State-sponsored terrorism poses a significant challenge to the psychological well-being of the body politic. While evident in many geopolitical locales, this condition arising from such government abuses is especially prevalent in the West. Such a disorder is comparable to the psychological manipulation recognized on a micro-level in some spousal relationships.
The bodies of Tod Fletcher and his wife Susan were recovered at Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, California, in an apparent joint suicide.
By Vivian Lee
With a rash of “beheadings” sweeping the world, a horrified public is asked to see this depraved barbarity as The New Normal.
First we had the August “murder” on video of U.S. journalist James Foley, shown kneeling before a black-robed, masked figure brandishing a knife. Yes, even a rather small knife can do it (just as box-cutters can enable the hijacking of commercial airplanes). The perpetrator is identified as a member of the terrorist group ISIS (or IS or ISIL), which supposedly wants to install a new Islamic caliphate based in the region.
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]
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 August 13 James Tracy’s new program, Real Politik, debuted on the Truth Frequency Radio network. The hour-long interview show will be broadcast each Wednesday at 6:00PM Eastern Standard Time, and mp3 files of the program may be downloaded at TFR’s Real Politik page here following its initial airing.