In a victory for academic freedom (and common sense) Professor Anthony Hall is back at work at the University of Lethbridge, starting today, after the Board of Governors announced that it is rescinding his suspension. Here is the Board’s statement:
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Originally published at MemoryHoleBlog.com on November 22, 2012.
Report From Iron Mountain: On The Possibility and Desirability of Peace is a uniquely important document worthy of careful reconsideration a half-century after JFK’s passing. It points to not only the rationales behind the military industrial complex and its overarching influence, but perhaps more importantly how a very real discussion concerning the nation’s priorities proceeded under Kennedy’s watch—a window of possibility that was violently shut on November 22, 1963.
Those who are old enough may likely offer their recollections of where they were at the time they received the news of President John F. Kennedy’s death. Then a bachelor, my father heard about the assassination while traveling home from a business trip to visit family. As he approached the front door his father was waiting at the threshold and, much like the rest of the nation, they proceeded to cry in each others’ arms.
Such recollections suggest the degree of potential Americans recognized in themselves that was confirmed in their young leader’s intelligence and charm. This sense of possibility extended to the political system more broadly, and it has since been effectively shattered and replaced by a perpetual effort to becloud and sideline attempts at a more concrete public understanding of past and present issues and events. Among these were the very crucial concerns at stake in the early 1960s that remain underlying motivations for US domestic and foreign policies to this day.
By Vivian Lee
Another day, another fake attack – this time a “vehicular” terror attack perpetrated by one Sayfullo Saipov, a native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, who supposedly mowed down bicyclists and pedestrians in a rented Home Depot truck on a bike path in lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017. This “Halloween massacre” is billed as “the deadliest terror attack on New York City since September 11, 2001.”
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. Image: New York Daily News.
The crack team of investigators from the NYPD and FBI figured the whole thing out in a matter of hours, helped by evidence provided by Sayfullo himself: his alleged cries of “Allahu Akbar,” a note found on the ground with language associated with ISIS (“It will endure”), and the 90 videos and 3,800 images on his cell phone, which of course the FBI recovered. Or, uh, we seem to have TWO cell phones left at the scene by Saipov, according to some reports.
The rented Home Depot truck that Saipov allegedly used to mow down cyclists and pedestrians in New York, although there is no trace of blood anywhere on the vehicle. Image: NPR.
The cell-phone videos reportedly show ISIS fighters killing prisoners as well as instructions for making an “explosive device.” The images include shots of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the supposed leader of ISIS. Saipov is said to have been inspired by one video in which al-Baghdadi “questioned what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq.”
By James F. Tracy
By James F. Tracy
All Eyez on Me (2017) is a lavish dramatization of controversial hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur’s brief, tragic, and largely misjudged life. The motion picture’s emergence more than twenty years after his untimely death is especially significant because it purports to accurately depict the biography of perhaps the most important and provocative black figure since Malcolm X, and does so for an entire generation too young to recall Shakur’s impact and, more importantly, the artist’s relatedness to deep state maneuvers against black enfranchisement and probable ongoing US counterintelligence efforts targeting public figures capable of wielding influence over the public mind.
Production of All Eyez on Me began in 2015 after a tentative 2011 settlement of a legal fight that ensued between the film’s producer, Morgan Creek, and Shakur’s estate. The parties continued to battle in court over production decisions even as Shakur’s mother, former black activist Afeni Shakur, died in early 2016. As the project ensued the film’s creators continued to ignore recommendations of Shakur’s family, particularly the eventual selection of music video producer Benny Boom as the film’s director. 
By James F. Tracy
An international assault on computer users provides a illuminating vehicle for interpreting the dubious political and economic constructs, presented by corporate news media as unambiguously real. In this instance closer consideration of the event’s reportage and context suggest an intent to undermine and confuse public interest in the burgeoning cryptocurrency space. The WannaCry cyberattack follows a decade of commodity price manipulation by central bankers necessary to support the value of fiat currencies amidst profligate money creation.
The recent price explosion across a wide swath of virtual currencies is the exact opposite of the stagnation experienced in precious metals–specifically gold and silver–the traditional measures of fiat currencies’ true worth. This sharp contrast augments theories of central bank manipulation of the metals markets that seek to preserve the US dollar especially against the accelerated inflationary policies instituted over the past decade.
As feds and Facebook join forces to rein in ‘fake news’ who will fact check the ‘fact-checkers’?
Facebook is the world’s most powerful social media platform, deemed by one observer as “the biggest nation in the world” with no semblance of democracy. The mass medium’s size and breadth is often obscured by its capacity to interlink 1.8 billion users with their friends and loved ones in the broader context of everyday life. Situated at this primary intersection of human relations one cannot overemphasize the significance of the outlet’s self-appointment as chaperon of public discourse.
By its own admission Facebook is no longer merely a for-profit corporation seeking to inject advertising and commerce into the abundant social interaction it oversees. The entity’s new censorial ventures, loosely masquerading as promotion of “good journalism” and “information you can trust,” strongly suggest combined government and corporate efforts to suppress citizen-generated “alternative” news and analysis.
In the United States alone close to half of the population (44% 2016 Pew Research) receive “at least some of their news” from the social media behemoth, putting Facebook among the nation’s most influential distributors of news. This makes the entity’s actual transition from neutral observer to forthright interventionist aided by often unprincipled, even amateurish news media, a momentous and worrisome political event.
Facebook’s recently-announced “news literacy” and “fact checking” initiatives must be recognized as coming in the wake of two other especially significant and likely uncoincidental developments: 1) corporate media’s recent propaganda campaign highlighting so-called “fake news” and alleged Russian-inspired media seeking to “undermine faith in American democracy,” and 2) US lawmakers’ December 8 passage of the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” within the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act
Liberalism itself is a synthetic creation of the power structure, a humanitarian facade behind which the dirty work of policing the world can go on uninterrupted by idealistic spasms in the body politic.
Journalist Eric Norden’s perceptive critique, “The Tender Tyranny of American Liberals,” appeared in the early years of the Vietnam era, accurately identifying how a predominantly liberal worldview projected by the ruling technocracy and its intellectual adherents acted to subordinate genuinely Left-progressive ideas and social movements at home while ensuring the furtherance of US imperial designs abroad. Today Norden’s insights are worthy of reconsideration in light of how the Left remains largely devoid of its own voice or vision and more than ever liberalism provides ideological cover for aggressive Anglo-American militarism, the prerogatives of transnational corporations, and an ever-expanding police state.
Since the 1800s liberalism and its utilitarian philosophical bearings have been a central intellectual and popular means by which gunboat and “free trade” diplomacies alike are justified to the public at large. It is also a foremost rationale through which aggressive social control is exerted on the population at home, more recently by political leaders who symbolize and embody real social struggles in American history and thereby may exercise a more valid claim to “feeling their constituents’ pain.”
This essay originally appeared on September 21, 2001 as an installment of my biweekly Daily Iowan column, “Firing Line.” The piece uses George Orwell’s 1984 as a basis to suggest how from the very beginning the corporate media played a central role in setting the stage for the prevalent Osama bin Laden-Al Qaeda myth, the related “blowback” thesis vigorously embraced by the progressive-left community, and the assemblage of rearguard actions defending such perspectives and reflexively labeling all accounts conflicting with government pronouncements as “conspiracy theories.”
An expertly orchestrated barrage of 9/11 propaganda in the weeks and months following the attacks had a devastatingly traumatic effect on a majority of the US population while simultaneously rendering many of the most legitimate and important questions to the sidelines. Together these discursive elements have helped to create an environment where, as Orwell envisaged, essential civil liberties have been forsaken and perpetual war has become the norm. -JT
In a recent article the influential Council on Foreign Relations declares Americans are “appalled by the depredations of the [Bashar al-]Assad regime and seek its removal from power.” Short of committing troops, the US “[p]ublic wants tough action … including the imposition of tougher sanctions, and the creation of safe havens to protect civilians,” the CFR’s Stewart M. Patrick writes.
There are two underlying problems with this claim. First, the CFR is furtively exerting its own policy objectives by pointing to opinion polls the body has had a direct hand in creating. Second, the CFR is gauging the sentiment of a vastly disinformed public on a Syrian destabilization policy the organization vigorously advocates.