John Whitehead's Commentary
America’s Reign of Terror: A Nation Reaps What It Sows
“The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.” ― James Madison
Who designed the malware worm that is now wreaking havoc on tens of thousands of computers internationally by hackers demanding a king’s ransom? The U.S. government.
Who is the biggest black market buyer and stockpiler of cyberweapons (weaponized malware that can be used to hack into computer systems, spy on citizens, and destabilize vast computer networks)? The U.S. government.
What country has one the deadliest arsenals of weapons of mass destruction? The U.S. government.
Who is the largest weapons manufacturer and exporter in the world, such that they are literally arming the world? The U.S. government.
Which is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon in wartime? The United States.
How did Saddam Hussein build Iraq’s massive arsenal of tanks, planes, missiles, and chemical weapons during the 1980s? With help from the U.S. government.
Who gave Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida “access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry”? The U.S. government.
What country has a pattern and practice of entrapment that involves targeting vulnerable individuals, feeding them with the propaganda, know-how and weapons intended to turn them into terrorists, and then arresting them as part of an elaborately orchestrated counterterrorism sting? The U.S. government.
Where did ISIS get many of their deadliest weapons, including assault rifles and tanks to anti-missile defenses? From the U.S. government.
Which country has a history of secretly testing out dangerous weapons and technologies on its own citizens? The U.S. government.
Are you getting the picture yet?
The U.S. government isn’t protecting us from terrorism.
The U.S. government is creating the terror. It is, in fact, the source of the terror.
Just think about it for a minute: almost every tyranny being perpetrated against the citizenry—purportedly to keep us safe and the nation secure—has come about as a result of some threat manufactured in one way or another by our own government.
Bio-chemical attacks. The nuclear arms race.
Surveillance. The drug wars.
In almost every instance, the U.S. government has in its typical Machiavellian fashion sown the seeds of terror domestically and internationally in order to expand its own totalitarian powers.
It’s time to wake up and stop being deceived by government propaganda.
We’re not dealing with a government that exists to serve its people, protect their liberties and ensure their happiness. Rather, these are the diabolical machinations of a make-works program carried out on an epic scale whose only purpose is to keep the powers-that-be permanently (and profitably) employed.
Case in point: For years now, the U.S. government has been creating what one intelligence insider referred to as a cyber-army capable of offensive attacks.
As Reuters reported back in 2013:
Even as the U.S. government confronts rival powers over widespread Internet espionage, it has become the biggest buyer in a burgeoning gray market where hackers and security firms sell tools for breaking into computers. The strategy is spurring concern in the technology industry and intelligence community that Washington is in effect encouraging hacking and failing to disclose to software companies and customers the vulnerabilities exploited by the purchased hacks. That's because U.S. intelligence and military agencies aren't buying the tools primarily to fend off attacks. Rather, they are using the tools to infiltrate computer networks overseas, leaving behind spy programs and cyber-weapons that can disrupt data or damage systems.
As part of this cyberweapons programs, government agencies such as the NSA have been stockpiling all kinds of nasty malware, viruses and hacking tools that can “steal financial account passwords, turn an iPhone into a listening device, or, in the case of Stuxnet, sabotage a nuclear facility.”
And now we learn that the NSA is responsible for the latest threat posed by the “WannaCry” or “Wanna Decryptor” malware worm which—as a result of hackers accessing the government’s arsenal—has hijacked more than 57,000 computers and crippled health care, communications infrastructure, logistics, and government entities in more than 70 countries already.
All the while the government was repeatedly warned about the dangers of using criminal tactics to wage its own cyberwars.
It was warned about the consequences of blowback should its cyberweapons get into the wrong hands.
The government chose to ignore the warnings.
That’s exactly how the 9/11 attacks unfolded.
First, the government helped to create the menace that was al-Qaida and then, when bin Laden had left the nation reeling in shock (despite countless warnings that fell on tone-deaf ears), it demanded—and was given—immense new powers in the form of the USA Patriot Act in order to fight the very danger it had created.
This has become the shadow government’s modus operandi regardless of which party controls the White House: the government creates a menace—knowing full well the ramifications such a danger might pose to the public—then without ever owning up to the part it played in unleashing that particular menace on an unsuspecting populace, it demands additional powers in order to protect “we the people” from the threat.
Yet the powers-that-be don’t really want us to feel safe.
They want us cowering and afraid and willing to relinquish every last one of our freedoms in exchange for their phantom promises of security.
As a result, it’s the American people who pay the price for the government’s insatiable greed and quest for power.
We’re the ones to suffer the blowback.
Blowback: a term originating from within the American Intelligence community, denoting the unintended consequences, unwanted side-effects, or suffered repercussions of a covert operation that fall back on those responsible for the aforementioned operations.
As historian Chalmers Johnson explains, “blowback is another way of saying that a nation reaps what it sows.”
Unfortunately, “we the people” are the ones who keep reaping what the government sows.
We’re the ones who suffer every time, directly and indirectly, from the blowback.
We’re made to pay trillions of dollars in blood money to a military industrial complex that kills without conscience. We’ve been saddled with a crumbling infrastructure, impoverished cities and a faltering economy while our tax dollars are squandered on lavish military installations and used to prop up foreign economies. We’ve been stripped of our freedoms. We’re treated like suspects and enemy combatants. We’re spied on by government agents: our communications read, our movements tracked, our faces mapped, our biometrics entered into a government database. We’re terrorized by militarized police who roam our communities and SWAT teams that break into our homes. We’re subjected to invasive patdowns in airports, roadside strip searches and cavity probes, forced blood draws.
This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.
We can persuade ourselves that life is still good, that America is still beautiful, and that “we the people” are still free.
However, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the moment you tune out the carefully constructed distractions—the year-round sports entertainment, the political theatrics, the military’s war cries, the president’s chest-thumping, and the techno-gadgets and social media that keep us oblivious to what’s really going on in the world around us—you quickly find that the only credible threat to our safety and national security is in fact the government itself.
As science fiction writer Philip K. Dick warned, “Don’t believe what you see; it’s an enthralling—[and] destructive, evil snare. Under it is a totally different world, even placed differently along the linear axis.”
In other words, all is not as it seems.
The powers-that-be are not acting in our best interests.
“We the people” are not free.
The government is not our friend.
And America will never be safe or secure as long as our government continues to pillage and plunder and bomb and bulldoze and kill and create instability and fund insurgencies and police the globe.
So what can we do to stop the blowback, liberate the country from the iron-clad grip of the military industrial complex, and get back to a point where freedom actually means something?
For starters, get your priorities in order. As long as Americans are more inclined to be offended over the fate of a Confederate statue rather than the government’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and human rights, then the status quo will remain.
Stop playing politics with your principles. As long as Americans persist in thinking like Republicans and Democrats—refusing to recognize that every administration in recent years has embraced and advanced the government’s authoritarian tactics—then the status quo will remain.
Value all human life as worthy of protection. As long as Americans, including those who claim to value the sanctity of human life, not only turn a blind eye to the government’s indiscriminate killings of innocent civilians but champion them, then the status quo will remain.
Recognize that in the eyes of the government, we’re all expendable. As long as we allow the government to play this dangerous game in which “we the people” are little more than pawns to be used, abused, easily manipulated and just as easily discarded—whether it’s under the guise of national security, the war on terror, the war on drugs, or any other manufactured bogeyman it can dream up—then the status quo will remain.
Demand that the government stop creating, stockpiling and deploying weapons of mass destruction: nuclear, chemical, biological, cyber, etc. As long as the government continues to use our tax dollars to create, stockpile and deploy weapons of mass destruction—whether those weapons are meant to kill, maim or disable (as in the case of the WannaCry computer virus)—we will be vulnerable to anyone who attempts to use those weapons against us and the status quo will remain.
Finally, stop supporting the war machine and, as Chalmers Johnson suggests, “bring our rampant militarism under control”:
From George Washington’s “farewell address” to Dwight Eisenhower’s invention of the phrase “military-industrial complex,” American leaders have warned about the dangers of a bloated, permanent, expensive military establishment that has lost its relationship to the country because service in it is no longer an obligation of citizenship. Our military operates the biggest arms sales operation on earth; it rapes girls, women and schoolchildren in Okinawa; it cuts ski-lift cables in Italy, killing twenty vacationers, and dismisses what its insubordinate pilots have done as a “training accident”; it allows its nuclear attack submarines to be used for joy rides for wealthy civilian supporters and then covers up the negligence that caused the sinking of a Japanese high school training ship; it propagandizes the nation with Hollywood films glorifying military service (Pearl Harbor); and it manipulates the political process to get more carrier task forces, antimissile missiles, nuclear weapons, stealth bombers and other expensive gadgets for which we have no conceivable use. Two of the most influential federal institutions are not in Washington but on the south side of the Potomac River–the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. Given their influence today, one must conclude that the government outlined in the Constitution of 1787 no longer bears much relationship to the government that actually rules from Washington. Until that is corrected, we should probably stop talking about “democracy” and “human rights.”