Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fake News and Naked Subjects



The FBI has been caught lying again:
FBI lured suspect with fake Web page, but may have leveraged media credibility (2014,October 28). The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-lured-suspect-with-fake-web-page-but-may-have-leveraged-media-credibility/2014/10/28/e6a9ac94-5ed0-11e4-91f7-5d89b5e8c251_story.html?wpisrc=nl-headlines&wpmm=1

[Excerpt] News outlets and privacy advocates reacted sharply Tuesday to the revelation that the FBI in 2007 [tricked a school-bombing suspect into revealing his whereabouts by getting him to click on a link to a fake Associated Press article infected with tracking software.
 “We are extremely concerned and find it unacceptable that the FBI misappropriated the name of The Associated Press and published a false story attributed to AP,” spokesman Paul Colford said in a statement. “This ploy violated AP’s name and undermined AP’s credibility.” The disclosure came when American Civil Liberties Union chief technologist Christopher Soghoian on Monday spotted and tweeted out a reference to the ruse in a set of documents obtained in 2011 by another privacy organization under the Freedom of Information Act....

....The FBI field office in Seattle in a statement defended the practice as one used infrequently and to prevent tragedy......
Majia here: One has to wonder whether fake news releases are in fact the norm, rather than the exception when the FBI and other "intelligence" agencies are involved.

In "The Century of the Self," Adam Curtis, compellingly describes how the nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays, adapted psychoanalysis and herd theory to the purposes of "engineering [popular] consent" in the US in the first half of the 20th century. Bernays believed that under democracy "leaders" had to use propaganda, rather than force, to engineer the consent of the masses. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9167657690296627941

Here are a few excerpts from that book, Propaganda, written by Edward Bernays:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society”

“Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”

“To avoid such confusion [of endless testing of options] society consents to have its choices narrowed to ideas and objects brought to its attention by propaganda of all kinds” p. 39

At a most basic level, Bernays defines propaganda as an “organized effort to spread a particular belief or doctrine” (48) / a “consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group”
Bernays encouraged political leaders to promote the fear of communism in order to make the American public more malleable. Now we have the fear of terrorism and, perhaps, infectious diseases.

Propaganda has been used to promote policies the public would not othwerwise support, ranging from war to nuclear proliferation. Propaganda was used to sell nuclear energy from the "Atoms for Peace" speech onward.

Fake news for the purposes of propaganda and surveillance is just part of the story. Corporate and government operatives also fabricate entire stage events. For example, the CIA has faked vaccination campaigns!
Fake Vaccination Programs Abroad by CIA: CIA Announces Plans To End Fake Vaccination Programs http://www.npr.org/2014/05/20/314293259/cia-announces-plans-to-end-fake-vaccination-programs

The White House announced that the CIA will stop using fake vaccination programs to further its spy operations. The decision comes after leaders from U.S. public health schools brought the practice to light. (see also http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-21/the-cia-stops-fake-vaccinations-as-real-polio-rebounds )

I think willingness to fake vaccination programs discloses the low moral standards of the people engaged in propaganda.

I'm not arguing that everyone who works for the CIA has lost their morality, but I am arguing that a close reading of the twentieth century reveals deep institutional pathologies in government and industry, displayed in wanton disregard for basic human rights, including life and liberty.

Cultures of disregard for human welfare and rights within institutional contexts enable and reproduce fascistic leadership. Fascistic leaders seek ever more control within their direct purview while strategizing empire.

Fascism seeks malleable, obedient subjects and relies on brute force to ensure orderliness when ideology fails.

In the end, before the demigods of war and piracy we are but naked subjects devoid of even the most basic of rights....







2 comments:

  1. Title: "DEA Sets Up Fake Facebook Page in Woman's Name"
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/10/dea_sets_up_fak.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ya, Fascism....everything within the Government, nothing outside the Government, and a huge attack on anything that tries to be outside.

    Seems we are getting there, with a strong media blitz to control the minds. Even smart people can be fooled.

    ReplyDelete