The Art of Doublespeak: Bellingcat and Mind Control

In the 1920s, the influential American intellectual Walter Lippman argued that the average person was incapable of seeing or understanding the world clearly and needed to be guided by experts behind the social curtain.  In a number of books he laid out the theoretical foundations for the practical work of Edward Bernays, who developed “public relations” (aka propaganda) to carry out this task for the ruling elites.  Bernays had honed his skills while working as a propagandist for the United States during World War I, and after the war he set himself up as a public relations counselor in New York City.

There is a fascinating exchange at the beginning of Adam Curtis’s documentary, The Century of Self, where Bernays, then nearly 100 years old but still very sharp, reveals his manipulative mindset and that of so many of those who have followed in his wake.  He says the reason he couldn’t call his new business “propaganda” was because the Germans had given propaganda a “bad name,” and so he came up with the euphemism “public relations.”  He then adds that “if you could use it [i.e. propaganda] for war, you certainly could use it for peace.”  Of course, he never used PR for peace but just to manipulate public opinion (he helped engineer the CIA coup against the democratically elected Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954 with fake news broadcasts).  He says “the Germans gave propaganda a bad name,” not Bernays and the United States with their vast campaign of lies, mainly aimed at the American people to get their support for going to a war they opposed (think weapons of mass destruction).  He sounds proud of his war propaganda work that resounded to his credit since it led to support for the “war to end all wars” and subsequently to a hit movie about WWI, Yankee Doodle Dandy, made in 1942 to promote another war, since the first one somehow didn’t achieve its lofty goal.

As Bernays has said in his book Propaganda,

The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today.

He was a propagandist to the end.  I suspect most viewers of the film are taken in by these softly spoken words of an old man sipping a glass of wine at a dinner table with a woman who is asking him questions. I have shown this film to hundreds of students and none has noticed his legerdemain.  It is an example of the sort of hocus-pocus I will be getting to shortly, the sly insertion into seemingly liberal or matter-of-fact commentary of statements that imply a different story.  The placement of convincing or confusing disingenuous ingredients into a truth sandwich – for Bernays knew that the bread of truth is essential to conceal untruth.

In the following years, Bernays, Lippman, and their ilk were joined by social “scientists,” psychologists, and sundry others intent on making a sham out of the idea of democracy by developing strategies and techniques for the engineering of social consensus consonant with the wishes of the ruling classes.  Their techniques of propaganda developed exponentially with the development of technology, the creation of the CIA, its infiltration of all the major media, and that agency’s courting of what the CIA official Cord Meyer called in the 1950s “the compatible left,” having already had the right in its pocket. Today most people are, as is said, “wired,” and they get their information from the electronic media that is mostly controlled by giant corporations in cahoots with government propagandists.  Ask yourself: Has the power of the oligarchic, permanent warfare state with its propaganda and spy networks increased or decreased over your lifetime. The answer is obvious: the average people that Lippman and Bernays trashed are losing and the ruling elites are winning.

This is not just because powerful propagandists are good at controlling so-called “average” people’s thinking, but, perhaps more importantly, because they are also adept – probably more so – at confusing or directing the thinking of those who consider themselves above average, those who still might read a book or two or have the concentration to read multiple articles that offer different perspectives on a topic.  This is what some call the professional and intellectual classes, perhaps 15-20 % of the population, most of whom are not the ruling elites but their employees and sometimes their mouthpieces.  It is this segment of the population that considers itself “informed,” but the information they imbibe is often sprinkled with bits of misdirection, both intentional and not, that beclouds their understanding of important public matters but leaves them with the false impression that they are in the know.

Recently I have noticed a group of interconnected examples of how this group of the population that exerts influence incommensurate with their numbers has contributed to the blurring of lines between fact and fiction. Within this group there are opinion makers who are often journalists, writers, and cultural producers of some sort or other, and then the larger number of the intellectual or schooled class who follow their opinions.  This second group then passes on their received opinions to those who look up to them.

There is a notorious propaganda outfit called Bellingcat, started by an unemployed Englishman named Eliot Higgins, that has been funded by The Atlantic Council, a think-tank with deep ties to the U.S. government, NATO, war manufacturers, and their allies, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), another infamous U.S. front organization heavily involved in so-called color revolution regime change operations all around the world, that has just won the International Emmy Award for best documentary. The film with the Orwellian title, Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World, received its Emmy at a recent ceremony in New York City.  Bellingcat is an alleged group of amateur on-line researchers who have spent years shilling for the U.S. instigated war against the Syrian government, blaming the Douma chemical attack and others on the Assad government, and for the anti-Russian propaganda connected to, among other things, the Skripal poisoning case in England, and the downing of flight MH17 plane in Ukraine. It has been lauded by the corporate mainstream media in the west.  Its support for the equally fraudulent White Helmets (also funded by the US and the UK) in Syria has also been praised by the western corporate media while being dissected as propaganda by many excellent independent journalists such as Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Catte Black, among others.  It’s had its work skewered by the likes of Seymour Hersh and MIT professor Theodore Postol, and its US government connections pointed out by many others, including Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal at The Gray Zone. And now we have the mainstream media’s wall of silence on the leaks from the Organization for the Prohibition on Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concerning the Douma chemical attack and the doctoring of their report that led to the illegal U.S. bombing of Syria in the spring of 2018.  Bellingcat was at the forefront of providing justification for such bombing, and now the journalists Peter Hitchens, Tareq Harrad (who recently resigned from Newsweek after accusing the publication of suppressing his revelations about the OPCW scandal) and others are fighting an uphill battle to get the truth out.

Yet Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World won the Emmy, fulfilling Bernays’ point about films being the greatest unconscious carriers of propaganda in the world today.

Who presented the Emmy Award to the film makers, but none other than the rebel journalist Chris Hedges.  Why he did so, I don’t know.  But that he did so clearly sends a message to those who follow his work and trust him that it’s okay to give a major cultural award to a propaganda outfit.  But then, perhaps he doesn’t consider Bellingcat to be that.

Nor, one presumes, does The Intercept, the billionaire Pierre Omidyar owned publication associated with Glen Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, and also read by many progressive-minded people. The Intercept that earlier this year disbanded the small team that was tasked with reviewing and releasing more of the massive trove of documents they received from Edward Snowden six years ago, a minute number of which have ever been released or probably ever will be. As Whitney Webb pointed out, last year The Intercept  hosted a workshop for Bellingcat.  She wrote:

The Intercept, along with its parent company First Look Media, recently hosted a workshop for pro-war, Google-funded organization Bellingcat in New York. The workshop, which cost $2,500 per person to attend and lasted five days, aimed to instruct participants in how to perform investigations using “open source” tools — with Bellingcat’s past, controversial investigations for use as case studies…Thus, while The Intercept has long publicly promoted itself as an anti-interventionist and progressive media outlet, it is becoming clearer that – largely thanks to its ties to Omidyar – it is increasingly an organization that has more in common with Bellingcat, a group that launders NATO and U.S. propaganda and disguises it as “independent” and “investigative journalism.”

Then we have Jefferson Morley, the editor of The Deep State, former Washington Post journalist, and JFK assassination researcher, who has written a praiseworthy review of the Bellingcat film and who supports Bellingcat.  “In my experience, Bellingcat is credible,” he writes in an Alternet article, “Bellingcat documentary has the pace and plot of a thriller.”

Morley has also just written an article for Counterpunch“Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’” – in which he disputes the claim that the April 7, 2018 attack in the Damascus suburb was a false flag operation carried out by Assad’s opponents. “I do not see any evidence proving that Douma was a false flag incident,” he writes in this article that is written in a style that leaves one guessing as to what exactly he is saying.  It sounds convincing unless one concentrates, and then his double messages emerge.  Yet it is the kind of article that certain “sophisticated” left-wing readers might read and feel is insightful.  But then Morley, who has written considerably about the CIA, edits a website that advertises itself as “the thinking person’s portal to the world of secret government,” and recently had an exchange with former CIA Director John Brennan where “Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest,” said in February 2017, less than a month after Trump was sworn in as president, that:

With a docile Republican majority in Congress and a demoralized Democratic Party in opposition, the leaders of the Deep State are the most—perhaps the only—credible check in Washington on what Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) calls Trump’s “wrecking ball presidency.”  

Is it any wonder that some people might be a bit confused?

“I know what you’re thinking about,” said Tweedledum; “but it isn’t so, nohow.”

“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t.  That’s logic.”

As a final case in point, there is a recent book by Stephen Kinzer, Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb And The CIA Search For Mind Control, the story of the chemist known as Dr. Death who ran the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control project, using LSD, torture, electric shock therapy, hypnosis, etc.; developed sadistic methods of torture still used in black sites around the world; and invented various ingenious techniques for assassination, many of which were aimed at Fidel Castro.  Gottlieb was responsible for brutal prison and hospital experiments and untold death and suffering inflicted on all sorts of innocent people.  His work was depraved in the deepest sense; he worked with Nazis who experimented on Jews despite being Jewish himself.

Kinzer writes in depth about this man who considered himself a patriot and a spiritual person – a humane torturer and killer.  It is an eye-opening book for anyone who does not know about Gottlieb, who gave the CIA the essential tools they use in their “organized crime” activities around the world – in the words of Douglass Valentine, the author of The CIA as Organized Crime and The Phoenix Program. Kinzer’s book is good history on Gottlieb; however, he doesn’t venture into the present activities of the CIA and Gottlieb’s patriotic followers, who no doubt exist and go about their business in secret.

After recounting in detail the sordid history of Gottlieb’s secret work that is nauseating to read about, Kinzer leaves the reader with these strange words:

Gottlieb was not a sadist, but he might well have been…. Above all he was an instrument of history.  Understanding him is a deeply disturbing way of understanding ourselves.

What possibly could this mean?  Not a sadist?  An instrument of history?  Understanding ourselves?  These few sentences, dropped out of nowhere, pull the rug out from under what is generally an illuminating history and what seems like a moral indictment. This language is pure mystification.

Kinzer also concludes that because Gottlieb said so, the CIA failed in their efforts to develop methods of mind control and ended MK-ULTRA’s experiments long ago. Why would he believe the word of a man who personified the agency he worked for: a secret liar? He writes,

When Sydney Gottlieb brough MK-ULTRA to its end in the early 1960s, he told his CIA superiors that he had found no reliable way to wipe away memory, make people abandon their consciences, or commit crimes and then forget them.

As for those who might think otherwise, Kinzer suggests they have vivid imaginations and are caught up in conspiracy thinking: “This [convincing others that the CIA had developed methods of mind control when they hadn’t] is Sydney Gottlieb’s most unexpected legacy,” he asserts. He says this although Richard Helms, the CIA Director, destroyed all MK-Ultra records. He says that Allen Dulles, Gottlieb, and Helms themselves were caught up in a complete fantasy about mind control because they had seen too many movies and read too many books; mind control was impossible, a failure, a myth, he maintains. It is the stuff of popular culture, entertainment. In an interview with Chris Hedges, interestingly posted by Jefferson Morley at his website, The Deep State, Hedges agrees with Kinzer.  Gottlieb, Dulles, et al. were all deluded.  Mind control was impossible.  You couldn’t create a Manchurian Candidate; by implication, someone like Sirhan Sirhan could not have been programmed to be a fake Manchurian Candidate and to have no memory of what he did, as he claims.  He could not have been mind-controlled by the CIA to perform his part as the seeming assassin of Senator Robert Kennedy while the real killer shot RFK from behind. People who think like this should get real.

Furthermore, as is so common in books such as Kinzer’s, he repeats the canard that JFK and RFK knew about and pressured the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro. This is demonstrably false, as shown by the Church Committee and the Assassinations Record Review Board, among many others. That Kinzer takes the word of notorious liars like Richard Helms and the top-level CIA operative Samuel Halpern is simple incredible, something that is hard to consider a mistake.  Slipped into a truth sandwich, it is devoured and passed on. But it is false. Bullshit meant to deceive.

But this is how these games are played. If you look carefully, you will see them widely.  Inform, enlighten, while throwing in doubletalk and untruths.  The small number of people who read such books and articles will come away knowing some history that has no current relevance and being misinformed on other history that does. They will then be in the know, ready to pass their “wisdom” on to those who care to listen. They will not think they are average.

But they will be mind controlled, and the killer cat will roam freely without a bell, ready to devour the unsuspecting mice.



29 thoughts on “The Art of Doublespeak: Bellingcat and Mind Control”

  1. I remember once reading a comment; I do not remember who made this comment, however while reading the above I recall;

    “whatever the question, the answer is NO” I do know this man was simply stating; any ‘popular’ idea or belief, I will not grant legitimacy to it. Listen to a Tree, not a ‘citizen’!

  2. Kinzer’s book is a fantastic example of your point. There is a vastly superior book on Gottlieb/MKULTRA by HP Albarelli. Despite Albarelli’s exhaustive research and documentation, neither Kinzer nor Errol Morris in Wormwood can acknowledge that the CIA murdered Frank Olson to cover up the horrible atrocity perpetrated by the CIA at Pont St Espirit. Nor can either name the killers, which again Albarelli revealed. Limited hangout history for the masses obfuscates real history for the intellectually curious.

  3. I only recently became aware of the Jefferson Morley character and his ‘Deep State’ site, one purpose of which as I recall is to supposedly re-examine the assassinations of the 1960’s. Morley, however, given his actual comments completely dismissing such important events as the revelations of the OPCW whistleblowers, would appear to be nothing but yet another CIA limited hangout character whose purpose is simply to obfuscate and redirect away from a truthful examination of current Western criminality. What a perfect persona to operate from while he “reexamines the assassinations.” Amazing. Perhaps he can “reexamine” the 9/11 commission report and tell us everything is just fine – go back to sleep. When Morley, in his CounterPuff article, explained that he agreed with the odious CIA troll Louis Proyect that the OPCW whistleblowers don’t change anything, it was clear CounterPuff has now sunk to even greater depths of depravity than I ever imagined possible.

    Sad to hear that Kinser so easily dismisses the CIA research on mind control. What we know about RFK’s assassination alone is quite enough to deduce that Kinser is clearly off-base with such an assessment. I’ll still read the book when available at my library, but with my typically jaundiced eye. Great post Ed.

  4. Who can you believe? Left-wing stalwarts like Chomsky, Counterpunch, The Nation, The New Republic (showing my age), Greenwald, Hedges (maybe), and Amy Goodman are now suspect. That’s on top of the mainstream media, totally captive by its corporate owners. I came to the conclusion that I should believe absolutely nothing from the MSM and conducted an experiment.

    All my college-educated liberal/lefty/NPR listing friends adore Greta Thunberg. “Isn’t it great? She’s shaking things up.” (And none of them likes to hear me blather about how unlikely it is that a 16-year-old girl will address the UN, the World Economic Forum, meet the pope and Obama–twice–without considerable clout and PR expertise behind her.) It reeks of a total con.

    The Greta phenomenon got me thinking. I considered global warming denialists knuckle-dragging, oil-funded fundamentalists. Could I be wrong? I had never questioned it. So I searched denialists (my experiment). The first level included a lot of Trump appointees, the usual suspects. Then I dug deeper and found Freeman Dyson. I had read his book Disturbing the Universe years ago. A Princeton physicist who had worked with Einstein. Now in his 90s, still sharp. Doesn’t buy man-made global warming and explains why (on numerous YouTube videos). I found others, like astrophysicist Willy Soon. Jeremy Corbyn’s older brother Piers, a physicist, is another. There are more scientists with doubts. They all point out that in addition to technical points that are not settled science and open to debate, “man-made global warming” is now orthodoxy, not to be questioned. You get shouted down, not debated. And if you’re a scientist who questions it, you won’t get funded.

    What’s that tell you? I have no idea if Dyson, Soon, Corbyn and others are right or wrong. How could I? But their arguments are consistent and all point out that big corporations are controlling the message about man-made global warming, Greta, the greenhouse effect, etc. I’m a reporter by trade. Two rules: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. And follow the money.

    Mark Crispin Miller, a media professor at NYU, points out that you have do your own research now, and you can’t depend on a source’s professed ideology for guidance. The result is I’m often agreeing with libertarians, occasionally with Fox News and even the despicable Trump (especially with the impeachment hoax). And skeptical of the usual left sources. It’s a strange world, unhinged.

      1. Richard, thanks. I’ve read her stuff–deep analysis, paints a picture of a crisis in capitalism that’s driving the billionaires’ Greta/global warming hysteria. What’s troubling is that I know nothing about her. And she didn’t quote anyone in her work to bolster her point of view (at least what I read, quite a long series of articles).

        1. Mark Crispin Miller has swallowed Morningstar’s Greta thesis whole. I haven’t read the articles yet because I have to work forty hours a week and can think of better things to do with my time.

          My view is that there is a man-made climate crisis and we need to solve it. Greta has brought much greater attention to the issue, which I think is wonderful.

          1. Don’t read the Morningstar articles, for sure. Stick to your uninformed opinion (like I did for years). And don’t look at YouTube videos by Freeman Dyson, Willy Soon or Piers Corbyn. Stay propagandized.

          2. Tyler, you are a perfect example of just the sort of lying aristocratic manager Mr. Curtin is talking about. Hope you become unemployable soon, Tyler.

    1. Might be a good time of place for an article ,etc. On climate change from a real left perspective by a real scientist?

    2. Here’s a different and refreshing slant (by the author of “Climate: A New Story”) on the climate change/global warming issue: a short introductory video, on the author’s new website, entitled “What if we survive?” Other videos and audios on the website expand and develop the author’s unusual, interesting, and (to me) compelling perspective.

  5. The most thoroughly deceived are those who think they are ‘woke’, which usually means they’ve just pulled back the top layer of lies, and because they believe they now ‘see the light’ are actually dragged deeper into the darkness.

    Speaking from experience one doesn’t suddenly become ‘woke’. It take years and thousands of hours to understand the sophistication of the system of slavery we live in. One absolute truth is that we are buried in lies. So much so that it is usually impossible to discover the truth. But normally we can prove that the official narrative is a lie.

    Mind control is a reality. Humans are easily manipulated. TV ( actually any image projected with light) quickly changes the brainwave state of the mind of the viewer. Putting the viewer into essentially a receive-only mode, and lessening critical thinking. A semi-hypnotic state. Estabrooks, mentioned in a prior comment, and Aldous Huxley (in his UC Berkley talk entitled “Ultimate Revolution”) stated that 20% of humans are easily hypnotized, 60% moderately susceptible to hypnotism, and 20% are basically immune to hypnotism. With the amount of ‘screen time’ the average person spends in front of their computer, smartphone, and TV I am comfortable saying that 80% of the population is regularly in a hypnotic state… mind controlled.

    Excellent article and spot on. I also agree that I see more people rejecting the propaganda. I’ve multiple theories as to why. One is that as the propaganda moves farther and farther from the truth, and thus becomes more absurd, the more difficult it is to deceive the audience and therefor more reject it.

    In my humble opinion if we are ever going to take back our lives then the population as a whole must become aware that mind control is real, and that we all have been victims of it our entire lives.

    Stumbled on your website from I have written and posted about this subject in the past ( which was taken down in one of their censorship purges. I’ve been thinking I need to start posting again, this article and the comments have been an encouragement.

    Note: Look up Huxley’s “Ultimate Revolution”, you can find audio recordings and transcripts of the talk. Very informative especially as Huxley, in my opinion, is one of the architects of the current reality we live in.

  6. Very enlightening article. Thank you.

    Bernays’ comment, ” the average person was incapable of seeing or understanding the world clearly and needed to be guided by expert,” shows his insulated ability to relate to others as possible equals.

    Wouldn’t it be likely that if all our media gave true and accurate info to the public, that the level of society’s awareness and intelligence would be greatly increased. It seems to me that the irony is that it is his propaganda that dumbed down the masses, and that same propaganda today has left our society at a level of imbecility.

    Keep up the excellent work.

  7. Thank you for articulating what I’ve bee suspecting for a while. Either I’m getting old or they’ve brought in some ninja linguists to scramble the info…
    Gotta hand it to ’em for the sheer power, cleverness, and density of the “PR”.
    And the ubiquity of it is more than a little creepy. As we said in the USN, roll up your pants, it’s getting deep. I also appreciate your noting that the would-be antagonists will only go so far, like Grizzly bears won’t venture into Bigfoot territory. But I digress, new to your site, looks promising!

  8. Chomsky led the way for all the sheepdogs of the left that came after. He did it by giving a radical critique of US wars of aggression while confirming the major premise upon which those wars were based. E.g., The US has no business attacking Serbia, but Milosevic is a brutal dictator. Same formula with Saddam Hussein and Bashar Assad — all “brutal dictators.”

    Now the left is so fractured with identity politics that everybody is a sheepdog.

    1. Isn’t the ‘boogey’ man an artifact of the Great European Civil War, 1917-1945? The Kaiser, Hitler, etc. Then ‘never again’ and all those shibboleths? A sort of perpetual campaign of teleological virtue where all world ‘leaders’ contrary to the Bos-Wash catechism are always painted in dark eschatological hues. How many countries in history have sustained a decades-long war, in some god-forsaken part of the globe, e.g., Afghanistan, on the basis of ‘virtue’? (By virtue, I mean so-called Afghani women’s rights, universal education, et cetera ad nauseum.) (Perhaps to answer my own question, Churchill’s ‘war correspondence’ during the horrific Boer War might have paved the way for the modern propaganda wars…)

      Then there’s the darker side of our morality skit as Douglas Valentine has so ably pointed out. CIA and ‘intelligence’ goons (including those in NATO) setting up the ‘bad’ men for the virtue signalers back home. Mosadeq/Iranian Revolution, Hussein/Iraq-Iran War, Mujahideen/Afghan War, Gaddafi/Sarkozy/utter destruction of Libya. It gets deeper in Yugoslavia. Our constant meddling in so-called ‘color revolutions’. Etc. Set ’em up: knock ’em down.

      I always imagine these spawn of satan, e.g., the heads of the CIA, Pentagram, MI6, other ‘intelligence’ services and the Ivy League/Oxbridge set sitting around and thinking up, ‘what will give the serfs purpose in their lives?’

      The US/Nato morality skits may not be quite as deadly as Stalin or Mao’s, but it’s certainly as potent and arguably more engrained because its basis is a secular religion.

      1. You make some good points and then wreck it by saying “not as deadly as Stalin’s or Mao’s.” Thus showing you’ve drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid. Do you think Western imperialist propaganda only began after WWII?

  9. Great great stuff, I totally agree. None of these leftie opposition guys will go anywhere near the real dark shit. They all seem to be controlled.

    George Estabrooks stated flatly in his book “Hypnotism” (he was an academic but worked for Intelligence)- that mind-controlled assassins were child’s play to create. LSD (and other drugs) simply make it easier and faster. They seem to be able to create mind controlled soldiers and celebrities (and politicians?) (and businessmen?)
    It’s a freaky and fascinating subject.

    Hitchens has seemed way over-wrought to me for some time while still avoiding 9-11 or JFK- much as Chomsky, Snowden, Assange, and yes Greenwald -they ALL do. Suspicious. because if you have 2 brain cells some things are obvious…

    There are a lot of ways to hypnotize someone. The new Yorker is great at the same kind of writing. Hypnosis is ultimately the basis of culture. Our only hope is that, yes, it does wear off. The core of humanity is decent and good, so eventually, their evil will fail. But evil is what it is. These are dark times. Keep writing!

    1. Thank you, Bob. I agree that an experiment in mass hypnosis is under way; has been for a long time. But more and more people are snapping out of it. There is where hope lies. Pax, Ed

  10. It seems this article is trying to make a case against Hedges but fails because he had nothing to do with the film, Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World or choosing it for an award or choosing any other film at that event. His role at the Emmy’s was simply as a functionary. He was asked to be a presenter because of his reputation and status and has no say on which films are chosen or awarded. Therefore this article stretching the truth quite a bit in what appears to be a desperate attempt to smear Hedges. There is only one line in this entire article that offers makes any connection between Hedges and the Bellingcat film and turns out to be a very weak connection as it proved nothing other Hedges was a presenter at an awards ceremony. Or perhaps proves that Curtin seems intent on smearing Hedges for reasons unclear. What is clear is that Hedge’s anti war position and advocacy and merciless critique of Empire and imperialism is well known and indisputable.

    1. Thank you, whoever you are. When Hedges found out on the spot that night that the Bellingcat film won, knowing in advance that Bellingcat might win (there were only 4 nominees), he could have refused to give the award to a well-known propaganda outfit that supports the bloody U.S. killing in Syria and all the anti-Russia propaganda that can lead to a nuclear war. How can you be against war and give such an award to an organization that promotes it? Can you imagine the statement his refusal would have made? I have nothing at all against Chris Hedges. He has written some excellent things, just as The Intercept has published some, just as Morley and Kinzer have. But there is a pattern here that needs to be pointed out, which is what I was doing. Pax, Ed

      1. I have thought that Hedges and Chomsky, as just two examples, don’t challenge the official nonsense on 9/11 simply because publishers of their books, and prospective other publishers of them, or various funders, wouldn’t tolerate it. That may be the case for Kinzer as well. It’s lamentable for me because for decades I admired Chomsky and Kinzer (after “Bitter Fruit,” which he coauthored).

        Hard to know what the hell is going on, except that virtually all newspapers are seemingly controlled propaganda sheets with less and less real news, and that has to include the Associated Press, which is owned by its controlled customers. Maybe the control has been the case for a long time, but with the shrunken number of news organization owners and with their shrunken advertising base ) and with less and less people inclined to read anything), it is increasingly obvious.

        As you have done occasionally in the past, Ed, you have offered a whole course prospectus in this entry. The comments are great. I sympathize with the fellow above who, working a 40-hour week, doesn’t want to read an opus on anything. With so many of one’s peers, neighbors, relatives, seemingly hypnotized to accept official stuff, one can find being a conscientious citizen extremely demanding. It can also help end one’s current employment, or marriage.

    2. Also, and this isn’t mentioned so much in the article, Chris Hedges’ work is rather demoralizing. His observations are true, but the writing is so “doomsaying” that it objectively functions to push readers into a quietist state: things are too terrible to change them, so why bother?

      Sometimes I feel similarly about Chomsky, who makes very insightful observations about the injustices and inadequacies of modern political economy, but when it comes to some “positive” suggestion–as in: what should we do about it?–his advice is limp as a noodle. “Oh I’ve heard about a commune here or there. Did you hear about Mondragon? Or the Spanish Civil War? Did you try voting tactically?” It’s laughable.

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