by David Ratcliffe
This set of materials focuses on how the ideals of America—that of being a civilian republic—were transformed during the 20th century into the national security state structure that began operating after World War II. This transformation resulted in the assassination politics that defined the 1960s and continues expanding its influence with each passing year. A useful definition of seven characteristics of a national security state from SourceWatch begins with, “The National Security State or Doctrine, generally refers to the ideology and institutions (CIA, Dept. of Defense) established by the National Security Act of 1947…”
The seminal event in the overt inauguration of our national security state was the assassination of the 35th President of the United States on 22 November 1963. The origination of JFK’s extra-constitutional firing was the establishment 16 years earlier of the covert doctrine of “plausible deniability” which codified criminal acts including assassination.
“Plausible deniability” was sanctioned by the June 18, 1948, National Security Council directive NSC 10/2. “Since NSC 10/2 authorized violations of international law, it also established official lying as their indispensable cover. All such activities had to be ‘so planned and executed that any US government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons, and that if uncovered the US government can plausibly deny any responsibility for them.’”
In time, National Security Council Directive 10/2 and its descendant, NSC 5412, also known as the Special Group 5412/2, a subcommittee of the National Security Council, was employed by Allen Dulles to develop and operate clandestine operations world-wide.
A democracy within a national security state cannot survive. [President Truman’s] decision to base our security on nuclear weapons created the contradiction of a democracy ruled by the dictates of the Pentagon. A democratic national security state is a contradiction in terms.
The insecure basis of our security then became weapons that could destroy the planet. To protect the security of that illusory means of security, which was absolute destructive power, we now needed a ruling elite of national security managers with an authority above that of our elected representatives.
 SourceWatch is a wiki published by the Center for Media and Democracy. For additional background, see: “In The Context of Its Time: The National Security Act of 1947,” from Understanding Special Operations And Their Impact on The Vietnam War Era; 1989 Interview with L. Fletcher Prouty Colonel USAF (Retired) (rat haus reality press, 1999).
 Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994), p. 293. See a description of the Special Group 10/2 and its descendant, the Special Group 5412 or 5412/2, by Col. L. Fletcher Prouty (USAF, ret.) in href=”http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/40Comm.html”>“The Forty Committee,” Genesis, February, 1975, pp. 28, 105-108; and “Appendix C, NSC 5412, ‘National Security Council Directive on Covert Operations’,” from Understanding Special Operations, pp. 330-32. See also: Document 292. National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects – NSC 10/2 from Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950, Retrospective Volume, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1996).
 Quote from “Jim Douglass on The Hope in Confronting the Unspeakable in the Assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy,” Keynote Address at The Coalition on Political Assassinations Conference, 20 November 2009, Dallas, Texas.
The National Security State or Doctrine, generally refers to the ideology and institutions (CIA, Dept. of Defense) established by the National Security Act of 1947, an enduring legacy of then President Harry S. Truman, in support of his doctrine  “to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” (Ref. Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which “explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State.”) 
In his book “Brave New World Order” (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer identified seven characteristics of a National Security State :
The first characteristic of a National Security State is that the military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
A second defining feature of a National Security State is that political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
A third characteristic of a National Security State is that the military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that ‘freedom” and “development” are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
A fourth feature of a National Security State is its obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
A fifth ideological foundation of a National Security State is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
A sixth characteristic of a National Security State is that it restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of “higher purpose” and vague appeals to “national security.”
Finally, the church is expected to mobilize its financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
Michael H. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954, Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0521795370 ISBN 978-0521795371
Related SourceWatch Resources
National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive
New World Order
The CIA and journalism
State of national emergency
state secrets privilege
National Security Strategy
FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS INTELLIGENCE RESOURCE PROGRAM
FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS
RACHEL MADDOW EXPLAINS HOW THE FBI CAN ASSASSINATE ANYONE
INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL HASTINGS ON “THE OPERATORS”
FRIEND OF MICHAEL HASTINGS SAYS HE WAS WORKING ON BIGGEST STORY YET ON CIA
CIA Director Brennan Confirmed as Reporter Michael Hastings Next Target
Posted on14 August 2013.
● This week Elise Jordan, wife of famed journalist Michael Hastings, who recently died under suspicious circumstances, corroborated this reporter’s sources that CIA Director, John Brennan was Hastings next exposé project (CNN clip).
● Last month a source provided San Diego 6 News with an alarming email hacked from super secret CIA contractor Stratfor’s President Fred Burton. The email (link here) was posted on WikiLeaks and alleged that then Obama counter-terrorism Czar Brennan, was in charge of the government’s continued crackdown or witch-hunt on investigative journalists.
● An SDSU professor Morteza M. Mehrabadi, Professor and Interim Chair Areas of Specialization: Mechanics of Materials told San Diego 6 News that calculating the speed of Hastings car follows a simple mathematic equation. By using the video and the distance traveled (195 feet) as well as the seconds that lapsed prior to the explosion – in his opinion, the car was traveling roughly 35 mph.
● That revelation is important because Jose, an employee of ALSCO a nearby business, and a witness to the accident told KTLA/Loud Labs (Scott Lane) the car was traveling at a high rate of speed and he saw sparks coming from the car and saw it explode BEFORE hitting the tree. The pre-explosion could possibly explain the flash of light on the video that preceded the appearance of the car in the video.
On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.
Obama Leak Investigations (internal use only – pls do not forward)
Released on 2012-09-10 00:00 GMT
Date 2010-09-21 21:38:37
Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning
information from inside the beltway sources.
Note — There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing
materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is
shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…
ON “COGNITIVE INFILTRATION” VERY IMPORTANT ISSUES
FRIDAY, JAN 15, 2010 05:16 AM PST
Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal
Cass Sunstein wants the government to “cognitively infiltrate” anti-government groups
BY GLENN GREENWALD
TOPICS: CASS SUNSTEIN, WASHINGTON, D.C., POLITICS NEWS
Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal
(updated below – Update II – Update III – Update IV)
Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs.” In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.
ABSTRACT OF THE ARTICLE ON CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND COGNITIVE INFILTRATION:
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
January 15, 2008
Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 08-03
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 199
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 387
Many millions of people hold conspiracy theories; they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event. A recent example is the belief, widespread in some parts of the world, that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law. The first challenge is to understand the mechanisms by which conspiracy theories prosper; the second challenge is to understand how such theories might be undermined. Such theories typically spread as a result of identifiable cognitive blunders, operating in conjunction with informational and reputational influences. A distinctive feature of conspiracy theories is their self-sealing quality. Conspiracy theorists are not likely to be persuaded by an attempt to dispel their theories; they may even characterize that very attempt as further proof of the conspiracy. Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups. Various policy dilemmas, such as the question whether it is better for government to rebut conspiracy theories or to ignore them, are explored in this light.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: conspiracy theories, social networks, informational cascades, group polarization
working papers series
OBAMA’S WARNING NOT TO QUESTION OFFICIAL STORY ON 9-11
FBI Document—“[DELETED]” Plots To Kill Occupy Leaders “If Deemed Necessary”
By Dave Lindorff on Jun 27, 2013
dissenting-vote-suddenly-dies-down-sniper-election-from-the-demotivational-poster-1273925293 Would you be shocked to learn that the FBI apparently knew that some organization, perhaps even a law enforcement agency or private security outfit, had contingency plans to assassinate peaceful protestors in a major American city — and did nothing to intervene?
Would you be surprised to learn that this intelligence comes not from a shadowy whistle-blower but from the FBI itself – specifically, from a document obtained from Houston FBI office last December, as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Washington, DC-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund?
To repeat: this comes from the FBI itself. The question, then, is: What did the FBI do about it?
Remember the Occupy Movement? The peaceful crowds that camped out in the center of a number of cities in the fall of 2011, calling for some recognition by local, state and federal authorities that our democratic system was out of whack, controlled by corporate interests, and in need of immediate repair?
That movement swept the US beginning in mid-September 2011. When, in early October, the movement came to Houston, Texas, law enforcement officials and the city’s banking and oil industry executives freaked out perhaps even more so than they did in some other cities. The push-back took the form of violent assaults by police on Occupy activists, federal and local surveillance of people seen as organizers, infiltration by police provocateurs—and, as crazy as it sounds, some kind of plot to assassinate the “leaders” of this non-violent and leaderless movement.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what the document obtained from the Houston FBI, said:
An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles. (Note: protests continued throughout the weekend with approximately 6000 persons in NYC. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests have spread to about half of all states in the US, over a dozen European and Asian cities, including protests in Cleveland (10/6-8/11) at Willard Park which was initially attended by hundreds of protesters.)
Occupiers Astounded—But Not Entirely
Paul Kennedy, the National Lawyers Guild attorney in Houston who represented a number of Occupy Houston activists arrested during the protests, had not heard of the sniper plot, but said, “I find it hard to believe that such information would have been known to the FBI and that we would not have been told about it.” He then added darkly, “If it had been some right-wing group plotting such an action, something would have been done. But if it is something law enforcement was planning, then nothing would have been done. It might seem hard to believe that a law enforcement agency would do such a thing, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”
He adds, “The use of the phrase ‘if deemed necessary,’ sounds like it was some kind of official organization that was doing the planning.” In other words, the “identified [DELETED” mentioned in the Houston FBI document may have been some other agency with jurisdiction in the area, which was calculatedly making plans to kill Occupy activists.
Kennedy knows first-hand the extent to which combined federal-state-local law enforcement forces in Houston were focused on disrupting and breaking up the Occupy action in that city. He represented seven people who were charged with felonies for a protest that attempted to block the operation of Houston’s port facility. That case fell apart when in the course of discovery, the prosecution disclosed that the Occupiers had been infiltrated by three undercover officers from the Austin Police department, who came up with the idea of using a device called a “sleeping dragon” — actually chains inside of PVC pipe — which are devilishly hard to cut through, for chaining protesters together blocking port access. The police provocateurs, Kennedy says, actually purchased the materials and constructed the “criminal instruments” themselves, supplying them to the protesters. As a result of this discovery, the judge tossed out the felony charges.
WhoWhatWhy contacted FBI headquarters in Washington, and asked about this document—which, despite its stunning revelation and despite PCFJ press releases, was (notwithstanding a few online mentions) generally ignored by mainstream and “alternative” press alike.
The agency confirmed that it is genuine and that it originated in the Houston FBI office. (The plot is also referenced in a second document obtained in PCJF’s FOIA response, in this case from the FBI’s Gainesville, Fla., office, which cites the Houston FBI as the source.) That second document actually suggests that the assassination plot, which never was activated, might still be operative should Occupy decisively re-emerge in the area. It states:
On 13 October 20111, writer sent via email an excerpt from the daily [DELETED] regarding FBI Houston’s [DELETED] to all IAs, SSRAs and SSA [DELETED] This [DELETED] identified the exploitation of the Occupy Movement by [LENGTHY DELETION] interested in developing a long-term plan to kill local Occupy leaders via sniper fire.
Asked why solid information about an assassination plot against American citizens exercising their Constitutional right to free speech and assembly never led to exposure of the plotters’ identity or an arrest—as happened with so many other terrorist schemes the agency has publicized—Paul Bresson, head of the FBI media office, offered a typically elliptical response:
The FOIA documents that you reference are redacted in several places pursuant to FOIA and privacy laws that govern the release of such information so therefore I am unable to help fill in the blanks that you are seeking. Exemptions are cited in each place where a redaction is made. As far as the question about the murder plot, I am unable to comment further, but rest assured if the FBI was aware of credible and specific information involving a murder plot, law enforcement would have responded with appropriate action.
Note that the privacy being “protected” in this instance (by a government that we now know has so little respect for our privacy) was of someone or some organization that was actively contemplating violating other people’s Constitutional rights— by murdering them. That should leave us less than confident about Bresson’s assertion that law enforcement would have responded appropriately to a “credible” threat.
Houston Cops Not Warned?
The Houston FBI office stonewalled our requests for information about the sniper-rifle assassination plot and why nobody was ever arrested for planning to kill demonstrators. Meanwhile, the Houston Police, who had the job of controlling the demonstrations, and of maintaining order and public safety, displayed remarkably little interest in the plot: “We haven’t heard about it,” said Keith Smith, a public affairs officer for the department, who told us he inquired about the matter with senior department officials.
Asked whether he was concerned that, if what he was saying was correct, it meant the FBI had not warned local police about a possible terrorist act being planned in his city, he said, “No. You’d have to ask the Houston FBI about that.”
Craft International Again
Sniper action by law enforcement officials in Texas would not be anything new. Last October, a border patrol officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety, riding in a helicopter, used a sniper rifle to fire at a fast-moving pickup truck carrying nine illegal immigrants into the state from Mexico, killing two and wounding a third, and causing the vehicle to crash and overturn. It turns out that Border Patrol agents, like a number of Texas law enforcement organizations, had been receiving special sniper training from a Dallas-based mercenary-for-hire organization called Craft International LLC. It seems likely that Houston Police have also received such training, possibly from Craft, which has a contract for such law-enforcement training funded by the US Department of Homeland Security.
Efforts to obtain comment from Craft International have been unsuccessful, but the company’s website features photos of Craft instructors training law enforcement officers in sniper rifle use (the company was founded in 2009 by Chris Kyle, a celebrated Army sniper who last year was slain by a combat veteran he had accompanied to a shooting range). A number of men wearing Craft-issued clothing and gear, and bearing the company’s distinctive skull logo, were spotted around the finish line of the April Boston Marathon, both before and after the bombing. Some were wearing large black backpacks with markings resembling what was seen on an exploded backpack image released by the FBI.(For more on the backpacks that allegedly contained the bombs, see this piece we did in May.)
An Activist Responds
Remington Alessi, an Occupy Houston activist who played a prominent role during the Occupy events, was one of the seven defendants whose felony charge was dropped because of police entrapment. He says of the sniper plot information, which first came to light last December as one of hundreds of pages of FBI files obtained by PCJF, “We have speculated heavily about it. The ‘if deemed necessary’ phrase seems to indicate it was an organization. It could have been the police or a private security group.”
Alessi, who hails from a law-enforcement family and who ran last year for sheriff of Houston’s Harris County on the Texas Green Party ticket, garnering 22,000 votes, agrees with attorney Kennedy that the plotters were not from some right-wing organization. “If it had been that, the FBI would have acted on it,” he agrees. “I believe the sniper attack was one strategy being discussed for dealing with the occupation.” He adds:
I assume I would have been one of the targets, because I led a few of the protest actions, and I hosted an Occupy show on KPFT. I wish I could say I’m surprised that this was seriously discussed, but remember, this is the same federal government that murdered (Black Panther Party leader) Fred Hampton. We have a government that traditionally murders people who are threats. I guess being a target is sort of an honor.
There, Alessi is referring to evidence made public in the Church Committee hearings of the 1970s which revealed that the FBI was orchestrating local police attacks (in Chicago, San Francisco and New York) on Panther leaders. (For more on that, see this, starting at p. 185, esp. pp. 220-223; also see this .)
Alessi suspects that the assassination plot cited in the FBI memo was
probably developed in the Houston Fusion Center (where federal, state and local intelligence people work hand-in-glove). During our trial we learned that they were all over our stuff, tracking Twitter feeds etc. It seems to me that based on the access they were getting they were using what we now know as the NSA’s PRISM program.
He notes, correctly, that in documents obtained from the FBI and Homeland Security by the PCJF’s FOIA search, the Occupy Movement is classed as a “terrorist” activity.
Ironically, while the Occupy Movement was actually peaceful, the FBI, at best, was simply standing aside while some organization plotted to assassinate the movement’s prominent activists.
The FBI’s stonewalling response to inquiries about this story, and the agency’s evident failure to take any action regarding a known deadly threat to Occupy protesters in Houston, will likely make protesters at future demonstrations look differently at the sniper-rifle equipped law-enforcement personnel often seen on rooftops during such events. What are they there for? Who are the threats they are looking for and potentially targeting? Who are they protecting? And are they using “suppressed” sniper rifles? Would this indicate they have no plans to take responsibility for any shots silently fired? Or that they plan to frame someone else?
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