Saturday, October 05, 2013

Using Fear as a Tool to Manufacture Consent

One of the worst traits of modern governments is to fearmonger.   Fear is a weapon one that is deployed against a victim.   Governments that use fear do it to manipulate citizens, often to coerce them into consenting to the surrender of their rights and liberties.  It is nothing short of a psychological assault on the innocent.

This has been the stock in trade of American governments since 9/11.  Sadly, a dozen years later, it's still going on.

Obama's National Security Agency director, General Keith Alexander,  admitted that the administration has circulated  false accounts about terror attack plots and attempts to prop up support for the government's spying apparatus.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy pushed Alexander to admit that plot numbers had been fudged in a revealing interchange:
“There is no evidence that [bulk] phone records collection helped to thwart dozens or even several terrorist plots,” said Leahy. The Vermont Democrat then asked the NSA chief to admit that only 13 out of a previously cited 54 cases of foiled plots were genuinely the fruits of the government’s vast dragnet surveillance systems:
“These weren’t all plots, and they weren’t all foiled,” Leahy said, asking Alexander, “Would you agree with that, yes or no?”
“Yes,” replied Alexander.
Proof positive of what many of us have long posited: that under the flimsy guise of a targeted War on Terror, the surveillance state has established itself with little regard for an honest relationship with the American public.


Anonymous said...

Say something once, why not say it again?

Troy Thomas said...

I watched a movie the other day about the War on Drugs ("How to Make Money Selling Drugs". A decent documentary). Couldn't help noticing similarities between the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.
The DEA (and perhaps many other policing agencies) seems to rely upon arrest numbers for funding. And there seems to be little oversight of how the DEA enforces the USA's drug laws.
I wonder if the NSA and FBI and CIA have a similar impetus to gain their arrest numbers in order to receive more and more funding with little oversight from the US federal government.
Another commentator in the film also speaks of how modern police agencies have stopped doing actual police work in favor of dirty arrest tactics (arrest people who don't know how, or are too poor to use the court system to defend themselves).
His comment made me think of the NSA's desire to 'collect it all'. That isn't police work. That's spying. The NSA is too lazy to do real police work. Or maybe these organizations have forgotten how, if they ever knew.

Elliott Taylor said...

The trouble with revealing that our own governments have been using propaganda in order to manipulate the masses is that it eventually causes even relatively sane people to second guess their own perception of reality.

I often wonder just how deeply integrated Canada is with the USA. Or am I just being paranoid?

See the problem?

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Troy - I understand and share your concerns, all of them. You've raised important questions and we may pay for it if we fail to seek answers to them soon.

@ Elliott - fear and paranoia were used to great effect on the German people in the 30s. We can't pretend we haven't seen what it can do.

Okie said...

Having some significant business background, I can't help but think of who profits from these things. Then there's the power that has great appeal to some.

Ex. Amidst the furor over Syria's CW's and Western demands they be destroyed within a year or less, a lone article appeared, likely British media, can't recall, on the history of US and Russian agreement to destroy their CW's.

Basically the story goes such; agreement came to pass in 1993 and the CW's were supposed to be disposed of in a decade or less and for the US, the cost was to be between $2 and $3 billion.

Some say the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.

US CW's are projected to be completely destroyed in and around 2020, by the latest estimate (27 years). So far, the cost is $30 billion, not $2 to $3 billion.

I read today the Pentagon was bringing 350,000 non essential Federal Government workers back to work despite the shut down. Key words, non essential, Pentagon,350,000.

But heck why worry when the great minds of high finance have a plan to take care of all that? Money that's back by nothing but labor and in some cases, finite resources and whatever chicks you can get for free!