By David A. Hughes
The response to the “Covid-19 pandemic” has much in common with the birth of the Third Reich. Agamben (2021, 8), for example, likens the emergency legislation passed in 2020 to the suspension of the Weimar Constitution in 1933, and Davis (2021b) explains how, through a raft of legislation being rammed through Parliament while the population’s attention is focused elsewhere, the UK is being turned into a constitutional dictatorship. UK government agencies now have the mandates to commit crimes with impunity; protests will be effectively criminalized or shut down under extraordinary police powers; online dissent will be censored; and journalists will no longer be allowed to report any information deemed contrary to the “national interest” (Davis 2021b).
The “Covid-19 pandemic” functions as the Big Lie on which this is all premised, i.e. a lie so huge that ordinary people would not imagine it to be possible. To quote Mein Kampf:
“Because the […] masses […] are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.”(Hitler 1969, 134)
As Rancourt et al. (2021) demonstrate scientifically, there was no viral pandemic, only what Davis (2021a), based on several hundred pages of argumentation, calls a “pseudopandemic,” modelled on the fake “swine flu pandemic” of 2009 (Fumento 2010). Yet, because of the propaganda and the applied behavioural psychology deployed as part of the psychological warfare targeting the unconscious mind, cognitive dissonance prevents many people from seeing or admitting this, even when presented with the evidence. Propaganda specialist Mark Crispin Miller reflects: “I used to think it tasteless to compare our system to Nazi Germany. I no longer think so” (2021, 30 mins).
Hitler was, perhaps, the first to see that liberal democracy can be subverted by playing on the unconscious fears of the masses. If an existential threat is presented, the masses can be induced to sacrifice liberty for the promise of security. At a visceral level, they are
“far more satisfied by a doctrine which tolerates no rival [promises security] than by the grant of liberal freedom. They neither realize the impudence with which they are […] terrorized, nor the outrageous curtailment of their human liberties, for in no way does the delusion of this doctrine dawn on them.”(cited in Fromm 1942, 191)
This is the model of imposing authority in a climate of terror. The masses can be terrorized into surrendering their liberties, and it will never occur to them that they have been lied to on a monumental scale — that the threat was fictitious. Thus, for example, while Hitler lambasted international bankers and reparation payments for bringing Germany to its knees, the truth was that German reparations payments fell to around one eighth of previous levels following the Hoover Moratorium (1931) and Lausanne Agreement (1932), the Bank for International Settlements managed Nazi gold, and the Nazis continued to honour their Young Plan obligations even during World War II.
The same playbook of using a Big Lie to generate mass fear for authoritarian purposes has been evident in “Covid-19.” Klaus Schwab practically announced as much in June 2020:
“Most people, fearful of the danger posed by COVID-19 [in a] a life-or-death kind of situation […] will agree that in such circumstances public power can rightfully override individual rights. Then, when the crisis is over, some may realize that their country has suddenly been transformed into a place where they no longer wish to live.”(Schwab and Malleret 2020, 117)
By the time the lie is exposed, it is too late, “for the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying” (Hitler 1969, 134). Again, Schwab seems familiar with this principle: there will be no going back to how things were, because “the cut which we have now is much too strong in order not to leave traces” (cited in Clark 2020). Schwab’s protégé, Yuval Noah Harari, also belongs to the conspiracy of expert liars: “If you repeat a lie often enough,” he claims, “people will think it’s the truth. And the bigger the lie, the better, because people won’t even think about how something so big can be a lie.”
Desmet (2022) describes the process of “mass formation” under “Covid-19” that recalls the mass hysteria witnessed in Nazi Germany. Agamben observes that people accepted the new “lockdown” arrangement “as if it were obvious, being “ready to sacrifice practically everything — their life conditions, their social relationships, their work, even their friendships, as well as their religious and political convictions” (2021, 17). This is reminiscent of the “millions in [Nazi] Germany [who] were as eager to surrender their freedom as their fathers were to fight for it” (Fromm 1942, 3).
The Nazi principle that “the activities of the individual […] must be carried on within the framework of the whole and for the whole good of all” (cited in Lane and Rupp 1978, 41) was reincarnated as sacrificing individual liberty in the name of “protecting others.” Just as the Nazis painted the Jews as “unclean” and a public health risk, so propaganda slogans such as the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” served a similar scapegoating function.
Eugenics themes associated with Nazi Germany reared their ugly head. Ehret (2021), in an article titled “Nazi Healthcare revived across the Five Eyes,” notes that the same organizations that promoted eugenics policy in Nazi Germany and North America — including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and Engender Health (previously known as the Human Sterilization League for Human Betterment) — are now implicated in mRNA “vaccine” development alongside the Galton Institute (formerly the British Eugenics Association). The Gates family could also be added to this list (Corbett 2020). The Nazis were notorious for their grim medical experiments on human beings without their consent, and the dangerous experimental injections masquerading as “Covid-19 vaccines,” foisted recklessly on unsuspecting populations through regulatory capture, corrupt political and medical establishments, and a military-grade propaganda onslaught (Hughes 2022), likewise belong “firmly in the realms of a totalitarian Nazi dystopia” (Polyakova 2021). Corbett (2021) describes the “‘Nazification’ of the NHS,” whereby public health services have been placed under a “command-and-control regime” and subordinated to the new biosecurity paradigm, issuing in all manner of unethical practices. Medical professionals who speak out are stripped of their licence to practice. As Dr. Francis Christian told a disciplinary panel at the University of Saskatchewan:
“These are the types of panels that were set up in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany […] It’s really disturbing that because I call for informed consent, I am not allowed to practice […] This is disturbing, dystopian, and not acceptable […] The truth will come out, and when it does you guys will be in big trouble.”
Given all of the above, it does not seem unreasonable to suggest that a deliberate attempt is underway to collapse liberal democracy using psychological warfare techniques learned from the Nazis and to replace it with a eugenics-based form of totalitarianism.
Explaining the Resurgence of Nazism
Whence, then, has this unexpected explosion of Nazi themes and influences arisen? After all, the Nazis were ostensibly defeated in 1945, and the end of the Soviet Union was supposed to mark the definitive triumph of Western liberalism (Fukuyama 1989). The answer proposed here is that Wall Street — the apex of international finance capital and a “dominating complex” including “not just banks and law firms but also the oil majors” (Scott 2017, 14) — has always been wedded to National Socialism as the most ruthless means of crushing working class resistance. Having subverted the Bolshevik Revolution and turned the Soviet Union into a giant opportunity to acquire financial control over nationalized industries on a model previously established in Latin America (Sutton 2011), Wall Street looked to do the same in Germany and the United States. The model was “corporate socialism,” which involves centralizing power in the “pecuniary interests of the international bankers,” something best achieved “within a collectivist society” (Sutton 2016, 173). Stalin’s “socialism in one country,” National Socialism, and Roosevelt’s New Deal were all forms of corporate socialism, in which the power of the state is made available to big business (Sutton 2016, 50, 121). Competition is thereby eliminated for an oligopoly of large corporations whose operations are financed (and thus ultimately directed) by Wall Street. Roosevelt and Hitler both took office in March 1933, and “both Hitler’s New Order and Roosevelt’s New Deal were backed by the same industrialists and in content were quite similar — i.e. they were both plans for a corporate state,” a concept previously introduced by Mussolini (Sutton 2016, 121). The New Deal was the outcome of the Swope Plan, named after General Electric President Gerard Swope, whose company was also involved in financing Hitler and electrifying the Soviet Union.
From July 1933 through 1934, Wall Street financiers and wealthy industrialists planned a coup d’état in the United States. The “Business Plot,” as it became known, was financed by Irénée duPont, J.P. Morgan, and other wealthy industrialists including William Knudsen (president of General Motors), Robert Clark (heir to the Singer Sewing Machine Corporation), Grayson Murphy (director of Goodyear), and the Pew family of Sun Oil (Yeadon and Hawkins 2008, 129). Had the abortive coup not been foiled by its intended leader, General Smedley Butler, the United States would likely have followed Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on the path to totalitarianism, conceivably inaugurating the world of “garrison states” envisaged by Harold Lasswell in 1939, in which political opposition, legislatures, and free speech are abolished and dissidents are sent to forced labour camps (Lasswell 2002, 146). The plan to destroy liberal democracy in the interests of finance capital is, thus, approximately eight decades old.
Although the Business Plot and Nazi Germany were defeated, Wall Street representatives oversaw the recruitment of ex-Nazis to the United States after World War II. Through the national security apparatus they created in 1947 — in particular through the CIA at the heart of a transnational deep state (Tunander 2016; Scott 2017) — they continued to crush working class resistance ruthlessly using methods derived from the Nazis, including death squads (Gill 2004, 85-6, 155, 255), torture (McCoy 2007), false flag terrorism (Ganser 2005; Davis 2018), biochemical warfare (Kaye 2018), surveillance-based targeting of political opponents (Klein 2007, 91; van der Pijl 2022, 58-9), and the mass killing of civilians (Valentine 2017). In the twentieth century, such methods were mostly reserved for non-Western populations to facilitate US imperialism under the pretext of a “Cold War” with the Soviet Union (Ahmed 2012, 70).
The end of the Soviet Union meant that a new enemy had to be found for the securitization paradigm to continue to function (i.e. convincing the public that extraordinary measures, incompatible with democracy and the rule of law, are needed to deal with an alleged existential threat). In 1991, the Club of Rome proposed a new “common enemy against whom we can unite,” i.e. “humanity itself” for its disastrous inference in natural processes (King and Schneider 1991, 115). But while the green agenda — itself deriving from Nazi ecologism (Brüggemeier et al. 2005; Staudenmaier 2011) — struggled to gain traction, Carter et al. (1998, 81) envisaged a “transforming event” that would, “like Pearl Harbor [… ] divide our past and future into a before and after,” involving “loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime,” and necessitating “draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force.” Similarly, the Project for a New American Century (2000) claimed that the rebuilding of America’s defences would be a drawn-out affair “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.” 9/11 was duly used as the pretext, not only for imperialist wars abroad, but also for increased authoritarianism at home, its official narrative constituting another Big Lie which academics are powerless to defend (Hughes 2020).
Rising social tensions in the West following years of “austerity” and surging levels of inequality resulting from the 2008 financial crisis were met with an escalation in the number of terrorist attacks (elaborated below) intended to reimpose discipline on populations between 2015 and 2017, especially in France (van der Pijl 2022, 63-4). But when protests around the world began to assume a socially progressive form not easily assimilated by “populist” movements in 2018-19, it became clear that a new paradigm of social control was needed (van der Pijl 2022, 54-58). “Covid-19” provides the pretext for inaugurating that new paradigm. As Agamben writes,
“If the powers that rule the world have decided to use this pandemic — and it’s irrelevant whether it is real or simulated — as pretext for transforming top to bottom the paradigms of their governance, this means that those models were in progressive, unavoidable decline, and therefore in those powers’ eyes no longer fit for purpose.”(Agamben 2021, 7)
We are currently in the midst of an attempted paradigm shift. Liberal democracy, long since hollowed out by the “War on Terror,” is now finished, and its intended successor is technocracy, a totalitarian control system based on data-driven scientific dictatorship (Wood 2018). If successfully implemented, technocracy will be worse than anything envisaged by Hitler or Stalin, because it amounts to the digital enslavement of humanity through biometric nanotechnologies, constant surveillance and monitoring as part of the “Internet of Bodies,” central bank digital currencies, and a Chinese-style social credit system (Davis 2022; Broudy and Kyrie 2021; Wood 2019). Such an outcome would be potentially irreversible. The psychological warfare model for its rollout is the Wall Street-backed Nazi takedown of the Weimar Republic.
Wall Street and Rise of Hitler
The Nazis could never have come to power, built up their industry, or gone to war were it not for the backing of Wall Street. Sutton (2016) documents the financial audit trail linking Wall Street to the rise of Hitler, going back to the J.P. Morgan-sponsored Dawes Plan of 1924, ostensibly intended to help Germany with reparations payments. The loans extended to Germany under the Dawes Plan were used to “create and consolidate the gigantic chemical and steel combinations of I.G. Farben and Vereinigte Stahlwerke,” cartels which not only sponsored Hitler but also staged war games exercises in 1935-6 and supplied the key war materials used in World War II (including synthetic gasoline, 95% of explosives, and Zyklon B) (Sutton 2016, 23-4, 31). Roughly 75% of this loan money came from just three US investment banks: Dillon, Read Co.; Harris, Forbes & Co.; and National City Company, which in turn reaped most of the profits (Sutton 2016, 29).
It was specifically Wall Street investment bankers, plus Henry Ford — and not “the vast bulk of independent American industrialists” — who enabled the build-up of Nazi industry:
“General Motors, Ford, General Electric, DuPont and the handful of U.S. companies intimately involved with the development of Nazi Germany were — except for the Ford Motor Company — controlled by the Wall Street elite — the J.P. Morgan firm, the Rockefeller Chase Bank and to a lesser extent the Warburg Manhattan bank.”(SUTTON 2016, 31, 59)
For example, the two largest tank producers in Nazi Germany, Opel and Ford A.G., were subsidiaries of US companies controlled, respectively, by J.P. Morgan and Ford. Within this structure, DuPont also sponsored pro-Hitler groups in the United States (Yeadon and Hawkins 2008, 129).
Henry Ford financed Hitler from the early 1920s on, and Hitler lifted sections of Ford’s book The International Jew verbatim in Mein Kampf. Hitler awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, a Nazi decoration for distinguished foreigners, in 1938, and kept a portrait of Ford on prominent display in his office (Sutton 2016, 92-93). Ford manufactured vehicles for the U.S. Army and the Wehrmacht during World War II, profiting from both sides. Ford A.G. plants, like those of German General Electric, were not targeted for bombing during World War II, which was obviously too profitable to bring to a premature conclusion.
Prominent German industrialists and financiers, lured by Hitler’s promise to destroy the trade unions and the political left, covertly financed the Nazi Party, e.g. Alfried Krupp, Günther Quandt, Hugo Stinnes, Fritz Thyssen, Albert Vögler, and Kurt Baron von Schröder. These industrialists were “predominantly directors of cartels with American associations, ownership, participation, or some form of subsidiary connection” (Sutton 2016, 101). For example, whereas German General Electric (AEG) and Osram (with Gerard Swope and Owen D. Young holding influential positions in both) financed Hitler, Siemens, which was without American directors, did not (Sutton 2016, 59).
The McCormack-Dickstein Committee (1934/35) found that the shipping company, Hamburg-America Line, owned by W. Averell Harriman, had provided free passage to Germany to US journalists willing to write favourably about Hitler’s rise to power, while bringing fascist sympathizers into the United States. The President of W. A. Harriman & Co was George Herbert Walker, whose son-in-law, Prescott Bush (the father and grandfather of two future US presidents), sat on the board of directors. Bush was also a director (and erstwhile vice-president) of Union Banking Corporation, established in 1924 as a subsidiary of W.A. Harriman & Co., whose assets were seized by the U.S. government in 1942 under the 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act. Bush, a bonesman like Harriman, was also a partner in Brown Brothers Harriman (established 1931), which acted as the U.S. base for the Hitler-supporting industrialist Fritz Thyssen. The Harrimans were “intimately connected with prominent Nazis Kouwenhoven and Groeninger and a Nazi front bank, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart” (Sutton 2016, 107).
The law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell, which originally advised John Pierpont Morgan during the creation of Edison General Electric in 1882 and invented the concept of a holding company to avoid antitrust laws, had “extensive business dealings with numerous German companies and banks that had supported the Third Reich” (Trento 2001, 25). The columnist Drew Pearson listed the firm’s German clients who had contributed money to the Nazis, describing John Foster Dulles (a partner in the firm along with his brother Allen) as the linchpin of “the banking circles that rescued Adolf Hitler from the financial depths and set up his Nazi party as a going concern” (cited in Kinzer 2014, 51). Sullivan and Cromwell floated the first US bonds issued by Krupp A.G., extended I.G. Farben’s reach as part of an international nickel cartel, and helped to block Canadian restrictions on steel exports to German arms manufacturers (Kinzer 2014, 51).
Standard Oil, controlled by the Rockefeller family, developed in conjunction with I.G. Farben the hydrogenation process required to produce synthetic gasoline for the Wehrmacht; it also supplied ethyl lead and synthetic rubber. In Sutton’s judgement, Standard Oil for over a decade “aided the Nazi war machine while refusing to aid the United States,” and without this assistance, “the Wehrmacht could not have gone to war in 1939” (Sutton 2016, 75). The Rockefeller Chase Bank was accused of collaborating with the Nazis in World War II (Sutton 2016, 149).
This complex web of finance and business interconnections demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that the US ruling class was profoundly sympathetic to Hitler and the project of National Socialism. It also confirms the accuracy of Marxist analysis from the 1930s that fascism (the default term before Arendt distinguished between it and totalitarianism) represents “a tool in the hands of finance capital” (Trotsky 1977, 173), indeed nothing less than “an open terroristic dictatorship of the […] most imperialistic elements of finance capital” (Georgi Dimitrov, cited in Marcon 2021, 55).
The Failures of Denazification
After World War II, Wall Street controlled the appointment of officials responsible for denazifying and governing the Federal Republic (Sutton 2016, 160). The Control Council for Germany, headed by General Lucius Clay, included Louis Douglas, director of Morgan-controlled General Motors, and WIlliam Draper, a partner in Dillon, Read & Co., among others (Sutton 2016, 158). Yet, as the Nuremberg Trials took place, many senior Nazis and their industrialist backers evaded justice, and even those found guilty, such as Alfried Krupp and Friedrich Flick, were allowed to return to their old positions in the early 1950s. No American was tried despite the role of Wall Street and Ford in facilitating the rise of Hitler, building Nazi industry, and enabling and prolonging the war. Sutton wryly speculates that the true purpose of this victor’s justice was to “divert attention away from the U.S. involvement in Hitler’s rise to power” (2016, 48).
The Bank for International Settlements, which seamlessly continued operations during World War II, as though its central bankers were not at war with one another, accepted gold from the Nazi Reichsbank despite its questionable provenance. Its board of directors included I.G. Farben director Hermann Schmitz, “midwife of Nazism” Kurt Baron von Schröder, Emil Puhl, who was in charge of processing dental gold looted from the mouths of concentration camp victims, and Walther Funk, referred to at the Nuremberg trials as “the Banker of Gold Teeth.” All four were convicted of crimes against humanity. Although the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 recommended that the BIS be liquidated at the “earliest possible moment,” this did not occur and the recommendation was reversed in 1948. The BIS was thus allowed to survive despite its complicity in the crimes of the Third Reich.
Some former Nazis went on to assume very powerful positions. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who served in the SS in the early 1930s before joining I.G. Farben, co-founded the Bilderberg Group in 1954. Walter Hallstein, who served as First Lieutenant in the German Army and whose name was proposed by the University of Frankfurt in 1944 as a potential National Socialist Leadership Officer (charged with teaching Nazi ideology to soldiers), went was appointed the first president of the EEC (now EU) Commission (1958-1967). Adolf Heusinger, once Hitler’s Chief of the General Staff of the Army, became Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (1957–1961) and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (1961–1964). Kurt Kiesinger, who had close ties to Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and Franz Six, who led death squads in Eastern Europe, attended the 1957 Bilderberg conference and later became West German Chancellor (1967-1971). Kurt Waldheim, a former intelligence officer in the Nazi Wehrmacht, became UN Secretary General (1972–1981) and President of Austria (1986–1992). Wherever global governance was concerned, denazification was fundamentally irrelevant and systematically avoided.
Recruiting Ex-Nazis and Unit 731 Personnel
Not only was there a failure to convict many of those responsible for World War II, but after the war, the United States actively recruited over 1,600 former Nazi scientists, engineers, and technicians through Operation PAPERCLIP (1945–1959), the Western counterpoint to Operation Osoaviakhim. These included nuclear scientists as well as rocket experts such as Wernher von Braun (former SS, pioneered Nazi V2 rocket technology, appointed director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in 1960), Georg Rickhey, and Arthur Rudolph. They also included scientists who had conducted medical experiments on concentration camp inmates, such as Walter Schreiber, while the Nuremberg Code of 1947 was being drawn up. According to Stephen Kinzer, Nazi doctors were brought to Fort Detrick to advise on the use of the nerve gas sarin and to explain the results of experiments with mescaline on human subjects at the Dachau concentration camp (cited in Gross 2019). Sarin gas inventor Otto Ambros, who, having been found guilty of mass murder at the Nuremberg trials, was granted clemency by former Wall Street lawyer and US High Commissioner of Germany John J. McCloy (Jacobsen 2014, 337). McCloy also pardoned the industrialist Friedrich Flick, convicted at Nuremberg on charges of slave labour, who went on to become the richest man in the Federal Republic. McCloy even sought to commute the prison sentence of Hitler’s close ally Albert Speer. PAPERCLIP was approved in principle by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 6 July 1945 without President Truman’s knowledge of it; more than a year passed before the president gave his official approval.
Concomitantly, over 100 former Gestapo and SS officers were recruited by the CIA through former Nazi intelligence chief Reinhard Gehlen through the Gehlen Organization, which would in 1956 become the Federal Intelligence Service in Germany. Names included Alois Brunner, who sent over 100,000 Jews to ghettos and concentration camps, Franz Alfred Six, who led a death squad unit in the Soviet Union, Emil Augsburg, who planned SS executions of Jews in occupied Poland, Karl Silberbauer, who captured Anne Frank, Klaus Barbie, the so-called “Butcher of Lyon”, Otto von Bolschwing, who worked with Adolf Eichmann on the planning of the Final Solution, and the war criminal Otto Skorzeny.
Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army performed lethal human experiments during the Second Sino-Japanese War, leaving no survivors. Those experiments included vivisection, injecting victims with venereal diseases disguised as vaccinations, using live human targets to test grenades and flamethrowers, electrocution, injection with animal blood, exposure to lethal levels of x-ray radiation, and rape and forced pregnancy. Unit 731 also developed biological warfare methods, including the release of plague-infected fleas over China, injecting wells with typhoid and paratyphoid, and injecting prisoners with various diseases including bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, and botulism. War criminals from Unit 731 were granted secret immunity by the United States in exchange for their “expertise.” This amnesty, first revealed by John Powell in a 1981 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists article, was not formally conceded by the US government until 1999 and the relevant documentation was not published until 2017 (see Kaye 2017). All subsequent US biowarfare research must be seen in this context (van der Pijl 2022, Ch. 5).
Wall Street, Kennan, and the Birth of the US National Security State
In July 1947, the National Security Act was signed into law by President Truman, ostensibly aimed at improving coordination between military and intelligence agencies. It provided for, among other things, a National Military Establishment to be headed by the Secretary of Defence, a National Security Council (NSC), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The latter would replace the Office of Strategic Service (OSS, 1942–1945), run during the war as an equivalent of MI6. It was the brainchild of Allen Dulles, who formed an advisory group of six men, five of whom (including William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner) were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers (Scott 2017, 14). A blueprint for the National Security Act was provided by Ferdinand Eberstadt (erstwhile vice-president of the War Production Board), who, like his long-time collaborator James Forrestal, was a former Dillon, Read & Co. investment banker. Forrestal was appointed the first US Defence Secretary in September 1947. The creation of the CIA was lobbied for by former Wall Street lawyers and OSS directors William Donovan and Allen Dulles (who later directed it). According to future CIA executive director A. B. “Buzzy” Krongard, “the whole OSS was really nothing but Wall Street bankers and lawyers” (cited in Ahmed 2012, 65).
In its first session in December 1947, the NSC approved the creation of an undercover unit, the Special Procedures Group (SPG), which became operational in March 1948 under the leadership of Frank Wisner, “who wielded unprecedented power due to his position in New York law and financial circles” (Ahmed 2012, 65). (Before the war, Wisner had worked at Carter, Ledyard and Milburn, Franklin Roosevelt’s old law firm.) Wisner was the architect of the Bloodstone programme, through which “scores of leaders of Nazi collaborationist organizations thought to be useful for political warfare in Eastern Europe [including sabotage and assassination] entered the United States” (Simpson 2014, 100). Giving the lie to the Truman doctrine of “free institutions, representative government, [and] free elections” (as per Truman’s 12 March 1947 address to Congress), the first act of the SPG was to subvert the Italian election of April 1948.
As part of the 1947 national security shake-up, George Kennan was appointed at Forrestal’s recommendation as the inaugural Director of Policy Planning, i.e. the head of the State Department’s internal think tank, the Policy Planning Staff. In 1938, Kennan had proposed an authoritarian form of government in the United States, calling for suffrage to be withdrawn from “bewildered” and “ignorant” women, immigrants, and African Americans (Miscamble 1993, 17; Costigliola 1997, 128). Professing admiration for Austria’s fascist Schuschnigg regime, he claimed that “if malicious despotism had greater possibilities for evil than democracy, benevolent despotism had greater possibilities for good” (cited in Botts 2006, 844). After the war, he had the 1938 document removed from his papers in Princeton’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. In 1947-8, Kennan was the architect of the Reverse Course in Japan, maintaining the zaibatsu and “reinstating the prewar political class with its Class A war criminals, as was not possible in Germany”; the US occupation, he remarked, could “dispense with bromides about democratization” (Anderson 2017, 60). Kennan claimed he “prefer[red] to remain ignorant” of Nazi war crimes; rather than purging Nazis from postwar German governments, it would be better, he claimed, to hold “the present ruling class of Germany […] strictly to its task and teach it the lessons we wish it to learn” (Simpson 2014, 88-9). Kennan personally intervened to obtain high-level security clearance for Gustav Hilger, who had served in Nazi foreign minister von Ribbentrop’s personal secretariat and played a role in the Holocaust, taking his advice on East-West policy (Simpson 2014, 116). In Latin America, Kennan advocated “harsh measures of repression,” even though this “would not stand the test of American concepts of democratic procedures” (cited in Anderson 2017, 86).
While publicly advocating “containment,” Kennan authored an important memo dated 4 May 1948 proposing that the State Department establish a directorate of political warfare operations capable of rivalling those of Britain and the Soviet Union (Kennan 1948). Such operations may be overt, involving political alliances, economic measures such as the Marshall Plan, and propaganda. Or they may be covert, involving “clandestine support of ‘friendly’ foreign elements, ‘black’ psychological warfare and even encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states” (Kennan 1948). All covert operations, Kennan recommends, should be run under cover of the NSC, headed by a single individual answerable to the Secretary of State.
NSC directive 10/2 (18 June 1948) provides for the establishment of an Office of Special Projects (OSP) within the CIA with powers to engage in covert activities relating to propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anticommunist elements in threatened countries of the free world.
Although NSC 10/2 states that covert operations “shall not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations,” Kennan and Charles Thayer secretly pushed for the restoration of the the Vlasov Army, an anti-Communist émigré campaign created by the SS for use against the USSR, which could work together with US military specialists as a part of a new school for anti-Communist guerrilla warfare training (Simpson 2014, 8) — not dissimilar from the School of the Americas founded in 1946.
The Office of Special Projects replaced the Special Procedures Group, inheriting its resources, and was renamed the Office of Political Coordination to deflect attention from its covert activities before becoming operational in September 1948. It was headed by Wisner, Kennan’s second choice behind Allen Dulles, who declined the position in the mistaken expectation of becoming CIA Director following a Republican victory in the 1948 election.
The Dual/Deep State
The above genealogy of alphabet agencies, with Kennan as the red thread, charts the emergence of what Hans Morgenthau, in a 1955 study, calls the “dual state” (Morgenthau 1962). Morgenthau was concerned, at the height of the Second Red Scare, that certain officers in the State Department no longer reported to the Secretary of State and the President, but rather to Senator McCarthy. Confounding the later neorealist stereotype of the state as a unified rational actor, Morgenthau posited both a “regular state hierarchy” and a “security hierarchy” at work in the United States. Whereas the regular state hierarchy is visible and obeys the rule of law, the security hierarchy is invisible and de facto “monitors and controls the former,” exercising veto power over it via the ability to impose emergency measures in the name of security (Tunander 2016, 171, 186).
The security hierarchy can be seen as the outward-facing aspect of the “invisible government” identified by multiple authors previously. These include the Progressive Party in its 1912 platform; New York City mayor John Hylan’s “Invisible Government” article of 1922, which points the finger at an “oligarchy of big business,” headed by “the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests, certain powerful industrial magnates, and a small group of banking houses […]” (Hylan 1922, 659-61, 714-16); and Edwards Bernays’ claim that those who exercise a “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses […] manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country (Bernays 1928, 1).
Together, the invisible government and the security hierarchy form “a new deep apparatus” — sometimes referred to as the deep state (Scott 2017) — by which private actors “leverage the state into instrumentalizing or facilitating the criminal political violence necessary to sustain and expand [capitalist] accumulation” (Ahmed 2012, 63). The deep state amounts to a high-level conspiracy between key elements of Wall Street, intelligence and other government agencies, the military-industrial complex, the police, multinational corporations, think tanks, foundations, the media, and academia. Regardless of which government is nominally in charge, the deep state subverts democracy and the rule of law to make sure that ruling class agendas are continuously advanced. Although there are tensions and power struggles between different groups and institutions of the deep state, ultimately those different class fractions tend to coalesce and unite around certain fundamental control paradigms and policies for their mutual class benefit. The deep state makes its most significant interventions in the form of “deep events,” i.e. events which profoundly transform the trajectory of politics and society yet whose provenance is ambiguous, e.g. the JFK assassination, 9/11, and now “Covid-19” (cf. Scott 2017, Ch. 9).
The Transnationalization of the Deep State
The emergence of the United States as the dominant imperialist power after 1945 led to the creation of a “U.S.-dominated transnational deep system which transfigured, and continues to attempt to manipulate, the trajectories of local and regional politics” (Ahmed 2012, 63). Scott (2017, 30) points to the emergence of a “supranational deep state.”
This began with signals intelligence and the Five Eyes surveillance system. The UKUSA Agreement of 1946 (based on intelligence cooperation dating back to the Atlantic Charter of 1941) was expanded to include Canada (1948), Norway (1952), and Denmark (1954), plus West Germany, Australia, and New Zealand (1955) (Norton-Taylor 2010). Thus, the “Five Eyes” label, which suggests the United States plus leading Commonwealth countries, is in fact misleading, notwithstanding the formal declaration by UKUSA in 1955: “At this time only Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be regarded as UKUSA-collaborating Commonwealth countries” (cited in Norton-Taylor 2010). The transnational surveillance system had already integrated several Western European partners and was being run by the US with the UK as junior partner. In time it represented “an important support structure for the Atlantic ruling class, working closely with the services of vassal states such as Germany and France, South Korea and Japan, as well as ally Israel” (van der Pijl 2022, 73).
There are two levels of power operative in the deep system, one visible, the other hidden, based on “the Grossraum divide between the hierarchy of the nation-state and the security hierarchy of the protecting power or Reich” (Tunander 2016, 186). Grossraum is a concept found in the writings of Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt and translates as “Grand Area,” a concept central to Council on Foreign Relations planning documents of 1944 for postwar international order, expressible as “a core region, which could always be extended to include more countries” (Shoup and Minter 1977, 138). In that postwar order,
“U.S. intelligence and security forces would always be present in the local states to guarantee the security of the Grossraum. In other words, the U.S. security hierarchy would intervene if “necessary” as a veto force or an “emergency power,” or what Carl Schmitt called the sovereign. It might intervene to influence the nation-state hierarchy or with operations able to manipulate policies of this hierarchy or, in the final analysis, veto its decisions by replacing its leaders.”(Tunander 2016, 186)
According to Tunander, this dual structure is present in all NATO states, indicating that NATO is not just a formal alliance of sovereign states but also “something of an informal U.S. ‘super-state’” (2016, 185).
The evidence demonstrating the existence of a transnational deep state has been historically slow to emerge, precisely because that system was intended to remain hidden. Nevertheless, it was graphically exposed in 1990, when revelations emerged that the Italian military intelligence agency SIFAR had, since the late 1940s, collaborated with the CIA to establish a secret army in Italy code-named “Gladio” (“sword”). According to Davis (2018), it is unclear whether any organization other than the CIA or MI6 was able to authorise Gladio operations. Ostensibly coordinated by NATO, the Gladio secret army was part of a clandestine international network theoretically intended to provide resistance in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe (Ganser 2005, 88). Such ideas were not new: the Nazis’ Operation Werwolf (1944) aimed to create resistance cells that would operate behind enemy lines as the Allies advanced through Germany (Biddiscombe 1998). Every Italian Prime Minister had known about Operation Gladio, and one of them, Francesco Cossiga (1978-1979) even claimed to be “proud of the fact that we have kept the secret for 45 years” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88).
In a memo of 4 May 1948, Kennan proposes the establishment of a directorate of political warfare operations by the State Department and recommends four specific policies, one of which remains redacted (Kennan 1948). Could it be that the redacted policy refers to stay-behind armies? Kennan himself would later acknowledge his own role in setting up “clandestine defensive operations” in the late 1940s (1985, 214). According to Ahmed (2012, 67), the stay-behind armies were established via close collaboration between the Office of Political Coordination (established on Kennan’s initiative) and the Special Operations branch of MI6 on White House orders.
The purpose of the Gladio stay-behind armies changed over time. Following working class revolts in East Germany (1953) and Hungary (1956), Kennan claimed in his fourth Reith lecture (1957) that the primary danger posed by the USSR was not, in fact, a military invasion of Western Europe, but, rather, political subversion from within by local communist organizations directed by the Kremlin (Kennan 1957). This theme was echoed in a 1959 Italian Armed Forces report, which saw the danger as originating, not in Soviet military invasion, but rather in domestic communist groups (Davis 2018). Kennan recommended that “paramilitary forces” be deployed as “the core of a civil resistance movement on any territory that might be overwhelmed by the enemy.” “The enemy” here does not really mean Soviet communism, however. It means the working class, veiled by the misimpression that it is really the Soviet Union that is being fought. As van der Pijl (2020) writes, “As long as the capitalist ruling class was not strong enough to roll back the Left working class, these forces had to be kept in reserve for an emergency.”
In the same year, 1957, the operational command of Gladio was transferred from NATO’s Clandestine Planning Committee to the Allied Clandestine Committee, which was overseen by the US Supreme Allied Commander in Europe who reported directly to the Pentagon (Davis 2018). Then, in 1963, that same command post was taken by General Lyman Lemnitzer who in 1962 had approved Operation Northwoods, a plan for a series of false flag attacks to be blamed on Cuba for the purpose of provoking war. Though NATO has repeatedly denied freedom of information requests on the subject, it seems reasonable to mark this period (1957–1963) as one in which the Gladio operation morphed from a supposedly defensive military operation in the event of Soviet occupation into an offensive operation against the working class, involving false flag terrorism.
The Gladio programme became a de facto conduit for state-sponsored terrorism in the post-1968 era, committing numerous acts of terrorism that were blamed on the Red Brigades, including the kidnap and murder of ex-prime minister Aldo Moro and five of his staff in 1978, as well as the bombing of the Bologna Centrale railway station in 1980, which killed 85 people and wounded over 200. False flag terrorism used to incriminate communists can be traced to the Nazi burning down of the Reichstag dome in 1933 (Hett 2014; Sutton 2016, 118-19).
Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a neo-fascist convicted of killing three Italian police officers in a car bombing in 1972 with C4 explosive taken from a Gladio arms dump, testified during his trial in 1984, “there existed a real live structure, occult and hidden, with the capacity of giving a strategic direction to the outrages” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88). This “secret organization” involved “a network of communications, arms, and explosives, and men trained to use them” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88). Its structure, Vinciguerra claimed, “lies within the state itself. There exists in Italy a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men,” which had been charged with “preventing a slip to the left in the political balance of the country. This they did with the assistance of the official intelligence services and the political and military forces” (cited in Ganser 2005, 88-9). Similarly, the former head of Italian counterintelligence, General Giandelio Maletti, testified in the trial of right-wing extremists accused of involvement in the 1969 massacre in Milan’s Piazza Fontana, “The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left, and, for this purpose, it may have made use of right-wing terrorism” (cited in Ganser 2005, 91).
In a passage that presciently unmasks the underlying logic of twenty-first governance, Vinciguerra, in his 1984 testimony, claims:
“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the State to ask for greater security. This was precisely the role of the right in Italy. It placed itself at the service of the State which created a strategy aptly called the “Strategy of Tension” in so far as they had to get ordinary people to accept that at any moment over a period of 30 years, from 1960 to the mid eighties, a State of emergency could be declared. So, people would willingly trade part of their freedom for the security of being able to walk the streets, go on trains or enter a bank. This is the political logic behind all the bombings. They remain unpunished because the state cannot condemn itself.”(cited in Davis 2018)
The same logic of trading freedom for security based on false flag terrorism was evident in the “War on Terror,” just as it is in the building of the “Covid-19” biosecurity state. The Italian experience perhaps explains why one of the most perspicacious critics of both of these security paradigms, has been the Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben.
The “strategy of tension,” in which repeated acts of terrorism were used, in Schmittian vein, to impose authority in a climate of terror, was not limited to Italy. Rather, “[t]he ‘stay-behind’ networks were responsible for waves of terrorist attacks throughout Western Europe, for instance in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Greece and elsewhere, that were officially blamed on communists […]” (Ahmed 2012, 68). They were also present in Turkey, following the 1961 U.S. Army Field Manual 31-15: Operations Against Irregular Forces (Davis 2018). The inescapable conclusion, for Davis (2018), is that “Western intelligence agencies and security services were involved in the orchestration of terrible crimes committed against civilians throughout Europe and beyond.”
Most remarkable about the “strategy of tension” is that it left “at most only one or two government officials actually aware of the existence of the program” (Ahmed 2012, 68). Elected politicians and government officials remained both blind and without operational command, evidencing “another form of government, hidden from both the public and many within the political establishment, that was operating beyond the rule of law, without democratic oversight or control. A ‘Deep State’” (Davis 2018). Davis continues that those responsible, “including many committed Nazis and neo-fascists, who had effectively formed a parallel European government, [were] able to utilise significant state resources, without any restraint, to achieve whatever aim they saw fit.” Meanwhile, the public, which was being targeted by such operations, was also paying for them and was the last to know about them.
One can only speculate on the extent to which the serial killer phenomenon since the 1970s, plus the rise of school shootings in the United States since the 1990s, serve a similar “strategy of tension” function, assuming individuals can be programmed to carry out such heinous acts. Evidence from the CIA’s Project BLUEBIRD (begun in April 1950, renamed as Project ARTICHOKE in August 1951) indicates that it is possible to hypnotize victims into unknowingly committing murder and planting bombs, however, it is unknown whether such techniques have been deployed in actual covert operations (Ross 2006, Ch. 4). Similar research was continued in MKULTRA Subproject 136, begun in August 1961 (Ross 2006, 66), and there is no obvious reason to think it would stop until the CIA had perfected the techniques for creating a Manchurian candidate.
Reappraising the “Cold War”: US-USSR Partnership
It behooves scholars of the Cold War, in light of emergent knowledge regarding the transnational deep state network working on behalf of finance capital, to reappraise conventional Cold War narratives. In particular, it seems important to question whether the “Cold War,” a term invented by George Orwell (1945) and dramatized by Walter Lippmann (1987), was anything more than propaganda.
The former Dillon, Read & Co. banker turned Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, solicited George Kennan’s “long telegram” from Moscow in response to the USSR’s refusal to join the World Bank and IMF in February 1946. He then distributed the telegram within official circles, whence it was leaked to Time magazine and made the subject of a full-page article that included some suggestive cartography showing communism spreading to “infect” other countries (McCauley 2016, 89). In December 1946, Forrestal invited Kennan to produce another paper, which was published anonymously in Foreign Affairs in July 1947 under the title, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” and introduced the idea of “containment.” Thus originated the image of the Soviet Union as an implacable foe, an existential threat (as it proved to be for Nazi Germany), “a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with [the] US there can be no permanent modus vivendi” (Kennan 1946, 14).
Paul Nitze, the former vice-president of Dillon, Read & Co. who married the daughter a Standard Oil financier, succeeded Kennan as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. Nitze had significant input into NSC-68 (1950), which warns darkly of “the Kremlin’s design for world domination” and its threat to “civilization itself” and advocates for “rollback” in place of “containment.” NSC-68 “did not explain why the Russians should risk all by an invasion of Western Europe. It ignored a CIA finding that the Russians lacked the strength to occupy the Continent and hold it down. And it grossly overestimated the size of the Soviet atomic arsenal” (Braithwaite 2018, 147). It did, however, provide the pretext for US imperialism, i.e. “US military interventionism across the whole of the globe (not just its industrial heartlands) with a view of upholding capitalist social relations, be they politically liberal or otherwise” (Colas 2012, 42).
Nazi ideology was based on the idea of existential threat, epitomized in Carl Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction. The Volk was constituted through that which allegedly threatened its very existence (countries demanding reparations payments, international bankers, Jews, etc.). A similar logic applies to the existential threat allegedly posed to the United States by the Soviet Union, viz. Senator Arthur Vandenberg’s 1947 recommendation to “scare hell out of the American people” (his nephew, Hoyt Vandenberg, was CIA Director at the time), the “Doomsday clock” (1947), the apocalyptic rhetoric of NSC-68 (1950), the contagion metaphor for communism, the 1952 “duck and cover” film used to terrorize school children, graphic accounts of the potential effects of a nuclear attack on the United States in the Wall Street Journal and Reader’s Digest, and Kissinger’s (1957, Ch. 3) description of the effects of a 10 megaton nuclear weapon detonated in New York.
In reality, the Soviet Union offered nothing like the threat painted by Nitze and his Wall Street collaborators. From the beginning, the Bolshevik Revolution was infiltrated by Wall Street interests, many of which even shared a common address (120 Broadway), e.g. the Bankers Club, individual directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the American International Corporation, and the first Bolshevik ambassador to the United States, Ludwig Martens (Sutton 2011, 127). US-Russian relations were henceforth dominated by “Morgan and allied financial interests, particularly the Rockefeller family,” with a view to opening up new markets and taking control of a centrally planned economy by financing state-approved oligopolies (Sutton 2011, 127).
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Soviet Union “persistently wooed the United States,” much as Tsarist Russia had made a series of overtures to the United States between 1905 and 1912 (Williams 1992, 70) and much as Wall Street had supported the Bolshevik Revolution — not for any ideological reason, but because it saw the possibility for opening up new markets for investment (Sutton 2011). In 1922, Kennan published a biography of Averell Harriman’s “railroad tycoon” father. He must therefore have known, when writing the “long telegram” as deputy US ambassador to Russia under Averell Harriman, that the Kremlin had enjoyed close ties with the Harriman family for over two decades and was intent on preserving good relations. For example, even when the Harrimans’ manganese mining concession in the Soviet Union was withdrawn as a result of Stalin’s quest to reduce dependence on foreign investment, Moscow agreed to repay Harriman $3.45 million of the original $4 million investment plus 7 percent annual interest on both the remainder and an additional $1 million loan between 1931 and 1943, an agreement that was dutifully honoured even during the peak of World War II, resulting in a substantial profit for Harriman (Pechatnov 2003, 2). Harriman, in turn, was a key architect of US support for the Soviet Union during the war in order to weaken Nazi Germany.
In 1943, Stalin disbanded the Comintern as a sign of goodwill to Western allies, thereby “spreading among the masses the illusion that equality and fraternity between nations were compatible with the survival of the principal imperialist state” (Claudin 1975, 30). In October 1944, Churchill’s infamous “percentage note” at the Fourth Moscow Conference proposed significant influence for Stalin in eastern Europe (90 percent in Romania, 75 percent in Bulgaria, 50 percent in Hungary and Yugoslavia, but only 10 percent in Greece). Stalin immediately acquiesced by drawing a tick on the note and passing it back to Churchill. The unspoken premise was that Stalin would not interfere with the postwar restabilization of capitalism in Western Europe in exchange for control of Eastern Europe. In December 1944, US Assistant Secretary of State Dean Acheson wrote in a memo from Greece: “The peoples of the liberated countries [i.e. from Nazi rule] are the most combustible material in the world. They are violent and restless”; he warned that “agitation and unrest” could lead to “the overthrow of governments” (cited in Steil 2018, 18-19). Yet, when the communist revolt in Greece arrived two years later, Stalin refused to send aid, resulting in the Tito-Stalin split of June 1948.
Like the declining European empires, the Soviet Union was heavily reliant on US financial support after World War II. As Sanchez-Sibony (2014, 295) explains, “the Soviet leadership not only welcomed, but pursued American credit” and indeed expected it as a moral right after having suffered by far the highest number of fatalities in order to defeat the Nazis. U.S. Ambassador Harriman offered $1 billion of credits to Moscow before the Yalta conference (February 1945), an amount that was eventually agreed upon in 1946, but only after a prolonged period of tension following Stalin’s failed insistence on $6 billion (Sanchez-Sibony 2014, 296). Stalin courted Roosevelt at Yalta, deferring to him as the formal “host” for the conference, staging plenary sessions in the American accommodation at the Livadia Palace, and allowing Roosevelt to sit centrally in group photographs. At Yalta as previously at Tehran, Stalin offered significant commercial incentives for US firms engaging in business deals with the USSR; every effort was made to “buy into the very system of financial and commercial exchange that could guarantee the quick recovery of the USSR” (Sanchez-Sibony 2014, 295-6). These are not the actions of an empire bent on world domination but rather of a regime seeking accommodation with Western capitalism.
Strategically, Stalin and his successors may have welcomed the US troop presence in West Germany after World War II, because it served as “one of the more reliable guarantees against German revanchism” (Judt 2007, 243). This would explain, for example, why Stalin accepted a larger French presence in the occupation of Germany once he heard at Yalta that Roosevelt would only commit US troops in Europe for two years — hardly the action of a fanatic salivating at the prospect of subverting a defenceless Europe (Sanchez-Sibony 2014, 295, n. 18). Stalin also made no attempt to challenge US aerial supremacy during the Korean War despite having signed off on plans for Korean unification with Chairman Mao (Craig and Logevall 2012, 115).
The “Cold War” was never about “deterring” the Soviet Union; rather, it amounted to “a vast transitional program of political economic rehabilitation of the imperial system to subvert de-colonization and impose global capitalist discipline against anti-imperialist resistance” (Ahmed 2012, 70). Meanwhile, at home, the Second Red Scare in the 1950s, based on alleged fifth column communism in the United States, was a strategy to create public hysteria and, with it, increased social control. To the extent that communist sympathizers and fellow travellers had taken root in the United States in the 1930s, this was as a result of “the power of the international financial coterie,” which backed all sides; Tom Lamont, for example, a partner in the Morgan firm, sponsored “almost a score of extreme Left organizations, including the Communist Party itself” (Quigley 1966, 687).
In The Civil War in France (1871), Marx describes how the French and German ruling classes, which had just been at war with one another, put aside their differences and joined forces to put down the Paris Commune (Epp 2017). Similar proved true again in response to working class uprisings in the 1950s. The East German uprising of 1953 was not only crushed by Soviet tanks, but “to make sure that it did not spread, the western powers of England, France and the United States built a wall of police and military might to prevent West Berlin workers from marching to join their brothers and sisters in the East” (Glaberman and Faber 2002, 171-2). Similarly, when Soviet tanks rolled into Hungary in 1956 to crush the uprising there, “the Eisenhower administration loudly protested the Soviet action, but did not intervene militarily. Liberation was exposed as a sham” (Wilford 2008, 49). Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America never again called on East Europeans to revolt (Glaberman and Faber 2002, 173). The Soviet Union and the West were united in their determination to keep the international working class in check.
The same US capitalists who had supported the Nazis were also “willing to finance and subsidize the Soviet Union while the Vietnam war was underway, knowing that the Soviets were supplying the other side” (Sutton 2016, 19). Ford, for instance, which built the Soviet Union’s first modern automobile plant in the 1930s, also “produced the trucks used by the North Vietnamese to carry weapons and munitions for use against Americans” (Sutton 2016, 90). Ford backed both sides of the Vietnam War in pursuit of profit, exactly as it had done during World War II. In National Suicide, Sutton (1972, 13) claims: “The 100,000 Americans killed in Korea and Vietnam were killed by our own technology” (Sutton 1972, 13). For example,
“the 130,000-man North Korean army that crossed the border into South Korea in June 1950, which was ostensibly trained and equipped by the Soviet Union, included a brigade of Soviet T-34 medium tanks (with U.S. Christie suspensions). The artillery tractors that pulled the guns were direct metric copies of Caterpillar tractors. The trucks were either from the Henry Ford-Gorki plant or the ZIL plant. The North Korean Air Force had 180 Yak planes built in plants with U.S. Lend-Lease equipment; these Yaks were later replaced by MiG-15s powered by Russian copies of Rolls-Royce jet engines sold to the Soviet Union in 1947.”(Sutton 1972, 42)
The repeated pattern, in Vietnam as in World War II, is that concerns for profit always come before human life and national loyalties do not exist.
Samuel Huntington admitted in a 1981 roundtable event that the “Cold War” was a cover story used to legitimize US imperialism: “You may have to sell [intervention in another country] in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union that you are fighting. That is what the United States has been doing ever since the Truman Doctrine” (cited in Hoffmann et al. 1981, 14). The true guiding principle of US foreign policy, according to Noam Chomsky, is “the right to dominate,” though this is “typically concealed in defensive terms: during the Cold War years, routinely by invoking the ‘Russian threat,’ even when Russians were nowhere in sight” (Chomsky 2012). Devoid of new ideas, the “Russian threat” continues to be invoked, even though the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine was provoked by relentless expansion eastwards by NATO (Mearsheimer 2015).
The transnational deep state — the Wall Street-led “security hierarchy” operating above and beyond democratic politics — has always been willing to resort to any means to achieve its objectives. Although many different institutions are involved, including other intelligence agencies, the belly of the beast is undoubtedly the CIA, described by Valentine as “a criminal conspiracy on behalf of wealthy capitalists,” “the organized crime branch of the US government,” and “a criminal organization that is corrupting governments and societies around the world. It’s murdering civilians who haven’t done anything wrong” (Valentine 2007, 31, 35, 39). The ties between the CIA, the mafia, and transnational drug trafficking are well known (Scott 2004). The history of US foreign policy since the birth of the CIA has been a tale of near continuous violations of international law and war crimes, operating under cover of propaganda and psychological warfare in the name of “national security” and a range of exceptionalist myths (Blum 2006; Chomsky 2007; Hughes 2015).
De Lint’s (2021, 210) concept of “intelligence crime” refers to crime committed by “dark actors” in the highest echelons of power who furtively manipulate national security apparatuses in order to advance agendas that benefit themselves while, if required, inflicting near unimaginable harm on others. “Type 2 intelligence crime” refers specifically to “actors or assets empowered or enabled by intelligence agencies” and counts “among the most prolific and deadly types of crime in recent modern history” (Lint 2021, 59). Such crimes may in certain instances be committed on a scale almost defying comprehension (“apex crimes,” such as 9/11), yet they remain “invisible” (because of propaganda), unpunished (because the perpetrators stand above the law), and under-analysed by academics (who form part of the power structure) (Lint 2021; cf. Hughes 2022b; Woodworth and Griffin 2022). De Lint lists a range of intelligence crimes involving the CIA that have cost millions of lives and destroyed entire societies, from Indonesia and Vietnam to Chile, Guatemala, and Rwanda (2021, 59-60).
Repeatedly violating the principles of territorial integrity and political independence enshrined in Article 2.4 of the UN Charter (1945), President Eisenhower authorized 104 covert operations on four continents in eight years, focused mainly on postcolonial countries, followed by President Kennedy, who authorized 163 covert operations in only three years (McCoy 2015). Results included coups against Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953 (over moves to nationalize Iranian oil) and Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala in 1954 (following lobbying by the United Fruit Company), the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Republic of the Congo in 1961, the Bay of Pigs fiasco followed by Operation Mongoose in Cuba, and electoral inference in Italy, the Philippines, Lebanon, South Vietnam, Indonesia, British Guyana, Japan, Nepal, Laos, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic (Blum 2006, Ch. 18). Such operations were used to force open markets and establish client regimes facilitating Western capital penetration and labour dispossession (Ahmed 2012, 70-1). They demonstrated that the United States was indeed exceptional, if only for its selective ability to exempt itself from the rule of international law (an application of the Schmittian principle of sovereign exceptionality at the international level) (McCoy 2015; Schmitt 2005, 31).
Biological warfare techniques pioneered by Unit 731 were used by the United States during the Korean War in 1952, including “anthrax, plague, and cholera, disseminated by over a dozen different devices or methods” (Kaye 2018). As early as September 1950, the US Air Force complained in communiqués that there was nothing left to destroy, having given villages “saturation treatment” with napalm to dislodge a few soldiers (Stone 1988, 256-9). More bomb tonnage was dropped on North Korea than in the entire Pacific theatre of World War II, killing 10–15 percent of the population, a figure close to the proportion of Soviet citizens killed in World War II (Armstrong 2009, 1). Having devastated every major urban and industrial region of North Korea by 1953, USAF then destroyed five reservoirs, “flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans” — a war crime committed only two years after the Genocide Convention came into force (Armstrong 2009, 2).
McCoy (2015) describes a “’reverse wave’ in the global trend towards democracy from 1958 to 1975, as coups — most of them U.S.-sanctioned — allowed military men to seize power in more than three-dozen nations, representing a quarter of the world’s sovereign states.” For Latin America, special training in torture, murder, and political repression of leftist movements was provided by the School of the Americas, a U.S. Army centre at Fort Benning, Georgia. Graduates included Leopoldo Galtieri, President during the Argentine Dirty War (1976–1983), Roberto D’Aubuisson, who trained death squads in El Salvador before becoming President, and Panamanian dictator and drug trafficker Manuel Noriega. Thus were the methods of Hitler’s SS allowed to continue during the Cold War. “Forced disappearances” were modelled on Hitler’s 1941 “Night and Fog” operation, in which resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied countries were made to “vanish into the night and fog” – it being known that several high-profile Nazis found refuge in Chile and Argentina (Klein 2007, 91). General Augusto Pinochet was installed by the 1973 CIA coup in Chile, whereupon neoliberal experiments in economic shock therapy began, based on principles derived from CIA torture techniques (Klein 2007, 9). The torture and interrogation techniques applied throughout Latin America came from the CIA’s 1963 KUBARK Counter-intelligence Interrogation Handbook (McCoy 2007, 50). In Nicaragua, the US-trained National Guard massacred the population “with a brutality a nation usually reserves for its enemy,” in the words of the NSC’s Robert Pastor, killing around 40,000 people (cited in Chomsky 2006, 251). The CIA facilitated the trade of cocaine from the Contras in Nicaragua (deployed to crush the 1979 Sandinista revolution) to gangs in Los Angeles, fuelling a crack cocaine epidemic (Scott and Marshall 1998, 23-50).
Many Southeast Asian governments also became U.S-backed military dictatorships, including Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, South Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand. As Samuel Huntington wrote in 1965, this was borne of fear of revolution: “the social forces unleashed by modernization” entail the “vulnerability of a traditional regime to revolution” (1965, 422, emphasis in original). The means deployed to counter the threat of revolution were brutal: the Taylor-Staley strategic hamlet programme in South Vietnam, for instance, resulted in 13 million people being forcibly relocated to 12,000 “fortified villages, surrounded by barbed wire fences and ditches fortified with bamboo spikes” (Schlesinger 2002, 549). The 1965 coup in Indonesia, orchestrated to prevent the world’s third largest communist party from coming to power, killed hundreds of thousands (possibly rising to over two million over several years) when the CIA leaked the names and details of party members (van der Pijl 2014, 174). Operation Phoenix (1968–1972) was a covert CIA programme of torture and assassination that led to the deaths of an estimated 20,000 Vietnamese citizens and the imprisonment of thousands more (Cavanagh 1980; Oren 2002, 149). Critics described it as “the most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the Nazi death camps of world war two,” but the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 deflected attention (Butz et al. 1974, 6; Valentine 2017, 29-34). Carpet bombing of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, involving napalm and Agent Orange, caused untold loss of life and environmental damage and produced generations of birth defects. US arms to Indonesia in 1975 resulted in “near-genocidal levels” of atrocities in 1978 (Chomsky 2008, 312).
There are many more examples of US/UK-sponsored violations of international law and war crimes, far too many to recount here. Obvious examples include:
- $3 billion a year to Israel despite routine brutality against the Palestinians.
- Training and support for the Rwandan Patriotic Front whose death squads in 1994 resembled “the mobile units [Einsatzgruppen] of the Third Reich” (Rever 2018, 229).
- Supplying large amounts of arms to Turkey in the mid-1990s to help crush Kurdish resistance, “leaving tens of thousands killed, 2-3 million refugees, and 3,500 villages destroyed (seven times Kosovo under NATO bombing)” (Chomsky 2008, 306).
- “Genocidal” sanctions (to quote successive UN humanitarian coordinators, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck) estimated to have killed over a million Iraqis, including half a million children (Media Lens 2004).
- Backing of the Kagame-Museveni invasion and mass killings in Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo, which led to the largest loss of life in a single conflict since World War II (Herman and Peterson 2014), but also further access (after Rwanda) to coltan, needed to manufacture mobile phones and personal computers, as well as 60 percent of world’s known cobalt supply, needed for lithium-ion batteries (30 percent of which is mined by hand by child labourers) (Sanderson 2019). Lest any doubt remain as to the role of Kagame, he appeared (otherwise inexplicably) alongside Bill Gates as part of a panel at Davos 2022 on “Preparing for the Next Pandemic.”
- Massive destruction of civilian infrastructure during the “ethical” Kosovo War.
- “Preventive war” in the 2002 US National Security Strategy (first used by Hitler to invade Norway) to justify the invasion of Iraq; torture at Guantánamo Bay, in extraordinary renditions, and at Abu Ghraib prison; the Nisour Square massacre by Blackwater’s hired guns and the crimes shown in Wikileaks’ “Collateral Murder” video (both 2007).
- The destruction of Libya and regime change under the guise of R2P following Colonel Gaddafi’s proposal of an African reserve currency and alternatives to the World Bank and IMF (Brown 2016).
- Endless attempts at subversion in the “dirty war” against Syria (Anderson 2016) and against Iran.
- Support for Saudi Arabia as an estimated 250,000 civilians lost their lives in Yemen, etc., etc.
False Flag Terrorism
Another way of thinking about intelligence crime is through the known history of false flag terrorism, i.e. staged attacks used as the pretext for war. The sinking of the USS Maine, for instance, provided the pretext for the Spanish–American War of 1898 and the conquest of various Pacific islands (Anderson 2016, pp. v–vi). Kennan dropped a hint in 1951 when he attributed the origins of the Spanish–American War to “a very able and very quiet intrigue by a few strategically placed persons in Washington, an intrigue which received absolution, forgiveness, and a sort of public blessing by virtue of war hysteria” (cited in Stone 1988, 345).
Then came the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 — “a horror device to generate a public backlash to draw the United States into war with Germany,” which Sutton blames on “Morgan interests, in concert with Winston Churchill” (2016, 175). A 2008 dive to the sunken “passenger ship” confirmed that it was carrying “more than 4 million .303 rifle bullets and tons of munitions — shells, powder, fuses and gun cotton” (David 2015). It was effectively a disguised military vessel. According to “Colonel” E.M. House, the British Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey, and King George V discussed the sinking of the Lusitania before it took place (Corbett 2018). The German embassy in Washington gave fair warning before the Lusitania set sail that “vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction” in waters adjacent to Great Britain. 1,198 people, including 128 US citizens, lost their lives when the German torpedo hit.
The 1930s confirmed the far right colouration of false flag attacks. In 1931, imperial Japan sabotaged a railway line that it operated in the Chinese province of Manchuria, blamed the incident on Chinese nationalists, and launched a full-scale invasion, occupying Manchuria and installing a puppet regime there (Felton 2009, 22–23). Operation Himmler in 1939 involved a series of false flag events, the most famous being the Gleiwitz incident, the day after which Germany invaded Poland (Maddox 2015, 86–87).
Operation Northwoods, approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962, contained proposals for all manner of false flag attacks to be blamed on Fidel Castro and used as the pretext for invading Cuba (Scott 2015, 94). These included sinking a U.S. Navy ship in Guantánamo Bay, sinking boats carrying Cuban refugees, staging terrorist attacks in Miami and Washington, DC, and making it appear as though Cuba had blown up a U.S. passenger plane by replacing the plane with a drone in mid-flight and secretly disembarking the passengers.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 was cynically invoked by President Johnson as the reason to launch air strikes against North Vietnam, which in subsequent years led to mass loss of life on both sides; however, it is known never to have occurred (Moise, 1996). Johnson was Vice President under John F. Kennedy, who had planned to withdraw troops from Vietnam. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 was instead followed two days later by an escalation of the US commitment in Vietnam, likely internalizing the coup pattern already established by the CIA and putting the deep state firmly in charge of the US political system, with the “visible political establishment” becoming “regulated by forces operating outside the constitutional process” (Scott 1996, 312). As Scott (2017) argues, the institutional structures and actors involved in US deep politics can be traced through to the present.
In light of the above evidence regarding intelligence crime and false flag operations, only the willfully blind, the irrationally fearful, and the intensely propagandized will refuse to recognise the possibility, if not the high likelihood, that the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001 were a false flag operation conducted by transnational deep state actors in order to legitimize imperialist wars and increased repression of domestic populations (Hughes 2020). The fact that my widely read article on the subject from February 2020 (22,500 views at the publisher’s paid access website alone as of July 2022) remains unchallenged after two and a half years, despite the initial howls of outrage (see Hayward 2020; Hughes 2021), while academia’s silence regarding the events of 9/11 continues, reflects diabolically on the profession and provides strong evidence of the complicity of academia in covering up deep state criminality.
The Global Strategy of Tension in the 21st Century
The strategy of tension has been central to keeping the global population in check since 9/11. Not just Italy, but societies everywhere were propagandized into believing that terrorist attacks were an ever-present possibility despite all evidence to the contrary (Mueller and Stewart 2016). That propaganda legitimized repeated US wars of aggression, the destabilization of the North Africa and Middle East region, and the deprivation of civil liberties at home, including arbitrary detention, increased surveillance, and torture. The trigger event was 9/11 itself, the absurd official explanation for which is indefensible (Griffin 2005; Hughes 2020; Hughes 2021). The so-called “War on Terror” not only spread terrorism throughout many regions of the world but also terrorized entire populations into living in fear of terrorist attacks (Chomsky 2007, 211; Amnesty International 2013). As de Lint recognizes, the whole thing was “stoked and inflamed arguably more from within than from without by authorities who are dependent on the controlled production of ‘unease’” to maintain their rule (2021, 8). Official enemies of the United States went along with the “War on Terror” narrative, because it meant that they, too, could invoke the terror threat as a pretext for authoritarianism — and because, ultimately, a global form of dictatorship is the only hope for the ruling classes of all countries to maintain control over a massive, growing, and increasingly restless global population (cf. van der Pijl 2022, 36).
There are evidence-based reasons, studiously ignored by “critical terrorism studies” scholars, to question the provenance of many of the terrorist attacks that have taken place since 9/11. Take the case of France. The Charlie Hebdo attack (January 2015) followed days after President Hollande spoke out against sanctions on Russia over Ukraine; the socialist majority in parliament had also recently voted in favour of recognizing an independent state of Palestine. Weighing the evidence, van der Pijl (2022, 64) regards the Charlie Hebdo attack as a possible “false flag operation intended to force Hollande to change course and instill fear in French society.” This was followed on 13 November by coordinated terrorist attacks at the Stade de France stadium, at cafés and restaurants in Paris, and at the Bataclan theatre. Then came the Nice truck attack (July 2016), the Normandy church attack (July 2016), the Louvre knife attack (February 2017), the Champs Elysees attack (April 2017), and the Strasbourg attack (December 2018). The upshot of these attacks was the introduction of a state of emergency, renewed five times since, which has seen 10,000 troops deployed on French streets under the Sentinelle anti-terrorism operation. Although it is hard if not impossible to establish the extent to which deep state actors were behind individual attacks, the end result is exactly in line with Vinciguerra’s 1984 testimony above, i.e. a permanent state of emergency.
Nor was France alone in experiencing an uptick in the rate of terrorist attacks in the pre-Covid era, as social tensions deepened. Attacks in other Western states included the Brussels bombings (March 2016), the Berlin Christmas market truck attack (December 2016), the Westminster Bridge attack (March 2017), the Stockholm truck attack (April 2017), the Manchester Arena incident (May 2017), the London Bridge attack (June 2017), the Finsbury Park Mosque attack (June 2017), the Barcelona attack (August 2017), the Las Vegas shooting (October 2017), the Christchurch mass shootings, and the London bridge stabbings of 2019. These attacks account for around half of all “major terrorist incidents” identified by Wikipedia since 2015, with most of the rest occuring in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, all key areas of US interference.
If intended to quell social unrest by moving societies ever further in the direction of police states, the effort failed, as conspicuously expressed by the rise of the Yellow Vests in France in 2018, as well as mass uprisings in Chile and India, and major protests in one in five countries in 2019 (van der Pijl 2022, 54-58). This, van der Pijl hypothesizes, is one key reason why the “Covid-emergency brake” was pulled in early 2020. Indeed, it is conspicuous that once the deep state control paradigm switched from the perpetual “War on Terror” to biosecurity, major terrorist attacks in the West virtually ceased. Are terrorists afraid of the virus, or were those attacks mostly planned and executed by deep state operatives?
Descendants of Nazis in Positions of Power Today
Conventional wisdom has it that the Nazis were defeated in 1945. Yet, descendants of former Nazis remain influential in today’s world. Eugen Schwab was the managing director of Escher Wyss, which was granted special status by the Nazis (permitting slave labour). His son, Klaus, founded the World Economic Forum in 1973 and praises his father for “assuming many functions in the public life in post-war Germany” — a slap in the face to West Germans of his age who in the 1960s protested against the continuation of ex-Nazis in positions of power (Schwab 2021, 255). Schwab Jr. openly boasted at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2017 that his Young Global Leaders have “penetrated the cabinets” of multiple countries. But it is not only politics that has been infiltrated by the WEF. Former Young Global Leaders occupy leading positions in investment banks, Big Tech, the mainstream media, think tanks, and beyond, and have been “in the middle of everything covid” (Engdahl 2022; Swiss Policy Research 2021).
Günther Quandt was a German industrialist and Nazi Party member whose former wife went on to marry Joseph Goebbels in 1931 with Adolf Hitler as best man at a property owned by Quant himself; Goebbels later adopted Quandt’s son Harald (Richter 2017). In 1937, Hitler named Quandt a leader in the defence economy (Wehrwirtschaftsführer), which enabled him to make extensive use of slave labour, and in 1943, with support from SS, the Quandts set up a “company-owned concentration camp” in Hanover where workers were told upon arrival that they would not live longer than six months on account of exposure to poisonous gases (Bode and Fehlau 2008). Quant’s daughter-in-law, Johanna, was, on her mother’s side, the granddaughter of Max Rubner, who directed the Institute for Hygiene at Friedrich Wilhelm University, later associated with Nazi eugenics experiments. It is, therefore, of note that Johanna Quandt gave €40 million to the Charité Foundation between 2014 and 2022 for the establishment of the Berlin Institute for Health Research, to which Christian Drosten was appointed in 2017. Her daughter, Susanne Klatten (Germany’s richest woman) attended the 2017 Bilderberg meeting with Jens Spahn, the Young Global Leader who in 2018 was appointed German health minister. Klatten also owns Entrust (chosen by the UK government to produce vaccine passports), linking her to the “Covid-19” biodigital surveillance agenda. Other “Nazi billionaire” families remaining influential today include Flick, von Finck, Porsche-Piëch, and Oetker (de Jong 2022).
Michael Chomiak was a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator (Pugliese 2017); his granddaughter, Chrystia Freeland, sits on the WEF board of trustees and is the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. In 2022, not long after announcing that she would freeze the bank accounts of Canadian truckers and their supporters, she tweeted a picture of herself holding a red and black flag associated with the Bandera movement in Ukraine (later deleted without comment and a new photograph minus the scarf was posted). Stepan Bandera led a militia that fought alongside the Nazis in World War II, and the anti-Russian Azov battalion, established during the 2014 Western-backed coup in Ukraine, openly displayed Nazi insignia until this became politically sensitive in June 2022. In December 2021, Ukraine and the United States were the only states to vote against a UN Resolution against the glorification of Nazism.
The sinister reemergence of Nazi elements in contemporary liberal democracies offers compelling evidence that the worst elements of the Third Reich were not defeated in 1945, but were, rather, secretly incubated in preparation for their eventual return. The lynchpin for this has been the CIA, set up by Wall Street with such an eventuality in mind. Thus, when German lawyer Reiner Fuellmich claims, “We’re fighting the same people over again that we should have brought down 80 years ago,” the true criminals are those at the apex of the capitalist system, who are now, as in the 1920s and 1930s, seeking recourse to totalitarianism to deal with the acute crisis of capitalism.
In 1974, Sutton asked, “Is the United States ruled by a dictatorial elite?” The “New York Elite,” he claimed, represent a “subversive force” imposing a “quasi-totalitarian state” in violation of the US Constitution (Sutton 2016, 167–172). Moreover,
“While we do not (yet) have the overt trappings of dictatorship, the concentration camps and the knock on the door at midnight, we most certainly do have threats and actions aimed at the survival of non-Establishment critics, use of the Internal Revenue Service to bring dissidents into line, and manipulation of the Constitution by a court system that is politically subservient to the Establishment.”(SUTTON 2016, 172-3)
In that respect, given the tight connection between Wall Street and the CIA, we would do well to heed Valentine’s claim that
“The CIA is the most corrupting influence in the United States. It corrupted the Customs Bureau the same way it corrupted the DEA. It corrupts the State Department and the military. It has infiltrated civil organizations and the media to make sure that none of its illegal operations are exposed.”(Valentine 2017, 52)
Ever since its foundation, the CIA has been the rot at the heart of US democracy and democracy worldwide. For 75 years, it has been committing crimes that the Nazis would have been proud of, all to protect the interests of Wall Street and the Atlantic ruling class.
With “Covid-19,” however, one cannot help but sense that the deep state has overplayed its hand. The CIA’s fingerprints are too obvious. For example, the psychological warfare operation of 2020 was clearly modelled on what Klein (2007, 8) calls the “shock doctrine,” which traces back to MKULTRA experiments and seeks to generate “moments of collective trauma to engage in radical social and economic engineering.” “Only a great rupture — a flood, a war, a terrorist attack — can generate the kind of vast, clean canvases” desired by social engineers, i.e. “malleable moments, when we are psychologically unmoored,” allowing social engineers to “begin their work of remaking the world” (Klein 2007, 21). The “Great Reset,” like 9/11, is modelled on this kind of “great rupture,” with the attendant psychological warfare involving the same techniques of isolation, defamiliarization, depatterning, disruption of behavioural patterns, etc. Schwab and Malleret, for instance, encourage decision-makers to “take advantage of the shock inflicted by the pandemic” to implement radical, long-lasting, systemic change (2020, 100, 102).
Or take the issue of face masks, which were mandated in public spaces in most countries. We cannot ignore the fact that inmates at Guantánamo Bay were made to wear blue surgical face masks (Courtesy Everett Collection).
Guantánamo Bay is a torture facility. MKULTRA experiments found that psychological torture is far more effective than physical torture: in particular, a combination of sensory deprivation and self-inflicted pain are the most effective methods, as practiced at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003 (McCoy 2007, 8, 41). Other photographs of Guantánamo inmates from 2002 show them wearing blackout goggles, gloves, thick caps, and industrial ear muffs, (i.e. sensory deprivation) as well as face masks (Dyer 2002; cf. Observer 2013; Rosenberg 2021). Despite the inmates’ abject condition, there appears to be no reason, from the photographs, why they cannot reach up and remove the face mask, other than fear of the consequences. This is the self-inflicted pain. Mask wearing is known to lead to “psychological and physical deterioration as well as multiple symptoms described [as] Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome” (Kisielinski et al. 2021). So it is with the social pressure to wear the mask during “Covid-19,” which essentially induces mask wearers to self-harm. It is an advanced, highly effective form of psychological warfare aimed at breaking down public resistance to multiple nefarious agendas all being enacted at once.
Where does this leave us? According to Scott, “A former Turkish president and prime minister once commented that the Turkish deep state was the real state, and the public state was only a ‘spare state,’ not the real one” (2017, 30). This is now true also of Western “liberal democracies.” While most citizens, including nearly all academics, remain oblivious of the “deep state” and the full extent of its operations, contemporary social reality is fundamentally determined by “deep state” operations. Most people genuinely believe they have just survived a “pandemic” — which just so happens to necessitate a restructuring of the global political economy in the interests of the Atlantic ruling class — and many will vehemently defend that proposition. The reality, however, is that those people are the victims of the largest psychological warfare operation in history, which ranges all the way from military-grade propaganda to psychological torture techniques. It is little wonder that the powers that be now want to censor the internet. For once the reality of what is going on is widely understood, it seems inevitable that Wall Street’s long “century of enslavement” (Corbett 2014) will finally be brought to an end.
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 For example, the censored documentaries 7/7 Ripple Effect, The Boston Unbombing, and Manchester: The Night of the Bang provide extensive material evidence that calls into question the official accounts of the 7 July 2005 bombings in London, the 2013 Boston Marathon attack, and the Manchester Arena incident of May 2017. Anyone who dismisses these documentaries using thought-terminating clichés such as “dangerous conspiracy theory” — without engaging honestly with the evidence they bring to light — may be either too propagandized to think straight or part of the propaganda campaign to censor or dissuade critical discussion and dialogue.
(Featured Image: U.S. Military Police woman provides water to chained detainees as they arrive at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. The prisoners were believed by the U.S. Military to be associated with Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Feb. 12 2002., Courtesy Everett Collection(BSLOC_2011_6_144))
- David A. HughesWith doctorates in German Studies and International Relations, David A. Hughes lectures in areas including security studies, international relations theory, foreign policy analysis, globalization, and US exceptionalism. His research focuses on psychological warfare, “9/11,” “COVID-19,” the deep state, intelligence crime, technocracy, resurgent totalitarianism, and the class relations behind psychological operations. Selections of his work can be found on Academia.edu. David is an Associate Researcher with the Working Group on Propaganda and the 9/11 Global “War on Terror.” Originally published on Propaganda in Focus