by Lee Camp, published on Consortium News, October 12, 2020
Most Americans don’t know reality.
They know their personal reality, but unfortunately their reality is thoroughly detached from real pure, uncut reality. For example, do they know that police across the country work with corporations to criminalize journalism? Do they know that large PR companies created a false reality to justify U.S. intervention in Syria? Do they know the word “intervention” acts as a euphemism for “cold-blooded murder under false pretenses”?
Americans don’t know these aspects of reality. You and I wouldn’t know either if it weren’t for leaks and whistleblowers.
Two recent massive leaks have received a near blackout in the mainstream media , and yet again only leaks allow us to glimpse the dirty underbelly of the empire. The Blue Leaks revealed the corruption and incompetence behind police departments across the country, and the Syria PR Leaks revealed that large U.S. & U.K.-funded PR companies helped sell regime change efforts in Syria.
The Blue Leaks
Let’s start with the Blue Leaks — thousands of documents revealing corruption, wrongdoing and incompetence by American police departments and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the Intercept reported, some documents
“show police agencies including DHS share thinly-sourced conspiracy theories as if they are truth. …For example, Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis circulated a tweet to law enforcement agencies across the country reporting that Antifa was stashing bricks to ‘fuel protests.’ As Mainer magazine reported, the original source of the information was a pro-Trump biker who called himself ‘The Wolfman’ and previously spread conspiracy theories online.”
So, the Wolfman can just tweet that protesters are preparing to hit cops with bricks and that’s all it takes? I’ve been tweeting true shit for years, yet it never results in a national police bulletin. What do I have to do to have an over-inflated impact on society? Dress up like a biker and start going by “Squirrel Boy?” I’ll do it. I have no shame. (I haven’t had any dignity since the middle school mooning incident of 1993.)
But the leaks don’t just reveal our little boys in blue chase lies around the country; they’ve also been illegally surveilling people.
“DHS officials in San Diego oversaw a sweeping, binational intelligence gathering operation targeting lawyers, journalists, and asylum-advocates associated with the migrant caravans…”
In a normal universe, this type of behavior would be exceedingly illegal. In a rational dimension, the whole country would be up in arms as much as following the unveiling of New Coke. In a logical and free country, no one would stand for this level of government overreach and injustice. But alas, we don’t live there. We live here — a nation where the media hardly even reports on the DHS spying on lawyers, activists and journalists.
Well, at least they weren’t accusing peaceful protesters of being terrorists — riiiight?
“…a substantial portion of the intelligence on Black Lives Matter protests flowed through the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center’s Terrorism Liaison Officer program… The terror info program became a clearinghouse for information on upcoming demonstrations.”
Yeah, we’re not calling you terrorists — we’re just putting all the information about your peaceful demonstrations in the Terror Info Program. But in their defense, to the overwhelmingly white police officers across this country, it is terrifying that black people could actually gain equality — like being able to stand in line at a fast food place without fearing they’ll be tackled and arrested, sending Chalupa sauce all over their children. White cops probably do view equality as a form of terrorism.
One more from the myriad Blue Leaks —
“Amid terror warnings, a Railroad Industry Group passed intel on environmental journalists to the cops” and made the cops think that the journalists were linked to terrorism. … And there was extensive communication between private industry and public law enforcement —allowing the industry to influence law enforcement and national security policy.”
Basically, corporations are not only guiding law enforcement, they’re also tricking them into thinking a standard environmental journalist is a terrorist. Yes, the 24-year-old blogger with the acne problem — he’s the true terrorist. Not the corporate CEO who mourns as much for the people he blew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, with a bomb train as a race car driver mourns the flies splattered across his windshield during a race.
The Blue Leaks consist of thousands more documents I can’t go into here, but seeing as the mainstream media and big tech social media platforms are scared to death you’ll read theleaked documents, you should totally NOT read them. Do not look up the Blue Leaks and find out what they say. Definitely don’t.
Next up in this Showcase Showdown of “Leaks That Expose the Empire,” you might recall that throughout the U.S. attacks on Syria, the mainstream media told Americans that a bunch of awesome rebels were fighting for a free Syria and the U.S. government was helping them. When those stories were in full force, I don’t know about you, but I thought,
“Everything the corporate media is telling us must be absolutely true. They would never lie to us about this. Sure, they’d lie about everything else. But THIS – they are totally telling the truth because they just want to help the poor people in Syria. All the other times the corporate media has lied us into war (Iraq, Libya, Vietnam, the Spanish American War, the Great Wet T-Shirt Contest of 1872) notwithstanding, when it comes to Syria, our military media industrial complex are basically Oscar Schindler. No doubt.”
Alas, much to my shock, I was wrong.
The Grayzone has reported on a new leak of hundreds of documents that show
“Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained and funded Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. …UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.”
That’s right — government contractors — meaning we taxpayers in the U.S. and U.K. funded the propaganda that manufactured consent for destroying Syria. (Quick note for the oligarchs: If you’re going to lie to us and enlist our consent in nearly collapsing a country of 20 million people, the least you can do is not make us pay for it ourselves. That’s just poor sportsmanship.)
But how much impact could these few planted news stories possibly have? I mean, I’m sure this false crap wasn’t that prevalent.
“These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and influencers, and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.”
Sixteen hundred media people, many calling themselves “journalists,” were simply printing hack stories by pro-war government cut-outs?! Compare that number to those of us reporting the truth. …I count, um, seven. …Nine if you include the two who only do their “reporting” on the telephone to telemarketers who are unlucky enough to accidentally call them. A single PR company used 1,600 people and millions of dollars pouring in from the U.S. and U.K. With that kind of money, they should’ve won a goddamn Oscar — like Schindler’s List.
…Wait. I now remember. They DID win an Oscar. A documentary about the White Helmets in Syria won an Oscar!
You recall the White Helmets — the amazing people in Syria who just rescue children from rubble. And America — who bombs children all over the world —happens to care about these particular children. Nothing to see here. Nothing unusual. We Americans just really care about Syrian children. Don’t give a tip of a turd about any other children crushed by our wars (hot, cold or lukewarm) around the world. Only Syrians caught in rubble rescued by the White Helmets pull at heartstrings.
Perhaps this next part won’t shock you. The new leaks confirm earlier reporting by The Grayzone and others showing the White Helmets were funded by Western governments and claimed to be saving innocent civilians while also trying to get America to bomb more. They literally called for more air strikes. It’s not so dissimilar from all those emergency room doctors who spend their days trying desperately to save lives and then run around at night trying to start gang wars by making fun of Li’l Boom-Boom’s swastika tattoo before yelling “WEST SIDE!” and running away. That’s super common among doctors.
“The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with USAID’s Office of Transitional Initiatives — the wing that has promoted regime change around the world — and have been provided with $23 million in funding from the department.”
So, the U.S. helped create the war, helped create the destruction, created the so-called heroes (who want more destruction), created the award-winning documentary about the “heroes,” and created the news reports about the documentary about the “heroes.” That isn’t just wag the dog; that’s wag the whole fuckin’ kennel and the buildings next to the kennel and everything down the street and the whole city.
Putting further flesh on the (dog) bone — the leaked documents also show another Western contractor called “ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria’s armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by ‘Softening the FSA Image.’”
One should not be shocked that taking terrorists who sometimes behead innocent people and making them look like “moderate rebels” does indeed require a great deal of “softening.” In my experience terrorists often need just a bit of smoothing over before you bring them home to meet your parents. (It’s useful to remind them just before you walk in the door, “If my dad asks what you do, rather than say ‘I yank the infidels out of their beds and execute them,’ say ‘I’m a door-to-door knife salesman.’ It’s sort of true.”)
But these PR companies didn’t stop at creating false stories. Ben Norton at The Grayzone reports,
“U.S. and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile.”
These Western-funded PR firms actually helped create the Syrian government-in-exile. It’s clear that at every level the catastrophic events in Syria have been stage-managed by the U.S., U.K. and Western-backed PR firms trying to create regime change, trying to manifest a failed state thousands of miles away from your average Americans or Brits who don’t know about the crimes perpetrated in their names. And sadly, even many in the somewhat-independent media — who are often adversarial to U.S. imperial aims — still fall hook-line-and-sinker for this garbage propaganda.
Here’s an easy rule of thumb to follow in the future — any time the U.S. government says they care about human beings, you know some awful shit is going down
*Featured Image: Flowers and slogans in the intersection in Minneapolis near which George Floyd was killed, days earlier, by a policeman on May 25, 2020. (Fibonacci Blue, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)
Lee Camp is a comedian and activist who is most widely known for hosting Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp in RT America. His new bookBullet Points and Punch Linesis available at LeeCampBook.com and his stand-up comedy special can be streamed for free at LeeCampAmerican.com.