[ Editor’s Note: Gordon has gone big bear hunting with his latest NEO piece where he puts the bullseye on the now industrial scale think tank propaganda business of molding public opinion.
It is using all the tools that national intelligence agencies would, like Israel for example, to penetrate and co-opt supposed public, and public interest organizations which are nothing more then special interest fronts, or worse, Intel fronts themselves. This is the world we live in now.
Investigation journalism has given this issue a wide berth as think tanks are a popular nest to fall into for journalists looking for a secure future versus the one of struggling to survive in the real independent media world where enemies are many and friends getting fewer, the kind that will stand by you when arrows are in the air.
One might suspect that academic institutions would be taking this challenge on, to expose the rot as Gordon says, but they have their own problem with being co-opted. This usually happens through their dependence on government grants for a wide variety of things, where one jerk of the leash is enough to reign in any demonstrations of independence that challenges the think tank academic Potemkin Village that exists now.
The issue of State sponsored terrorism is the national security issue of our time, and it is one we are losing. If that is to be reversed, someone will have to do something while it is still legal to do so. The bad guys have assumed that eventually someone would want to come after them, so they did their analysis and put their road blocks and spike strips in place at all avenues of approach. They are, as described in Intel lingo, “layered up”.
Some of us are formulating long term plans to have a “counter think tank” to fight the monster from the inside, a door that is still open. It would not be an easy thing to do as there would be enemies galore. We see no line of competitors being formed to do such a thing, as funding would be scarce and the personal risks a deterrent.
But being scarce and being non-existent are two different things. Our corporate media black out has some big cracks in it now, particularly due to the failed cheap shoots that Google Jigsaw has taken at us. We think that funding is out there that can’t find anyone willing and capable of putting up a serious fight. We just have to live long enough for them to find us… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … November 10, 2017 –
A Brookings paper widely cited as attacking the relationship between Saudi Arabia and ISIS, sets a new standard for propaganda. Upon reading, How States Exploit Jihadists Foreign Fighters, turns reality on its head, blaming the victims, nations like Pakistan and Syria, while lightly chastising Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
From Insurge Intelligence, an analysis by Nafeez Ahmed.
“Some of the most important foreign fighter movements in the world today receive massive and explicit state support, while still others rely on states to tolerate their fund-raising, transit, recruitment, and other core activities.”
The study pinpoints the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for facilitating the “transit of foreign fighters from its territory to Iraq” and nurturing “various anti-US Sunni groups, including al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Islamic State’s predecessor organization.”
Those familiar with Syria or geography and who “read the papers” know that Assad, during the period referred to by Byman, controlled only a part of Syria, with all major transit routes being in control of terror groups.
Byman’s assertion is insane.
Thus, while leading off with a promise of tying American allies to ISIS, Byman heads in the “wild blue yonder” of conspiracy theories. A closer look at Byman raises issues, of course, but being tied to the Israeli intelligence community is, in Washington at least, a badge of pride.
This type of thinking is predicated on the mistaken concept that Israel and the US are, in fact, inseparable, with the 600,000 illegal settlers on the West Bank in violation of US policy and the Geneva Convention is only one example, a “deal breaker” as it were, that proves this concept false. There are others.
Think tanks that advise the US government, known to Washington insiders as “stink tanks,” are in many if not most cases, the most blatant servants of not just special interest but serve foreign masters as well, often those hostile to the United States.
Professor Daniel Byman, who authored the paper for Brookings and Rand Corporations, comes from Georgetown University. He helped author the deeply stained 9/11 Commission Report and dozens of other papers, books and studies with one common thread.
They all focus blame on nations unfriendly to Israel using research methods that violate reason itself.
Byman’s work, consumed by those with no experience in the Middle East, dependent on the self-proclaimed or, more correctly “hired gun” experts has helped guide US policy down a rabbit hole in the Middle East and South Asia for decades.
There is a general consensus that America’s government has long been lacking direction, moved this way and that by opposing special interest groups, foreign lobbies pushing for military action on their behalf, lobbying for financial aid, lobbying for advanced weapons, and existing in a rarified atmosphere, above the law.
With them are their surrogates, the warriors of deceit, groups within academia and the press, that inform congress, that guide the new privatized CIA, that label a reality based on a fictional narrative in support of one goal, continual and unending war.
Wrapped in elegant “dissertation prose,” these groups peddle conspiracy theory and cheap propaganda, legitimizing absurd assertions in order to influence American policy, most often to push America into war.
In Britain, the Chilcot Inquiry checked into the role of these organizations, working in coordination with highly paid lobby groups and virtual armies of “assets” in bringing Britain to war against Iraq after 9/11. Their findings indicated that the British government under Tony Blair had knowingly accepted fabricated intelligence on WMD threats and other issues, the identical intelligence that the US used then to justify invading Iraq, and engage in an illegal war.
A key component of the investigation was a finding that all involved were criminally complicit in language that could and should have brought about war crimes prosecutions for Bush, Blair and those around them.
Though the report was quashed and its impact minimized, due to pressure by the foreign lobbies still operating in London and Washington that many say control both governments, the facts still stand. At least Britain investigated the situation; America did nothing, and continues to follow not just the same policies but threatens even wilder and more far reaching efforts.
Targeted now, Iran certainly, perhaps Russia, certainly Pakistan and Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iraq, African nations like Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Kenya, including any region with oil, minerals or other assets worth stripping. Is fighting terrorism – terrorism created in itself by “state players,” as lightly asserted by Brookings – a way of disguising blatant colonialism?
Let’s look at how Brookings hung out a sign offering a clear connection between “state” and “non-state” players and yet delivered something else – a strong dose of propaganda and poison.
Terminology itself, language as a weapon, is what really needs attention. The use of media in war is now a major issue in the US, with the FBI investigating journalists and independent media for what they believe is complicity with Russia, Syria and Iran against America. The real threat is elsewhere, and it has been there all along.
A recent study by Daniel Bayman at Brookings is a case in point. It was pushed into the mainstream by Insurge Intelligence, laundered into the public eye rather than left to fester as fodder for counter terrorism programs at community colleges and online schools.
Recognizing the problem is simple, America has no ability to identify rot from within – how organizations like the Brookings Institution, long government advisory organizations, had themselves been penetrated and controlled by foreign intelligence agencies hostile to the US.
In fact, the paper we will be discussing, How States Exploit Jihadists Foreign Fighters, is a case in point. From the abstract:
“Jihadist foreign fighters are frequently described as non-state actors whose prominence challenges the traditional, state-dominated international system and our understanding of it. In practice, however, foreign fighters rely heavily on the very states they reject.
Some of the most important foreign fighter movements in the world today receive massive and explicit state support, while still others rely on states to tolerate their fund-raising, transit, recruitment, and other core activities.
Yet the scope, scale, and nature of this reliance varies tremendously, as does its overall impact. To stop or at least limit these flows, it is vital to change the policies and capacities of these state backers.”
Formal papers are, in themselves, a racket. The concept is simple: a massive sea of funding, US government contracts, private donations laundered through fronts for the Mossad, India’s RAW, Britain’s MI6 and others, state intelligence agencies long ago created to support the world banking “community” and maintaining a world order favoring “corporatocracy.”
The term “stink tank” came into vogue as the pattern of interweaving narratives, all in support of conspiratorial hypotheses, became an industrialized product. Books are written, papers penned, pre-determined “studies” continually funded, an academia “on the take”, working hand in hand with what President Trump calls “the fake news.”
Anything that can be supported as source material is fabricated “on demand” though networks long put in place, indicating a longstanding program to infiltrate and control or “burn to the ground” all areas of public trust and confidence, leaving only themselves as the “last man standing.”
Let’s look at a glaring example of a false narrative gone wild. From the October 20, 2017 Washington Post:
“The city of Dickinson, Tex., located about 30 miles southeast of Houston, recently posted applications online for relief grants “from the funds that were generously donated to the Dickinson Harvey Relief Fund,” the city’s website says. The application, however, includes a provision requiring applicants to promise not to boycott Israel.
Section 11 of the four page document is titled, “Verification not to Boycott Israel.”
The text reads: “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”
The city attorney for Dickinson told a local television station he was only following a state law forbidding state agencies from doing business with Israel boycotters. The aid grant application has triggered a strong rebuke from the American Civil Liberties Union.”
The boycott referred to, known as BDS, standing for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” demands that Israel come into compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention’s prohibitions on ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
Here, a foreign government – supported by a collective narrative based on propaganda and, as we see here, blatant intimidation, well outside key concepts established in the US Constitution – is allowed to target free speech and freedom of expression.
We use this instance for a purpose. The story itself was heavily promoted and greatly critical of Israel and its supporters, on the surface at least. What is behind it is not so simple. This kind of foreign interference with American sovereignty is a calculated assault on the greatest institution of all, for Americans at least, the concept of independence and freedom, the message instilled in America by the founding fathers.
It isn’t just academia for sale. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations long ago put the idea of independent universities to rest when they funneled their grants into molding what “correct” opinions would be. And to this day, it has worked.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”