In the following weeks, I plan on publishing a series of articles analyzing Russia’s transformation into a fascist state, perhaps the only such state in the world. These articles will look at not only current events, but will analyze history, the Russian and Soviet mind, and Vladimir Putin. Russia’s military capabilities as well as the role of the KGB, FSB and GRU (military intelligence) in the current state of world affairs will also be prominent issues.
First, in order to show Russia’s descent to fascism, we must first consider what this term really means or implies. As Orwell noted “fascism” may be one of the most overused and abused words in the English language. Below is a list of traits typical to fascist regimes, as noted by Dr. Lawrence Britt:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. 4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposedto the government’s policies or actions.9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
An analysis of each of the above points would be sufficient to show that Russia is moving toward, or may even now be, a fascist state. However, there are other points to consider in why this is important, and to show people that much of this was possibly planned years, if not decades ago by Soviet leadership. It is also important because it is possible that certain politicians in Russia may still dream that Russia will dominate Europe, or at least the parts of Europe that were once members of the Soviet Bloc. Some of the analysis concerning possible Soviet plans, the KGB, and Russian intelligence will be conspiratorial in nature. As many know, I’m not much for conspiracies. But, there is there is a plethora of data to prove these points, including released KGB documents, information from defected Soviet intelligence officers, the testimony from exerts in the CIA as well as current world events.
This series is rather broad in scope and will likely require several months to complete.
Here, retired military intelligence officer Ralph Peters tells it like it is: Lazy journalism requires scandal. It is much easier to generate a story from what is not known than what is known. Thus, media types can turn what-ifs into headlines. The scandal that is Snowden is really only worth a few headlines. He did it, it’s a crime, he admits he did it. If the media wants to really milk this, they must talk about unknowns, possibilities, technicalities, and avoid the fact that recent court decisions have labeled NSA activities legal. Disconnected, out of context arguments can be melded into unified theorems in which black helicopters no one ever sees are hovering outside our windows hoping to catch us surfing porn.
Members of the Congressional Intelligence committee have known the details of NSA programs for years. The fake outrage they present in hearings broadcast on CSPAN is populism of the most despicable sort.
A collapsing World Trade Center rings hollow to some, as does the fact that NSA employees have bosses to answer to everyday, and those bosses want dead terrorists on their list of achievements, not the URLs of gay porn sites visited by congressmen. To people, in America, both Left and Right, there is a pervading mythology that society, security, culture and good government are held together by mysterious, invisible forces, akin to luck. That’s false. Things work because of a concerted effort to make them work. Al-Qaeda has been kept in check not because jihadists are tired, had a change of heart, or because America apologized for its “rapacious” behavior abroad. They’ve been kept in check because almost every country in the Western world seized their bank accounts, jailed its operatives, killed its zealots, increased security at airports and other vulnerable nodes, and invaded its sanctuaries.
“Because Freedom”, is not an argument. Success is rarely a mistake.
Have you stopped beating your wife? It’s a yes or no question, Sir.
To the allegation that DNI Robert Clapper lied to Congress concerning NSA collections activities, here’s a letter written to the New York Times by the General Counsel of DNI:
“Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower” (editorial, Jan. 2) repeats the allegation that James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, “lied” to Congress about the collection of bulk telephony metadata. As a witness to the relevant events and a participant in them, I know that allegation is not true.
Senator Ron Wyden asked about collection of information on Americans during a lengthy and wide-ranging hearing on an entirely different subject. While his staff provided the question the day before, Mr. Clapper had not seen it. As a result, as Mr. Clapper has explained, he was surprised by the question and focused his mind on the collection of the content of Americans’ communications. In that context, his answer was and is accurate.
When we pointed out Mr. Clapper’s mistake to him, he was surprised and distressed. I spoke with a staffer for Senator Wyden several days later and told him that although Mr. Clapper recognized that his testimony was inaccurate, it could not be corrected publicly because the program involved was classified.
This incident shows the difficulty of discussing classified information in an unclassified setting and the danger of inferring a person’s state of mind from extemporaneous answers given under pressure. Indeed, it would have been irrational for Mr. Clapper to lie at this hearing, since every member of the committee was already aware of the program.
ROBERT S. LITT
General Counsel, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Washington, Jan. 3, 2014
Which is why Clapper corrected himself when he was given the opportunity, not only in person but through the attorney representing his office. The only correct answer that Clapper could have given in that setting is ” I can neither confirm nor deny these activities in this setting.” That’s it. Of course, if Clapper gave that answer, the conspiracies would be reneiwed. No one, not even the president can discuss classified information on national television. There are forums for this, but CSPAN is not one of them. Unlike Snowden, Clapper seems cognizant of the oath he swore. As the letter points out, the members of the committee know just as much about this program as does Clapper.
Furthermore, Senator Wyden, just before Clapper states that the NSA does not “wittingly” collect data on Americans, says that there is information that the NSA has hundreds of thousands of dossiers on Americans. This is an absolute impossibility. I have built dossiers. I have worked with NSA certified Army signals specialist. This is simply not happening.
Does anyone find it the least bit troubling that Edward Snowden, hero to both the Left and Right (the Left because they see his actions as a smack to the military/intelligence industrial complex and love a good black helicopter conspiracy; the Right, because they are assured, despite the evidence, that the NSA is reading their emails and wantonly violating their 4th Amendment rights), seems to have lied about everything on his way to a job with the NSA and even after, continues to lie?
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. I was finally spurred on by Snowden’s most recent slap in the face to America: His tongue in cheek questioning of Russian arch-villain Vladimir Putin during a game show in Russia.
The article states: Snowden asked Putin if Russia had similar surveillance programs as the United States–referring to the mass collection and storage of data from individuals around the world.
We don’t have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law, it cannot exist,” he said. “But we do not have a mass scale uncontrollable efforts like that, I hope we won’t do that and we don’t have as much money as they have in the States, and we don’t have these technical devices that they have in the States…Our special services, thank God, are strictly controlled by the society and by the law and regulated by the law and society.
All of which of course, lies, to be sucked up by the vacuous sorts that populate today’s America. If Snowden’s appearance on a game show asking a question such as this of Putin does not offend an American, I question that person’s patriotism. If that person gives me a quote about patriotism being the last refuge of scoundrels, well, I say the first refuge of a scoundrel is cowardice masquerading as patriotism. Don’t tell me Snowden’s actions are those of a patriot.
Snowden must not care about such people as Alexander Litvinyenko, Russian defector and former FSB agent who fled to England following his accusations that the Russian government conducted a Black Flag attack against an apartment building that killed 300 Russians and that he claimed was a pretext for subsequent Russian attacks against Chechnya. In 2006, someone administered a to Litvinyenko a lethal dose of the radioactive isotope, Polonium 210. He was in Britain at the time he received the poison.
But Snowden didn’t ask Putin about this case, nor why MI6’s (Britain’s domestic intelligence service) only suspect in the murder is the deputy of the Russian state Duma, and former KGB agent Andrey Lugovoy. The British government requested extradition of Lugovoy; Russia refused.
The Russian government is well on its way to building a fascist state, and if one reads the comments posted by Americans in articles about Snowden, it’s easy to see that these Americans fully support the fascists and criminals running the show is Moscow. Putin has surrounded himself with former KGB cadre, well versed, indeed possibly the best in human history, at media manipulation, psychological operations, propaganda, and pulling the strings of foreign societies in order to steer them in a desired direction. I can see from the comments in these articles that here in America, we’ve raised a whole new generation of duped. The future seems bleak. The strength of any democracy is a strong, self-sufficient and enlightened middle class. That is crumbling before our eyes, but it’s not the financial realm that worries me.
Let me address an issue that’s been nagging me since Snowden leaked the intelligence: Few, if any, have a clear picture of what the NSA does. Snowden alleges the NSA violates constitutional rights, yet courts have not established consensus on the matter. The Supreme Court has refused to hear cases concerning NSA collection until lower courts hear the cases first. Before you waste your time worrying about what the NSA could do, worry about what other agencies can do. I know people who’ve had their entire bank accounts reduced to zero from thousands of dollars by state tax agencies for failure to pay taxes. No warrant. No trial. No face to face talks with agents of the state. Now that’s real power, not theory and conjecture. Pay your taxes. Moreover, the stories he relates are well covered in books which are years, even decades old. First, there’s The Puzzle Palace, by James Bamford. Then there’s Chatter, published in 2006 and written by Patrick Radden Keefe. I highly recommend Chatter, as it is written more recently than The Puzzle Palace. I myself can stomach Bamford only in small doses. NSA has in recent years cut off his access to interviews so now Bamford has declared war on the agency and never misses a chance to rip them ,droning on about the danger of metadata while never mentioning that virtually every major business collects metadata, and blaming NSA, not Snowden, for so much data being stolen by Snowden from NSA. Nor does Bamford’s impotent self-awareness remind him that the reams of reports he gathered from the government about NSA under the Freedom of Information Act, some which included info on himself, may be indicative that rule of law is still being observed in some branches of government. But he has to make money some how. Keefe is extremely balanced in his analysis and writes that during all of his investigations, he constantly encountered the same problem we see with the issue of Snowden: The stories and accusations were always veiled behind conspiratorial theory, not hard evidence. The NSA could read my email. The NSA may have dirt on the Supreme Court Justices, that’s why the court has refused to hear recent cases bought against the agency. Possibly, the NSA brought down David Petraeus.
Even if there are illegalities revealed by Snowden’s massive leak, Snowden had no way to know the all of the contents of the materials he leaked–there’s hundreds of thousands of documents. Oddly enough, some of the documents leaked by Snowden are actually court documents authorizing NSA activities; he probably didn’t even know they were in his leaked material, given that it’s impossible he reviewed all of it. Allowing that there may be illegalities, Snowden essentially carpet bombed and entire town to kill one terrorist. Americans simply do not understand their own laws, the legal system, or the bureaucracies of government. Of this, I am a first hand witness. how many times I’ve been told by a suspect I had in custody that I’d made a terrible mistake, because I hadn’t read them their rights. Miranda Rights, that is. They had no clue as to what those rights entailed and when they were due them. Most Americans probably couldn’t name all 50 states on a map. Because we as a people are failing, and yes the government too. And when the government of a democracy fails, we can blame the people, just as when it succeeds we can give them credit. But seeing the bogeyman in every government activity hides the reality: Government is mostly inept and inefficient, not razor sharp and ultra-capable.
Repeat this until you understand it: The NSA does not read your email, the NSA does not read your email…Unless it has a warrant based on probable cause on a foreign national. If you don’t think it’s a good idea we be able to listen in on and track people in Bangladesh plotting to blow up American airplanes and Soldiers, you’re insane, not a champion of liberty. Those who think the NSA should give up this capability basically want the NSA to give up capabilities that every other advanced nation has. And those nations don’t have nearly the number of legal protections for citizens that the US does. In other words, despite what Putin tells you, the Russian security services, the FSB, has more power in regards to Russian citizens than the NSA has ever had in regards to Americans. American intelligence spies on allies? This is news? Ancient news, yes. Written about decades ago. How can one be a whistleblower on information on which whistles were blown so long ago?
Sift through the thousands of documents on the internet, I mean documents released directly from American intelligence or State Department servers, to Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden. Find me one, just one, document that relates directly the contents of a conversation or an email from a US citizen that does not involve a foreign national. Where are Petraeus’ emails? The supreme court justices’? You’ll find generalities and inane information–because the NSA was not reading Petaeus’ email. It was the FBI, not the NSA that looked at Petraeus’ email. But any company’s network technician has the ability to mine old Outlook emails for examination. This was not hyper-advanced technology, nor was it the NSA. And the NSA is most assuredly are not reading the emails of the pimply-faced computer geek with a GED, no job, and thousands of hours logged on YouTube. But when Russia releases its own intercepts of the cell phone conversations of our ambassadors, where’s the outrage?
We’re fully hypnotized by the decades of propaganda handed us from foreign intelligence services and our own intelligentsia. The end of course, is not far off, and the self-immolation has already begun. Defected Russian agents, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and others who lived under the Soviet regime were routine agape at the credulity and instinct to self destruct in the West, the urgent desire in the West to give away everything that had been built.
But enough of this. What I really want to talk about is the trail of lies that Snowden left behind him. All through Snowden’s life and career there is evidence of his lying and fibbing to get what he wants. Some of these stories are admitted lies on his part. Others are suspicious to those who know better.
Let’s look at the questionable statements or activities by Snowden:
- It’s believed that Snowden used to post under the screen name, The TrueHOOHA on Ars Technica. On the forum at Ars Technica, Snowden, writing anonymously, says that those who leak classified information should be “shot in the balls.” He criticizes the NY Times for repeatedly running stories about leaked classified reports.
- Snowden recruited into the US Army in the 18 X program, in which people can enter the Army for Special Forces training. He did not complete the training, and was discharged. Snowden says he broke both his legs in a training accident. Sure he did.
- Snowden is obsessed with making up implausible stories. He stated that while he worked for the CIA, that the CIA got a Swiss banker drunk, and after his arrest told him that the CIA would help him if he’d cooperate in advancing American interests. Ueli Maurer, the Swiss Federal Council President says this story is dubious.
- While working as a system admin for the CIA, he was suspected of trying to access classified systems he was not authorized to view. Snowden says he was trying to report flaws in the system; again making himself out to be the hero.
- Snowden says he specifically sought employment at NSA so that he could leak intelligence. How can a person be justified in leaking when they seek to release info of which they can’t possibly know the content?
- Snowden, in a fantastically selfish act, obtained the passwords of 20-25 coworkers at NSA, telling them he needed them as part of his job as an admin. He used these passwords to obtain the classified data with which he later helped the Russians, but which harmed Americans. Snowden, again lying, says he didn’t steal passwords. Multiple reports say he did. He wants us to believe he’s a super hacker. In reality he’s a schemer who threw people he worked with under the bus to satisfy his massive ego. And he continues to lie about it.
- Apparently, Snowden was never even qualified to have the job he used to shaft America. His resume claimed he took computer classes at John Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. He claimed he was close to getting a Master’s degree. None of it was true.
But of course, Americans now obsessed with conspiracy believe what Snowden says about the NSA. They also believe what this GED-holding liar says about the Constitutionality of it all, as if he’s now not only a master spy, but a legal expert. Snowden, like Putin, masterfully plays to the psychic infantalism so common in America, particularly on the internet and in the minds of those who favor Ron Paul.
You may have read about the recent meta-study, which showed that atheists tend to have higher IQs than religious people. This is yet another example of the (re) emergence of hyper-rationalism. Call it the second wave. The first wave occurred during the Soviet and Nazi regimes’ reigns. I’m not throwing the “Hitler Fallacy” out there just to scare or shame people into seeing things my way. Nor is this my call to anti-rationalism. In the case of Soviet Leninism and Nazi Fascism, both used science as propaganda in order to further ideology.
The message that some people would like broadcast from this study is that smart people are atheists, dumb people believe in God. Without going into the obvious causation/association issues with this argument, let’s look at why the study is nearly meaningless.
First, as the article I linked to states, what a study like this ends up doing is measuring things that the researches didn’t really intend to measure. IQ is a major factor in success in school, and SAT scores are largely reflective of IQ. Higher SAT score equals access to better schools.
So, children with higher IQs have a much better chance of going to college. The more intelligent they are, the better chance they have of going to elite schools, like Harvard, Yale, Stanford or Berkley.
Each university has a culture. That culture for the most part is secular and liberal. This is in part due to an influx of intellectuals with left-leaning sentiments during the 50s and 60s, into the major universities. Many were outright Communists. A pillar of Communism is atheism. So we find on many campuses that smart people are atheists because “that’s what other smart people believe”. Of course, we would likely find a very different correlation at another elite school that is associated with religion: Notre Dame. I have no doubt that if we were to measure the IQs of Communist sympathizers and compare them to the IQs of say, average people in America during the 50s, 60s, and 70s,, we would find that the Communists had higher IQs. But Communism utterly failed, and few today in America are full-blown Leninists. But these “Communists” became so by hanging around birds with red feathers. Eventually they grew their own red feathers. A problem with intellectuals as opposed to scientists, is that they tend to over generalize. As Friedrich Heyek noted, many left-leaning intellectuals ignore the specifics, that is, the science of economics, in favor of generalized (ideological) notions about how to help the poor. Looking at the details could lead an intelligent person to believe that government handouts are not the best answer, and that capitalism cuts into poverty more than giveaways. The same goes for religion. Intellectuals, whom are almost always intelligent people when measured by IQ, generalize about the non-existence of God. Most college students would probably classify themselves as agnostic or atheist, but would do a very poor job if asked to engage in specific scientific or philosophical debate on the matter. Their arguments would be based on (probably), “I can’t see God, and until I do, I don’t believe”. Yet college students have higher than average IQs.
Next is the problem of induction. If it is true that atheists are just so because they are intelligent, than it should be so that by utilizing a form of Backward Induction, and becoming atheists, people could raise their IQs. This is absurd of course. But we also know that people with higher IQs tend toward drug use, drink more alcohol, and like cigarettes more. But no one argues those things actually make people more intelligent. Moreover, Germany just prior to the Nazi takeover was considered the country with the highest scientific and social advancement. Plenty of Germans were intelligent, and plenty of high IQ people were Nazis.
Finally, intelligent people are susceptible to the Appeal to Novelty fallacy. Intelligent people get bored easily and like new, different things. In terms of civilizational time, atheism is very new.
In summary, the higher IQ of atheists is due to the self-selecting nature of college attendees, the zeitgeist of modern universities, the tendency to avoid specifics, and the desire for novelty in the intelligent.
The recent classified info dump on WikiLeaks is a violation of the nation’s trust, but it is not a catastrophic indictment of the war effort.
Americans should be concerned that there are people who have high-level security clearances that disseminate information they are sworn to protect. Some have an axe to grind with the military, like this traitor, the very smart but traitorous Army Intelligence Analyst, Bradley Manning, who gave WikiLeaks a Top Secret video of US helicopters attacking and killing a group of people, two of which were Reuters journalists.
Whomever released these files to WikiLeaks is either in desperate need of attention or has an anti-war agenda. Quite probably, the person needs to have a spotlight on himself and justifies his actions with an anti-war meme.
That the recent leaks, from what is now known, are in any way “chilling” or devastating” is beyond laughable. Very little of what is not already widely known was released. People are more offended by the details than by the actual content. It’s like the hamburgers and sausages we eat: We love the taste, just don’t show us film of the process for making them.
Most valuable information is called “Actionable Intelligence”. That is, intelligence which can be acted on immediately. For instance, let’s say that a credible source tells a Special Forces team on the ground in southern Afghanistan that Osama bin Laden in living in a hole two miles from their location, that they saw him not more than an hour ago and he’s supposed to be there for another day. That kind of information would bring immediate results should a SF A Team move and capture bin Laden. General intelligence, such as “IEDs are the primary weapon used by insurgents” does not give the US information that immediately impacts the war. A compromise in Actionable Intelligence is far more dangerous than compromised general intel. This compromise of an Israeli operation is an example of compromised Actionable Intel.
Information in the released files will be spun in every direction. Many people will be “horrified” by information that is rather banal. But, whatever some may say, it is an undisputed fact that the the files were leaked by people sworn to protect them from release. Those people operate under a cloak of anonymity. What they are doing is not brave, nor does it serve a greater good; most of the information leaked tells little. These people so entrusted, when and if they are found, should be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law. Not only can’t they be trusted, but their hubris enabled them to believe they were more important than all the other people fighting this war.