How Elites and Media Minimize Dissent and Bury Truth

We tolerate no dissent. That part of the Constitution is gone, along with the rest of it.

Over the last several years I have watched the rise of an important new intellect on the American scene. Ron Unz, publisher of The American Conservative, has demonstrated time and again the extraordinary ability to reexamine settled issues and show that the accepted conclusion was incorrect.

One of his early achievements was to dispose of the myth of immigrant crime by demonstrating that “Hispanics have approximately the same crime rates as whites of the same age and gender.” You can imagine the uproar, but Unz won the debate.

Unz provoked and prevailed in another controversy when he concluded that Mexican-Americans have approximately the same innate intelligence as whites, with their lower IQs being due to transitory socio-economic deprivation.

He next surprised by showing the connection between the declining real value of the minimum wage (about one-third less than in the 1960s) and immigration. Americans cannot survive on one-third less minimum income than four decades ago, and the unfilled jobs are taken by Hispanics who live many to the room. A higher minimum wage, Unz pointed out, would cure the illegal immigration problem as American citizens would fill the jobs.

I wrote about some of Unz’s remarkable findings. One of my favorites is his comparison of the responsiveness of the Chinese and US governments to their publics. I found his conclusion convincing that the authoritarian one-party Chinese government was more responsive to the Chinese people than democratic two-party Washington is to the American people.

The person is rare who can take on such controversial issues in such a professional way that he wins the admiration even of his critics. In my opinion, Ron Unz is a national resource. He has established online libraries of important periodicals and magazines from the pre-Internet era, information that otherwise essentially would be lost. I have not met him, but he donates to this site and is an independent thinker free of The Matrix.

Unz’s latest article, “Our American Pravda,” is a striking account of the failure of media, regulatory, and national security organizations and subsequent coverups that leave the public deceived. Unz uses the Iraq war as one example:

“The circumstances surrounding our Iraq War demonstrate this, certainly ranking it among the strangest military conflicts of modern times. The 2001 attacks in America were quickly ascribed to the radical Islamists of al-Qaeda, whose bitterest enemy in the Middle East had always been Saddam Hussein’s secular Baathist regime in Iraq. Yet through misleading public statements, false press leaks, and even forged evidence such as the “yellowcake” documents, the Bush administration and its neoconservative allies utilized the compliant American media to persuade our citizens that Iraq’s nonexistent WMDs posed a deadly national threat and required elimination by war and invasion. Indeed, for several years national polls showed that a large majority of conservatives and Republicans actually believed that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9/11 and the Iraq War was being fought as retribution. Consider how bizarre the history of the 1940s would seem if America had attacked China in retaliation for Pearl Harbor.

“True facts were easily available to anyone paying attention in the years after 2001, but most Americans do not bother and simply draw their understanding of the world from what they are told by the major media, which overwhelmingly—almost uniformly—backed the case for war with Iraq; the talking heads on TV created our reality. Prominent journalists across the liberal and conservative spectrum eagerly published the most ridiculous lies and distortions passed on to them by anonymous sources, and stampeded Congress down the path to war.

“The result was what my late friend Lt. Gen. Bill Odom rightly called the “greatest strategic disaster in United States history.” American forces suffered tens of thousands of needless deaths and injuries, while our country took a huge step toward national bankruptcy [and a police state]. Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and others have estimated that with interest the total long-term cost of our two recent wars may reach as high as $5 or $6 trillion, or as much as $50,000 per American household, mostly still unpaid. Meanwhile, economist Edward Wolff has calculated that the Great Recession and its aftermath cut the personal net worth of the median American household to $57,000 in 2010 from a figure nearly twice as high three years earlier. Comparing these assets and liabilities, we see that the American middle class now hovers on the brink of insolvency, with the cost of our foreign wars being a leading cause.

“But no one involved in the debacle ultimately suffered any serious consequences, and most of the same prominent politicians and highly paid media figures who were responsible remain just as prominent and highly paid today. For most Americans, reality is whatever our media organs tell us, and since these have largely ignored the facts and adverse consequences of our wars in recent years, the American people have similarly forgotten. Recent polls show that only half the public today believes that the Iraq War was a mistake.”

Unz covers a number of cases of criminality, treason, and coverups at high levels of government and points out that “these dramatic, well-documented accounts have been ignored by our national media.” One reason for “this wall of uninterest” is that both parties are complicit and thus equally eager to bury the facts.

Unz is raising the question of the efficacy of democracy. Does the way democracy works in America provide any more self-rule than in undemocratic regimes? He offers this example:

“Most of the Americans who elected Barack Obama in 2008 intended their vote as a total repudiation of the policies and personnel of the preceding George W. Bush administration. Yet once in office, Obama’s crucial selections—Robert Gates at Defense, Timothy Geither at Treasury, and Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve—were all top Bush officials, and they seamlessly continued the unpopular financial bailouts and foreign wars begun by his predecessor, producing what amounted to a third Bush term.”

In an article not long ago, I raised the issue whether Americans live in The Matrix with their perceptions and thoughts controlled by disinformation as in George Orwell’s 1984.

Unz adds to this perspective. He tells the story of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s plan to transform Russia into a make-believe two-party state complete with heated battles fought on divisive and symbolic issues. Behind the scenes the political elites would orchestrate the political battles between the parties with the purpose of keeping the population divided and funneling popular dissatisfaction into meaningless dead-end issues. In such a system, self-serving power prevails. After describing Berezovsky’s plot, Unz asks if Berezovsky got his idea from observing the American political scene.

Thinking further about the propagandistic nature of the US media, Unz writes:

“Individuals from less trusting societies are often surprised at the extent to which so many educated Americans tend to believe whatever the media tells them and ignore whatever it does not, placing few constraints on even the most ridiculous propaganda. For example, a commentator on my article described the East German media propaganda he had experienced prior to Reunification as being in many respects more factual and less totally ridiculous than what he now saw on American cable news shows. One obvious difference was that Western media was so globally dominant during that era that the inhabitants of the German Democratic Republic inevitably had reasonable access to a contrasting second source of information, forcing their media to be much more cautious in its dishonesty, while today almost any nonsense uniformly supported by the MSNBC-to-Fox News spectrum of acceptable opinion remains almost totally unquestioned by most Americans.”

Unz’s view of the US media as propagandists for power is consistent with that of John Pilger, one of the last remaining real journalists who refuses to serve power, and with Gerald Celente, who sums up the sordid American media in one word–”presstitutes.” I know from my own media experience that an independent print and TV media no longer exists in the West. The American media is a tightly controlled disinformation ministry.

Those few Americans who are free of the constraints imposed by dogmas on their ability to think and to process information have a huge responsibility for their small number. The assault on the rule of law began in the last years of the Clinton regime, but the real destruction of the US Constitution, the basis for the United States, was achieved by the neoconservative George W. Bush and Obama regimes. Wars without declarations by Congress, torture in violation of both US and international law, war crimes in violation of the Nuremberg standard, indefinite detention and assassination of US citizens without due process of law, universal spying on US citizens without warrants, federalization of state and local police now armed with military weapons and uniforms, detention centers, “your papers, please” (without the Gestapo “please”) not only at airports but also on highways, streets, bus terminals, train stations, and at sporting events.

On May 5 Obama gave the commencement address at Ohio State University. No doubt that the graduates thought that they were being honored by being addressed by the world’s greatest tyrant.

Obama told the graduating class, to applause, that their obligation as citizens is to trust the government. Outdoing George Orwell’s Big Brother, Obama said in public to a graduating class of a great university without shame: “You have grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as . . . some sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

Listen to my propaganda, not to those constitutional experts, legal authorities, and critics of me, the First Black President, who tell you to beware of unaccountable government. Due process is decided by the demands of the war on terror. If there is a war on terror, do you want a fair trial or do you want to be safe? I am going to make you safe by not giving defendants accused of terrorism, who some liberal-pinko-commie judge would set free, a fair trial.

Making you safe by enveloping you in a police state is a nonpartisan undertaking. Just listen to Lindsay Graham and Peter King and John McCain. These Republican leaders are demanding the police state that I am providing.

As my own legal department, The US Department of Justice, decided, the Dictator, I mean, elected president, has the power to save the country from domestic and foreign terrorists by abrogating the US Constitution, an out-of-date document that binds our hands and prevents us from keeping you, our serfs and minions, I mean our cherished citizens, safe.

Trust me. That is your obligation as a US citizen. Trust me and I will make you free, happy, employed sometime later in this century when the Amerikan Empire controls the world.

The US Constitution was written by people who opposed Empire. These people were misguided, just like the Roman Republicans who did not understand the need for a Caesar. The American Empire, as the neoconservatives have made clear, is what keeps you free from terrorism. We have to kill them over there before they come over here. And those who are over here will be killed too. We tolerate no dissent. That part of the Constitution is gone, along with the rest of it.

Now give me my honorary doctorate, another sign of approval of my usurpation.

# # # #

Paul Craig Roberts, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author, is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has been reporting on executive branch and cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books, and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. Mr. Roberts has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy, and has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. You can visit his website here.


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  1. ProudPrimate says:

    This piece, though grim, actually gives me hope, to think that my Liberal views and those of the writers of the Conservative side have drawn so near each other. Our old allegiances are falling away from us like rotted cloth. As Morpheus told Neo on the imaginary streets of Chicago, “however much we might wish to save them, anyone still plugged into the Matrix is our enemy”. The word enemy is too strong for my context, but the gulf between us is the same. Arch Conservatives suspect the silliest things and Arch Liberals are blind to the most blatant things.

    Out with the old and in with the new!
    O brave new world that hath such creatures in it!

  2. tonywicher says:

    There is only one living truth but we come to it from different perspectives depending on our past, some from the “right”, some from the “left”, but Honest people must finally come together. But the manipulators would keep us apart, divided into different parties, different ideologies, different religions. Divide and conquer is their primary method, that and endless deceit.

    Here is a theory I have put together about what really happened in Benghazi I have heard yet, based on a suggestion by the author of the movie “A Noble Lie” that Benghazi was a false flag October surprise gone awry:

    First, it must be understood that these Islamist militias are all controlled by the CIA. The October Surprise script was written and directed by John Brennan. His company was involved producing of the “Innocence of Muslims” video that was supposed to have occasioned the attack. Unknown to the rest of the CIA, including David Petraeus, whose job Brennan wanted, Brennan activated Ansar al Sharia to take Stevens hostage. Then Obama and our heroic special forces would rescue him only days before the election. The “Innocence of Muslims” video was part of the script. A mob enraged by this video was supposed to take Stevens hostage, which is what Susan Rice was going to say on the Sunday talk shows. They were going to take him to that Ansar al-Sharia controlled hospital where one of the witnesses said he was told Stevens or his body was, where he would then be heroically rescued, just days before the election. This was the script, but “Director” Brennan couldn’t control the action closely enough in this reality TV show, and in the heat of battle Stevens was killed by smoke inhalation. The administration was left with a royal mess on its hands, which it is covering up as best it can. Romney won the first debate by pushing Benghazi, and Obama looked completely lost. If he had continued to press it in the next two debates, Romney would have won the election, but it was too risky because it might have exposed too much. Therefore the powers that be told Romney to stop talking about Benghazi and take a fall.

    This is what we have come to.

  3. Trust Obama. Obama in the time of Osama .

    “If anyone should have questions about Obama’s record at Columbia University, it’s me. We both graduated (according to Obama) Columbia University, Class of ’83. We were both (according to Obama) Pre-Law and Political Science majors. And I thought I knew most everyone at Columbia. I certainly thought I’d heard of all of my fellow Political Science majors. But not Obama (or as he was known then- Barry Soetoro). I never met him. Never saw him. Never even heard of him. And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia have ever met him, saw him, or heard of him.
    But don’t take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that Fox News randomly called 400 of our Columbia classmates and never found one who had ever met Obama.”- Wayne Allyn Root
    Former Libertarian candidate for Vice President.

  4. guitarman says:

    Sorry Remo, your comment is not accurate. I dislike misinformation more than I dislike Obama so here are the facts.

    Q: Is it true that nobody remembers Obama attending Columbia University?

    A: At least one of his classmates remembers him well, and the university proudly claims Obama.


    Can you check this out and see if it is true?

    Thank you!

    I have always wondered why NO ONE ever came forward from Obama’s past saying they knew him, attended school with him, was his friend, etc. NO ONE, not one person has ever come forward from his past. VERY VERY STRANGE. This should really be a cause for great concern.


    We’re not sure why, but this false claim has been forwarded widely in recent days, judging by the number of queries we’ve received.

    Barack Obama was a transfer student from California’s Occidental College when he came to Columbia University in 1981 as a 20-year-old junior. More than 20,000 students currently attend Columbia. The enrollment in the early ’80s might have been lower, but not everybody would have met or remembered Obama. And it’s absolutely untrue that “not one person has ever come forward” from his years there, or that he is “the man who wasn’t there.”

    Columbia University proudly claims Obama as a 1983 graduate. The university magazine Columbia College Today profiled him as far back as 2005, after he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

    Last year, the New York Times wrote about Phil Boerner, who roomed with the future president during his first year at Columbia. The article included excerpts from the Columbia student directory, showing Obama living during his junior year at 142 West 109th Street near Columbia’s campus in New York City, and during his senior year at 339 East 94th Street. Boerner recalled that Obama sometimes wrapped himself in a sleeping bag to keep warm in the chilly apartment they shared, and that some nights he would cook chicken curry for dinner.

    In an article published in Columbia College Today, Boerner also wrote:

    Boerner: I remember often eating breakfast with Barack at Tom’s Restaurant on Broadway. Occasionally we went to The West End for beers. We enjoyed exploring museums such as the Guggenheim, the Met and the American Museum of Natural History, and browsing in bookstores such as the Strand and the Barnes & Noble opposite Columbia. We both liked taking long walks down Broadway on a Sunday afternoon, and listening to the silence of Central Park after a big snow. I also remember jogging the loop around Central Park with Barack.

    Obama even published an article in a school magazine called the Sundial. A reporter for the conservative Human Events magazine recently called it “a wholesale endorsement of all sorts of leftist claptrap fashionable at the time.” The full article is available on the Web site of It was published in the issue dated March 10, 1983.

    The e-mail incorrectly claims that ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos was a classmate of Obama. They were both students at Columbia for about one academic year, but Stephanopoulos was a year ahead. Obama received his degree in 1983, while Stephanopoulos received his a year earlier, according to a university press release. Neither of them were “class of 1984,” as the message incorrectly claims.

    The message recycles — and exaggerates to the point of falsification — some attacks that were raised in the heat of the 2008 presidential campaign. The claim that Fox News could not find any classmates who remembered Obama, for example, was published in a Sept. 11, 2008, Wall Street Journal editorial, which attacked then-candidate Obama for not releasing more information about his two years at the university. The message also makes much of Wayne Allyn Root’s statement in an interview that he didn’t know anybody who remembered Obama at Columbia. That appeared Sept. 5, 2008, in Reason magazine. What the message fails to mention is that Root was at the time a candidate for vice president on the Libertarian ticket. Root was stating that “[a] vote for Obama is four years of Karl Marx,” but even Root stopped short of claiming that Obama was not actually a student at Columbia.

    –Brooks Jackson

    Update, Feb. 23: After we published this item, we received an e-mail from a woman who says she knew Obama when he was at Columbia. You can read her recollection of playing soccer with Obama on campus in our FactCheck Mailbag.

    Correction, March 16: We originally used a quote from Phil Boerner, Obama’s roommate at Columbia, that referred to their time together at Occidental College. We have changed that quote to another of Boerner’s recollections about their time at Columbia.


    “Barack Obama ’83 Becomes First College Alumnus To Win Presidency.” Columbia University. 5 Nov 2008.

    Boss-Bicak, Shira. “Barack Obama ’93: Is He the New Face of The Democratic Party?” Columbia College Today. Jan 2005.

    Cowan, Allison Leigh. “Recollections of Obama’s Ex-Roommate.” New York Times “City Room” Blog. 20 Jan 2009, accessed 14 Feb 2010.

    Boerner, Phil. “Barack Obama ’83, My Columbia College Roommate.” Columbia College Today. Jan/Feb 2009.

    “Obama’s Lost Years.” Editorial. Wall Street Journal. 11 Sep 2008.

    Welch, Matt. “Wayne Allyn Root’s Million-Dollar Challenge.” Reason Magazine. 5 Sep 2008.

  5. Yes, I screwed up there alright. Many apologies. the presentation in the clip alone was enough to know double check necessary, I didn’t, and no excuses. Thank you.

  6. guitarman says:

    Oh ok Remo, np. There’s just so much useful info on Obama that I was pretty sure it would be easy to check his college history. I hate being confused lol.

  7. Yeah. I do feel bad about it.

  8. @Guitarman. I feel WORSE about not checking the factcheck.

    Upon reflection.

    [para]”Professor Henry Graff, perhaps the most legendary and honored professor ever at Columbia University was THE American History and Diplomatic History professor at Columbia for 46 years. He is emphatic that there are no Obama footprints at Columbia. Graff said, “I taught at Columbia for 46 years. I taught every significant American politician that ever studied at Columbia. I know them all. I’m proud of them all. Between American History and Diplomatic History, one way or another, they all had to come through my classes. Not Obama. I never had a student with that name in any of my classes. I never met him, never saw him, never heard of him.”
    This is a MOST SPECIFIC account and is not covered in factcheck and needs to be addressed by them.
    “According to a published report in the September Rock Creek Free Press of Washington, D.C., investigative reporter Wayne Madsen says Obama’s mother Ann Dunham worked “on behalf of a number of CIA front operations, including the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ford Foundation.” The East-West Center had long been affiliated with CIA activities in the Asia-Pacific region, Madsen says.
    What’s more, Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., arrived in Hawaii from Kenya as part of a CIA program to identify and train Africans who would be useful to the Agency in its Cold War operations against the Soviets, Madsen says. Obama Sr. divorced Ms. Dunham in 1964.
    President Barack Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham Sutoro, spent more than 20 years in Indonesia working on a range of development tasks for USAID, the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, and other organizations.
    And Grandfather Stanley Armour Dunham

    These are specific concerns associating Obama, parents and Grandparents to the intelligence or ‘deepstate ‘community. Very important when considering Obama’s non-investigation of the corrupt 911 Commission and creatioNIST reports.

    FURTHER is the well documented claim of the online forgery of Obama’s birth certificate.
    “The affidavit in the Alabama case, written by Zullo, says his team “concluded that there was probable cause that forgery and fraud had been committed in respect of two documents: 1) the long-form or original birth certificate computer image presented by Mr. Obama, which contained multiple errors and anomalies, many of them serious and: 2) the selective-service document for Mr. Obama, which contained a two-digit year-stamp.”

    This is a very serious matter. Professor GRAFF is categorically telling YOU and Factcheck ‘researchers’ he does NOT remember Obama EVER being there. Sherriff Arparo is telling us ALL he found evidence of forgery in the birth certificate of the President of the United States.
    One would argue the importance of these assertions being contested in an open court of LAW under cross-examination, rather than relying on a think-tank in Annenburg. What is ‘useful info’ to one, reads as ‘dutiful disinfo’ to another.

    Nothing in their rebuttals gets anywhere NEAR countering these assertions.

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