Does truth have a future in America?
| by Paul Craig Roberts
( January 3, 2013, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) There is no political, social, economic, or ideological agenda associated with this site. For the most part, readers who come to this site are capable of independent thought. They are aware that the media is agenda-driven and full of disinformation. They realize that voters do not control the government through the ballot box. Readers come to this site, because they are seeking explanations that are closer to the truth or more plausible than the self-serving ones they are given by the media, corporations, politicians, and government officials.
This makes readers of this site unique. In my 35 years of experience in journalism, I have found that most readers read in order to confirm what they already think and believe. It is the same for the right-wing and the left-wing. They cannot escape their ideological boxes and are creatures of their biases. They want their prejudices vindicated and their beliefs supported. A writer who tells them something that they do not want to hear receives abuse. These readers cannot benefit from facts and new information and change their minds. They already know everything and only want information that supports their beliefs and advances their agendas.
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If a writer makes the case so clear that readers simply cannot avoid it, the reader will intentionally misread the article or book and attack the writer for saying everything that he does not say. The chorus will join in the effort to shut down the unwelcome information before it reaches others.
The Israel Lobby uses the technique of branding everyone who criticizes, no matter how constructively and moderately, any Israeli government policy, no matter how egregious, an anti-semite. The Israeli government applies this tactic to its own Israeli political opposition and to Jews themselves who are branded “self-hating Jews” if they criticize government policy toward the Palestinians. The effect is to deprive the Israeli government of constructive criticism. Only the Israel Lobby could call former President Jimmy Carter an anti-semite. Anyone who is not totally enthusiastic about Israel’s theft of Palestinian lives and properties is an enemy of Israel. These wild accusations from the Israel Lobby deprive anti-semite of any meaning. Essentially, every moral person has become an anti-semite.
The identical hardline substitution of self-interest for factual reality characterizes the American right and left. The right-wing insists that America is going broke because of welfare spending. The left-wing persists in its belief that government is capable of great good if only the right people are in power and that social institutions, such as religion, and inanimate objects, such as guns, are responsible for human evil.
If a majority of Americans were like the readers of this site, truth could prevail over special interests. Reality would inform social, political, and economic life, and American prospects would be good. But when a majority are hostile to facts and truths that do not support their biases and serve their interests, there is a disconnect from reality, which is the situation in America today.
It is ironic that the left-wing, which has a large repertoire of tales of societies in the clutches of shamans, witch doctors and priests, imposes its own artificial or make-believe realities on social, political, and economic explanations. Leftists who appear to be oblivious to the militarized murderous police state erected by Bush and Obama still go out of their way to tell me how evil Ronald Reagan was and that I must also be evil because I served in the Reagan administration.
It is ironic that the Republican federal judges that the right-wing said were so desperately needed to save the Constitution are precisely the ones who have destroyed it. Americans can be indefinitely detained or assassinated by their government on suspicion alone without due process, because Republicans are enamored of the “unitary executive” theory of presidential power. The Republican Supreme Court gave private business corporations the right to purchase the US government in the name of free speech, because Republicans believe private interests should prevail over public interests.
It is easy to become discouraged by the clueless American majority. However, as insightful people have remarked in the past, it only takes a few determined people to change the world. On the other hand, in the past governments did not have such technological advantages as they have today. In a modern context, Paul Revere’s ride is hard to imagine. The British would have shot him out of the saddle with a drone. How far would Lenin have got if the Russian government had had spy drones everywhere?
Perhaps our hope today is that the government’s disinformation produces unintended consequences that overwhelm the government.
Hope or no hope, truth is becoming harder to come by. During the Vietnam war when Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, the New York Times published them. However, during the Iraq war when a National Security Agency whistleblower leaked the information to the New York Times that the Bush regime was spying on Americans without obtaining warrants from the FISA court as required by law, the New York Times told the White House and sat on the story for one full year until Bush was reelected. The newspaper might even have turned in the whistleblower. When the Guardian and other newspapers were threatened by the US government, they turned on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the suppliers of their headline stories.
To see the fate of whistleblowers, read Sibel Edmonds’ book, Classified Woman. Few people are willing to undergo such wear and tear in an effort to get truth to the American people.
There is another constraint on revealing truth. The human capital of people with inside knowledge is destroyed if they speak out. Position, contacts, invitations, income, and social life are all forfeited when an insider becomes a dissenter or a truth-teller. Only the extremely naive can believe that governments cannot keep conspiracies a secret, “because someone would talk.” No one talks, because talking harms the personal interests and human capital of the insider, and seldom does any good.
Al Jazeera was founded in the closing years of the 20th century to provide more objective news coverage of the Middle East than the spun news coverage of the Western media. The news organization soon fell afoul of Washington and its Middle Eastern puppet states and was reined in by censorship, threats, and actual physical attacks by US military forces on its Kabul and Baghdad offices.
Truth-tellers are inconvenient. Major General Antonio Taguba was given the assignment of conducting the official inquiry into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. Instead of covering up the incidents as he was expected to do for his third star, he produced a professional and truthful report. It was Taguba’s career that was terminated, not the careers of those responsible for the illegal torture of prisoners. Gen. Taguba was instructed to resign by Gen. Richard Cody, the Vice-Chief of Staff of the Army. When told that he was going to be investigated, Taguba said, “I’d been in the Army 32 years by then, and it was the first time that I thought I was in the Mafia.”
General Benton K. Partin, the US Air Force’s munitions expert, wrote to Senator Trent Lott on July 30, 1995: “The attached report contains conclusive proof that the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was not caused solely by the truck bomb. Evidence shows that the massive destruction was primarily the result of four demolition charges placed at critical structural points at the third floor level.”http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/OK/PARTIN/ok8.htm Partin was Commander of the Air Force Armament Technology Laboratory and had ultimate responsibility for all nonnuclear weapons in the Air Force. His report fell on deaf ears and disappeared down the memory hole.
So did the report of University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Niels Harrit, a member of a team of scientists who found reacted and unreacted nano-thermite in the dust of the World Trade Center towers. The findings of this scientific team are known in Europe and Canada, but were not reported by the US media. Anyone who still believes the official story of 9/11 should listen to the interview with this accomplished scientist or read, if able, the scientific paper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC3Se86IBAw
They should also read the 9/11 Toronto Report: International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001. Hearings were held at a Canadian university in Toronto on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at which experts and professionals presented evidence that the official story of 9/11 is improbable. The hearings were conducted as if they were a grand jury proceeding before a panel of judges consisting of accomplished scholars and Judge Ferdinando Imposimato, the Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy. Judge Imposimato cut his teeth as the “scourge of the Mafia.” His cases involved the kidnapping and murder of Italian President Aldo Moro, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, and the Mafia assassination of Carabinieri General Carlo Alberto Della Chiesa.
Judge Imposimato concluded, as did the other accomplished members of the panel, that “the omissions of relevant evidence in the NIST investigation and the investigation of the Pentagon, their contradictions and the lack of independence and impartiality, as a body controlled by the Bush administration, requires an impartial, independent scientific investigation group.”
As far as I am able to ascertain, the Toronto Hearings and the decisions based on evidence alone by the panel of judges was never reported in the US media. Not a single member of the US Congress raised even one question. The American presstitutes were utterly silent.
The country in which we live is one in which the available information consists of the government’s lies. Information in the alternative media does not have a track record with the wider public. Some of the sites are too loony to be taken seriously, and the information provided by credible sites is too different from what the public hears from the print and TV media for the public to take it seriously. I have wondered if governments are behind the worst sites in order to discredit alternative media.
Government agencies and corporations recognize the threat posed to their control of explanations by internet writers and hire “trolls” to use the comment sections of sites to discredit truth-tellers. The combination of trolls and readers who only want to hear what they want to hear can bury the truths that try to emerge.
The year 2012 consisted of a continuous sequence of destructive acts by Congress and the White House. In a final destructive act, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013. This act continues the unconstitutional grant of power to the executive branch to violate all rights of US citizens. In the US laws cannot take precedence over the Constitution. Yet, we now have successive National Defense Authorization Acts that render the Bill of Rights moot.
There is no public uproar over the idea that national defense requires that US citizens lose the protection of law that is granted by the US Constitution. When citizens stand defenseless before their own government, what national defense do they have?
The obvious conclusion is that most Americans are indifferent to liberty and are content with tyranny.
I am not indifferent. I cannot promise to always be right and never make a mistake, but with your financial and moral support, truth will continue to have a future on this site.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.