What's wrong with the world?
Review of Lifting the Veil , by Timothy M. Silver, an on-line book
A few years ago, a young history student was celebrating his graduation when he first read about MK-Ultra. In case it's new to you MK-Ultra was an extensive program in the 1950s-1970s which followed up on the horrendous experiments of the Nazis, obliterating personalities with drugs and torture in order to create human zombies that could be relied upon to do their Masters' bidding.
Why hadn't any of his professors mentioned this program in all of his US and World History classes? Doesn't it change the way we view the post-war history of the US, and affect our interpretation of events up to the present?
Rather than choosing among the uninspiring options in the job market for academic historians lacking an advanced degree, Tim Silver began to read, and one thing led to another, pulling down into a world he never wanted to know about, a leadership that was corrupt and violent beyond anything that fiction writers would dare to portray.
Silver spent a year reading and summarizing and synthesizing. He stuck with mainstream sources that an academic historian would not question. He wrote a 300-page book, in which every sentence has a footnote and a hyperlink. It's all in the public domain, hiding in plain sight. Silver's book is more than a collection of shocking revelations; he ties them into a coherent picture, a picture of the kind of country our USA has become, who runs it, and how it came to be this way. It's the kind of comprehensive synthesis that you might associate with a visionary like Noam Chomsky or Ralph Nader, and it was written by a 23-year-old.
Here's the broad landscape that Silver paints for us: America has had a history of atrocities in war going back to our genocide of the indigenous Americans and our theft of California from the Mexicans. But something happened after the Second World War that raised atrocities and war crimes to a new level, and turned imperial ambitions into global domination. The nascent CIA aggressively pursued the "best minds" of Nazi germany in a program called Operation Paperclip, gave them new identities and new responsibilities, new funding to continue and expand the work they had been doing for Der Fuhrer. Sadists and sociopaths have always had an easier time climbing their way through a power structure, but in post-war America, they got the upper hand and came to dominate the culture of government. Lies and secrecy are an easy part of the sociopath's repertoire, and they became government policy. A vast empire of mind control, sadism and pedophilia served to maintain the "pathocracy" with conquests and bribes, supplemented by liberal use of murder and blackmail. The sociopaths have come to dominate our government and the rest, as they say, is history.
The story is told in 15 chapters, supplemented by two obligatory, redemptive chapters at the end which begin to begin to point a way out of this hell. Silver is hopeful and credible even in these last chapters, but perhaps he has finally reached the limits of what a miraculous 23-year-old can deliver. Chapter summaries as follows:
The War on Terror is a Fraud -- The roots of Al Qaeda were laid down by Americans who trained Islamic militants for anti-communist missions. We schooled them in the science and psychology of atrocities. Today, the US intelligence services continue to train and arm terrorists for no other reason than to create the appearance of an adversary that can justify government secrecy, suspension of Constitutional freedoms, and trillions of dollars in military expenses.
The One-Party State -- The D's and the R's each blame the other for all the nation's problems, while they collude behind the scenes to exclude real democracy, to shield corruption, and to keep the war profits flowing.
Psychopathy, Power and Politics -- Psychopathy is a genetic condition, not so rare in the general population. People with the psychopathy gene are able to lie and manipulate without remorse and without revealing the tell-tale signs we rely on to detect a deceiver. They are drawn to power for its own sake, and many enjoy creating suffering in others. Many are compelled to create suffering in others. Their ruthlessness helps them to succeed in any power hierarchy. Worse, power itself brings out psychopathology, even in people who are not genetically pre-disposed in that direction. In contrast to psychopaths, complementing the psychopathic personality type, the majority of people are genetically pre-disposed to conformity, obedience and respect for authority. In other words, we are easy prey and willing accomplices.
Operation Paperclip -- After WW II, there was a race between the US and the USSR to recruit Nazi scientists. Even as a few were tried for war crimes, others were being given new identities, resources and authority to continue their work in America.
MK-Ultra -- Drugs, torture, isolation, abuse, electric shock, manipulation--this was a vast program encompassing more than 80 hospitals, universities, prisons, and drug companies, all for the purpose of turning humans into obedient zombies. "Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation?" And then to erase all memory: "Can we guarantee total amnesia under any and all conditions?"
Operation Gladio -- This was the name of a CIA operation in Italy, but similar operations were undertaken elsewhere in Europe, Turkey and South America. The object was to discredit legitimate socialists by associating them with criminal and terrorist acts. The terrorism was in fact perpetrated by our own CIA agents, and staging and manipulation of the press were used to make it appear that the socialists were at fault. The operation was funded with traficking of illegal drugs under CIA protection.
Operation Mockingbird -- This is the program under which the CIA infiltrated newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media. Narratives that served the power elite were made to pose as independent journalism. The program got its "legitimacy", such as it was, from foreign operations, but also sought influence in the US media market. "[Carl] Bernstein lists The New York Times, CBS and Time inc. as the most productive relationships the agency cultivated." The program officially ended after Congressional hearings in the 1970s, but it as open secret that CIA plants within the US press continue through the present.
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