Since mid-August 2014 major news organizations have conveyed videos allegedly found online by the SITE Intelligence Group. Unsurprisingly the same media have failed to closely interrogate what the private company actually is and whether the material it promotes should be accepted as genuine.
In an excerpt from a 1990 C-SPAN interview with Brian Lamb, Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, authors of the book Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel’s Intelligence Community (Houghton Mifflin 1990), describe (passage at about 2:40) how the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office officially refers to its subordinate organization “the Mossad”–Hebrew for “the institute” and denoting Israel’s most well-known intelligence agency–as the “Israeli Secret Intelligence Service,” or ISIS, “interestingly enough [drawing on] kind of the British model” for referencing such government entities, Raviv remarks.
Foreign policy analysts gathered before journalists at the Center for American Progress on September 12 in an event titled, “Combating the Islamic State.” The occasion was held to unveil the analysts’ co-authored report, “Supporting the Syrian Opposition: Lessons from the Field in the Fight Against ISIS and Assad.”
With few exceptions the news that will shape public discourse is subject to a de facto censorial process of powerful government and corporate elites beyond public accountability. It is here that Sigmund Freud’s notion of repression is especially helpful for assessing the decrepit state of media and public discourse in the United States.
[Image Credit: Wiki Commons]
In a recent editorial, “Smart-Meter Phobia Sad, But Don’t Cut Power,” the Palm Beach Post hyped safety claims of Florida Power and Light / Next Era Energy accompanying the utility’s statewide “smart meter” deployment while condemning the roughly 6,000 Florida households that have declined such technology.
Arab and Islamic Affairs Expert at New America Foundation, Brookings, Ties to CNN
Western news media are abuzz with reports on the latest alleged murder of an American journalist by the “Islamic State.” A professionally-produced video of the beheading of Steve Sotloff was presented for public consumption by the private intelligence contractor SITE Intelligence Group of Bethesda Maryland. “SITE” stands for Search for International Terrorist Entities.
Endless Propaganda Fuels “War on Terror”
By James F. Tracy
In the wake of World War I, erstwhile propagandist and political scientist Harold Lasswell famously defined propaganda as “the management of collective attitudes” and the “control over opinion” through “the manipulation of significant symbols.” The extent to which this tradition is enthusiastically upheld in the West and the United States in particular is remarkable. The American public is consistently propagandized by its government and corporate news media on the most vital of contemporary issues and events. Deception on such a scale would be of little consequence if the US was not the most powerful economic and military force on earth.
On July 9, 2014, 52 international scientists submitted a declaration to Health Canada, urgently calling on government to minimize the public’s exposure to the radiation emitted by wireless devices including cell and cordless phones, Wi-Fi, smart meters and baby monitors.
Currently, RF exposure guidelines in four countries. China, Russia, Italy, and Switzerland, based on biological effects, are 100 times more stringent than Canadian and U.S. guidelines.
An infirmity once characterizing the past century’s most severe totalitarian regimes has now taken root in Western public discourse and practice, a process akin to Orwellian “double think” acting as a form of de facto censorship preempting consideration of major issues and events. This mindset is obliquely shared by a majority of professional journalists, academics, and public office holders—in short, those who represent and lead public opinion. Their collective publicity of the unsaid preserves and perpetuates existing belief systems and power relations. To be sure, there are self-evident injunctions for those straying from such unspoken protocols, including expulsion from this professional class.
I was recently interviewed by Jaime Ortega of The Daily Journalist to address the topic of conspiracy theories and their impact on public discourse for the site’s forum, The Expert. Ortega states in an introductory email that he contacted me not only because of my academic background, but also given the fact that major media have bestowed on me “the reputation of a conspiracy theorist”(!) Mr. Ortega produced a thoughtful set of questions to contemplate in the exchange which appears below.-JFT