Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ashton Kutcher: fear-maker, trust-maker

Blessed are the fearmakers, for theirs is the Department of Fear.    
- SecFear
"I trust my government. I trust them with my data, and I trust 
them to protect me. They've protected me -- they've made the best 
efforts to protect me my whole life."  
You can't turn on CNN without hearing about it. We have Americans believing it's a veritable epidemic. With the help of our media partners, we distribute fake reports that wildly exaggerate it.

Fear of human trafficking is a popular initiative of the United States Department of Fear.  Few celebrities work harder to spread awareness of this threat than Ashton Kutcher.  Wikipedia:
In April 2011, Kutcher and wife Demi Moore began a public service announcement campaign claiming that "Real Men" do not engage the services of child prostitutes who are the victims of human trafficking.  Kutcher's claims that 100,000 to 300,000 American children were sold into sexual slavery were criticized by newspaper the Village Voice, which gave evidence refuting the claims. Kutcher represented a study referring to minors "at risk" for sexual exploitation as referring to children actually being prostituted. Experts estimate the true numbers to be in the hundreds, not the hundreds of thousands. Kutcher reacted to the criticism by accusing the Village Voice of promoting child prostitution and using Twitter to request that Village Voice advertisers including American Airlines, Disney, the City of Seattle, and Domino's Pizza withdraw their advertising from publications owned by the Voice's parent company.
When a good fear campaign is at stake, it's often necessary to overlook the opinions of experts, ignore empirical evidence, and banish common sense.  Our media partners understand this point: CNN quoted Kutcher and Moore's ridiculous numbers without comment.

However false, the image of a quarter million American kids working as sex slaves encourages parents to fear child abduction.  Fear of abduction makes parents want to keep their children inside the house where they pass time watching television programming sponsored by our corporate partners.  Instead of playing with their friends outside, they occupy the sofa eating processed foods. As a consequence, some develop ADHD, others diabetes. The hope is that these children will become lifelong customers of our pharmaceutical partners.

As with any great fear-maker, Ashton Kutcher is also a trust-maker.  In a recent interview with Jenni Miller of Moviefone, Kutchner spoke about the importance of trusting the department.
I trust my government. I actually have a trust for my government with my data, and I trust them to protect me. They've protected me -- they've made the best efforts to protect me my whole life. I don't wake up and worry that there's gonna be a suitcase with a bomb in this hotel, because we live in one of the greatest countries in the world with one of the greatest intelligence communities in the world, that protect us and keep us safe consistently and constantly, and have yet to jeopardize my safety intentionally. So I'm okay with it. 
Ashton Kutcher understands that our attacks on Iraq and Libya, as with our efforts to arm al-Qaeda and destabilize Syria, are occasions where we have unintentionally jeopardized the safety of American soldiers and diplomats and, looking to the future, quite possibly our own civilians as well.   Kutcher told Moviefone:
I think that when we start thought policing people and idea policing people, then that's crossing a line. And I think, you know, everybody's so afraid of this imaginary line of thought police that they forget their own personal safety.
The notion of idea policing troubles Kutcher but he isn't on guard for it, suggesting the concern is "imaginary" (we didn't tell him).  Instead, Kutcher says the public must be mindful of their personal safety, fearing the terrorists and...

The abductors, traffickers, and pornographers. Kutcher continued:
You know, I want to know the IP address of every single person that's sharing child pornography on the Internet, because I might be able to find a child that's being molested somewhere and save that child. I think that that's valuable information to be shared. And if we didn't have these collection and filtering mechanisms for the Internet, we might not be able to help each other and save each other, and I think that the benefits far outweigh the potential downside. 
Instilling fear of child pornography is a powerful means of soliciting support for surveillance initiatives (see 'Stand with us or with the child pornographers').  The downside?  We are capable of planting child pornography on your computer.

Kutcher concludes the Moviefone interview with a shot of false hope:
And the great thing is, we live in a democracy where we get to elect our officials, and if, at a certain point, we feel like they've infringed upon our privacy too far, we can elect people that will demand our privacy.
Of course, if the American people were to elect candidates who support privacy, we would have NSA find something with which to blackmail these politicians. In the unlikely event NSA found nothing, we could always send some photos to the hard drives of their laptops...

Hat-tip DouglasLucas.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

We killed Nelson Mandela's dear friend

We ordered the assassination of a man whom Mandela felt a strong moral obligation toward. It happened on President Obama's watch.  Can you guess which of the hundreds of people we've targeted for assassination since 2008 this individual could be?

Nelson Mandela explains his loyalty to the man.

Here's a transcript:
I have also invited Libyan leader Gaddafi to this country. And I do that because our moral authority dictates that we should not abandon those who helped us in the darkest hour in the history of this country. Not only did they support us in victory, they gave us the resources for us to conduct this struggle and to win. And those South Africans who have berated me for being loyal to our friend, literally, they can go and throw themselves into a pool.
Mandela defends his decision to invite Gaddafi to his swearing-in ceremony as President of South Africa in 1994.  Three years later South Africa awarded Gaddafi the Order of Good Hope.

You may recall what we did to Nelson Mandela's dear friend.

President Obama's Secretary of State had this to say when she received word of Gaddafi's passing.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May 1st: What to say to your children about Osama

It has become necessary to resurrect Osama as the Anti-Santa
Every Osama Day (May 1st) Homelanders celebrate of the death of Osama bin Laden, the greatest terrorist leader of all time.

However, this new American holiday has made parents anxious.  From Maine to Nevada, mothers and fathers ask us how to talk to children about Osama. It is a good question.

Because Osama Day is a joyous day, the Secretary of Fear is concerned that the most important part of the OBL legacy could easily be lost on the next generation.  "Children need to be reminded why we celebrate Osama's death," SecFear said.

Last year the problem was put to our staff psychologists.  After studying the matter, they concluded, first, that parents need to talk with kids about Osama. Second, they said the best time to have the talk is before the death celebrations. Third, they said that "a powerful consumer experience" must reinforce the conversation.

Our team -- the same guys who reverse-engineered CERN torture endurance training -- came up with a story suitable for parents to tell young children.  It goes like this:
Johnny, sit down, we're going to have a talk.  No not that talk.  Listen up, tomorrow is an important day in our Homeland's history.  Do you know what May 1st is famous for?  (Now, it's possible that Johnny's Marxist-Leninist social studies teacher has put the idea into your child's head that May 1st is "International Workers Day", "Labor Day", or God forbid, "Occupy Wall Street May Day".  If any these ideas come out of Johnny's mouth, you have a see-say situation on your hands: report the teacher.)

May1st is a happy day. The whole country comes together to celebrate the death of a bad man named Osama.  Basically what happened, Johnny, was Seal Team 6 flew into Pakistan under the cover of darkness and crash landed in Osama's backyard.  Our soldiers piled out of the wreckage of the chopper, broke into Osama's house and shot him dead.  Ordinarily, the department would have used drones, but then the CIA couldn't have made a good movie about it.  In the morning they threw Osama's body into the deep blue sea.

April 30th is OBL Eve. "OBL" are Osama's initials and "eve" means "the night before." In the South people say "Obleve."  Every Christmas Eve Santa gives your presents, doesn't he?  Well, OBL Eve is similar but there's one big difference:  Osama is the Anti-Santa.  What do you suppose the Anti-Santa does, Johnny?   (This is a good time to pause.  Let Johnny mull this one over.)

On OBL Eve, Osama Claus, the Anti-Santa, travels around the world on a Russian tank pulled by eight camels.  He stops at every house.   In the morning, the children of the house discover that their favorite toys have been destroyed.  (Leave a squiggly illegible note with the ruined toys. The squiggles should be your best approximation of Arabic. Johnny is crying hysterically.  Give him a hug before you continue.)  
Hey, cheer up big guy.  It's good for the economy.  In 8 months (fewer if Johnny's birthday is coming up, longer if you're still unemployed) Santa will bring you new toys.    

(That's what you tell Johnny the night before. If you haven't maxed-out all your credit cards, in the morning while Johnny holds his shattered toy and wipes away his tears, you surprise the kid.  You hand him a brand new toy. Besides terrifying your child, the idea of this holiday, as with all the others, is to help your family become more energized consumers.)
Happy Osama Day!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Results of our 'Kill or Capture' survey

If the President designates you a potential terrorist, would you rather we assassinate you under ██████████████████████████████ or capture, torture and indefinitely detain you without trial under Section 1021(b)(2) of NDAA 2012?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Live by the drone, die by the drone?

Admiral Dennis C. Blair
Those of us ordering drone strikes risk falling victim to a drone strike according to Admiral Dennis C. Blair, former Director of National Intelligence.  The Admiral shared this fear on January 22 during an interview hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.
. . . what I do fear the most, though, is that a terrorist -- and let me say I don't fear too much other nation- states that gain this capability. It's very -- you know if another country has it and is using it against you and then you can use the full -- the full array of both defensive systems and of retaliation to keep it from being used against you effectively.  
I do fear that -- and if al-Qaida can develop a drone, its first thought will be to use it to kill our president, senior officials, senior military officers. And it's possible, without a great deal of intelligence, to be able to do something with a drone that you can't do with a -- with a high-speed -- with a high-powered rifle or with -- driving a car full of explosives or the other ways that terrorists now use to try to kill senior officials. 
Had we better, on this account, think twice before firing missiles from drones at terror suspects? Admiral Blair doesn't think so:
And I think that there are ways to deal with that -- but it -- and I also think that whether we use them or not -- the way in which we use them or not won't affect the zeal of terrorists groups to be able to get them and to be able to kill senior officials for all of the reasons that we are familiar with.
Admiral Blair does not believe U.S. drone strikes stoke the "zeal of terrorists groups" to get drones and kill us. Although trusting the Admiral would allow staff to sleep easier, we find the counter-arguments compelling:
  1. Drone strikes may cause survivors to hold grudges against the department.  They help terrorist groups attract recruits to their cause.
  2. Every time we kill a terror suspect in a drone strike, we lose an opportunity to interrogate someone who might have had knowledge of an impending drone attack.  We're always assassinating people we should be torturing.
  3. We massively fund the development of drone technology, some of which is easy to copy.  
  4. We have set ourselves up to lose the propaganda war.  If the terrorists killed a senior official in a drone strike, would the department get sympathy or would people be shaking their heads saying, "Live by the drone, die by the drone"?
Admiral Blair said that if the terrorists are aiming to take out senior staff with drones, "there are ways to deal with that."  As the department tweeted earlier this week, we know how to address the threat of drone terrorism:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

We would have jailed Martin Luther King Jr. under NDAA

In a powerful speech Thursday, left-wing menace Dr. Cornel West put our power grab under the Obama administration in historical perspective,  explaining the damage we might have inflicted on the Civil Rights Movement.  In an address to Tavis Smiley Presents Poverty In America the African-American leader said he:  
  • Shares conservatives' suspicion of the department. 
  • Suspects we would have jailed MLK Jr. under NDAA if the law had existed then.  
  • Posits that a Culture of Fear prevents people from challenging our authority. 
You can watch the whole speech on CSPAN [update: we have posted it below].  Following is a transcript by department staff.

Dr. Cornel West: I don't want to be in that [White House] meeting either. 
Moderator:  I don't think you're going to be invited. 
Dr. Cornel West: I wouldn't go. I wouldn't go.  Because as a Jesus-loving free black man I would go to a crack house before the White House.  And the reason why I would is at least the crack addicts are honest about their addiction.  [applause] The White House is addicted to power. 
They're addicted to power. That's why you've got to bring power to bear.  But my calling is not just about power.  My calling is about love and justice.  And love and justice is always weak.  That's precisely why the black prophetic tradition in the history of this nation has been the leaven in the American democratic loaf.  Because we recognize that first you have to have a suspicion of government.  This is why I resonate with my conservative brother.  And the reason why is Martin Luther King Jr. was under the FBI surveillance from January 1956 to the day he died.  Governments can be repressive, viscous, ugly, violate your rights, violate your liberties, crush your people, generate the propaganda.  We need that sensibility too. Governments can also be affirmative if they're helping poor and working people.  Governments can use their power to support corporate elites. That's the beginning of crypto-fascism, when they come together with no accountability whatsoever. Not just politically but economically.  That's in part where things are moving. 
Let me say this: Martin Luther King Junior, today, could be taken to jail without due process or judicial process under the National Defense Authorization Act.  Because he had a connection with a freedom fighter who was called a terrorist named Nelson Mandela.  He just got off the Terrorist List -- in 2008 -- of America, let's be honest about that.   Because he had a relation to a "Terrorist." And under the present administration you can assassinate Americans, you can take them to jail without due process. That's a repressive side of the government that the Black Freedom Movement has always been suspicious of.  We got black political prisoners right now in America.  And they're in there precisely because the repression came down so hard and their love was such that they were willing to tell the truth.  That was a threat to the status quo.  And we don't even talk about them
That's why the Culture of Fear is not just silence, I don't think, my dear brothers and sisters. People are afraid. They're afraid to lose their jobs, they're afraid to lose their status, they're afraid of not going to the nice tea parties, they're afraid of not going to the White House.  You can't have a Culture of Fear and generate a movement.  That's why it's not just about justice.  Any justice that's only justice will soon degenerate into something less than justice.   We gotta talk about love. Martin was a tiding of love. If you're not talking about love and willingness to sacrifice, all this is just sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. We're not going nowhere.  We're not going nowhere.  You've got to hit the streets, you got to go to jail and be willing to die.  That's what the movement's about.  If you're not willing to do that, then keep your job and drink your tea.  That's what we're talking about.  
Note:  Although we haven't had time to transcribe it, the video posted above also includes further harsh remarks by Dr. Cornel West.  The civil rights leader is outraged by our decision to appropriate the spiritual legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. for the inauguration of President Obama.