SOURCE: BRETT REDMAYNE-TITLEY VIA ACTIVISTPOST
“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.” – Aristotle
When considering the cause of national apathy, Americans are evidently physiologically and socially similar to the junk food addled laboratory rat. Both tolerate repressive environments while confined against their will in a maze. In the natural desire to escape and find freedom, like the affected rat, Americans passively accept their confinement, acquiescing without struggle to a life of controlled stimulation and manipulation by all manner of drugs, tests, and mandated choice of direction. In a country objectively descending into chaos, why don’t Americans care? In recent studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), these same rats evidence one reason for America’s irrational disinterest in self-preservation.
In ever-more-frequent and growing worldwide protests, resistance to the American empire’s imposed maze increases. Strangely, Americans offer no similar resistance at all. The social, economic, and political problems in the USA mirror those of an empire-afflicted world, yet in the “exceptional” nation most would rather chew off their tails than find the energy to extricate themselves from their maze. Examples of exceptionally paltry public resistance and protest abound. Rarely does an American protest amount to more than a few hundred temporarily outraged souls who then quickly return to their couches when told to do so by the well-armed militia of the government they came into the streets to change.
WHY IS AMERICA THE ISOLATED CASE STUDY OF THIS STRANGE DOMESTIC MALADY THAT MAY BEST BE SUMMED-UP AS: CLINICAL, TERMINAL APATHY?
The cause of this national apathy seems to be clear as shown in results from the UCLA study: it’s the food.Processed, adulterated, adjunct-laden, GMO-filled junk food; the preferred and almost unavoidable daily diet of Americans.
Dr. Aaron Blaisdell, a professor of psychology at the UCLA /College of Letters and Science and a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, used rats to determine if a diet of poor quality processed foods resulted directly in obesity, or if the actual initial result was fatigue.
Dr. Blaisdell’s team placed thirty-two female rats on one of two diets for six months. The first received a standard rat’s diet, consisted of relatively unprocessed foods like ground corn and fish meal. As a substitute for a junk food diet the second Americanized group received highly processed food of lower quality that included substantially more sugar. As expected, “One diet led to obesity, the other didn’t,” said Blaisdell, as quoted in UCLA’s, “Newsroom.” However…
“Our data suggest that diet-induced obesity is a cause, rather than an effect, of laziness [apathy],” concluded Blaisdell. “…the [poor quality] diet causes obesity, which causes fatigue.”
The rats were given a task in which they were required to press a lever to receive a food or water reward. The rats on the junk food diet demonstrated impaired performance, taking substantially longer breaks than the lean rats before returning to the task. During repeated 30-minute sessions the overweight rats became more lazy due to their increasing obesity, taking breaks that were nearly twice as long as clean rats.
Dr. Blaisdell’s studying clearly indicates that junk food, while causing obesity, subsequently causes laziness and fatigue. Combined, the political cousin of these two symptoms is: apathy.
By all metrics, Americans consume the most quantity of the worst-quality food supply in the developed world, as such leading in obesity. In America this endemic apathy is causing Americans to have little interest in their own increasing domestic peril. In a nation of increasing authoritarian governmental control, American processed junk food may have now become the most effective US government weapon for controlling the reactions of its own population. Examples of irrational American apathy are evident every week.
Just this past weekend, on Feb 27, 2016, seventeen-year-old Abdi Mohamed, was shot three times by Salt Lake City police responding to a dispute. Not taking time to digest the situation and realize that Mohamed, who was not threatening them in any way, only held a piece of a broom stick, they opened fire within seconds of their arrival. The resulting protest of reportedly no more than one hundred outraged souls, were next met with the predicable draconian response of over one hundred cops being called to provide back-up; in force. This routine military response has one emphatic message for the protesting public, “Take your First Amendment home…and stay there.” Accepting this message, by Sunday all outrage was over. Considering this obvious example of America’s growing police disregard for life, this protest should have been in the thousands. What then?
In dozens of countries across the globe rebellion in the thousands and tens-of-thousands by outraged nationalist populations is growing despite brutal American-backed-and-funded crackdowns by their governments. This weekend alone saw huge protests which all amounted to a public rejection of the influence of the American empire on their politicians and therefore their happiness. Consider…
Just hours ago, in London, over 10,000 protested the US/NATO imposed risk to their lives of Trident submarine ICBMs. In Poland, Ukraine and South Korea equally large protests also took place against the American-controlled national policies imposed on them. In Iran and Ireland national and local elections took place peacefully, the results also showing that their citizens, too, were casting out the politicians who favor guns over food. In France, where all GMOs are still banned, thousands of French farmers have battled police due to their lives being destroyed by US-required French sanctions against these farmers exporting their crops to the once lucrative and huge Russian market. Not surprisingly, and for good reason, these protesters have had enough of the “benefits” of American empire and imposed democracy. As the military might of the empire kills scores of innocents around the globe daily, while the quality of life continues to diminish, resistance is not, for these citizens, futile. It is daily.
WHY IS THIS NOT THE CASE IN THE AMERICAN HOMELAND?
As for North America, Canada and Mexico have also recently produced huge protests, starting with the 2012 Montreal student protests where 100,000 angry students protested tuition fee increases. When Canada’s legislature attempted to quell the protest by passing emergency legislation allowing for new draconian anti-protest laws, this huge protest then grew exponentially to more than one million citizens. Anti- government protests in major Canadian cities have been large and frequent since. Subsequently, on November 4, 2015, the Liberal Party, led by now Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, won 184 seats, turning-out the Conservative Party, led by incumbent, ultra-Zionist/ corporatist, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
In Mexico City protesters hit the one million mark, also in 2012, within minutes of the announcement of the most recent presidential election results that declared president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, the victor. Thanks to American-madeDiebold electronic voting machines (yes, those Diebold voting machines), the results had been rigged. Mexicans knew it. They were mad as hell. They went to the streets.
In late 2014, forty-three very innocent college students were “disappeared” by Mexican government troops. That same government has been covering up the criminals involved ever since. But Mexican protests have been often, very large and unyielding to government’s demand that these anti-government protests end. The protesters will not go home.
However, back in the Homeland, where over 1300 Americans were killed by police firepower in 2015, many of whom were as completely innocent of any crime that justified deadly force, this weekend produced just onecompletely ineffective protest. When killer cops get off from prosecution scot-free, outrage generally amounts to, as seen in Salt Lake City, a mere hundred-or-so protesters. Even the anti-authoritarian spectacle of Ferguson, Missouri accomplished nothing except to showcase the futility of protest to the apathetic public watching on the TV. But it was not the fault of these sincere, passionate and legitimately outraged protesters who did put their freedom on the line at these small protests. The real problem in changing endemic domestic American abuses: enough people willing to rise to their feet and effect the true “power of the people!”
The most demonstrative recent example of the national terminal apathy of Americans was illustrated at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The government and the local police expected big trouble. Uncle Sam knew his people had good reason to take to the streets outside the convention. Four years of Pres. Obama’s broken promises, lobbyists, high unemployment, growing authoritarian state, endemic corruption in banks, business, government and sports gave many good reasons for American outrage to hit the streets of Charlotte en masse. Just months before, the dozens of Occupy camps in major cities nationwide, as the only cohesive national protest movement, had all been closed down in the space of two very violent and draconian days at the hands of nationwide police. So, when NSA, CIA, and Charlotte police authorities publicly stated their assumption of over 100,000 upset Americans showing up to protest, their estimate seemed well founded.
Taking no chances the federal government provided Charlotte $50 million, and added $50 million more, to defend Pres. Obama from “the will of the people.” As witnessed then, this funding produced a truly awe-inspiring showcase of America’s domestic authoritarian, anti-protest arsenal. The American government was ready to take on America’s collective best shot, no matter what, at resisting Obama’s new definition of democracy.
Anyone coming to Charlotte found that walking the streets was a laboratory maze in itself. The maze was not here metaphorical, consisting of literally several miles of contiguous sixteen-foot-high, black-painted metal, crowd-proof fencing along both sides of the entire pre-selected boulevards that would be used to keep the loonies on the path. Hordes of cops by the hundreds – thirty-five hundred in total – funneled protesters back into the maze at every intersection, all dressed in full riot gear and showing different shoulder badges with insignia from police departments as far away as Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; New York City and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Each cop grimaced at this arrogant display of democracy before their face masks and batons. New police vehicles were everywhere; from ATVs and MRAPs, to refrigerated trucks and golf carts. Dozens of brand new “Police” mountain bikes and motocross bikes stood in rows of twenty, some under fat cops who sat watching on menacingly. No less than four helicopters were in the air at all times. Police cars – state, federal, and local – were evident by the hundreds. CIA had commandeered a local junior college, and US Army troops maintained defenses outside the city. Just in case. These were the front lines, ready for anything an understandably outraged public of 100,000 plus might dish out.
The cops need not have bothered.
The largest protest of the six-day event was a paltry 2000 people. Almost all other protests numbered no more thanthree hundred. The protesters were always outnumbered by the cops and the press. Considering Charlotte has over 150 million Americans within a five-hundred-mile drive, why such a paltry, ineffective, impotent turnout throughout the national six-day event?
We may have found a cure for most evils; but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings. – Helen Keller
Dr. Blaisdell’s rats expose the fundamentals of this malady. The toxic combination of engineered food leading to endemic apathy is causing a sickness infecting Americans. Apathy. If not; despair.
America’s diet is factually the worst in the industrialized world. GMO ingredients are in eighty-five percent of all processed foods, not that this processed food is of acceptable quality. In December 2013, Professor Irina Ermakova, vice president of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, called for a 10-year ban on GMO foods. Ermakovaconducted GMO rat-feeding tests that showed alarming results, including extreme mortality rates. “It is necessary to ban GMO, to impose a moratorium for 10 years. It has been proved that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMO is dangerous,” he concluded. In 2015 Russia past new laws banning all American GMO products. China, France and the United Kingdom have similar bans.
Illustrating Dr. Blaisdell’s study, while choosing willful ignorance, American voters have defeated GMO labeling laws in state referendums in California and Oregon. This means Americans have actually voted not to know that food-borne poison is contained in what they choose to eat. Really. But taking no chances with future elections, however, this week a US Senate committee announced it is preparing legislation seeking to prohibit states from attempting to pass their own mandatory state labeling laws via the public’s constitutional right to vote in their own interests. Labeled the “Dark Act” this is a government reaction to the few successful state initiatives requiring GMO labeling, such as Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut.
As reported by William Engdahl, in a study on the toxicity of GMO plants associated with the plant killer, Roundup, Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, have found additional confirmations. Their review concluded, in regard toglyphosate, the main active component of Roundup herbicide, that, “Residues (of glyphosate) are found in the main foods of the Western diet.”
Samsel and Seneff continue…
[M]any of the health problems that appear to be associated with a Western diet could be … attributed to glyphosate. These include digestive issues, obesity [emphasis added], autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver diseases and cancer, among others. We believe that glyphosate may be the most significant environmental toxin.
Researcher, Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, bolsters the connection between junk food and apathy. Enlisting the help of his son Tom, a genetics student at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, for a little over a week Tom ate nothing but McDonald’s Big Macs, chicken nuggets, fries, and Coke. He reported that he, “felt good for three days, then slowly went downhill, became more lethargic, and by a week my friends thought I had gone a strange gray color. The last few days were a real struggle. I felt really unwell.” Cornell University testing revealed that Tom’s gut microbes were “devastated.” He had lost about 1,400 types (or 40%) of his bacteria species, which is a red flag indicator for health issues such as obesity and diabetes.
In one week.
In Australia, further study from researchers at Deakin University and the Australian National University has shown that junk food does indeed physiologically affect the brain’s growth and development leading to poor mental health. Their findings concluded that a part in the brain – the hippocampus – has been shown to be smaller in those who consume junk food. The hippocampus is responsible for learning, memory and mental health. Researchers used MRI scanning to measure the size of the hippocampi in Australian adults between the ages of 60 and 64. Diet and other factors which could affect the hippocampus were measured and taken into account as well.
The results, published in BMC Medicine, revealed that seniors who had consumed junk food are more likely to have smaller left hippocampi. On the other hand, seniors who consume more nutrient-rich foods have larger left hippocampi. Associate Professor Felice Jacka concluded,
Recent research has established that diet and nutrition are related to the risk for depression, anxiety and dementia; however, until now it was not clear how diet might exert an influence on mental health and cognition.
Thanks to American-inspired global franchising, people throughout the world are also getting fatter on the same brand-names of poison as their American counterparts. The World Health Organization refers to the epidemic as “globesity.” Yet nowhere is the trend as pronounced as it is in the United States, where per-capita calorie consumption of the worst food on the planet rose from 2,109 calories a day in 1970 to 2,568 calories in 2010, according to the Department of Agriculture. The average man today weighs thirty pounds more than in 1960, which equals seventy-eight million people considered obese in 2012.
Americans habitually eat a lot of junk food. School children and their developing minds are affected from birth. Economically bankrupt America has created families where both Mom and Dad, by necessity are working, with the kids in daycare and the home-cooked family meal a relic of the American Dream long gone. Corporate America preys on this with a replacement of cheap, fast and processed food offerings substituted as breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Plus snacks. The ongoing degradation of the American mind it seems, applied to Dr. Blaisdell’s laboratory rats and the UK, Russian and Australian studies, shows that growing American mental apathy is directly proportional to their extraordinarily high consumption of a very poor-quality diet.
RESULT: A FAILING AMERICAN MIND. COMBINED WITH AN EVER-FAILING EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, THIS PRODUCES A POPULATION PERFECTLY RIPENED FOR ONGOING AUTHORITARIAN CONTROL.
There is, as shown globally this past weekend, a far worse result of American apathy.
It is only one indictment that Americans to have willfully allowed themselves and their nation to go to the gallows of history without a whimper. So be it. So, suffers the fool.
But in allowing an ever-corrosive America to brainwash their souls, these same apathetic Americans also allow their government to rob, via America’s historic military might, the livelihood and futures of the remaining external and innocent world.
When considered carefully, apathy – American apathy – is a serious crime. A crime against world humanity. The checks and balances by humans on Empire are permissively missing in empirical America. Americans are thus complicit in the further daily destruction of the remaining world they wish to know little about. When the dust of the oncoming rampage of history has settled over the folly of this American empire, guilt for its accumulated horrors will sit squarely on the American people’s heads, as much as the shoulders of their obviously treasonous politicians.
In tests the laboratory rat proves to be stronger of will than its Americanized human counterpart. Like the protesters in France, South Korea, Poland, Ukraine, Iran and Ireland just mere hours ago – humans who presumably do not live on an obligatory junk food diet – the rat of pure mind and conscience continues, despite its confines, to desire its freedom. And…he will bite.
Ultimately, under the bright laboratory lights, while seemingly trapped in a maze of oppression, the lab rat will do what Americans can do no longer. The rat, growing ever more desperate, will find a way to escape.
Summoning both will and courage, the rat draws the strength of will to rise-up on his hind legs, peering out over the top of the wall of the maze. His indomitable desire for freedom thus reveals the obvious: the way out.
Americans have no such remaining instinct.
Facing hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits, the giant biotechnology companyMonsanto last year received a legislative gift from the House of Representatives, a one-paragraph addition to a sweeping chemical safety bill that could help shield it from legal liability for a toxic chemical only it made.
Monsanto insists it did not ask for the addition. House aides deny it is a gift at all. But the provision would benefit the only manufacturer in the United States of now-banned polychlorinated biphenyls, chemicals known as PCBs, a mainstay of Monsanto sales for decades. The PCB provision is one of several sticking points that negotiators must finesse before Congress can pass a law to revamp the way thousands of chemicals are regulated in the United States.
“Call me a dreamer, but I wish for a Congress that would help cities with their homeless crises instead of protecting multinational corporations that poison our environment,” said Pete Holmes, the city attorney for Seattle, one of six cities suing Monsanto to help cover the costs of reducing PCB discharge from their sewers.
The House and the Senate last year both passed versions of legislation to replace the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act, a law that the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged had become so unworkable that as many as 1,000 hazardous chemicals still on sale today needed to be evaluated to see if they should be banned or restricted.
SOURCE: NY TIMES
GMOs – Planned Sterilization of Humanity?
By Peter Koenig
March 01, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – Severe health risks of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are not new. Studies by scientists among others in France, Germany, Austria, since at least the 1990s, pointing to several levels of health dangers to mankind abound. A recent study released by Egyptian researchers found that rats fed a GMO diet suffer from infertility, among other health issues. In the US similar studies were muzzled by Monsanto and the Monsanto staffed FDA. In a 2011 paper the Institute for Responsible Technology – IRT refers to 19 animal studies linking GMOs to mostly liver and kidney organ disruption.
In the early 2000 the first Russian studies revealed reduction in fertility and birth defects in hamsters and rats. In a 2013 Russian study, scientist have discovered that mammals that eat GMO foodstuffs have difficulties to reproduce. The study concluded that “Campbell hamsters that have a fast reproduction rate were fed for two years with ordinary soya beans which are widely used in agriculture and those contain different percentages of GMOs. Another group of hamsters, the control group, was fed with pure soya [found in Serbia, as 95% of soya in the world is transgenic].”
According to Dr. Alexei Surov, who led the study on behalf of the National Association for Gene Security,
“We selected several groups of hamsters, kept them in pairs in cells and gave them ordinary food as always. We did not add anything for one group, but the other was fed with soya that contained no GMO components, while the third group [was fed] with some content of GMOs and the fourth one with increased amounts of GMOs….. Originally everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower, and [they] reached their sexual maturity slowly. When we got some of their cubs, we formed the new pairs of the third generation. We failed to get cubs from these pairs which were fed with GMO foodstuffs. It was proven that these pairs lost their ability to give birth to their cubs.”
Sterilization from GMOs is not an accident. Monsanto had planned this since the 1960s. Henry Kissinger, the protégé of the Rockefeller Foundation and one of the driving forces – still today – of the Bilderberg Society, not only is the author of the infamous proclamation in the early seventies:
‘Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; and who controls money can control the world;’
he also said,
‘Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the Third World.’
This is still a (mostly unspoken) key objective of the elite, associated through different semi-secret organizations like the Bilderbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Trilateral Commission, the British Chatham House, the Economic Forum (Davos), and others.
GMOs are based on two strands; one involves insect resistance, the other is herbicide resistant and more dangerous, because it is glyphosate-tolerant. Glyphosate, known under its trade name ‘Roundup’, is however absorbed in the food fibers and has devastating health effects. The herbicide is an endocrine-disruptor, a chemical that at certain doses can interfere with the hormone system of mammals. These disruptions may cause cancer, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and full sterility by the third generation, as the Russian study clearly demonstrated.
In his eye-opening 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, F. William Engdahl points to food control and depopulation as the strategic key objectives of GMOs as put forward by Henry Kissinger already half a century ago. A less populated Third World will give the US and world elite easier and cheaper access to needed raw materials, allowing the ‘chosen few’ to maintain a lifestyle of exuberant luxury and resources abuse.
Ellen Brown, referring to Gary Null’s documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, quotes Dr. Bruce Lipton,
“We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”.
Worse is to come, if and when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is ratified by the US and its eleven Pacific partners. The TPP – much like the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, linking the US with the 28 EU countries) – is negotiated behind closed doors. The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. The two monster trade agreements would deprive governments from regulating transnational corporations’ activities, to the point where the rights of corporations would supersede sovereign nations laws. Corporations would be able to set up private courts that may rule a country liable for lost profit due to legislation that may interfere with their activities.
This would particularly apply to biotech agriculture. GMOs could no longer be forbidden by individual countries. They are integral parts of the two giant trade agreements which the US is attempting to ram down the throats of their ‘partners’ – and may do so in the general realm of vassalage which has been cultivated by Washington’s threat and sledgehammer politics – “You are either with us or you are against us” – and the latter is usually punished with devastating sanctions, if not with death of errant, non-compliant leaders.
The objective of depopulation is alive and well – and being implemented under our eyes; and We, The People, are blinded by the steady drop-by-drop of propaganda that makes us believe that these trade agreements will resolve the world’s food problems, will eliminate famine. What they will eliminate after a few generations is peoples’ fertility. This, coupled with the constant and continuous wars on terror and financial assassinations of entire countries (see Greece) by the so-called Bretton Woods Organizations, IMF and World Bank, working hand-in-hand with the FED and Wall Street, may eventually succeed in drastically reducing world population – if We, The People, do not wake up.
Waking up to a new form of agriculture is crucial. Back to nature and earth-friendly farming, as well as away from globalization to the notion of ‘local production for local consumption’. Russia has a strict ban on GMOs. Russia is producing about 40% of its food by permaculture methods on simple garden plots. According to Natural Living, 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, and 66% of vegetables and about 50% of the nation’s milk are produced on dacha-type plots.
It is not too late to get away from GMOs, from planned sterility and from depopulating the globe for the benefit of a tyrant elite. But, We the People, have to wake up, take back the sovereign control of our nations from the vassal leadership which Washington has discretely, almost imperceptibly placed at the helm of the 11 TPP and the 28 TTIP nations by stolen or manipulated elections or outright ‘regime change’. The breaking up of the Eurozone and the European Union – both of which are in dire straits – might be the beginning of a new era of self-determination.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.
Washington, DC, February 29, 2016 – The Gerald Ford White House significantly altered the final report of the supposedly independent 1975 Rockefeller Commission investigating CIA domestic activities, over the objections of senior Commission staff, according to internal White House and Commission documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org). The changes included removal of an entire 86-page section on CIA assassination plots and numerous edits to the report by then-deputy White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney.
Today’s posting includes the entire suppressed section on assassination attempts, Cheney’s handwritten marginal notes, staff memos warning of the fallout of deleting the controversial section, and White House strategies for presenting the edited report to the public. The documents show that the leadership of the presidentially-appointed commission deliberately curtailed the investigation and ceded its independence to White House political operatives.
This evidence has been lying ignored in government vaults for decades. Much of the work of securing release of the records was done by the John F. Kennedy Assassinations Records Board in the 1990s, and the documents were located at the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland; or at the Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Additional mandatory declassification review requests filed by Archive fellow John Prados returned identical versions of documents, indicating the CIA is not willing to permit the public to see any more of the assassinations story than we show here. The documents in this set have yet to be incorporated into standard accounts of the events of this period.
Among the highlights of today’s posting:
•White House officials of the Ford administration attempted to keep a presidential review panel—the Rockefeller Commission—from investigating reports of CIA planning for assassinations abroad.
•Ford administration officials suppressed the Rockefeller Commission’s actual report on CIA assassination plots.
•Richard Cheney, then the deputy assistant to the president, edited the report of the Rockefeller Commission from inside the Ford White House, stripping the report of its independent character.
•The Rockefeller Commission remained silent on this manipulation.
•Rockefeller Commission lawyers and public relations officials warned of the damage that would be done to the credibility of the entire investigation by avoiding the subject of assassinations.
•President Ford passed investigative materials concerning assassinations along to the Church Committee of the United States Senate and then attempted—but failed—to suppress the Church Committee’s report as well.
•The White House markup of the Rockefeller Commission report used the secrecy of the CIA budget as an example of excesses and recommended Congress consider making agency spending public to some degree.
THE ROCKEFELLER COMMISSION, THE WHITE HOUSE AND CIA ASSASSINATION PLOTS
By John Prados and Arturo Jimenez-Bacardi
The current controversy over drone attacks has an important backstory. During the 1970s it became known that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had plotted the murder of foreign individuals. These persons for the most part were prominent leaders or even heads of state. That the U.S. government had in any way been engaged in murder became a dark charge against the CIA, and helped inflame the political climate in a way that ensured investigations of the U.S. intelligence agencies would occur.
During those 1975 investigations, particularly those of the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee, allegations of CIA involvement in assassinations were among the most important lines of inquiry. President Gerald R. Ford himself had a key role in triggering the investigations, inadvertently but artlessly revealing the fact of CIA involvement in plotting assassinations during a meeting with press editors.[i]
There had already been revelations of illegal domestic activities by the CIA. These led to the creation of a presidential panel under Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, and committees of inquiry in both houses of the United States Congress. Ford’s January 1975 admission of CIA involvement posed a dilemma for the administration. Vice President Rockefeller attempted to head off inclusion of the subject, restricting consideration of assassinations to the question of what role Cuba might have had in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. That proved unacceptable to some members of his own commission, among them then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan. When the Rockefeller Commission took a vote on whether to include charges of CIA assassination plots in its inquiry, the group overrode its own chairman.[ii]
Rockefeller’s key opponent in the fight over investigating assassinations was the panel’s staff director, David W. Belin. A lawyer for the Warren Commission, empanelled to look into the Kennedy assassination in 1963-1964, Belin had been handpicked by Ford for the Rockefeller group. Ford, one of the Warren commissioners, was confident of Belin’s loyalty, but this time the lawyer fought hard to investigate deeply.
The investigators sought CIA documents on assassination plots conducted in its history and information on administrative routines. They also questioned key witnesses. As CIA lawyer John S. Warner admitted under questioning, the agency “certainly” had “no specific authorization” to conduct assassinations (Document 7). Warner additionally admitted he was “not clear” that a president had the constitutional authority to order an assassination, though that “might” lie within his powers.
Documents in this electronic briefing book reveal the views on the assassination reports of not only Belin but key members of his staff. At the time, in the spring of 1975, the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (the Church Committee) was just being constituted but the Rockefeller Commission inquiry was already in progress. Days after Church Committee members met with President Ford, press adviser David Gergen advised the president to say nothing about assassinations (Document 1).
The jurisdictional and procedural issues regarding whether to include an investigation of assassination plotting, so far as the Rockefeller inquiry was concerned, were fought out over this same period (Documents 2,3,4,5). White House officials, including panel chairman Rockefeller, continued a rearguard action in opposition, first to covering CIA assassination plots at all, and later to including that material in the Rockefeller Commission report. Belin continued to press for the coverage, took a primary role in interviews the commission conducted for this part of its inquiry, and became the main author of the portion of the report dealing with CIA plotting against Fidel Castro (including Operation ZR/RIFLE).
The Rockefeller Commission collected a wide array of evidence, as illustrated by a staff member’s report on what could be learned from the papers of former CIA Director John McCone, and a CIA compendium document on the ZR/RIFLE project (Documents 8, 9, 10).
As of mid-April 1975, Belin expected to have the assassination portion of the panel report complete by the end of the month. He so informed White House officials. However, the CIA dragged its feet on providing materials, and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who initially promised cooperation, provided little. Kissinger became a major actor in the struggle to suppress the Rockefeller assassinations report.[iii] When Belin scheduled a press conference to announce the panel’s assassination findings, deputy assistant to the president Richard Cheney and White House Counsel Philip Buchen, citing Kissinger’s concerns, intervened to induce Belin to cancel it.
As the Rockefeller Commission moved toward finalizing its report, panel staff concluded that the assassinations issues were going to be buried. Several recorded their objections to this course (Documents 11, 12). The Rockefeller Commission’s public affairs director, for one, observed that leaving out assassinations would make the report seem like a cover-up and cast doubt on the Commission’s entire project (Document 13). Nevertheless Belin and staff could not prevent determined superiors from holding back the entire subsidiary report that dealt with assassinations.
Meanwhile at the White House, Cheney led the way in “editing” the Rockefeller report—including suppressing the assassinations section. The final draft of the full report contained a brief passage noting that President Ford had asked the panel to investigate the assassination plots after its inquiry began, that the staff had not been able to complete the investigation, and that Ford had then asked that assassinations material be turned over to him. The Cheney edit inserted doubts by adding that it was unclear whether assassinations fell within the scope of the Commission’s mandate, thus resurrecting jurisdictional issues which had previously been resolved. The revised language also reduced President Ford to a bit player—asserting only that he had “concurred” in the panel’s decision to investigate rather than that he had revealed the existence of CIA plotting and then been obliged to modify the Commission’s terms of reference to include an investigation of the matter. White House editors also changed the original text, from indicating that records were still in the process of being turned over to the president, to the statement that it already “has been” done.
Document 19 reviews the substance of the Commission’s evidence and findings relating to assassinations. In Document 20, White House lawyer Buchen discusses the substance of the findings.
The White House “edit” (Document 15) provides clear indications of the direction of the White House’s concerns vis-à-vis the conclusions of the wider Rockefeller Commission investigation. The report had determined that various intelligence agency actions were illegal and explicitly called them “unlawful.” The edit resisted that formulation and talked instead about actions that merely exceeded agencies’ statutory authority. The Cheney-supervised edit made a single exception—the White House changed Commission language which found the CIA had exceeded its authority in the course of drug experiments to say that these had been “illegal” (p. 37).
Rockefeller investigators had probed White House-CIA relationships that landed the agency in trouble during Watergate as a result of White House instructions to provide psychological profiles of prominent individuals, disguises for White House operatives, and documents on past CIA activities. The full Commission had then approved a recommendation (number 23 on its list) which specified that a single, authoritative channel be established for all White House requests to the CIA and that this be routed through the NSC staff. Following CIA internal directives (ones that had, among other things, resulted in the compilation of the “Family Jewels”), the Rockefeller Commission made clear that any CIA employee who questioned the “propriety” of any White House order should take that concern either to the CIA director or the agency’s inspector general. The White House editors changed this directive (in renumbered Recommendation 26 of the published report). Now, employees were to be instructed only to question requests that came outside the authorized channel, and to state their concerns only to the CIA director. Improper requests came off the table, and the inspector general was not to have automatic jurisdiction.
Among the abuses that led directly to President Ford creating the Rockefeller Commission were charges the CIA had compiled dossiers on American citizens and infiltrated political groups that opposed the U.S. war in Vietnam. In this instance the Rockefeller panelists entered a blanket finding that the files and lists of citizen dissenters were “improper.” The White House edit changed this conclusion, indicating that the “standards applied” had resulted in materials “not needed for legitimate intelligence or security purposes,” and that this merely applied to “many” records gathered about the antiwar movement (see unnumbered page revising p. 41 in the report).
White House editors eliminated a Commission recommendation (number 17 in the original text) that applicants for agency positions and foreign nationals acting on behalf of the CIA be informed more clearly that they could be subjects of U.S. security investigations. The Cheney-inspired edit also added recommendations the Rockefeller panel had not voted. One (Recommendation 29 in the published report) advocated for a new civilian agency committee to be formed to resolve concerns about the use of CIA-developed intelligence collection mechanisms (overhead photography) for domestic purposes.
Another White House-originated point (Recommendation 20 in the published report) sought to increase public confidence in the integrity of the intelligence agencies by instructing them to review their holdings of secret documents periodically with the aim of declassifying the maximum amount of material. This recommendation was more honored in the breach.
In a related case, White House editors eliminated a lengthy commentary from one of the commissioners, the former solicitor general of the United States, Erwin N. Griswold. A detailed footnote quoted Griswold as saying that an underlying cause of the problems confronting the CIA was its pervasive atmosphere of secrecy, and recommending Congress consider making public the CIA budget (page 132-3, renumbered p. 15 in Document 15, footnote 2). The commission quoted Griswold in the context of a recommendation about the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. White House editors converted Griswold’s statement into part of the main text which the entire Rockefeller panel had supposedly agreed upon, and used it to buttress a recommendation to create a joint committee of the Congress to oversee the CIA and other intelligence agencies and went on to Recommendation 4 — that Congress consider making the CIA budget, to some degree, public.
Thus the White House edit both put words into Rockefeller Commissioners’ mouths and dispensed with concerns they had expressed. Apart from the substantive issues raised thereby these actions amounted to direct political interference with a presidential advisory panel. Ford may have been comfortable with his subordinates’ maneuvers, but they helped drain credibility from the Commission’s investigation, as the panel’s own staff had warned in discussions of whether to include its assassinations report (Documents 11, 12, 13, 14).
The White House strategy for releasing the Rockefeller report is detailed in talking points and strategy memoranda (Documents 16,17,18). In the end, in a complete reversal of the actual inquiry, the only assassination material to make it into the report concerned whether the CIA had conspired to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.[iv]
Richard Cheney and Gerald Ford failed in their effort to suppress the assassinations portion of the Commission’s work. Rather, the media, alerted to the issue by the president himself, kept pressing until Ford declared he would turn over the assassinations material to the Church Committee. The president essentially kicked the controversy down the road. The Commission’s files and interview records related to assassinations gave Church investigators a blueprint and a boost in their own inquiry. Senator Church’s committee moved quickly and completed its investigative report in October 1975. Along the way investigators compiled more than 8,000 pages of depositions or testimony, covering 75 witnesses over 60 days of hearings, most held in executive session. Committee staff analyst Loch Johnson, who later authored a classic account of the “Year of Intelligence,” found many revelations almost unbelievable, in some cases “requiring a suspension of disbelief few serious novelists would ask of their readers.”[v]
With the committee at the point of asking that the full Senate release its report, on October 31 President Ford wrote Senator Church to ask that the report be kept secret on national security grounds (Document 21). Several days later the committee voted to reject Ford’s demand, and Church answered his letter on November 4, writing, “in my view the national interest is better served by letting the American people know the true and complete story . . . . We believe that foreign peoples will, upon sober reflection, admire our nation more for keeping faith with our democratic ideals than they will condemn us for the misconduct itself” (Document 22). In a display of legislative strategy, on November 20 the Senate convened in a secret session to debate releasing the Church assassinations report but failed to delay or prevent its being made public, because the committee had approved the report while the full Senate took no vote on whether to enforce a rule that would have held up release.
The sordid story of CIA assassination plots came into the open most authoritatively in the Church report. Its revelations did not destroy the republic, contrary to White House and intelligence community warnings. The committee recommended that a prohibition on assassinations be written into law, even supplying language that could be used in such a statute. Their prohibition would have covered not only foreign officials but members of an “insurgent force, an unrecognized government, or a political party.”[vi]
The White House took a different tack. A steering group of officials working on the political crisis of the “Year of Intelligence,” proposed that President Ford issue an executive order (E.O.) to govern intelligence agencies and operations, and that the order include a prohibition on assassinations. Senator Church objected that anything a president set by fiat could be changed by fiat as well, by means of a future executive action. Besides, the Ford executive order, issued in February 1976, lacked the definition that would have been supplied by the Church Committee-recommended statute. President Jimmy Carter issued his own executive orders on intelligence, in a preliminary form in May 1977 and in a reworked version in January 1978. The assassination prohibition would be widened somewhat, by removing the word “political,” which the Ford E.O. had used as a qualifier (as in “political assassination”), and by extending the ban beyond government employees to anyone working for or on behalf of the United States. The Carter ban would be repeated verbatim in President Ronald Reagan’s E. O. 12333, issued on December 4, 1981. Every subsequent president has continued the ban, and the Reagan E.O. itself remains in force.
[i] See John Prados, The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy and Presidential Power. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013, pp. 160-161.
[ii] Nicolas Djumovic, “Ronald Reagan, Intelligence, William Casey, and the CIA: A Reappraisal,” Central Intelligence Agency, Center for the Study of Intelligence, April 2011, pp. 7-8.
[iii] Prados Family Jewels, pp. 163-165.
[iv](Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States(Rockefeller Report), June 1975, pp. 251-269.
[v] Loch K. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry: The Senate Intelligence Investigation. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985, p. 50. A new edition of this book will appear very shortly from the University of Kansas.
[vi] United States Senate (94th Congress, 1st Session). Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Interim Report: Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, pp. 289-290.
Memetic Engineering To Silence Dissent
Blacklisted News | March 1, 2016 – News has been making rounds across the internet that the FBI in collusion with the National Science Foundation has sunk nearly one million dollars into a program at the University of Indiana developed with the goal of:
“The project is aimed at modeling the diffusion of information online and empirically discriminating among models of mechanisms driving the spread of memes. We explore why some ideas cause viral explosions while others are quickly forgotten. Our analysis goes beyond the traditional approach of applied epidemic diffusion processes and focuses on cascade size distributions and popularity time series in order to model the agents and processes driving the online diffusion of information, including: users and their topical interests, competition for user attention, and the chronological age of information. Completion of our project will result in a better understanding of information flow and could assist in elucidating the complex mechanisms that underlie a variety of human dynamics and organizations. The analysis will involve studying meme diffusion in large-scale social media by collecting and analyzing massive streams of public micro-blogging data.
The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly. Our data will be made available via APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features. The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online. Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes. This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.
Using their system, dubbed Truthy, the group intends to track and differentiate memetic content made by normal everyday users and that of ‘professional political activists’ with the goal of eliminating false or misleading political information from social media ecosystems. Other research carried out by the project varies from analyses of meme propagation in specific geographical areas to understanding the viral nature of politically secular world affairs like the ongoing migrant crisis or the Occupy Wall Street movement when the average attention span of users is lower than that of a goldfish.
Even more suspiciously, one of the stated endgame goals of the project is to share the machine learning techniques gained from Truthy with future mass social media studies carried out by government and academia.
Curiously missing though from Truthy’s online dating profile is that she’s married to the FBI and LOVES sharing your dirty online secrets with her husband and his friends in Washington. Beginning in the Fall of 2014 Truthy began databasing not only suspicious memes but also the identity of their creators where the information will remain “forever, regardless of their innocence or guilt, or their intentions.” said lead FBI agent Paul Horner. “This database will be shared with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies.”
“forever, regardless of their innocence or guilt, or their intentions. This database will be shared with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies.”
Are we having fun yet?