Monday, March 13, 2017

Truest statement of the week II

When Donald Trump charged that President Obama wiretapped the Republican campaign in the weeks after the November election, the bulk of corporate media chose to treat the allegation as another example of Trump’s “alternative facts.” They trotted out folks like Ben Rhodes, a former deputy National Security Advisor to Obama, who dismissed the charge as ridiculous. "No President can order a wiretap,” Rhodes huffed.
This may be technically true, but it’s an objective lie. Presidents can cause anybody to be spied upon, simply by indicating a desire to see it happen. In 1963, the Kennedy brothers -- formally acting through Bobby Kennedy’s office as Attorney General -- gave FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover permission to tap Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s phones and bug his home and offices. Hoover’s goal, according to a 2008 CNN “Black in America” report, was to “neutralize King as an effective Negro leader.” The Bureau didn’t find evidence that King was under “communist influence,” but did discover “embarrassing details about King's sex life,” which the FBI used to encourage King to kill himself. When he declined to take his own life, someone else did the job.
Technically, neither Robert nor John Kennedy ordered the FBI to spy on MLK. But that’s immaterial; Hoover had reason to believe that the Kennedy brothers wanted King bugged. Hoover offered his clandestine services to the White House, and “went fishing” for any dirt he could get. By the end of 1969, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark and scores of other Black Panthers had joined Dr. King in martyrs’ graves, and many more were consigned to social death in an American gulag that would expand more than ten-fold over the next four decades -- proof that those of us who used to greet each other innumerable times a day with “Power to the people – Death to the fascist pigs!” were correct in our analysis of the forces at work.
Today, the covert capabilities of the National Security State have grown beyond J. Edgar Hoover’s (and the Kennedy brothers’) wildest dreams. Not just Americans, but every human being on Earth with an electronic device is being spied upon by the United States -- which is absolutely logical, given the imperial claim to “exceptional” (supra-legal) prerogatives over its global dominion. Back in 2013, when asked by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden if the NSA collected “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,” James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, replied, under oath: “No sir, It does not.”

Clapper kept his job, despite having committed perjury on prime time television -- proof, in the court of common sense, that his boss, President Obama, was both fully aware and approved of the NSA’s surveillance of Americans and homo sapiens in general.

-- Glen Ford, "Corporate Media Counting Cadence to Fascism" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

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