Our Totalitarian GOP...And you thought SPECTRE was fiction?
Our current GOP candidates include some outright fascists. That is the only conclusion I can draw from their efforts to outdo each other in shameless fear-mongering over Syria and the remedies they offer of increased internal spying. After all fear-mongering over Ebola got many of them elected in the off-year election last year. They need the scapegoat of a "terror threat" to terrorize people into voting for them. These are spiritual vampires who live on fear. What can you expect? The fear-mongering is just "disaster" opportunism and newspeak.
But what worries me is that while the candidates call for official spying on "Arabs", articles like this one in Politico, The Koch intelligence agency By Kenneth P. Vogel details spying by them aimed at their real enemies; US. They can cynically say this is to "protect our freedom" but;
How does spying on us or increasing the restrictions on our movement and freedom of speech increase Freedom for all of us?
It doesn't. And it's not intended to. It's intended to protect the freedom of our oligarchs.
If you dig a little you see their real agendas. Underneath the fear-mongering is the development of a shadowy, private, Government, where "small government" is a slogan for a smaller oligarchy of billionaires (small enough to be drowned in bathtubs) supported by an infrastructure of spies and paid propagandists. The slogans are like "Work Makes you Free" -- cynical lies.
The Kochs, Petersons, etc... are creating shadow governments with their own spies and spy networks, "astroturfed" activists and even paid "economists" and other authorities to lend their lies credibility. It's like Nazism in parody. And they run multiple shadow governments that are antithetical to the "real thing" of freedom and democracy. Kind of like the "SPECTRE" of a good James Bond Movie, but all out in the open. They may call their spying "opposition research", or their private police "security", but there is no security when folks are pursuing private power.
When others talk about "shadow Government" I think they mean something different from what I usually mean. When I talk about the term I'm thinking of organizations like Freedom Partners, the Pinkertons and many modern companies, like the former Blackwater, that do business inside, outside and against the Government. I'm also thinking of the sort of ops that United Fruit ran or Walker's filibustering in Nicaragua. I'm thinking of the private war that the Right Wing ran before and after the Reagan Administration in Latin America. I'm thinking of people run a revolving door between using government to enrich cronies from inside and then enriching themselves shamelessly outside the government on the basis of their contacts. These are the people who want "smaller government" because they don't want anyone interfering in their privateering and filibustering.
Neo-Colonialism Comes Home
Such Government has an old and venerable tradition in the United States. Smedley Butler said about his service in the Marines in the 1930's:
"I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism." [smedley]
Smedley Butler wasn't talking about the sort of Capitalism that we think of. He was thinking of the sort of Neo-Colonial corrupt capitalism that Anglo-Americans basically invented and perfected.
- noun: neo-colonialism
- the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies.
We want to think of our uniform services as being capable of doing more than "Just following Orders." We certainly punished German Officers for following similar orders during World War II, at our Nuremberg Trials. But, really, to expect them to think for themselves after years or military discipline is too much. Even a Brilliant General like Butler didn't figure it out til he left the service:
"I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service." [smedley]
The racketeering has progressed from Butler's day. Now they are "bringing home" what they once only practiced abroad. And a lot of folks never figure it out.
"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested." [http://fas.org/man/smedley.htm]
We may think that the US military serves US. But the reality is that, behind the scenes, giant Multinationals exercise huge influence over our country and around the world. At one time those multinationals, at least pretended a certain "patriotism" for their home country, but that is no more. They called it "economic nationalism" when they used US power to oppress other countries. Now they come up with other excuses to do the same thing at home; The world is their colony. [For more see NeoColonialism]
Protecting the Racketeering At Home
Hannah Arendt talked about how the Totalitarianism of Communism and Hitlerism had it's roots in European Colonialism. How the methods of Colonialism; repression, spying, police state tactics, extra-judicial punishments, "disappearances", "torture" -- came home to Europe under Hitler's expansion and Stalinism during World War II. Likewise "neo-colonialist" methods, have come home to the USA. Folks like the Koch's regularly engage in spying and "opposition research" in order to control our politics here at home.
"The political network helmed by Charles and David Koch has quietly built a secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents, viewing it as a key strategic tool in its efforts to reshape American public life." [The Koch intelligence agency By Kenneth P. Vogel 11/18/15 05:14 AM EST]
This is the kind of thing that used to be a favorite fear story of the Far Right. As usual with them they read far left writings and take them as a template on how to fight their real enemies (90% of us) by using their imaginary enemies and hapless "revolutionaries" as proxies. The term for this kind of organizations activities are "agitation and propaganda", "infiltration" and subversion. And this was the sort of thing most of us thought we were fighting when we volunteered to defend our country.
"The operation, which is little-known even within the Koch network, gathers what Koch insiders refer to as “competitive intelligence” that is used to try to thwart liberal groups and activists, and to identify potential threats to the expansive network." [Politico:Koch]
Nice newspeak for spying, infiltration and subversion. If any liberal or progressive tried to do these things the FBI would come down on them hard. But a Oil Baron? Fergeddaboutit!
"The competitive intelligence team has a staff of 25, including one former CIA analyst, and operates from one of the non-descript Koch network offices clustered near the Courthouse metro stop in suburban Arlington, Va. It has provided network officials with documents detailing confidential voter-mobilization plans by major Democrat-aligned groups. It also sends regular “intelligence briefing” emails tracking the canvassing, phone-banking and voter-registration efforts of labor unions, environmental groups and their allies, according to documents reviewed by POLITICO and interviews with a half-dozen sources with knowledge of the group."[Politico:Koch]
I question how "former" "former CIA analysts" are. But I have no actionable intelligence and I accept that such activities are way outside the scope of what the CIA is supposed to be doing here. This, however, has been a tradition since Bill Casey left the OSS and then went back to the CIA in 1980. It's the legacy of "Wild Bill Donovan" and the GOP "filibustering" "Cold Warriors" who were running Smedley Butler and others in our foreign Business interests since before their was a CIA.
"The competitive intelligence team has gathered on-the-ground intelligence from liberal groups’ canvassing events in an effort to assess the technology and techniques of field efforts to boost Democrats, according to the sources. And they say the team utilizes high-tech tactics to track the movements of liberal organizers, including culling geo-data embedded in their social media posts." [Politico:Koch]
So if you think the "gubbornment" is spying on you. You could be half right. We probably have GOP operatives spying on many of us.
Such stealth activities are the kind that campaigns and party operatives often fantasize about but mostly shy away from ― both because of cost and potential political backlash if exposed." [Politico:Koch]
Most "party operatives" should shy away from such activities, because they are immoral, illegal in many cases, and ultimately result in defamatory slanderous or even violent behavior. Nevertheless;
"Marc Short, president of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the network’s central group, declined to discuss its efforts to track the left, generally, or to comment on the competitive intelligence team, which operates as a unit within his group. But he did not dispute that the effort is a focus for the Koch network as it tries to rebound from the disappointment of the 2012 elections and gears up to spend a jaw-dropping $889 million on policy and political battles headed into November 2016." [Politico:Koch]
Nixon organized such a group when he was running for reelection in 1972. He gave it an appropriate Acronym; CREEP. The spies who worked for them were called "The Plumbers" and were responsible for the Watergate Breakin. What was high crime and treason in 1972 is now Standard Operating Procedure; Says Short:
“We were caught off guard by what the left was doing in 2012, and we'd be foolish to be caught in that position again,” [Politico:Koch]
That could have been Chuck Colson talking in 1973. They were upset that young folks and activists were organizing, getting out the vote and doing Democratic things. Seems that's the Koch's problem too.
"The increasingly robust Koch network has seized on significant tactical advantages afforded to big-money independent organizations ― but not party committees ― in modern politics. Unlike party committees, which are mostly subject to five-figure donation limits, donor disclosure and all manner of campaign finance laws and party rules, the Koch network of non-profit groups and for-profit companies can accept unlimited cash without disclosing donors and faces few spending restrictions." [Politico:Koch]
It's not just the Koch organization. Several of our Oligarchs are running similar operations.
"The competitive intelligence effort, reported here for the first time, also hints at the audaciousness of the Koch network’s mission. While the Republican Party focuses on winning elections, the Kochs want to realign American politics, government and society around free enterprise philosophies that they hope to spread more broadly."[Politico:Koch]
And these various Billionaire operations focus on different areas. A few aim at combating other Billionaires. Some, like Pete Peterson, still aim at corrupting and influencing both parties. But Hey folks, welcome to our Oligarchy. I touched on Pete Peterson in my post: in my review of a Salon article on 5 Billionaires who are making miserable for all of us. He runs a similar organization. I'll write on Pete Peterson again next if I can.
- The Koch intelligence agency By Kenneth P. Vogel 11/18/15 05:14 AM EST
- Smedley Butler Reference
- Full Versionhttp://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf https://business.illinois.edu/working_papers/papers/06-0115.pdfhttps://business.illinois.edu/working_papers/papers/06-0115.pdf
- Losing Control over the money Supply
- Pete Peterson reference:
- More on Pete Peterson