Conspiracy theories, covert operations, and the Deep State
by Brett I. Kier | 7 October 2016
Henry G. Frankfurt remarked in his book, “On Bullshit,” that: “Bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.” It should also be said that the most ubiquitous enemies of truth – and most insidious lies – are sins of omission, which are far more corrosive to the pursuit of truth in that they are an attempt to create the impression that something never happened or simply does not exist.
The information revolution ushered in by the internet has created both opportunities and threats, as well revealed the strengths and weaknesses possessed by students and teachers in terms of their understanding of the world and the choices that flow from that understanding. Access to large amounts of information has required a greater degree of critical thinking and discernment across all of the academic disciplines. Consequently, both students and teachers are deeply vulnerable to institutional propaganda and the use of what Reinhold Niebuhr referred to as “emotionally potent oversimplifications.”
Like the elusive sighting of a baby seagull, the teaching and learning of history possess a glaring intellectual blind-spot in the minds of both students and teachers. The “who, what, why, and how” of history are fundamental questions whose orthodox answers are misleading at best, and at worst, wrong. This assertion suggests that there is a great deal of historical revisionism taking place, which should be properly understood in this context as an interpretation of history whose purpose is to obfuscate and mislead.
The orthodox writers of history are, by ignorance or by design, engaged in something far more corrupting than that, because historical revisionism implies a new interpretation articulated from a different perspective, not a new hypothesis based on new information, heretofore unknown, which is exactly what is at issue here.
The concept of conspiracy theory is perhaps the most apropos example of historical revisionism, at least as it is popularly understood. The term conspiracy theory should be understood as a term which was seeded into the American consciousness by a CIA propaganda campaign, whose purpose was to discredit critics (i.e., everyday Americans) of the Warren Commission, who did not believe the findings released about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Through the careful and repetitive shaping and framing of the narrative, the media, or more accurately, CIA assets working in the media, this campaign successfully created a powerful idea. Namely, that “conspiracy theorists” are people who do not believe what the government says and are operating in a world which is not evidence based, i.e., they believe things which have no basis in fact. This was arguably one of the most successful propaganda operations in American history, as the term “conspiracy theory” has remained in our lexicon as a mainstay to describe the views held by delusional paranoid crackpots. Consequently, disputations about historical events do not emanate from the relative strength or preponderance of the evidence, but in the level of resistance one experiences in accepting readily observable, albeit controversial, facts.
Covert operations like the ones outlined below are a commonplace activity engaged in by the national security establishment of all governments, especially the United States. And because they are commonplace, covert operations should be correctly understood, at the very least, as significant shapers of history. So the glaring question is this: Why are students of history, even at the graduate level, not learning in any significant detail, about a part of their government whose expertise and activities include illegal arm sales to foreign governments, warrantless spying on its own citizens, drug running, rigging elections, torture, blackmail, extortion, and political assassinations? The answer to this question reveals the contradiction between the honne and tatamae of the study of history – the truth and the façade.
If the history of covert operations are discussed in any depth by teachers and perused by students, what will become immediately clear is that the “good will always triumph over evil – and We are good” narrative is simply a platitude which is told to children, much like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. More broadly, it will become clear that the State as a political idea is ethically bankrupt, and routinely engages in criminality at the highest levels. Moreover, it will also reveal the systemic nature of political corruption, as opposed to the bad-apple narrative that points to a linear moral progression of history, whereupon man is moving toward a transhumanist utopia free of all things evil, which is essentially a dispensationalist model of history where the final judgment will cleanse us all and usher in 1000 years of peace. This realization and existential first principle is the entry point for a clearer understanding of history, as well as the nature of politics and government.
The Deep State
A careful examination of the covert activities of the national security state will establish the existence of the Deep State. The existence of the Deep State will in turn, by definition, establish the existence of a parallel government, though not wholly independent from the government created by the US Constitution, operating within the United States. Although somewhat interdependent with the government that most citizens interact with on a daily basis, it possesses its own set of operating parameters, legal framework, budget, funding streams, institutional structure, and rules of engagement. The Deep State also exists as part of an international system, whose raison d’être is identical to that of any other government, namely the consolidation of political and economic power.
During the Iran-Contra Congressional Hearings in the late 1980s, Senator Daniel Inouye described the Deep State this way: “[There exists] a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.” And on April 6, 1977 in an act of political self-emulation and extreme candor, President Richard Nixon went so far as to explain in very clear terms the mind of the Deep State: “If the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.” Not only did this pronouncement reveal the mind of the Deep State, it also articulated the mind of the State more broadly, for the logic of the Deep State dictates that legal justification follows rather than precedes State action. Thus, the State avoids criminal culpability through an extra-legal ex post facto indemnification process. Efforts towards this end were made famous in the modern era by the so-called Torture Memos, written by John Yoo.
As to the pedigree of this perspective, it possesses deep roots in classical antiquity. In Plato’s dialogue, Euthyphro, a fundamental theological question is posed: “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” The ethical formulation of this question is further posed in this way: “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?” In the context of jurisprudence and the scope of State power, the formulation above can be understood as posing the following question: “Is what is legal commanded by the President because it is legal, or is it legal because it is commanded by the President?” Because the logic of the Deep State follows the latter proposition in the affirmative, it essentially asserts the power of an absolute monarchy.
The structure and activities of this parallel government are not taught or discussed in compulsory education, and do not appear in the curriculum of any state standards guidelines for any academic subject, nor is any admission made as to its existence. The following examples are illustrative of the depth of the sins of omission that exist in academia starting early on in a child’s education, and continue well into the graduate level. They were chosen because they speak directly to the underpinnings of our basic presuppositions about how the world functions; and if examined, require that we reevaluate our ontological positions.
Proof of the Existence of the Deep State
There are very few examples that represent, in such stark terms, the sins of omission that are rife in the halls of mainstream academia than the findings of the Reece Committee and their implications for an accurate understanding of who controls the government, the nature of its agenda, and the existence of the Deep State. It would be time well spent to read the Committee’s report, as well as watch the interview about these findings discussed below. In 1954, the United States House Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations, also known as the Reece Committee, was tasked with determining whether or not foundations operating in the Unites States were using their power and influence in an unconstitutional manner.
In 1982, Norman Dodd, the Director of Research of the Reece Committee was interviewed by respected and well-known journalist G. Edward Griffin. Dodd’s comments about the investigation are instructive and deserve extensive quotation:
Mr. Griffin: “There is quite a bit of publicity given to your conversation with Rowan Gaither. Will you please tell who he was, and what was the conversation you had with him?”
Mr. Dodd: “Rowan Gaither was, at that time, President of the Ford Foundation. Mr. Gaither had sent for me, when I found it convenient to be in New York. He asked me to call upon him at his office, which I did.
Upon arrival, after a few amenities, Mr. Gaither said, ‘Mr. Dodd, we have asked you to come up here today, because we thought that, possibly, off the record, you would tell us why the Congress is interested in the activities of foundations such as ourselves.’
And, before I could think of how I would reply to that statement, Mr. Gaither then went on, and voluntarily stated, ‘Mr. Dodd, all of us who have a hand in the making of policies here, have had experience either with the OSS during the war, or with European economic administration after the war. We have had experience operating under directives. The directives emanate, and did emanate, from the White House. Now, we still operate under just such directives. Would you like to know what the substance of these directives is?’
I said, ‘Yes, Mr. Gaither, I would like very much to know.’ Whereupon, he made this statement to me, ‘Mr. Dodd, we are here to operate in response to similar directives, the substance of which is that we shall use our grant-making power so to alter life in the United States, that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.’
Well, parenthetically, Mr. Griffin, I nearly fell off the chair. I, of course, didn’t, but my response to Mr. Gaither then was, ‘Oh, Mr. Gaither, I can now answer your first question. You’ve forced the Congress of the United States to spend a hundred and fifty thousand dollars to find out what you have just told me.’ I said, ‘Of course, legally, you’re entitled to make grants for this purpose. But, I don’t think you’re entitled to withhold that information from the People of this country, to whom you’re indebted for your tax exemption. So why don’t you tell the People of the country just what you told me?’ And his answer was, ‘We would not think of doing any such thing.’ So, then I said, ‘Well, Mr. Gaither, obviously, you forced the Congress to spend this money, in order to find out what you just told me.’”
Norman Dodd’s statements above justifiably call into question the entire narrative surrounding the US relationship with the Soviet Union. Mr. Dodd went on to explain how it became the mission of the Carnegie Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim, and the Rockefeller Foundation to work in concert to control the US Department of State and the educational system in the United States in order to shape the minds of citizens so that they understood the values of the American Founding and the Constitution to be anathema to progress, and that the future prosperity of America lie in collectivism generally, and socialism in particular. The findings of the Committee show that there was a concerted effort at the highest levels of the national security establishment to undermine the legal foundation of the United States, i.e. the Constitution. Additionally, it found that the oligarchs behind these foundations where responsible for US participation in WWI and WWII, the formation of the Federal Reserve, and all of the stock market crashes before and after its formation.
This was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program, starting in the 1950s, that recruited American and foreign journalists and media outlets in order to create a network that ran propaganda campaigns to influence the American people in ways that the CIA found most beneficial to its agenda. The program also financed student organizations like the National Student Association, and cultural movements like the women’s liberation movement. This program has continued to this day, with the government secretly acting as a media source, writing news stories and producing action movies about itself. The government’s involvement in the creation of propaganda for consumption by its citizens is a particularly important aspect of evaluating historical events, especially in the information age, as it requires one to entertain the possibility that the information they are receiving from their government and the media in general is intentionally false and misleading. For as James Jesus Angleton, head of CIA Counter Intelligence from 1954-1974 rather candidly explained: “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the State.”
Perhaps one of the most significant CIA programs in modern history, primarily because of its long term consequences, Operation Cyclone armed and financed the mujahedeen in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. Its purpose was to draw the Soviet Union into a Vietnam-style conflict that would deplete its military and financial resources to weaken it sufficiently to gain the upper hand in the Cold War. In order to fill the ranks of the mujahedeen, a radical Islamist military force, the CIA hired a recruiter from a wealthy Saudi Family with contacts throughout the Middle East named Osama Bin Laden. Tim Osman, the CIAs code name for Bin Laden, was successful in recruiting freedom fighters from the most radical, anti-democratic countries in the Middle East. The United States’ plan to reduce the power and influence of the Soviet Union was largely successful.
At this point, the blowback hypothesis, as presented in the film Charlie Wilson’s War, where the United States carelessly ignored the radical elements sprouting up in the wake of the removal of US military support, is presented. What should have happened, so the story goes, is that a status of forces agreement should have been negotiated, along with some good ole fashioned nation building. Never mind that Tim Osman or Osama Bin Laden are rarely if ever mentioned in the description of Operation Cyclone – more important is what happens next.
After the war in Afghanistan, the mujahedeen, the proxy army that the CIA created, was transported on US planes to fight in the Yugoslav Wars starting 1991. The CIA renamed the mujahedeen, and called it Al Qaeda, which means, “the base,” or “the database,” or alternatively, “the list.” This “list” represented a portfolio of America’s very own radical Islamic jihadists. This proxy army was used to destabilize the Middle East and help project US power in the fight for the Heartland of Central Asia. During the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Al Qaeda in Iraq was renamed ISIS/ISIL, and allowed by the United States to move westward into Syria in order to destabilize the government and remove its president, Bashar Al Assad. The “moderate opposition,” called the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting to unseat Bashar Al Assad, is comprised of ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters which were trained in US military bases in Jordan.
September 11th, 2001
The American origin story of the 21st Century, 9/11 has shaped the modern geopolitical world more than any other event in recent history. For all its rhetorical power, it is not discussed in schools in any detail prior to college, and if it is mentioned in middle or high school, little more than a day is given to its treatment. But more importantly, as the title of this piece suggests, it is what is not said that is far more problematic. Below are some glaring examples of what is simply not addressed in the publication of the 9/11 Commission’s finding, the Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, released on July 26, 2004. These examples prove at best, that the Commission’s findings are not supported by the available evidence; and at worst, prove there was extensive government complicity at the highest levels in the events of 9/11.
First, forensic analysis of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7 discovered the existence of explosive residue, along with extremely high levels of tritium, indicating a nuclear reaction took place at ground zero. This, along with the video evidence of the collapse of the buildings, especially WTC7, proves that explosives were used in their destruction, which has been extensively researched and tested by mechanical engineers both inside and outside the United States. This also corroborates the eyewitness testimony of the firefighters and victims within the buildings.
Second, Norman Mineta, the US Transportation Secretary under the George W. Bush, testified during the 9/11 Commission Hearings about his eyewitness account inside the Presidential Emergency Operating Center (PEOC). Most of his testimony did not appear in the Final Report, nor were the contradictions that his testimony revealed about Vice President Cheney’s assertions of the event discussed below explained. They revealed a remarkable piece of evidence that lends a great deal of legitimacy to the worst case scenario, namely, that the government was complicit at the highest levels. Secretary Mineta testified the following to Lee Hamilton:
“During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President… ‘The plane is 50 miles out’… ‘The plane is 30 miles out’….and when it got down to ‘The plane is 10 miles out,’ the young man also said to the Vice President, ‘Do the orders still stand?’ And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, ‘Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary!?’”
The two conclusions that follow from his testimony are that the “orders” were to stand-down, or shoot-down the aircraft heading toward the Pentagon. It should be mentioned here that there are anti-aircraft missiles at the Pentagon for the purpose of defending itself against an aerial attack. If one rules out the possibility of some kind of catastrophic technical malfunction preventing missiles from being deployed in defense of the Pentagon, one must conclude that the “orders” were to stand down, as no defensive measures were taken. This establishes the complicity of the US government in facilitating the attack on the Pentagon.
Third, on September 11th, 2001, there were 46 drills underway ranging from emergency service response to military readiness, all of which either closely or exactly mimicked the actual terrorist attacks on the day. Staging drills and turning the drills into actual events is a phenomenon that is well known among military strategists as a method by which drills “go live,” so as to execute a surprise attack against an enemy. The drills on 9/11 successfully helped the perpetrators of the attacks to complete their mission, as it moved military assets far beyond their normal patrol areas which slowed military response time of hijacked aircraft, and created artificial radar data at FAA and NORAD, making it nearly impossible to know what was part of a drill and what was real. Crucially, the attackers needed to possess the knowledge of the exact details of the drills in order to piggyback on the exercises if their plans were to succeed. This kind of knowledge was protected at the highest levels of the national security establishment, which leads to two possible conclusions: the terrorists successfully secured this information with no help from key figures within the US government, an incredulous hypothesis to say the least; or the terrorists secured this knowledge with the cooperation and complicity of key personnel within the government.
United States – Israel Relations
In the United States, critiques of Israel, at least on the Left, surround the treatment of the Palestinians in and around the Gaza Strip, and Israeli influence on US domestic and foreign policy. What both the Left and Right agree with is Israel’s “right to exist,” and its precarious geopolitical position, with most of the countries in the region viewing them as enemies. At no time, at least in the mainstream, has there been a sustained discussion about Israel’s national security apparatus being directed at the United States. Israel is not discussed as having committed terrorist attacks against the United States, stealing sensitive military secrets, or directing a massive spy network to engage in espionage against the United States.
On June 8, 1967, the US Naval Auxiliary Technical Research Ship, USS Liberty was intentionally attacked by unmarked Israeli military aircraft and torpedo boats, resulting in the death of 34 crew members and the wounding of 171 more. Israel maintains that this attack occurred in error, as they asserted that the ship was mistaken for an Egyptian vessel, the El Quseir. However, the US ship was clearly marked and completely unlike the Egyptian vessel, and was widely believed by US military leaders as a preposterous claim. Both the US and Israeli governments engaged in one of the greatest cover-ups in military history. This was not without controversy at the time, as Captain Ward Boston gave a signed affidavit to the press which stated that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara instructed those investigating the attack that they were to “conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” Later unearthed radio communications and documents from the day revealed that the Israeli pilots were fully aware they were firing on a US Naval ship, and perpetrated the attack in order to blame it on Egypt in an effort to drag the US into the Six-Day War.
Then, in 1968, shortly after the Six-Day War, it was discovered through a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), that Israel had obtained nuclear weapons. After numerous investigations by the FBI and the CIA, it was revealed that Israeli intelligence (Mossad), along with other associated departments in the Israeli government successfully set up a shell company in the United States called the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC), located in Apollo, Pennsylvania. NUMECs purpose was to manufacture fissile material and send it to Israel, along with sensitive engineering processes, so that Israel could become a nuclear power. At NUMEC, Israeli operatives were able to illegally send highly enriched uranium (HEU), aka weapons grade uranium, along with nuclear processing and engineering secrets to Israel. In short, Israel stole the bomb from the United States. From 1959-1977, NUMEC was able to ship over 700 hundred pounds of HEU to Israel, enough to produce dozens of nuclear warheads. No person or agency was ever held criminally liable for this catastrophe, primarily because a massive cover-up by key personnel at the highest levels of government prevented that from happening, which allowed the theft to continue after it was discovered in 1968, until its end in 1977. President Lyndon Johnson was fully aware of these activities, and just like the terrorist attack on the USS Liberty, he and his administration intentionally took no action against Israel.
Decades later, after 9/11, the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered that the Israeli government was running the biggest spy ring ever operating inside the United States (bigger than the USSR during the Cold War). Israel denied any involvement. The operation involved, in part, the wiretapping of all US law enforcement for local, state, and federal government, as well as many US intelligence operations. As a result, 60 Israeli spies were held in connection with the investigation. It was discovered that the intelligence gained from the wiretapping operation was used by organized crime in Israel and by the Mossad. This information was sold to other nations, with Russia being one of the suspected buyers. Parenthetically, it should be noted that investigative journalist Carl Cameron put together the details of this story in a Fox News report which was never aired and subsequently removed from their website.
Speaking in critical terms about Israel is generally understood to be anti-Semitic. However, the distinction between anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist is an important one, as the former is a racial and cultural prejudice, while the latter is a critique of a political agenda that could be described as a form of cultural imperialism. Parenthetically, the evangelical spirit of monotheism has a long tradition, with all of the Abrahamic faiths possessing their own imperialistic penchant, Judaism being cultural, Christianity being economic, and Islam being theological. Accordingly, Israel seeks to expand its influence like any other State, but also sees itself in an existential crisis, where the survival of its people and way of life are at stake. This is not to suggest that this assertion is inaccurate, but simply to observe that no State can rightly assert the moral high ground while simultaneously pursuing an expansionist political agenda.
Critiques of history and the history of the Unites States in particular are allowable if they are framed in ideological terms, following a Left-Right paradigm. Howard Zinn’s scholarship is generally considered the new standard for secondary education, at least in terms of how the United States is supposed to view itself as a nation. Self-flagellation of the American psyche vis-à-vis its history and origin story is generally how this critique is framed on the Right; and is commonly understood as originating from the Fabian Society, the Frankfurt School, and the cultural Marxist wing of academia generally. Depending on whom you ask, however, this “wing” of academia may represent something approaching a veto-proof majority.
Polemics against multiculturalism aside, it would be more accurate to describe the critique offered here as not so much anti-Left or Right, but anti-Statist. It is anti-Statist in the sense that a careful examination of the expansion of the power of the national security state and running of covert operations inside and outside of the United States would inevitably lead to the conclusion that the State poses the greatest threat to the people living under the umbrella of protection it is said to provide. As far as representative government is concerned, any cursory investigation into the flow and control of capital into the government would require one to declare its existence an illusory shrine to an unrealized promise. Therefore, it can be said without being accused of hyperbole that de facto rule of law is a simulacrum of justice.
Some may offer the rejoinder that the complexities of the world dictate that trade-offs have to be made, that instead of the rather naïve categorical imperative, we must pursue a utilitarian calculus to political decision-making. This defense strengthens the very point being made above. If this is the case, there are no black hats and white hats, just means to an end – and that end is the preservation of the State. And because all States by their very nature see themselves as having the right to exist, and seek to expand their influence, a zero-sum game ensues, which is the study of the history of the human condition.
What occurs in academia today goes far beyond what James W. Loewen’s efforts seek to ameliorate, and have more to do with protecting the establishment in all its permutations, as the intelligentsia often drive the narrative and shape the laws promulgated by policy makers. One need only look at the American and French revolutionary traditions to observe this fact. A new history needs to be written, not a revisionist history in the Zinn tradition that seeks to view events from a different perspective, but a history of the sins of omission… a history of the people and events that are simply erased from existence, as if they were never there. Perhaps it could be called, “Things My Teacher Never Told Me, Or Maybe Just Didn’t Know.”
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
~ George Orwell