Friday, January 15, 2010

Agents Provocateurs?

There's an excellent article over at Salon by Glenn Greenwald. It's about some flunky of Obama's with a plan for the U.S. Government (i.e. taxpayer) to employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government.

This is nothing new in the UK. The overwhelming majority in the UK want to pull out of the European Union, which has destroyed millions of jobs and indeed entire industries, such as fishing, while swamping what little business remains with red tape. If they don't in fact want to pull out, most people in the UK would prefer the EU to be what it was originally sold as - a common trading bloc - and not the de facto government of the country, which is what it has become.

But the three leading political parties are all pro-EU. The one party which represents the majority view of the British people - the UK Independence Party - is constantly defeated at the polls. One reason of course is that the UK establishment is firmly behind the three main parties (which are so similar you can barely tell them apart) so they always get plenty of airtime on the media. And the other reason is that UKIP has never been able to stop internal fighting and get its act together. Many people, including me, believe that UKIP was set up deliberately to be useless and to soak up the resources of the Anti-EU crowd, in the same way that an intelligence service will often offer one of its own to a rival agency as a "defector", when in fact the aim is to confuse the enemy and waste his time with false and misleading reports.

Don't forget that the UK has been around a long time. Although the British Secret Service started officially in 1909, in practice the establishment has been up to its neck in the "great game" for at least 500 years.

Back over on this side of the pond, in recent memory the CIA actually owned various publishing houses for propaganda purposes - not a conspiracy theory but a demonstrable matter of fact.

So don't think this is new --- and don't believe everything you read in chat rooms!

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