Must Watch: Empire - "Social networks, social revolution" with extensive commentary

(Note: If your browser prompts you that the name on the secure-server certificates for the YouTube videos doesn't match the Google site, please accept the certificates because Google owns YouTube anyway. Why Google doesn't have this handled properly is beyond me, but it's not someone trying to hack you — although I'm not saying Big Brother isn't watching you — read on for more on that.)

The video at the end of this article is a Must Watch from the AlJazeera English series, "Empire." It's a fast moving video. Even the discussion portion at the end moves along at the very often impatient rate of social networking.

Something the video doesn't touch upon is the US government's attempts to embed the social media in Empire. The video speaks primarily of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, focusing most heavily on Twitter for the extremely rapid microblogging  platform that it is; however, the video doesn't mention Google as prime, even though so much searching for background information occurs via Google. It also doesn't mention Wikipedia, where editor-wars occur with the CIA and other type governmental agents having been shown to have engaged in those propaganda "wars." (BBC NEWS | Technology | Wikipedia 'shows CIA page edits'.) Wikipedia is not definitive, but it does often offer at least a beginning place for overviewing a topic or locale, etc. Also, the video doesn't mention blogging in general and as alternative news. So much of the fleshing out of what happens on the microblogging platforms occurs on blogs that are not merely "blogs" attached to mainstream-corporate-news sites. Blog posts can occur almost as rapidly as microblog posts. In fact, some sites repost each Twitter post as individual blog posts.

Doesn't that annoy blog readers?) Looking for background myself only to find that the whole tweet was on Google or some other search-result page has struck me as perhaps a wasted click having arrived at the blog to find no additional info.

Lastly, Facebook is loaded with links to blog posts of various sorts assuming one has friends who post such links. I certainly do.

More to the point though, we have the NSA admittedly working directly with Google and Microsoft. (Google teaming up with the NSA: should you be worried?; Microsoft Denies Windows 7 Has NSA Backdoor.)

We have the Director of the FBI making personal visits to Facebook's headquarters. (FBI Goes to Facebook, Google to Talk Expanding Gov't Wiretapping.)

We have Barack Obama meeting with the social media moguls in closed-door sessions. (Obama Talks Education, Innovation With Zuckerberg, Jobs at Private Dinner.) Who's to say what was discussed privately? Who could or would leak it if Obama broached "intelligence" and "law-enforcement" desires?

Of course, thanks to a whistleblower (AT&T Whistleblower to Urge Senate to Reject Blanket Immunity for Telecoms), we all know that the NSA had (likely still does) a direct patch on the major telecoms' voice and Internet pipelines via which the NSA engaged in (again likely still is) dragnet surveillance of all domestic US communications running through those telecoms (with the sole exception of Qwest, at least initially — until they put the CEO in prison on possibly trumped up charges and because he refused to go along with the illegal, unconstitutional spying). The list of these sorts of abuses is very, very long, and much of it remains bottled up in secret doings.

We can't leave out WikiLeaks in all of this. WikiLeaks was responsible for publishing the Cablegate cables, US State Department cables that put right in the Arab people's faces the duplicity of their so-called leadership. Couple that with the economic and other oppression, and the area quickly became ripe for new waves of revolutionary protests across the Middle East and Northern Africa, etc.

When we combine the US "intelligence agencies'" efforts with all the social media and WikiLeaks, we end up with conspiracy theories layered one upon the other. One group sees "the Jews" behind it all. Gordon Duff and a group of writers at Gordon's website, Veterans Today, are at the vanguard of this overarching theory that Gordon claims is proven fact simply by reason that WikiLeaks hasn't exposed 9/11 as an inside job orchestrated from Tel Aviv-Jaffa by the Mossad in conjunction with neocon elements in the US and CIA/DIA, etc., and also because WikiLeaks hasn't exposed other Israel doings.

Well, it's not true that WikiLeaks has deliberately avoided exposing Israel. It has in fact released cables showing Israel to have blatantly lied about its treatment of Gaza (always planning to keep Gaza on the brink of collapse). That's far from the only cable, and there are more to come says Julian Assange.

Gordon can't get over it that Julian doesn't know that 9/11 was an inside job, but neither did Geraldo Rivera of FOX News (Rupert Murdoch's channel, where Glenn Beck also "earns" his daily bread as well) until recently. People come from different socio-economic brainwashing backgrounds, and it can take a long, long time for people to catch the different truths. I happen to believe that Julian is simply ignorant and naive on the matter. I've also seen Gordon Duff use ridiculous "sources" in attempting to make Gordon's case (Syrian Truth being just one of those ridiculous sources; see my series on it: WIKILEAKS SERIES Information).

We also have a huge running debate between the neoconservatives and others with the anti-interventionists (aka Libertarians, whom the neocons and liberals often incorrectly term isolationists). The followers of Ron Paul and Alex Jones will know what I'm writing about here. (Note: I'm not endorsing all things Alex Jones simply by linking to him.) They'll also know where Glenn Beck is attempting to fit himself into this debate.

We have neocons, such as Bill Kristol, backing the Egyptian Revolution (Note to Bill Kristol: Glenn Beck Isn't Interested In "Debate") while the non-interventionists/libertarians want a hands-off approach (Please be aware though that Beck is not a non-interventionists).

Writes Kristol:

But hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch [Fred Koch's (Koch Brothers' daddy) old buddy] and the John Birch Society. He's marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.

According to Pat Buchanan (often referred to as a paleoconservative) and others, the neocons come out of a Trotskyist tradition of permanent and violent revolution. ("Methinks thou doth protesteth too much.")

Bill Kristol's father, Irving, had been a Trotskyist to a degree and called a neoconservative "a liberal mugged by reality," meaning that he thought he had come to realize Marxist socialism and American liberalism is not the way forward but that liberal democracy remained a revolutionary cry.

It is true that the United States was founded in revolution that brought forth a democratic republic.

The "liberals" come at it all from a different angle from the neocons, which angle usually but not always hinges on the issue of violence. The neocons support the violent overthrow of anti-democratic regimes often regardless of other considerations such as whether or not the other side has been or even would otherwise become belligerent; however, the liberals usually support non-violent means with violence as a last resort if at all. That's far from all I could say about the neocons v. liberals (resource wars would be one facet); but this post would end up book length.

So, you can readily see that there's quite a mix going on in the world.

Enter the fact that Egypt is a largely Muslim nation and the birth place of the Muslim Brotherhood (What You Need to Know About the Muslim Brotherhood from a self-styled liberal perspective), and then the whole Arab v. Muslim revolution debate then touches upon all sorts of intertwining issues and topics, not the least of which is Zionism since the Zionists are sitting right on Egypt's border and have a treaty with Egypt despite Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands. I won't launch into the issue of political Zionism right now, but suffice it to say that I'm against it in no uncertain terms (a I'm not anti-ethnic anyone). Until the Great Awakening, the one-state (Arab/Jew Palestine/Israel) solution appears to be it for now.

Not this though:

When Menachem Begin and Anwar El Sadat signed the Camp David Accords in 1978, leading to peace between the two nations, Israel promised withdrawal from the occupied territories and full independence for the Palestinians within five years.


What should the US Empire be doing concerning these unfolding events? I've done a great deal of tweeting on the subject myself.

It is interesting to see (and the AlJazeera video touches upon this) that the US (Obama administration and administrations before it along with the Senate and House) is so utterly hypocritical.

Hosni Mubarak shut down the Internet. The same day, US Senators reintroduced legislation for an Internet kill-switch. That issue cannot be divorced from the issue of WikiLeaks and Anonymous' attacks on PayPal, Amazon, and Chase, etc. Nor can it be divorced from Senator Joe Lieberman's hyper-Zionism and his fears that leaks will ruin the political Zionists' project in Palestine. The AlJazeera video below mentions that kill-switch issue.

Also though, Hillary Clinton gave a speech on Internet freedom at which her thugs dragged away and banged up Ray McGovern (a champion for the civil liberties supposedly enshrined in the US Bill of Rights that Hillary Clinton took a public oath to preserve, protect, and defend — Obama too).

In addition on that same day Hillary Clinton gave her speech, the US government (Justice Department) was in court going after Birgitta Jonsdottir's (Jónsdóttir) and others' private Twitter data.

Let's also not forget (Ray McGovern hasn't, as we heard Ray name Bradley in the Democracy Now segment above) that Bradley Manning is being held under circumstances that the Humane Society would call inhumane even for a dog, even though Bradley has not been convicted of having done anything illegal.

The fact is, Bradley didn't do anything illegal by releasing the info to WikiLeaks but rather did what the law required of him — namely to expose war crimes and torture, etc. The "Collateral Murder" video shows a clear case of war criminality. The invasion of Iraq was illegal in the first place, so no amount of rationalizing by the neocons will work anyway. The neocons to this day attempt to say that the Iraqi men in the "Collateral Murder" video were carrying weapons when those "weapons" still appear to have been the telephoto lens of the murdered Reuters photographer.

We all knew at the time that Curveball was lying. (Curveball doubts were shared with CIA, says ex-German foreign minister: Joschka Fischer accuses former CIA chief George Tenet over his knowledge of Iraqi defector's sketchy background.)

We knew that Rumsfeld and Cheney were up to their old tricks (Team B;; yes, a Wikipedia article — when appropriate and helpful).

We knew Colin Powell was telling lies during his presentation at the UN. He's trying to claim he didn't know he was spreading lies. If he's telling the truth, he's one of the dumbest people ever to come down the pike rather than a brilliant general, etc. (Colin Powell Slams U.S. Officials Over 'Curveball' Iraq Defector Claims Handling.)

We knew the Pentagon did not know where there were any weapons of mass destruction even though Donald Rumsfeld lied and lied and lied that he knew where they were.

The weapons inspectors knew of zero WMD in Iraq, and none have been found since (although the US military has tried to lie that it did finally find some).

We knew there were no drones, no mobile labs, no aluminum tubes for weapons, no yellowcake, no al Qaeda in Iraq, no secret al Qaeda/Saddam meetings, nothing.

16 words: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Those are the words spoken by George W. Bush in his infamous 2003 State of the Union Address. His administration had taken it out of previous speeches because they knew it was at least unsubstantiated.

ElBaradei sent a letter to the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) in December 2002, warning senior officials he thought the documents were forgeries and should not be cited by the administration as evidence that Iraq was actively trying to obtain WMDs.

ElBaradei said he never received a written response to his letter, despite repeated follow-up calls he made to the White House, the NSC and the State Department.

Source: State Department Memo: "16 Words" Were False

I suggest that they knew that Michael Ledeen's Italian crew was behind the whole forgery.

In an interview on July 26, 2005, Cannistraro's business partner and columnist for the "American Conservative" magazine, former CIA counter terrorism officer Philip Giraldi, confirmed to Scott Horton that the forgeries were produced by "a couple of former CIA officers who are familiar with that part of the world who are associated with a certain well-known neoconservative who has close connections with Italy." When Horton said that must be Ledeen, he confirmed it, and added that the ex-CIA officers, "also had some equity interests, shall we say, with the operation. A lot of these people are in consulting positions, and they get various, shall we say, emoluments in overseas accounts, and that kind of thing".[39]

In a second interview with Horton, Giraldi elaborated to say that Ledeen and his former CIA friends worked with Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress. "These people did it probably for a couple of reasons, but one of the reasons was that these people were involved, through the neoconservatives, with the Iraqi National Congress and Chalabi and had a financial interest in cranking up the pressure against Saddam Hussein and potentially going to war with him." [40]

Source: Niger Uranium Forgeries

It was all a pack of deliberate lies hiding behind the flimsiest plausible deniability. As is clear from the video showing Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell, they go on lying even about the lies they told. So, Bradley Manning could not possibly have broken the highest law of the land when he leaked the evil video and the cables.

As for what the US should be doing, it should be being consistent and not hypocritical. It should support the non-violent protesters everywhere where those protesters are asking for the same guarantees Americans are supposed to have under the US Constitution, with its Bill of Rights and supporting other amendments. I don't say that the US Constitution is the end-all-be-all. I know that it is not, but the world is such a hard-hearted place that the people can barely accept even the very low and confused standards enshrined in the document.

Someday, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria will be united and it won't be under sharia or political Zionism. It will be under the doctrine of love lived and taught by Jesus. Before that happens though, the people will have to learn the proper meaning of the words he used. "Love" is not properly defined in the common usage, not even close.

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Now here's the AlJazeera English "Empire" video: "Social networks, social revolution" (streams via a secure server and in privacy-enhanced mode):

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.