Monday, June 3, 2013


OMNI NEWSLETTER NUMBER 11 ON THE US EMPIRE, THE US NATIONAL SECURITY STATE, NATIONALISM, MILITARISM,  June 3, 2013,  Compiled by Dick Bennett Building a Culture of Peace and Justice.   

US Imperialism Newsletters
#1 July 3, 2007
#2 Sept. 20, 2007
#3 April 7, 2008
#4  Nov. 30, 2008
#5   September 13, 2011
#6 October 16, 2011
#7  January 16, 2012
#8 June 3, 2012
#9 Oct. 20, 2012
#10 April 5, 2013

“A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”  James Madison

 Knowledge and Action Against US Wars
An underlying theme of this newsletter and of all of the newsletters pertaining to war is the necessity of the US peace movement in all its local organization to be informed, to try to see through lies and secrecy, to think, and to act both locally and globally.   “. . .the dominant interpretation of the past often enjoys its status not because of its superior historical accuracy but because of its proponents’ social power.”  Karl Jacoby, Shadows at Dawn: An Apache Massacre and the Violence of History (p. 276). 
Often the argument is made that peacemaking must begin with individual search for inner equanimity, steadiness, and strength, and nobody can deny that foundation for peace, but our leaders’ reckless lawlessness, making the world hostile and unstable and killing millions of people, destabilizes each and every one of us locally and individually, and must be stopped.   “Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.  War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. . . .”   James Madison, “Political Observations,”  April 20, 1795.   In order to act, we are not compelled to wait until we have fully matured, and anyway a lifetime is seldom enough time to enable that ideal condition.    –Dick

My blog:  It's the War Department
See: Afghan/US War, Costs of War, Consequences of War, US Imperialism, US Imperialism Continental Westward Expansion, US Imperial Pacific E. Asia Expansion, US Leaders Imperial Lawlessness, Iraq/US War, McCarthyism, Ongoing, US Military Industrial Complex, Militarism, Pentagon, Pentagon: Suicides, Pentagon: Whistleblowing, Torture, War Crimes, and more.

Instead of Defense Department: War Department
Instead of War on Terror: War to Control Resources
Instead of Taliban: Afghan/Pakistan Pashtun Resistance to Occupation

A wide-ranging  source of information is the Defense News Early Bird Brief:   :

Nos. 7 & 8 below.

Here is the link to all of OMNI’s newsletters   Laying the foundation for peace, justice, and ecology in knowledge.

Many  books have been written prophesying the end of US Empire with titles like: Suicide of a Superpower; The Empire Has No Clothes; Taming American Power; Nemesis: the Last Days of the American Republic; Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire; and Selling Out A Superpower.

"To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." -- Robert H. Jackson, Chief U.S. Prosecutor, Nuremberg Military Tribunal 

Verse for those who see no evil:
If we see right, we see our Woes,
Then what avails it to have Eyes?
From Ignorance our Comfort flows;
The only wretched are the wise.  Matthew Prior

Nos. 7 & 8 below.

Contents #9
PNAC Continues
Middle East Maneuvers
US Militarism Abroad
New Book: Taming American Power
TomDispatch, Vine:  Empire of Bases, Lily Pad Strategy
Central America, Nonviolence vs. the Empire
Intervention Law and Libya
Zibechi, Urban Poor
Empire and Medical Care
New Weapon for Large Cargo and Constant Surveillance
US Militarism at Home
The Poor and Military Recruiting
Scales:  Army Good, Too Many Wars Bad
Moyers, Look Back to 1980s

Contents #10 
Herman:  the Troops, the Criminals, Lawlessness, Propaganda System, Bush and Obama
Kutler:  McGovern’ Critique of US Foreign Policy
2 on Romney and Obama
US Intervention in Mali 2012
Militarizing Arctic North: Sweden and Finland
San Juan , PNAC Militarist Takeover Remembered
Vlchek, US and USSR Compared
Empire and Social Sciences
Early Years, 2 Books
   McCoy and Scarano, Colonial
    LaFebre, Late 19th Century
Alternative History:  Zinn and Stone/Kuznick
Dick: The Story of the US at Chrystal Bridges

Contents #11
Petition for Peace
Dick, US Wars Not for Freedom
Reich, Sexual Assault in the Air Force
General Smedley Butler
Blum, America’s Deadliest Export
Boggs, The Crimes of Empire
Scahill, Dirty Wars
Hedges on Manning
Hedges, Murdering Leaders
Sirota, Blowback, Backlash, Retaliation
Assange, Electronic Control

I just signed the petition "The US President and US Congress: End wars and the attack on our civil liberties here in the US" on

It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:
Thanks!  Dick

     In a letter to the ADG ( “Debt Paid with Blood.”  4-5-13).   Olen Hill wrote:  “All of these freedoms we have were bought with the blood of veterans.  Soldiers on the ground, pilots in the air, sailors on the sea.”   If Hill is correct, the troops were shamefully betrayed, for none of the wars the U.S. fought since 1945 were necessary, legal, or moral.   Vietnam?   KoreaNicaraguaGrenada? Panama? AfghanistanIraq?   If you think they were, you live in a cocoon of nationalistic myth.  
     But Hill’s statement is false on two other levels.   Our freedoms such as they are (we are all under surveillance by the NSA, CIA, FBI)  are the result of the long struggle in the courts and councils that is US history.  And most of the troops went to war because they were drafted (Vietnam), were from military families (millions of them after sixty years of wars), or were poor.   
      Let us examine all claims like Hill’s, because US imperial aggressions will never cease until we cease supporting the troops on the basis of Pentagon and flag patriotism lies and myths.  Let us think critically, be skeptical about wars and their mass killing, and turn our thoughts and money to making the world a caring, nurturing place for all.
     Let’s make the US the land of the free and the brave where freedom is based not on violence but on the Bill of Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Earth Charter, and bravery means dissenting against the warrior leaders who lead us into war after war after war and all the anti-human (anti-species) consequences of war.
     Hill writes, “Keep Our Military Strong.”  Rather, let us find our empathy and compassion for all—in our churches, schools, and homes--and keep the US strong.

Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: Due to the recent military scandals involving sexual harassment, Robert Reich asks “Why has it been so difficult for the Air Force or the Defense Department to remedy this problem?”

General Smedley Butler’s WAR IS A RACKET
Mike Kuhlenbeck, “Maj. General Smedley D. Butler’s War Is a Racket Speech Turns 80.”  Z Magazine (May 2013). 

1.                             War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, 1935 - Rat haus
Smedley Darlington Butler. Born: West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881; Educated: Haverford School; Married: Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905 ...

2.                             Smedley Butler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In his 1935 book War is a Racket, he described the workings of the ...... General Smedley Darlington Butler: The Letters of a Leatherneck, 1898–1931. Praeger.

3.                             War Is a Racket - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Author(s), Smedley Butler ... After his retirement from the Marine Corps, Gen. ... InWar Is A Racket, Butler points to a variety of examples, mostly from World War I, ...

4.                             Major General Smedley Butler: WAR is a racket - Information ...
War Is A Racket. A speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. Smedley Butler. WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the ...

5.                             War is a Racket: The Profit Motive Behind Warfare: Smedley Butler ...
 Rating: 4.5 - 87 reviews - $2.70 - In stock
"War is a Racket" is marine general, Smedley Butler's classic treatise on why wars are conducted, who profits from them, and who pays the price. Few people are ...

6.                             War is a Racket by Smedley Butler - YouTube
Mar 11, 2009 - Uploaded by numoleen
7.                              More videos for General Smedley Butler, War Is a Racket »

8.                             War Is A Racket : Major General Smedley Butler : Free Download ...

Aug 20, 2009 – War Is A Racket (1935). Author: Major General Smedley ButlerKeywords: anti-war. Publisher: Round table press, inc. Year: 1935. Language: ...

9.                             General Smedley Butler: 'War Is A Racket' - The Wisdom Fund
Sep 11, 2001 – Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by General SmedleyDarlington Butler, USMC. General Butler was the recipient of two Congressional ...

10.                        Major General Smedley Butler on Interventionism
Smedley Butler on Interventionism. -- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. War is just a racket. A racket is best ...

11.                        "War is A Racket" by Marine Major General Smedley Butler Two ...
Sep 21, 2010 – One of our greatest US Marines, Major General Smedley Butler in his 1935 speech 'War is a Racket', described the workings of the ...

America's Deadliest Export:  Democracy - The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else by William Blum

Zed Books, February 2013
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages,

Trade Paperback



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·                                   Biography
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For over 65 years, the United States war machine has been on auto pilot.  Since World War II, the world has believed that US foreign policy means well, and that America's motives in spreading democracy are honorable, even noble.  In this startling and provocative book from William Blum, one of the United States' leading non-mainstream chroniclers of American foreign policy and author of the popular online newsletter, Anti-Empire Reports, demonstrates that nothing could be further from the truth.  America's Deadliest Export is the in-depth exposé of the many contradictions surrounding the nature of US foreign policy.


"A fireball of terse information—one of our best muckrakers." - Oliver Stone
"Coruscating, eye-opening and essential.  This is a must-read for anyone rightfully concerned at the destructive influence of the world's only superpower." - Cynthia McKinney, Presidential Candidate for the Green Party of the United States
"William Blum’s America’s Deadliest Export is another in his blockbuster series that has applied the reality and morality principles to work on U.S. foreign policy. This book has vignettes and longish essays on matters running from Conspiracies, Ideology and the Media to  Cuba, Iran and Wikileaks. It is brimming with wit and with both laughable and frightening quotations. It is admittedly written  for  'the choir,' but even the choir needs encouragement as well as facts and analyses that will keep its members from succumbing to a potent propaganda system. And we may hope that choir will grow  with books like this that both amuse and enlighten." - Edward S. Herman, co-author of The Politics of Genocide
"This book deals with unpleasant subjects yet it is a pleasure to read. Blum continues to provide us with convincing critiques of U.S. global policy in a freshly informed and engaging way." - Michael Parenti, author of The Face of Imperialism
"With good cheer and humor Blum guides us toward understanding that our government does not mean well.  Once we've grasped that, we're far more capable of effectively doing good ourselves." - David Swanson, author of War is a Lie

About the Author(s)

William Blum is one of the United States' leading non-mainstream experts on American foreign policy. He left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer because of his  opposition to what the US was doing in Vietnam. He then became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital. Blum has been a freelance journalist in the US, Europe, and South America. His stay in Chile in 1972-3, writing about the Allende government's "socialist experiment," and then its tragic overthrow in a CIA-designed coup,  instilled in him a personal involvement and an even more heightened interest in what his government was doing in various corners of the world. He is the author of Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, and the controversial bestseller Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower. He currently sends out a monthly Internet newsletter, the Anti-Empire Report.

Table of Contents

Introduction: US Foreign Policy * 1. Terrorism * 2. Iraq * 3. George W. Bush * 4. Afghanistan * 5. Iran * 6. Wikileaks * 7. World War II * 8. Conspiracies * 9. Yugoslavia * 10. Libya * 11. Latin America * 12. Cuba * 13. Ideology * 14. The Cold War and anti-communism * 15. 1960s * 16. Israel, Anti-Semitism * 17. Social issues * 18. “There is no alternative!” Really? There bloody well better be or we’re all doomed. * 19. The Militarization of American society * 20. Media * 21. Barack Obama * 21. Patriotism * 22. Sports * 23. Dissent and resistance in America * 24. Bill Clinton * 25. Hillary Clinton * 26. Condoleezza Rice * 27. Religion * 28. Human rights/Torture * 29. National Security State * 30. Humor

(James Petras, Bartle Professor Emeritus,)
(Michael Parenti, author of Against Empir)
(George Katsiaficas)

The Crimes of Empire:  Rogue Superpower and World Domination by Carl Boggs.  Pluto, 2010.

Imperial Nations advance their own interests by exploiting other societies. To those on the receiving end this is obvious, while inside the empire, a powerful ideological system of justification tends to hide all but the worst excess.

Carl Boggs argues that that the US began life two centuries ago as a nascent colonialist regime plundering and conquering the Native Tribes. The Indian wars were followed by perpetual militarism and warfare fuelled by a deep sense of national exceptionalism. The Crimes Of Empire examines several trends in this process, and illustrates the new depths plumbed since 9/11.

Violation of international agreements, treaties and laws and the use of prohibited weapons, support for death squads and torture are just some of the practices that Boggs highlights as he shows how technical superiority and media control prolong the American nightmare.

About The Author

Carl Boggs is professor of social sciences at National University in Los Angeles. He has written numerous books, including Imperial Delusions: American Militarism and Endless War (2005) and, with Tom Pollard, The Hollywood War Machine: Militarism and American Popular Culture (2006). He has received the Charles McCoy Career Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association.

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About Jeremy Scahill

"Scahill is a one-man truth squad." Bill Moyers

JEREMY SCAHILL is National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute.
Scahill is author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Nation Books, 2007). Nation Books will release Scahill's second book, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, on April 23, 2013.
He is the writer, with David Riker, and a producer of the documentary feature film, Dirty Wars, which won the Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2013. IFC Films releases Dirty Wars in theaters June 7 throughout the United States.
Jeremy Scahill headshotScahill has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill is a frequent guest on a wide array of programs, appearing regularly on The Rachel Maddow ShowReal Time with Bill Maher, and Democracy Now!. He has also appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, BBC, al Jazeera, CNN, The NewsHour, and Bill Moyers Journal.
Scahill’s work has sparked several Congressional investigations and won some of journalism’s highest honors. He was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award, in 1998 for foreign reporting and in 2008 for his book Blackwater.
In 2013, Scahill was named one of nine recipients of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.
Scahill is a member of the Writers Guild of America, East.
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1.                             Dirty Wars: Home Page
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill chases down the hidden truth behind ...DirtyWars: "Jaw dropping" "hard hitting" "has the power to pry open govt lock ...

2.                    Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield ... › ... › International & World Politics  Security
In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller Blackwater, takes us inside America's new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles ...

3.                             Jeremy Scahill on 'Dirty Wars' and Obama's Expanding Drone Attacks › Blogs  Diane Sweet's blog
Apr 28, 2013 – As the Senate holds its first-ever public hearing on drones and targeted killings, we turn the second part of our interview with Jeremy Scahill, ...

4.                             Jeremy Scahill's 'Dirty' Work by Kelley B. Vlahos --
Apr 30, 2013 – Jeremy Scahill's new book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, is sort of like approaching a dark cavity in an old tree. How many of us would ...

5.                             Jeremy Scahill: Inside America's Dirty Wars - Truthdig
Apr 25, 2013 – The killing of U.S. born, al-Qaida-affiliated cleric Anwar al-Awlaki set a dangerous precedent here in America. - 2013/04/25.

6.                             Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield - roam agency
In Dirty Wars ( ), investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill chases down the truth behind America's covert wars. Dirty Wars is one of 16 films ...

7.                             The World Is a Battlefield: Jeremy Scahill on "Dirty Wars" and ...
Apr 24, 2013
As the Senate holds its first-ever public hearing on drones and targeted killings, we turn the second part of our ...
8.                              More videos for Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars »

9.                             Read an Excerpt from Jeremy Scahill's "Dirty Wars: The World Is a ...
Apr 23, 2013 – Read a chapter from "Dirty Wars," just published this week, titled "If They Kill Innocent Children and Call Them al Qaeda, Then We Are All al ...

10.                     Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy: Jeremy Scahill's "Dirty Wars" documentary
Apr 28, 2013 – Jeremy Scahill. Rick Rowley. Last night, at the Independent Film Festival Boston, journalist Jeremy Scahill's Dirty Wars documentary had its ...


Chris Hedges, “Murder is Our National Sport,”  NationofChange, May 15, 2013Top of Form

Chris Hedges, Truthdig Op-Ed: Murder is our national sport. We murder tens of thousands with our industrial killing machines in Afghanistan and Iraq. We murder thousands more from the skies over Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen with our pilotless drones. We murder each other with reckless abandon. And, as if we were not drenched in enough human blood, we murder prisoners—most of them poor people of color who have been locked up for more than a decade. The United States believes in regeneration through violence.



A Cronkite Moment for the Blowback Era by David Sirota.  The Progressive Populist (June 1, 2013).

"The stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost." — Reverend Jeremiah Wright
In 2008, the hysterical backlash to the above comment by Barack Obama's minister became a high-profile example of one of the most insidious rules in American politics: You are not allowed to honestly discuss the Central Intelligence Agency's concept of "blowback" without putting yourself at risk of being deemed a traitor to country.
Now, five years later, with America having killed thousands of Muslim civilians in its drone strikes and wars, that rule is thankfully being challenged — and not by someone who is so easily smeared. Instead, the apostate is one of this epoch's most revered journalists — and because of that, we will see whether this country is mature enough to face one of its biggest national security quandaries.
This is the news from Tom Brokaw's appearance on "Meet the Press" last Sunday. Discussing revelations that the bombing suspects may be connected to Muslim fundamentalism, he said:
"We have got to look at the roots of all of this because it exists across the whole (Asian) subcontinent and the Islamic world around the world. I think we also have to examine (America's) use of drones (because) there are a lot of civilians who are innocently killed in a drone attack in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. And I can tell you having spent a lot of time over there, young people will come up to me on the streets and say, 'We love America, but if you harm one hair on the head of my sister, I will fight you forever.' And there is this enormous rage against what they see in that part of the world as a presumptuousness of the United States."
As one of the establishment's most venerated voices, Brokaw is not prone to radical statements. 
But in a nation that often avoids acknowledging its own role in intensifying cycles of violence, it is unfortunately considered radical to do what the NBC News veteran did and mention that our violent attacks abroad increase the chance of retributive attacks at home.
Of course, Brokaw was merely stating the obvious: With America having killed thousands of civilians in its wars, we should be appalled by acts of terrorism — but we shouldn't be surprised by them. We should know that violence will inevitably come from those like the Boston bombing suspect who, according to the Washington Post, "told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack."
Noting this is not to argue that such attacks are justified or that we deserve them. It is only to reiterate what Brokaw alluded to: Namely, that blowback should be expected in this age of Permanent War and that one way to potentially avert such blowback in the future is to try to de-escalate the cycle of violence.
To be sure, from Reverend Wright to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, many have made these points before. But they have typically been ignored or lambasted for uttering the truth. Brokaw, though, can't be so readily dismissed. He is a Walter Cronkite of his age, and, indeed, his declaration recalls Cronkite's seminal moment 45 years ago.
Back in 1968, opponents of the Vietnam War were being marginalized in much the same way critics of today's wars now are. But when such a revered voice as Cronkite took to television to declare the conflict an unwinnable "stalemate," he helped create a tipping point whereby Americans began to reconsider their assumptions.
In similarly making such an assumption-challenging statement, Brokaw has followed in Cronkite's heroic footsteps. The only question is: Will America finally listen?
David Sirota is the best-selling author of the books "Hostile Takeover," "The Uprising" and "Back to Our Future." Email him at, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at

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The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’ by Julian Assange

Julian Assange at Ecuador's UK embassy. (photo: unknown)

The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’
Published: June 1, 2013
“THE New Digital Age” is a startlingly clear and provocative blueprint for technocratic imperialism, from two of its leading witch doctors, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, who construct a new idiom for United States global power in the 21st century. This idiom reflects the ever closer union between the State Department and Silicon Valley, as personified by Mr. Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, and Mr. Cohen, a former adviser to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton who is now director of Google Ideas.
The authors met in occupied Baghdad in 2009, when the book was conceived. Strolling among the ruins, the two became excited that consumer technology was transforming a society flattened by United States military occupation. They decided the tech industry could be a powerful agent of American foreign policy.
The book proselytizes the role of technology in reshaping the world’s people and nations into likenesses of the world’s dominant superpower, whether they want to be reshaped or not. The prose is terse, the argument confident and the wisdom — banal. But this isn’t a book designed to be read. It is a major declaration designed to foster alliances.
“The New Digital Age” is, beyond anything else, an attempt by Google to position itself as America’s geopolitical visionary — the one company that can answer the question “Where should America go?” It is not surprising that a respectable cast of the world’s most famous warmongers has been trotted out to give its stamp of approval to this enticement to Western soft power. The acknowledgments give pride of place to Henry Kissinger, who along with Tony Blair and the former C.I.A. director Michael Hayden provided advance praise for the book.
In the book the authors happily take up the white geek’s burden. A liberal sprinkling of convenient, hypothetical dark-skinned worthies appear: Congolese fisherwomen, graphic designers in Botswana, anticorruption activists in San Salvador and illiterate Masai cattle herders in the Serengeti are all obediently summoned to demonstrate the progressive properties of Google phones jacked into the informational supply chain of the Western empire.
The authors offer an expertly banalized version of tomorrow’s world: the gadgetry of decades hence is predicted to be much like what we have right now — only cooler. “Progress” is driven by the inexorable spread of American consumer technology over the surface of the earth. Already, every day, another million or so Google-run mobile devices are activated. Google will interpose itself, and hence the United States government, between the communications of every human being not in China (naughty China). Commodities just become more marvelous; young, urban professionals sleep, work and shop with greater ease and comfort; democracy is insidiously subverted by technologies of surveillance, and control is enthusiastically rebranded as “participation”; and our present world order of systematized domination, intimidation and oppression continues, unmentioned, unafflicted or only faintly perturbed.
The authors are sour about the Egyptian triumph of 2011. They dismiss the Egyptian youth witheringly, claiming that “the mix of activism and arrogance in young people is universal.” Digitally inspired mobs mean revolutions will be “easier to start” but “harder to finish.” Because of the absence of strong leaders, the result, or so Mr. Kissinger tells the authors, will be coalition governments that descend into autocracies. They say there will be “no more springs” (but China is on the ropes).
The authors fantasize about the future of “well resourced” revolutionary groups. A new “crop of consultants” will “use data to build and fine-tune a political figure.”
“His” speeches (the future isn’t all that different) and writing will be fed “through complex feature-extraction and trend-analysis software suites” while “mapping his brain function,” and other “sophisticated diagnostics” will be used to “assess the weak parts of his political repertoire.”
The book mirrors State Department institutional taboos and obsessions. It avoids meaningful criticism of Israel and Saudi Arabia. It pretends, quite extraordinarily, that the Latin American sovereignty movement, which has liberated so many from United States-backed plutocracies and dictatorships over the last 30 years, never happened. Referring instead to the region’s “aging leaders,” the book can’t see Latin America for Cuba. And, of course, the book frets theatrically over Washington’s favorite boogeymen: North Korea and Iran.
Google, which started out as an expression of independent Californian graduate student culture — a decent, humane and playful culture — has, as it encountered the big, bad world, thrown its lot in with traditional Washington power elements, from the State Department to the National Security Agency.
Despite accounting for an infinitesimal fraction of violent deaths globally, terrorism is a favorite brand in United States policy circles. This is a fetish that must also be catered to, and so “The Future of Terrorism” gets a whole chapter. The future of terrorism, we learn, is cyberterrorism. A session of indulgent scaremongering follows, including a breathless disaster-movie scenario, wherein cyberterrorists take control of American air-traffic control systems and send planes crashing into buildings, shutting down power grids and launching nuclear weapons. The authors then tar activists who engage in digital sit-ins with the same brush.
I have a very different perspective. The advance of information technology epitomized by Google heralds the death of privacy for most people and shifts the world toward authoritarianism. This is the principal thesis in my book, “Cypherpunks.” But while Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Cohen tell us that the death of privacy will aid governments in “repressive autocracies” in “targeting their citizens,” they also say governments in “open” democracies will see it as “a gift” enabling them to “better respond to citizen and customer concerns.” In reality, the erosion of individual privacy in the West and the attendant centralization of power make abuses inevitable, moving the “good” societies closer to the “bad” ones.
The section on “repressive autocracies” describes, disapprovingly, various repressive surveillance measures: legislation to insert back doors into software to enable spying on citizens, monitoring of social networks and the collection of intelligence on entire populations. All of these are already in widespread use in the United States. In fact, some of those measures — like the push to require every social-network profile to be linked to a real name — were spearheaded by Google itself.
THE writing is on the wall, but the authors cannot see it. They borrow from William Dobson the idea that the media, in an autocracy, “allows for an opposition press as long as regime opponents understand where the unspoken limits are.” But these trends are beginning to emerge in the United States. No one doubts the chilling effects of the investigations into The Associated Press and Fox’s James Rosen. But there has been little analysis of Google’s role in complying with the Rosen subpoena. I have personal experience of these trends.
The Department of Justice admitted in March that it was in its third year of a continuing criminal investigation of WikiLeaks. Court testimony states that its targets include “the founders, owners, or managers of WikiLeaks.” One alleged source, Bradley Manning, faces a 12-week trial beginning tomorrow, with 24 prosecution witnesses expected to testify in secret.
This book is a balefully seminal work in which neither author has the language to see, much less to express, the titanic centralizing evil they are constructing. “What Lockheed Martin was to the 20th century,” they tell us, “technology and cybersecurity companies will be to the 21st.” Without even understanding how, they have updated and seamlessly implemented George Orwell’s prophecy. If you want a vision of the future, imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces — forever. Zealots of the cult of consumer technology will find little to inspire them here, not that they ever seem to need it. But this is essential reading for anyone caught up in the struggle for the future, in view of one simple imperative: Know your enemy.
"/>  Julian Assange is the editor in chief of WikiLeaks and author of “Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet.”

Contents of #7
Dick:   Ark. Democrat-Gazette Columnist Dana Kelly
Book:   Bacevich, et al. Short American Century
Bacevich: American Century Ended
Hedges: Suing Barack Obama
Chomsky on Warrior Caste
Parenti book, The Face of Imperialism
Nuclear Weapons Locations
Philippines and US Minotaur
Film, Amigo by Sayles
Cut US Military Spending
Cold War Continuing
From Iraq to Australia
Engelhardt, The United States of Fear
Articles Forwarded by Historians Against War

Contents of #8
Myth of US Innocence, Classified Reading List
Dick, LTE on Supporting the Troops
History of US Anti-Imperialism
Orton: US Aggression
Engelhardt, The United States of Fear
Golinger, The Empire’s Web
Chomsky, From Vietnam War to Present
Cindy Sheehan
Rachel Maddow, Presidential Power
Bacevich, Special Operations
Schwartz, War Without End


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