We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, January 23, 2015

How the CIA made Google: Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet— part 1

Click here to access article by Nafeez Ahmed who is supported by crowdfunding--people like you and I. (I'll try to comment on Part 2 tomorrow.)

This lengthy article Ahmed, who refused to be censored by The Guardian, offers a bonanza of information about a section of our shadow government and ties together so many details of the relatively recent Total Information Awareness project (mostly focusing on Google corporation) that it might become overwhelming to the average informed reader. 

For me, it offers an excellent illustration of the current stage in the evolution of US capitalism that really took off around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries after the capitalist class in the US inflicted major defeats on worker and farmer movements, reversed most of the gains by African-Americans after the Civil War, made fake attempts to reign in monopolies, and co-opted other sections of society--essentially bringing under control all the working people of the US. At this time the capitalist class had obtained uncontested control of industry, finance, and money issuance (the Federal Reserve). In turn, this control enabled them to consolidate their control over every other institution: education, media, entertainment, etc.

The next significant stage in this evolution began after WWII when the US ruling class reigned supreme with their intact industrial establishment and a huge military. The capitalist democratic form of government that they had inherited from their earlier predecessors presented obstacles to the exploitative opportunities now abundant in this post-WWII world. 

They had always used some agencies such as the FBI, private agencies such as Pinkerton, various front organizations such as the American Legion, sub rosa groups like the Ku Klux Klan to enforce their will upon American society, but now there was a need to accelerate the construction of covert agencies of rule which would function out of sight and in control of the official agencies (Congress, Supreme Court and legal system, and the Executive branch). This task was undertaken most prominently by Wall Street lawyers such as Allan Dulles who built the CIA, but there were many others who participated in the construction of all the secret agencies

This brings us to where we are now in US society which is a society ruled by a covert "deep state" or "shadow government" that functions behind the scenes of official government. Along with this covert apparatus has seen the recent development of the Total Information Awareness project. This article focuses on mainly Google corporation as an illustration of the key role that corporations, which are an integral part of the ruling class, play in our current society and world. 
INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.

The origins of this ingenious strategy trace back to a secret Pentagon-sponsored group, that for the last two decades has functioned as a bridge between the US government and elites across the business, industry, finance, corporate, and media sectors. The group has allowed some of the most powerful special interests in corporate America to systematically circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law to influence government policies, as well as public opinion in the US and around the world. The results have been catastrophic: NSA mass surveillance, a permanent state of global war, and a new initiative to transform the US military into Skynet.