CIA missions.”

According to Scahill’s anonymous source, President Obama and his Defense Secretary Robert Gates think this new arrangement, in which the JSOC pre-empts the CIA, is fine, despite “deep resentment” it has generated among those who have been excluded.

Refuting this thesis is national security expert John Prados. As Prados explains, “This is [Seymour Hersh's] thesis. But so far as I know, Sy has not been able thus far to document that charge, in spite of a trip he made to Pakistan last year.

“Part of this is true. That is, back during the Bush years, when Rummy was concentrating power in DOD, he got unprecedented authorities for [military intelligence] to “operate” (with JSOC an action agency) for the ostensible purpose of “intelligence preparation of the battlefield,” and that he then refused intel oversight on the grounds these were military ops, creating a loophole for JSOC Intel activity. And McChrystal was in charge.

“But Gates went into DOD declaring he was going to tune back Pentagon Intel ops, fired the asst sec for these activities (Cambone), and had DOD negotiate a new agreement with CIA. I believe Gates did not go as far as necessary, but I also think he clipped the wings of some of this activity. That it has not ended is indicated by scattered mentions of [JSOC] ops worldwide – e.g., Somalia – but is yet to be demonstrated for Pakistan.

“Given his proclivities,” Prados says, “I’d not be surprised if McChrystal pushed for a “parallel operation” now in the field, but we don’t know anything concrete.”

Prados adds that the CIA is at a minimum represented at JSOC, if not, as Eric Schmitt asserts, actually in command in Pakistan. Thus, if “battlefield preparation” conniving is going on behind the CIA’s back, “it involves,” Prados says, “some element of internal deception, probably rationalized as stove-piping.”

Internal deception in Washington is divisive at best; in the field it is a matter of life and death. For example, Scahill cites an anonymous “military intelligence source” as saying that JSOC “conducts targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.”

If the military element of JSOC targets an individual for assassination, how do they know that particular individual is not a CIA informant or double agent, unless they check with the CIA station in Pakistan?

There are several others good reasons to believe the JSOC is subordinate to the CIA in Pakistan.

1) Gathering political intelligence is the bailiwick of the CIA. And while General McChrystal and his JSOC chief Vice Admiral William McRaven are certainly briefed on political developments, it is unlikely they have the power to secretly, apart from the CIA or State Department, forge the political agreements that are needed for U.S. paramilitaries to assassinate people and recruit agents in Pakistan.

2) The CIA is concerned with strategic intelligence, while special military units like JSOC are concerned with tactical intelligence. And yet low level intelligence – the type gathered by paramilitaries advising Frontier Scouts – often reflects a high-level directive, which is why the CIA station in Pakistan would need to know about captured documents and intelligence reports generated by JSOC. That “need to know” implies oversight.

3) Special activity military organizations like the JSOC want to win a battle. The CIA has broader responsibilities in this area of operations, including spying on the Pakistani intelligence agencies, and monitoring their involvement with the Taliban, Al Qaeda, drug smuggling, and opposition political parties.

4) The military, historically, is obligated to provide personnel slots to the CIA, so CIA officers can operate under cover. CIA officers like Edward Lansdale have been known to pose as generals. With the CIA, anything is possible. It is even possible that Stanley McChrystal was recruited by the CIA. Indeed, what better place for the CIA to have an asset, in an era like ours, now, when military special forces are in the ascendant?

5) As Ron Paul says, “There’s been a coup, have you heard? It’s the CIA coup. The CIA runs everything, they run the military.”

And yet, perhaps, as Jeremy Scahill asserts, all this has changed. Perhaps JSOC is now more secret than the CIA, and is absorbing traditional CIA missions. Perhaps President Obama is fine with all this, as well as with the resentment McChrystal’s power grab is causing.

But shouldn’t Scahill, at a minimum, check with his White House, Congressional and CIA sources to see if they agree? Isn’t some corroboration required before advancing such a thesis?

And perhaps, as Scahill concludes, the killing of the three soldiers is an indication that the U.S. military is becoming increasingly entrenched in Pakistan, and that, as the “U.S. military presence in the country expands, it will become increasingly difficult for the Obama administration to downplay or deny the reality that a U.S. war in Pakistan is already underway.”

But shouldn’t he be more careful with how he presents the assertions that support this thesis? Presentation matters. Scahill wrote the article in the Seymour Hersh style, mixing anonymous sources with dramatic statements and phrases like “The Nation has learned” this or that, suggesting that his evidence is authoritative.

But is it authoritative, when compared to what Schmitt and Prados say?

There is not much difference between disinformation and misinformation, and often the difference is subtle and stylistic. One intends to deceive; the other does so without trying. Writing in an authoritative style when one is not an authority is an attempt to deceive, and that’s why the question arises, “Is this article an example of deliberate disinformation?

Was it stylistic disinformation, for example, to omit the fact that the three dead soldiers were killed while attending the opening of a girls’ school in Pakistan?

I doubt it. But it does need to be emphasized that the CIA places its paramilitary political action cadre in “civic action” programs designed to foster democracy (a girls’ school) while forming self-defense forces (the Frontier Scouts) as a means of “protecting the people from terrorism.” Often these people are special forces personnel.

The CIA performs these civic action and self-defense functions to cover its actual purpose, which is to recruit agents to identify enemy cadre, and capture or kill them.

Apart from what Schmitt and Prados say, the fact that the three dead Americans were in that situation is reason enough to think they were the CIA employees, and not jump to the conclusion that they were JSOC “soldiers.”

In both reporting, and covert actions, omission indicates an intention to deceive. I think the intention in this case is to deceive the reader into thinking the writer is an authority, not to cover for the CIA. But the effect is the same: people are deceived about the CIA.
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

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Re: Top Secret America

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Sat May 28, 2011 9:23 pm

JackRiddler wrote:.

...because Hugh and Valentine implicitly present the thesis that Top Secret America ultimately does have a center, a main head that does most of the steering, and that this can be described as the CIA in its various guises.

...so that even those on the inside don't know all of what is happening.
.....


The doctrine of Psychological Operations spelled out in decades of versions of Army Field Manual FM33-1/FM33-5 developed after WWII's 'Morale Operations' by the OSS's chief, William Donovan.....includes both the virtue of central coordination abetted by compartmentalization to minimize info-liabilities and maximize motivational effect throughout the institutional hierarchies of military-intelligence.

In short, Top View is given to as few as possible... while 'Need-to-Know' cover stories are given to as many as possible to drive the national social engines..
CIA runs mainstream media since WWII:
news rooms, movies/TV, publishing
...
Disney is CIA for kidz!
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Re: There's a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says

Postby MinM » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:56 pm

JackRiddler wrote:.

In fact, there is a secret constitution. Understand the constitution not to be the founding document of the United States, but more in a British sense: the written laws and unwritten processes by which sovereign institutions of government are called forth, organized and empowered. That constitutive language is largely hidden from view. Here is a peek:


http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05 ... atriot-act

There's a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
By Spencer Ackerman May 25, 2011 | 4:56 pm | Categories: Crime and Homeland Security

Image

You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know.

Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”


What exactly does Wyden mean by that? As a member of the intelligence committee, he laments that he can’t precisely explain without disclosing classified information. But one component of the Patriot Act in particular gives him immense pause: the so-called “business-records provision,” which empowers the FBI to get businesses, medical offices, banks and other organizations to turn over any “tangible things” it deems relevant to a security investigation.

“It is fair to say that the business-records provision is a part of the Patriot Act that I am extremely interested in reforming,” Wyden says. “I know a fair amount about how it’s interpreted, and I am going to keep pushing, as I have, to get more information about how the Patriot Act is being interpreted declassified. I think the public has a right to public debate about it.”

That’s why Wyden and his colleague Sen. Mark Udall offered an amendment on Tuesday to the Patriot Act reauthorization.

The amendment, first reported by Marcy Wheeler, blasts the administration for “secretly reinterpret[ing] public laws and statutes.” It would compel the Attorney General to “publicly disclose the United States Government’s official interpretation of the USA Patriot Act.” And, intriguingly, it refers to “intelligence-collection authorities” embedded in the Patriot Act that the administration briefed the Senate about in February.

Wyden says he “can’t answer” any specific questions about how the government thinks it can use the Patriot Act. That would risk revealing classified information — something Wyden considers an abuse of government secrecy. He believes the techniques themselves should stay secret, but the rationale for using their legal use under Patriot ought to be disclosed.

“I draw a sharp line between the secret interpretation of the law, which I believe is a growing problem, and protecting operations and methods in the intelligence area, which have to be protected,” he says.

...

It’s worth noting that Wyden is pushing a bill providing greater privacy protections for geolocation info.

For now, Wyden’s considering his options ahead of the Patriot Act vote on Thursday. He wants to compel as much disclosure as he can on the secret interpretation, arguing that a shadow broadening of the Patriot Act sets a dangerous precedent.

“I’m talking about instances where the government is relying on secret interpretations of what the law says without telling the public what those interpretations are,” Wyden says, “and the reliance on secret interpretations of the law is growing.”

http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2011/05/27/01
BOB GARFIELD: And on the subject of eleventh hours, this week just before Congress took up the issue there was a bombshell from Senator Ron Wyden, who revealed that there could be secrecy within the secrecy embedded in this act.

SENATOR RON WYDEN: I believe there are two Patriot Acts in America. The first is the text of the law itself and the second is the government’s secret interpretation of what they believe the law means.

SHANE HARRIS: It turns out that, according to Senator Wyden and Senator Udall, that there is some kind of very broad interpretation of the Patriot Act that the government is making and that it is essentially keeping to itself, and he couldn't talk about this in great detail without violating his confidentiality oath, he said.

But what he’s implying is that there is something within the business records provision, one of these provisions that was up for reauthorization and that generally lets the FBI collect all kinds of records, that is being very broadly interpreted to, in the senator’s view, allow the FBI to get more information than the law actually allows it to get.

And what’s very important here is he’s not saying that he wants the government to come out and say, what are you collecting; what he wants some public light on is the legal rationale for why it is they're interpreting the provision this way. It raises the question of whether or not there is a secret Patriot Act within the Patriot Act...

http://audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm052711a.mp3
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby hanshan » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:44 am

JackRiddler wrote:
km artlu wrote:What you point out there serves to obliquely legitimize the very programs which they critically investigate. Bringing public attention to the subject fits nicely into the general trend towards a growing tolerance of constitutionally questionable, even overtly criminal, elitist activities.


I think to a large extent September 11th allowed not just a massive expansion but a coming-out and officialization of the secret state that was already there. Now that everyone could pretend 9/11 was the beginning, that which existed received its retroactive justification. Acknowledging the existence of a vast secret state allows more resources and therefore growth, but at the same time more of it becomes secret, now with the legitimacy of being acknowledged and of having an ostensible justification, a threat from nowhere that can strike everywhere at any time. (The whole point of the hijackers being that they weren't in turbans, they dressed and looked like other travelers and never broke a law until the final day.)

We become increasingly akin to medieval serfs -- the nobles come around and rape some daughters, confiscate some livestock, impose some crippling economic burdens. That's just the way it is. Get used to it.


However, I believe this is a function of decay and crisis. The system reached its limits and is breaking down, therefore turns to cannibalism and more overt class war. Previously cherished aristocracies of labor have to be sacrificed as crisis forces transformations and retrenchments. The crisis break points come more quickly and are more severe; everything accelerates, though no one can say where the real end comes, or how. Cannibalistic tendencies arise because ultimately "the nobles" are going to lose this system altogether. The more complex and specialized a hierarchical and opaque system, the more guaranteed its eventual collapse due to inflexibility in dealing with changing circumstances. Again, we're back at the need for rationalization, efficiency, consolidation; necessitating more open talk about the secret state, but the bureaucratic and corporate resistance to giving up an inch on existing organizational forms (each of which represents power and resource access for some group, often recently won and jealously guarded) must be enormous, if unseen. Even a successful rationalization will be a stopgap, just as drilling on the ocean floor doesn't solve but merely delays the crisis of hydrocarbon depletion. This thing will end. Get used to even more perpetual crisis than we've seen, and less distinction between "nobles" and "barbarians."

.


Hittin' it outta the park
, Jack. Simply brilliant.
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby Nordic » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:14 pm

i disagree. i think "the nobles", the ones who are paying attention, see what's coming - peak oil, environmental collapse - and they're positioning themselves for its inevitable arrival. a big part of the way this will "work" for them is to keep the angry hungry hordes at their gates to a minimun, thus trying to arrange it to the hungry hordes go down with the ship rather than clawimg at the survivor's lifeboats.

thus the "class war" we're seeing is a very real thing. they want to destroy us early, to get us out of the way for when the shit hits the fan.

its really just a practical consideration for them.
"He who wounds the ecosphere literally wounds God" -- Philip K. Dick
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby gnosticheresy_2 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:41 pm

Nordic wrote:i disagree. i think "the nobles", the ones who are paying attention, see what's coming - peak oil, environmental collapse - and they're positioning themselves for its inevitable arrival. a big part of the way this will "work" for them is to keep the angry hungry hordes at their gates to a minimun, thus trying to arrange it to the hungry hordes go down with the ship rather than clawimg at the survivor's lifeboats.

thus the "class war" we're seeing is a very real thing. they want to destroy us early, to get us out of the way for when the shit hits the fan.

its really just a practical consideration for them.


I think you're over-estimating "their" intelligence,
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby Nordic » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:52 pm

right. the superwealthy are never paranoid.

the gangsters who run the world would never worry about someone stealing their stuff.

i would posit that very fear is what gets them out of bed in the morning. once they've sowed their wild oats anyway.

i'm sure the bilderburgers are just spending the next few days skeet shooting and trading recipes.
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:59 pm

gnosticheresy_2 wrote:I think you're over-estimating "their" intelligence,


Also their power, which, despite their constant successes in centralizing wealth in fewer hands, is always rumbling with precarity and may look doomed in the long term to many of them, if they even think about it. In talking about the ruling class, let's avoid setting up a false dichotomy between

1) "they" as a monolithic "globalist" entity planning world genocide (if the "class war" is it, then it's a pretty weak instrument for that purpose, and looks suspiciously like many kinds of business as usual in capitalist crisis)

vs.

2) "they" as merely blind to the big picture unsustainability of the present civilization at this population, and acting mainly for the money and power and privilege and status.

There are many kinds of "them."

They compete and conflict, believe it or not. Some are more vigorous in running campaigns to shape the world for their perceived economic interest or self-proclaimed ideological ideals (Gates and Kochs and Peterson are all good examples). Others may be more focused on lifeboat strategies, establishing bomb shelters and fortresses they hope to defend near Paraguayan aquifers and such. Yet others may have big plans for the whole world in different stages of advancement, most of which necessarily are sheer wishful thinking or fantasy. I'm not sure if there's a credibly authoritative central committee running Top Secret America, but there definitely isn't a single one for the ruling classes and power elites as a whole, beyond the ones you can actually see (the meetings of central bankers and the G8/G20 convocations). Bilderberg (currently on again) is a forum for consensus building among various factions and behind-the-scenes scheming (as well as presumably for Top Baron Dicks to be be sucked off all week by sycophants or sex workers, metaphorically or literally, whichever they prefer), not a disguised congress of the world government. Most of the power that resides in "Them" is not present there this week, or paying any attention.

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Re: Top Secret America

Postby gnosticheresy_2 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:42 pm

Nordic wrote:right. the superwealthy are never paranoid.

the gangsters who run the world would never worry about someone stealing their stuff.

i would posit that very fear is what gets them out of bed in the morning. once they've sowed their wild oats anyway.

i'm sure the bilderburgers are just spending the next few days skeet shooting and trading recipes.


You're assuming "they" are a monolthic entity, with the same level of intelligence throughout. I don't doubt some have planned, but I also have no doubts that some are too stupid to care because wealth and power are not a measure of intelligence.

JackRiddler wrote:They compete and conflict, believe it or not. Some are more vigorous in running campaigns to shape the world for their perceived economic interest or self-proclaimed ideological ideals (Gates and Kochs and Peterson are all good examples). Others may be more focused on lifeboat strategies, establishing bomb shelters and fortresses they hope to defend near Paraguayan aquifers and such. Yet others may have big plans for the whole world in different stages of advancement, most of which necessarily are sheer wishful thinking or fantasy. I'm not sure if there's a credibly authoritative central committee running Top Secret America, but there definitely isn't a single one for the ruling classes and power elites as a whole, beyond the ones you can actually see (the meetings of central bankers and the G8/G20 convocations). Bilderberg (currently on again) is a forum for consensus building among various factions and behind-the-scenes scheming (as well as presumably for Top Baron Dicks to be be sucked off all week by sycophants or sex workers, metaphorically or literally, whichever they prefer), not a disguised congress of the world government. Most of the power that resides in "Them" is not present there this week, or paying any attention.


It's factional, like the proverbial court of Louis XIV, a feudal world of deadly court intrigue, but no king. "They" may have convergent interests, and are capable of collaboration to defend those interests, but said collaboration does not automatically imply an over-arching organisational structure.
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby Nordic » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:41 pm

i thought i made it clear when i said "the ones who are paying attention", but fine you are free to read me selectively and believe whatever you want.

i could just as easily accuse you of thinking they're all a monolithically dumbass bunch of idiot sons and nephews.

i'm not stupid enough to think that any large group is monolithic so don't accuse me of that.

but there are those who weild power and those who don't. those who wield it do so usually do so because they've seized it.

and we're not talking about the dumbasses here, we're talking about those who are looking down the road and around the corners. you seem to be talking about the ones who are just lucky.

i'm talking about those who move and manipulate the markets, those who have lots of inside information, those who know better than we do what peak oil and environmental collapse mean.
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:03 pm

.

Re: discussion above of Super Users and presumed slide-makers.

Image
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby Joe Hillshoist » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:24 pm

gnosticheresy_2 wrote:
Nordic wrote:i disagree. i think "the nobles", the ones who are paying attention, see what's coming - peak oil, environmental collapse - and they're positioning themselves for its inevitable arrival. a big part of the way this will "work" for them is to keep the angry hungry hordes at their gates to a minimun, thus trying to arrange it to the hungry hordes go down with the ship rather than clawimg at the survivor's lifeboats.

thus the "class war" we're seeing is a very real thing. they want to destroy us early, to get us out of the way for when the shit hits the fan.

its really just a practical consideration for them.


I think you're over-estimating "their" intelligence,


These people aren't idiots just cos they think they run the world.
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Re: Top Secret America

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:43 pm

.

(a little capsule history I just threw into a DU thread someone started on the WaPo series)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/di ... 39x1356707

.

You could call the WaPo series a survey of a hidden, permanent and unaccountable branch of government, except that "branch" doesn't even describe it: it is a realm of government, impervious to view, open only to a caste of the "cleared," making a mockery of our pretense to democracy or constitutionalism. Self-evidently the people can play no role in a system in which policies and whole agencies don't officially exist, and the key actors are allowed to lie for the purpose of concealment. (For example, to pose as other agencies, thus corroding trust in any agency.)

Since 9/11 the Top Secret realm, home to the deep state and parapolitics, has grown dramatically. Black budgets more than doubled and the majority of the funds now goes to private contractors, so that the secret state is now primarily also the private state. Operators in this realm have received the additional carte-blanche of a permanent emergency (fake but treated as real), and the legitimacy of an omnipresent deadly enemy (also largely a construct).

It is a prescription for absolute corruption. We say we don't trust politicians, we want verification and limits on all power, and we don't trust parties (at any rate, none of us here trusts the Republicans). But meanwhile we don't even know who is in charge of an $80 billion realm, except that it's a safe guess most of them are Republicans, lifetime spies, and corporate chiefs. In fact, no one necessarily knows (see below on the "Super Users").

.

This is the Cold War national security state, anti-communist, paranoid and nuclear. It is Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex," but equally an intelligence-media-education complex and a vast surrounding realm for private-public parapolitics.

Elements from within this realm gradually seized the nation's sovereignty on questions of security away from constitutional institutions, at first internally, in several key episodes spanning the 1950s to the 1970s. Elements from within this realm had a hand in ending three presidencies (Kennedy, Nixon, Carter) and enthroned at least three of the more recent presidents (Reagan and the Bushes) as well as presumably exercising vetting-veto power over all presidents. [Phrased for DU compatibility, ;) ]

The deep state metastasized after three great crises:
- exposure of enormous systemic abuses in the 1970s, after which its operators aggressively became more private and global, using the ostensible public institutions as beards for hidden network activity;
- the loss of the sustaining enemy with the end of the Cold War, after which deep state operations forced the invention of a series of new enemies and the unmooring of war from enemies at all -- permanent war in search of enemies;
- and 9/11, after which emergency power became permanent and the resources devoted to the security state in all its forms literally doubled. In many ways this phase has been a coming-out, an acknowledgement and legalization of programs and practices that had existed before, but were previously denied. For example unlimited surveillance without oversight is presented as something new due to the post-9/11 environment, although it had always been practiced and limited only by the technological means of each age or by episodes like Watergate in which operators were caught at their abuses.

The deep state now faces perhaps the greatest crisis of all, which is that the global empire is in disarray and decline, no longer able to dictate to vassal nations with the same certainty as in the days of the serial CIA coups; and this is happening during the emergence of humanity's greatest crisis and likely catastrophe ever, as civilization as a whole destroys the ecology's capacity to carry it.

.
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

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