“History is bunk!” Henry Ford used to say. I’m not sure what he meant exactly but generally speaking he is right. History, as commonly portrayed is bunk because it is usually propaganda of some kind told from an ideological perspective. American is, according to most American’s view of history, the exception. In America we play fair, fight fair and seek freedom and happiness for all human beings. We believe that everyone should live like we do because, obviously, the way we live is far superior to anyone else. This is an assumption that underlies all U.S. involvement in wars and foreign adventures. Simply because we decide to act it means we act, always, in good faith. This is almost the default state of all Americans even on the so-called “left.” Liberals will say that Iraq, for example, was a “mistake” and that we ought not have gone in but we meant to bring democracy and human rights to Iraq we just flubbed it because there was a Republican Administration at the time. These people need no evidence they just assume that we mean well. They assume that American soldiers go into action to bring freedom not revenge, not needless violence, not looting, not just because they enjoy shooting at people and killing them or even just like to see things blow up.
American Exceptionalism is an insane idea but it is very useful to the “Deep State” that permanent government made up of the permanent bureaucracy and their allies and sponsors in the corporate and contractor world. To anyone who can reason above middle-school level it is obvious that this Deep State exists. People often call it “Washington” of “the Government” when they are not specifically referring to the Administration or Congress. They know, instinctively, that this entity operates continually with its own agenda regardless of who specifically happens to be in the White House or which party rules Congress. Yet, I was specifically kicked off as a regular contributor to a web publication and discussion forum precisely because I would not stop mentioning the “Deep State” because, since I was quite popular on the site, I was dragging discussions in the muck and certain powerful people didn’t like it. I was not really surprised because even very “progressive” media outlets simply do not wish to go anywhere near the subject while internet media on the right is much more ready to do so.
Let’s get down to specifics here. Let’s start with where the rubber meets the road–money! The big money is in the National Security Budget so if, for example, tensions in the world start easing then companies who are used to a regular (very, very , very high) income suddenly will have to start having to use their skills in other areas. This is what happened after the Cold War ended–there was some confusion about finding “enemies” to pursue. Terrorism had not had a chance to build up at the time, the Russians were supine being looted by the usual suspects and the Chinese were inwardly facing. Saddam Hussein, who had been very close to the CIA and the U.S. was, in my view, lured or tricked into invading Kuwait and the rest is history (and mainly bunk). In actual fact, the Deep State, had wanted to be involved militarily in the Middle East for some time (outside of Israel) in order to militarily control Mid East oil which, in turn, allowed the U.S. to maintain World Domination (the goal of the Deep State). The Military Industrial Complex had to have a reason for being and guaranteeing cheap oil gave the U.S. leverage over Europe and Asia–neither party could possibly oppose the will of the U.S. and that “will” is the will of the Deep State that had, as we’ve discussed, has its origin in WWI and came into full fruition just after WWII with the National Security Act of 1947 that established the CIA and other “tools” for the President to use in order to give him power above and beyond what the Constitution and the Founders intended, it was, in many ways and act that gave an opened ended right for the Executive Branch to act without informing the Legislative or Judicial Branches of government. To put it another way, theoretically those Branches could supervise the CIA and other mechanisms in the NSC act but in practice there were loopholes in the law that you could drive a camel through.
Let’s be clear here–when the U.S. government made secrecy an institution then secrecy would be kept. The assumption when the NSA came into being was that Americans, being exceptional, would use secrecy to keep enemies guessing and use it only to protect the USA not for their won purposes or to pursue their own interests. After the high of winning WWII it was hard to believe that a country with a diverse population that had come together to achieve such mighty acts could be corrupted by power. Every institution in the U.S. came together to achieve a common purpose with only a minimum of corruption, i.e., certainly there was corruption but it did not seriously interfere with the ability to wage war in two operational theaters. It was hard for leaders of that time to imagine that the new secret organizations would pursue policies that would run counter to the common interest.
But, in fact, this is precisely what happened as could have easily been predicted by any serious historian not caught up in the bliss of victory and of sitting on top of the world. We Americans had, more than any other army in the world, refrained from raping and looting on the scale many other armies had done, for example the Soviets who had looted and raped its way through Germany in an orgy of revenge for even worse acts carried out by the Germans. The U.S. military was not only the best behaved bunch (with some exceptions) but the most benign. American military occupation was fair, mainly honest and genuinely interested in getting those areas up and moving out of the poverty and misery that existed in many parts of the world. On the surface, the new Rome, that dominated the world in 1947 seemed to be a godsend.
Of course, as we’ve discussed, parts of the government were acting quickly to dominate European politics first in Greece and then in Italy to keep leftists out of power through covert action. Each of those two places has its own story and, in fact, actions taken in the late forties still effect both countries. The U.S. acted quickly to establish its mark on Iran in 1953 to not only overthrow an honest and democratic system in Iran but to partly run the country until the fall of the shah in the late seventies. I was told, at one time, by CIA people that Iran was the “CIA playground” and they could do, while in that country, anything they wanted to because they were above the law or were the law. This is pretty heady stuff. Imagine a person being assigned to that country and able to do entirely as they pleased–to go after a pretty girl, to steal valuable art whatever they wanted to do. Because the CIA was able to carve out an “above top-secret world answerable to no one, they were able to create their own world, their own networks. Allen Dulles who was DCI from 1953 to 1961 created the modern CIA and expanded its scope from collecting foreign intelligence and covert operations to include manipulation of not only foreign governments but our own government and its institution. No part of American life was free from CIA influence. Through Operation Mockingbird it planted propaganda in the U.S. press as well as hired or blackmailed a large number of American (and foreign) journalists and editors to toe the CIA line.
When JFK started asserting his right as President to fully determine National Security policy he found out that his office did not have direct control over the CIA–at least not all parts of the operation. He was misled during the Bay of Pigs invasion and afterwards fired Allen Dulles because of his duplicity. Dulles, of course, while officially out of office probably still ran the CIA. When it was clear, after the Cuban Missile Crisis that President Kennedy was completely fed up with America’s National Security establishment (they all wanted him to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union (the Joint Chiefs believed that they could kill 150 million Soviets at the cost of “only” 40 million deaths in the United States), began to try to use his own increasingly close relationship with the Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to try and end the Cold War since both these leaders were fighting their own security establishments in trying to minimize tensions between the two countries. This was, in the eyes of the Cold Warriors whose identity and living depended on the continuance of a Cold War. If you think about it, a Cold War has the benefit of war in that citizens of both countries could be persuaded that there was an existential threat that only a strong security establishment could protect them from (protection racket) for more on this do your own search but here is a place to start.
Since 1947 the CIA acting independently had set up a number of relationships with organized crime, it ran a prostitution ring (the building in Roslyn Virginia was pointed out to me by my father one day as we were driving), was involved in the drug trade (mainly with Nationalists Chinese operatives) even before Vietnam and was in the business of assassinations, overthrowing governments or threatening national leaders who knew very well the CIA was able to change governments of smaller states and even attempted to get rid of the French President Charles De Gaulle according to a front page story in the Chicago Tribune in 1975.
But the most monumental crimes the CIA committed were yet to come. For a number of reasons it was generally recognized in the institutions involved in the Cold War and National Security that Kennedy was a loose cannon that had to be stopped. Kennedy had made it known and had written a directive to stop the movement towards war in Vietnam; read this article for more information on this specifically. Kennedy had shown himself to be unfriendly to the Establishment in almost every sphere and many believed he had to be stopped at all costs (for more on the atmosphere of that time and motives for getting rid of JFK the best book on this is JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass).
I believe he was killed by a plot involving the CIA and its network of associates in organized crime and the military for starters but having “permission” from other major institutions. The evidence against the official story is beyond overwhelming–there is simply no chance that the events as described can be correct (see an exhaustive examination of JFK facts by the works of Jim Di Eugenio and the series 50 Reasons for 50 Years on the web). But the most compelling and easy to understand fact comes from the assassination of President Kennedy’s brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy to was killed at the very moment that it was nearly certain he was going to be the next POTUS on an anti-war platform. Since we all understand that murders in police procedural dramas always start with an autopsy and the fact that the autopsy of President Kennedy was completely ambiguous and the chain of evidence lost (we don’t even know if JFK’s body is really his so badly did events proceed) that we have to go to RFK’s autopsy. In the Coroner’s Report Thomas Noguchi found that Senator Kennedy fatal shot was to the back of the head fired at point-blank range from below. That means that the official story that Sirhan Sirhan killed RFK is simply wrong–and yet, it stood up. And there’s the heart of the matter for me. Because that would mean that the police, the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney and everyone else involved had to be, in a sense, part of the conspiracy–how would that work?
We see that in neighborhoods dominated by street gangs or organized crime that when a crime is committed no on ever sees anything or has anything to say. Why is that? Because if they are seen to talk to the cops their lives will be over–gangsters rule by force and by fear and rewards. In the case of 9/11, for example, all the major actors in decision making positions were promoted rather than disciplined because they stuck to the official story. What I’m trying to say, more to the point, is that we are ruled today as we have been for many decades by a criminal gang that rules as most societies have been ruled, i.e., brute force. To anyone familiar with the life of “the street” they know that you have freedom except in areas declared off limits. As long as you don’t question authority you have a lot of scope for living. This is true with our country. As long as you follow the rules appropriate for your station in life you can play video games, talk about the Kennedy assassinations express skepticism and even hatred for the government and you will not be harassed. But if you’re a journalist getting into the wrong area the forget it–they’ll take action depending on your position. If you’re Chris Hedges your Pulitzer Prize does not exclude you from being thrown out of your long-held position at the New York Times, America’s foremost propaganda organ. If you’re another Pulitzer Prize winner named Seymour Hersh and you publish a piece that questions the media/government story on the Syrian poison gas crisis in the U.S. If Hersh writes a story that does not cross the lines the official propaganda has drawn (you cannot question Washington’s reasons for going to war–they are always right) then he can write to his heart’s content. Men like Hedges who continue to doubt official policy cannot publish in any mainstream outlet.
So there we have it–we live under not just an oligarchy as many people are now beginning to say but are ruled by a criminal gang. In some ways, like gangsters on the street that I knew, they can be benign and helpful. They are not monsters they are just people who play the game of power. They cannot afford to be gentle when their interests are stepped on and will smite their enemies if they are. If you seriously threaten powerful gangsters on the Street they will kill you and perhaps, rarely, your family as well as a warning to others. Because Americans are infected with the opium dream of American Exceptionalism most Americans, even if they see direct evidence of what I just described, cannot see it. We are democracy, they insist and we believe in human rights and human decency and in the philosophy of Jesus Christ. But the ruling elites certainly do not share those beliefs any more than a boxer believes in turning the other cheek.
So what is left? How can we reform society? We really cannot do much of anything. Not because the criminal gangs (I believe we are now in a period were factions are at war with each other) are horrible monsters but because culturally we are not in a place to even imagine what reform might look like because most Americans, as I said, are not able to grasp or want to grasp the simplest aspects of realpolitik. The controversies and scandals are all aimless posturings and symbolic events that mask what is really going on where the rubber meats the road–where money is exchanged for services rendered and where threats and bribes happen. We pretend none of this is happening while knowing full well that it is. That’s the tragedy of the United States–we know but we don’t allow ourselves to freely admit it. We know that Daddy may be fucking sister but we pretend not to notice.