Monday, September 6, 2010

Obama and His Family Tied to CIA for Years

Onebornfree comment: why does this NOT surprise me?

Regards, onebornfree


Obama and His Family Tied to CIA for Years

Original article here.

by Sherwood Ross

President Obama – as well as his mother, father, step-father and grandmother – all were connected to the Central Intelligence Agency – possibly explaining why the President praises the “Agency” and declines to prosecute its officials for their crimes.

According to a published report in the September Rock Creek Free Press of Washington, D.C., investigative reporter Wayne Madsen says Obama’s mother Ann Dunham worked “on behalf of a number of CIA front operations, including the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ford Foundation.” The East-West Center had long been affiliated with CIA activities in the Asia-Pacific region, Madsen says.

What’s more, Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., arrived in Hawaii from Kenya as part of a CIA program to identify and train Africans who would be useful to the Agency in its Cold War operations against the Soviets, Madsen says. Obama Sr. divorced Ms. Dunham in 1964.

Ms. Dunham married Lolo Soetoro the following year, a man Madsen says assisted in the violent CIA coup against Indonesian President Sukarno that claimed a million lives. Obama’s mother taught English for USAID, “which was a major cover for CIA activities in Indonesia and throughout Southeast Asia,” Madsen reports. That USAID was a cover for CIA covert operations in Laos was admitted by its administrator Dr. John Hannah on Metromedia News. Madsen says the organization was also a cover for the CIA in Indonesia.

Ms. Dunham worked in Indonesia at a time when Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities(MUCIA) – a group that included the University of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota and Indiana – was accused of being a front for CIA activities in Indonesia and elsewhere. Ms. Dunham traveled to Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Thailand “working on micro-financing projects” for the CIA, Madsen reports.

And Ms. Dunham’s mother, Madelyn Dunham – who raised Obama while his mother was on assignment in Indonesia – acted as vice president of the Bank of Hawaii in Honolulu, which Madsen says was used by various CIA front entities. She handled escrow accounts used to make CIA payments “to U.S.-supported Asian dictators” including Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu, and President Suharto in Indonesia, Madsen says.

“In effect, the bank was engaged in money laundering for the CIA to prop up covertly its favored leaders in the Asia-Pacific region,” Madsen writes. “It is clear that Dunham Soetoro and her Indonesian husband, President Obama’s step-father, were closely involved in the CIA’s operations to steer Indonesia away from the Sino-Soviet orbit after the overthrow of Sukarno.”

“President Obama’s own work in 1983 for Business International Corporation, a CIA front that conducted seminars with the world’s most powerful leaders and used journalists as agents abroad, dovetails with CIA espionage activities conducted by his mother,” Madsen says. “There are volumes of written material on the CIA backgrounds of George H.W. Bush and CIA-related activities by his father and children, including former President George W. Bush. Barack Obama, on the other hand, cleverly masked his own CIA connections as well as those of his mother, father, step-father, and grandmother,” Madsen points out.

A review of the influence on the Oval Office by the CIA, particularly since the presidency of Bush Sr., a former director of the Agency, it becomes apparent the Agency has played a major role in the shaping of U.S. foreign policy – a role that has been largely kept secret from the American public and one which most Americans would not have approved. The CIA’s overthrow of the democratic government of Iran in 1953 is an example. The overthrow occurred after the Iranian government nationalized the oil industry following alleged cheating on payments by contractor British Petroleum, then known as Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. For another, the CIA’s widespread use of illegal rendition and torture of suspects is repugnant to Americans who still believe in their Constitution.

September 6, 2010

Sherwood Ross has worked for major dailies and wire services and served in an executive capacity in the U.S. civil rights movement. He currently is active in the anti-war movement and operates a public relations firm for good causes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Maximizing State- Anthony de Jasay

Onebornfree commentary: An excellent essay by one of my favorite writers and thinkers, Anthony de Jasay , author of "The State", one of my favorite books on political theory.

The entire essay appears in the July 2010 issue of "The Independent Review"

Regards, onebornfree.


History seems to demonstrate that a society of perfect freedom, immune from the habit of collective choice, perdures only for small and very poor societies of simple design in relative geographical remoteness that isolates them from other societies. Other than in such increasingly rare conditions, perfect freedom survives only in shreds and fragments in states in which ad hoc or rule-following collective choice predominates. It would be rash to conclude that this transformation is a necessary consequence of some omnipresent cause, an incontrovertible corollary of the human condition, or the nature of any social organization. It would be better theory to propose more modestly with Hume that the transformation is a matter of "constant conjunction" that has always occurred but may or may not occur again in the future.

We need not decide whether collective choice comes to prevail because ordered anarchy is an intrinsically weak structure or because the state is an inherently strong one. A case can be made for either view. In this article, I lay out the factors that always have and presumably always will make the transformation from ordered anarchy to state highly probable.

The State as Unitary Actor

My 1985 book The State has been fairly widely criticized on the ground that it is an unwarranted anthropomorphism to treat the state as a unitary actor making decisions the way a person does, selecting them in its calculating mind with reference to its preferences and the conditions that it encounters or expects to prevail. The critics have pointed out reasonably enough that the state is a very complicated and opaque set of bodies and persons loosely connected by some common interests but also separated by conflicting ones, bound by some common rules but also following particular ones of their own and pursuing objectives that pull them in various directions at once. The critique was deserved in the sense that I should have anticipated and met it explicitly rather than take for granted that readers will see the advantage of imagining the state as a unitary actor about whose decisions certain predictions can be made, instead of treating it more realistically as a chaotic and largely unpredictable witches' cauldron that at best can be described but that defies theory.

An analogy from economics may not disarm the critique but may explain why I believe that it ought to be firmly resisted.

A firm, especially a corporation of a certain size, is a hierarchical organization that functions, as does the state, by command and obedience. Final command rests with the owners and cascades downward by delegation; disobedience of varying degrees is sanctioned by punishments of varying gravity. Within this top-down assembly, a number of subassemblies have some autonomy without which they can function only poorly or not at all. Thus, production, purchasing, design, maintenance, marketing, personnel, and finance, to mention only the principal ones, have a certain latitude to make their own decisions; defend and expand their "turf" and "pull the blanket over themselves"; secure easy objectives, higher capital budgets, greater influence, and more consideration for their activity at top management level; and so forth. In the limit, each of these "subassemblies" may be pulling the firm in a different direction. It would be hard to make a case that the firm is more like a unitary actor than the state.

Nevertheless, despite sporadic attempts to deal with the firm purely descriptively or a little more ambitiously, imputing to it some behavioral regularity ("firms add a normal margin to cost and sell what they can at that price")--attempts that have born little fruit--economics has by and large adhered to the theory of the firm that treats it as a unitary actor and imputes to it a single maximand, profit, that is the only point of having a firm at all, any other objective ("market share," "longevity," or "monopoly power") being potentially rational only if it is at least consistent with profit maximization. This theory of the firm, in increasingly sophisticated guises, has done great service both in promoting rigorous thinking and in helping us to understand reality, and economics would be poorer if it were discarded on the ground that no real-life firm is in fact a unitary actor and that none can ever be "proven" to maximize profit. (Proof is the more awkward to find because the rational maximand is the present value of all expected future profits, expectations of the future are not uniform in their level and time pattern, and management may well be more sanguine than the marginal shareholder--hence, the alleged conflict between short and long term.)

I contend that just as no particular firm can be proven to maximize profit, but the behavior of firms in general can be best predicted by assuming that they strive to do so, so the behavior of states can be best understood and predicted by imputing to them a single maximand. Sporadically in history and political theory, potential candidates for the role of maximand have cropped up. Territory, power, tax revenue, and dynastic security of tenure have been mentioned, although not systematically developed. I maintain that the point of sovereign command, of being the state at all, is to have power one can use at one's discretion. (1)

The distinction between power tout court and discretionary power is crucial. All other things being equal, power reduces to the capacity to have at least some of one's commands obeyed by a relevant population (or, probabilistically, by some portion of it). However, some commands may merely serve to bring about the very obedience that they demand. The state may order its subjects to pay taxes for the maintenance of judiciary and police apparatus designed to intimidate the population into obeying the order to pay these taxes. Alternatively, the state may order people to shore up a dam to protect their own village from being flooded. Obeying this command is in the villagers' own interest. Had the command been instead to join a mass demonstration for world peace and human rights, they might not have obeyed unless the state had driven them or was able to rely on their abundant loyalty. Having one's command of the latter sort obeyed or collecting more taxes than are needed to secure continuing taxpayer obedience and to ensure that the same tax will be raised the next time around is having discretionary power. Such power enables the state to realize objectives that are not instruments for reproducing power. Promotion of a supreme value, patronage of the arts, and establishment of a firmly based kleptocracy are plausible examples of discretionary objectives, among many others.

The Machinery of Maximization

The state's power is exercised by the government as plenipotentiary agent. We may say that for most purposes the government is the personified state. One difficulty about this usage is that whereas the state is best understood as an abstract entity, the government is both abstract and physically existent, consisting of real persons, some of whom can be more completely identified with the government than others. However, theory must live with this awkwardness of reality as it does with so many other things.

Discretionary power is power not required for its own reproduction or maintenance; power is the property of commands being obeyed; and obedience (to the government) is a function of intimidation and allegiance.

In seeking to maximize its discretionary power, the government schematically must "feed" the two "ingredients," intimidation and allegiance, into a kind of machinery where they mix and move along until they "come out" as obedience; obedience, in turn, procures the wherewithal for the intimidation and allegiance to be fed into the machine.

Several processes may lend themselves to turning intimidation and allegiance into obedience and obedience into intimidation and allegiance. The most obvious and in our time the most widely used is, of course, taxation. Using taxes to acquire resources both for maintaining a repressive apparatus that will intimidate people into paying taxes and for other purposes leaves some of the latter resources available to be used for buying allegiance. If judiciously targeted, the granting of material privileges to some and the redistribution of the resources of some for the benefit of others will create more allegiance and readier obedience to the government than they will cause alienation among the victims of redistribution. (2)

The use of resources merely to generate the obedience that allows the raising of resources of the same magnitude, leaving nothing over for discretionary purposes, is a break-even exercise, an altogether futile drudgery. Although such a futile result is indeed the probable but unintended outcome of attempts to solicit greater allegiance, "break even" is not the aim of running the machinery of maximization, but rather the eventual self-destruction of the aim. Without the ability to yield power that can be employed at discretion for any purpose short of the absurd, being a state is a pointless exercise.

The idea of the minimal state that imposes collective choice over only a severely restricted domain and exercises self-denial by not using power to generate discretionary power seems to upset this conclusion. In fact, the minimal state, if it existed, would be an antistate actor whose rational purpose would be the opposite of that of the state, preempting the place that a state can otherwise take and expand in.

Although obedience may yield discretionary power, it is quite unlikely to do so as if the latter were a linear function of the former, increasing in the same proportion as intimidation and allegiance increase. It is a plausible conjecture that beyond a certain degree of required obedience, diminishing returns set in, and more intimidation, combined with more redistribution or not, not only fails to raise discretionary power, but actually decreases it. Discretionary power is maximized when its (rising) marginal cost is equal to its marginal increment, both measured in resources. Naturally, one cannot find this point by calculation. It can be identified more or less successfully only with the antennae of instinctive statesmanship. Taxation, I suspect, may be foolishly excessive, and dictatorship overdone for its own good. Discretionary power is more likely to be maximized with discretion.

Inadvertent Surrender: Social Contract and Conquest

Hardly any other cliche or allegory keeps as strong a grip on the mind of both the political philosopher and the ordinary man as the social contract. The reason seems straightforward: social contract theory flatters us into believing that we have conjured up the state not as a matter of misguided, absent-minded, and inadvertent surrender, but of our own clear-sighted will. There is no call to be either rebellious or rueful about it. People had ample reason for entering into it and for honoring its terms. We need not feel a little foolish or ashamed that we could not fail to honor it if perchance we should like to do so, because the contract has turned out to be irrevocable and permanent, admitting neither breach nor renegotiation.

We are not dealing here with the early form of the contract, the one between God and the monarch under which the latter, in exchange for the power granted to him, binds himself to rule in conformity to his divine mandate. Nor do we mean the quasi-social contract by which the monarch consents to a constitution, and in return his people consent to obey him but retain the material means to disobey (refuse to pay taxes, meet force with three, depose the monarch).

The social contract as tacitly understood in contemporary usage is that of Thomas Hobbes ([1651] 1968), by which the people contract among themselves to create Leviathan, who is not a party to the contract but who has the sword to enforce the "covenant," or that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a much less solid construction in which the people conceive of the General Will, agree to submit to it, and have no temptation to disobey because recognition of the General Will tells them that they have no interest to do so (it is better to fell and share the stag than to run off and chase the hare).

It is perhaps needless to spell out that the idea of a whole people's unanimously concluding a contract obliging it to anything at all, let alone to surrender to and obey a superior power, is at best an allegory. To suppose that the people should do so and irrevocably commit all future generations to it, having calculating the expected advantages it will bring, is to impute to the people either a reckless acceptance of a great risk or a failure to see that risk at all.

The state, however, has a more down-to-earth genesis by contractual means in which the parties are unaware that by making what may seem to be innocuous agreements, they are creating the viable embryo of a state. The agreements concern the organization of what Robert Nozick calls "protective agencies" specializing in the enforcement of the conventions that hitherto were being enforced by social sanctions (exclusion of the deviant from the benefits of the convention as well as other punishments administered by the plaintiffs and other parties interested in protecting that convention). Many or most people may have incurred enforcement costs involved in punishing deviants, be it no more than boycotting cheats, watching one's property, mending one's fences, and helping neighbors and peers protect their own and the public order. For some, such activities may actually be a source of satisfaction and self-esteem, but others would resent them as a cost and might well welcome an opportunity to unload the duty of rule enforcement on a specialized agency equipped to discharge it. For many, doing so would feel like taking a free ride because they may not realize that in one way or another they have to bear some of the agency's cost. Others may have the illusion that they can escape these costs altogether or bear a smaller amount of them than the benefit they derive from a third party's enforcement of the rules. On these grounds, the scenario of piecemeal surrender of some of the enforcement function to specialized agencies is as plausible as that of the social contract is implausible. The rest follows not as a matter of inexorable logic, but as a matter of great plausibility, from the "slippery slope" argument. Specialized enforcement agencies merge into a single agency that holds sway over a population delineated by ethnic or geographic features. The agency gradually arms itself and disarms the population, arguments of efficiency in enforcement furnishing an adequate excuse for establishing a monopoly position, which is obviously of paramount importance for an embryonic state. The final stage in this scenario of the birth of the state is a move from the agency's protecting the people's property to its protecting their property from all except itself. In this stage, the agency no longer confines itself to obliging the population to cover its costs of enforcing the rules. Instead, it uses its power to extort from society a volume of resources far greater than mere rule enforcement costs and uses part of the surplus to buy the support of selected segments of society to deter any attempts at resistance by other segments. Henceforward, the mechanism of redistribution is in place and available for maintaining society in a situation of surrender and the state in power, with the ultimate objective of maximizing the state's discretionary power.

Pressed into a nutshell, this account of the state's emergence suggests that the free-rider temptation is the Achilles heel of "perfect freedom." This temptation is not a necessary condition of the state's emergence, but it comes close to being a sufficient condition for it. Another such account, likewise very close to being sufficient though not necessary, is that of the territorial conquest of one ethnic group or otherwise distinct population by another. David Hume ([1777] 1986) states categorically that nearly all past and present governments originated in usurpation and conquest. It is difficult to find in history many states of which this claim is not true. It is certainly true of the most outstanding specimens of statehood. The Trojans subjugated the Latins and made Rome. The Franks conquered Gaul and laid the foundations of France. Scandinavian trader-warriors along the route from the Baltic to the Black Sea took the Slavs into their service and established Kiev and other principalities that in due course formed Russia. The Normans vanquished the Saxons and created a united England. The resulting societies were from the outset neatly divided along ethnic lines into conquerors and conquered, governors and governed, a division that provided an outline for the feudal system of control and almost automatically answered any subsequent question of who would command and who would obey. For centuries, the conquered ethnic group surrendered to the conqueror, until the clear dividing line was gradually washed out, and other divisions took over its founding functions.

Ruling by the Rule

We are in the habit of classifying types of government according to the group in society that exercises political power. Thus, we distinguish theocracy, monarchy, oligarchy, plutocracy, and democracy, to mention only some basic types. Another frequently made classification has only a binary alternative: dictatorship and democracy. However, a more fundamental distinction is between a society in which "the king decrees" and one in which "the king in his council decrees." In the latter alternative, the validity of the king's decision is subject to a formal requirement, an embryo of a rule that constrains rule making.

Self-Imposed Constraints

Kenneth Arrow calls a social (his term for collective) choice rule a "constitution," and Thomas Schelling calls a constitution a vow. Much past and present misunderstanding in political thought might be dissipated by keeping firmly in mind the word vow and with it the state's own role in binding collective choice by rules.

When collective choices are made ad hoc as the occasion demands, the state relies on the sufficiency of its power to get the decision obeyed. It seeks neither to spare certain individuals' preferences nor to allow for all of the likely consequences of overriding them. However, it is perfectly possible that the overriding of individual preferences, though quite feasible, costs more in terms of the power that needs to be used and tied up to deter resistance than it accrues advantages to the state from being carried out rather than some alternative.

The economy in the utilization of power that arises from sparing individual choices on some ad hoc occasion without prejudging the likelihood of overriding them on a future occasion is, however, only one part of the gain the state may expect from "self-denial," and it is independent of such self-denial's taking the form of an explicit, declared "vow," a self-imposed rule to govern collective choice. The latter, removing arbitrariness and imparting a certain limited predictability, should further enhance the economy of power. (3) Moreover, because collective choices to conform to a rule or rules are repetitive, obedience to them is apt to become habitual, and hence resistance tends to become eroded. This catalog of the potential advantages of constrained collective choice applies to the case of the constraint's being unilaterally adopted by the state as a matter of prudential calculation, a case known in history as the absolute monarch's "granting a constitution" to subjects whose role is limited to showing greater willingness to obey in return for diminished arbitrariness. A somewhat different case is that of a constitution as an explicitly negotiated bargain between a monarch and the people, governors and the governed, that should further enhance political obedience, albeit at the cost of a more stringent "vow" on the state's part. Imposing greater restraint would induce a loss from forgone collective choices than is greater than the gain from a further reduction in the use of coercive power. The reverse would, of course, be the case if the state imposed less restraint on its exercise of collective choice. The "secret" (a secret because it is not shared with the governed) is to formulate the rule-making rule under which the state can expect to secure the best trade-off between power saved and desired objectives forgone ("forgone" because they would become "unconstitutional")--the maximizing rule of rule making. The constraints must be incorporated in a master rule, or rule of rule making, that provides for mandating the government (and eventually its recall) and delineates the areas in which collective choice may be exercised and individual choices overridden. Perhaps the most prominent element of any rule of rule making is the specification of the manner in which a rule must be made (for example, by the king's decreeing it in his council or by the majority's voting for it under universal franchise)--what Herbert Hart calls "the rule of recognition" that characterized Venice as a plutocracy and earns most modern Western states the name of "representative democracy."

What is the best rule of rule making for a state? We obviously cannot give a specific answer to this question, any more than we can to a question about a firm's ideal business plan. However, a wholly formal statement of what is best may not be completely useless. By "best," we continue to mean the one most likely to maximize the state's discretionary power. Assuming that greater constitutional constraints yield both diminishing returns in terms of the saving of the power needed to secure obedience and increasing costs in terms of forgone collective choices, discretionary power will rise as long as the saving of power is greater than the opportunity cost of forgoing more and more collective choices. The favorable balance between the two will go on increasing, but at a diminishing rate. Maximum discretionary power will be reached as the power saved by ever-stricter self-imposed constraints no longer exceeds the worth of the lost opportunity of making certain collective choices. Needless to say, this point cannot be found by using calculus, although perhaps clever politicians with "feel" for what "pays" can approximate the formal optimum.

As a practical matter, a constitution that it "pays" to adopt is one that appears to bind the government's hands more than it really does or in ways that matter more to the governed than to the government. For example, a constitution might grant habeas corpus and concessions on other "civil rights" even while maintaining the rule of collective choice over individuals' material resources--the rule of rule making that places no explicit restraint on the taxation of income or wealth. History abounds in real-life constitutional examples of this kind.

Paradoxes of the Rule-Making Rule

In a truly rule-bound system of rules, every rule must be the product of the proper observance of some antecedent rule. Ordinary rules of "must" and "must not" have to be made by following the rule of rule making (including, of course, rule change). That rule, however, fails to be rule bound unless it, too, is made by observing a higher-order rule of making rules of rule making, and the latter must be made by following a rule of yet another order higher. A truly rule-bound system is therefore an infinite regress of ever higher orders of rules. This property may or may not be a genuine paradox. (4) In any event, it casts serious doubt on the possibility of legitimate birth of constitutions. Constituent assemblies are organs of collective choice through which collective choice legitimizes itself. This procedure is tantamount to collective choice's vesting in itself the power to override individual choice and laying down the limits or conditions under which such overriding is to be regarded as legitimate. Awareness of this circularity presumably induces many political theorists to embrace the fiction that constitutions are really adopted by unanimity or "practical unanimity," in which case collective choice does not legitimize itself; but individual choice does so.

The other major paradox, apparent or genuine but in any case the source of serious preoccupation, concerns the internal logic or structure of the rule of rule making. Like every rule that regulates behavior and the distribution of benefits and burdens, the rule must provide for both sanctions to punish its breach and the enforcement of these sanctions. Consider the following: "The king has ruled that he (in his council) may decide all things except a certain thing. If he decides that thing, the king must punish the king. If the king fails to punish him, the king must punish the king, and so forth." A quasi-legal construction in which enforcement of sanctions for a breach of the rule rests with the rule breaker himself clearly contains a flaw.

"Separation of powers" reputedly provides a remedy for this rather conspicuous flaw. It is a pity that Montesquieu's text that immortalized this idea does not distinguish sharply enough between the separation of three basic functions of the state, so that the legislative, executive, and judicial functions are carried out by three distinct institutions motivated by different interests. Moreover, the state's power to enforce the decisions taken by these institutions and to protect them, but not also to carry out any of these functions, is in no meaningful sense separated into parts to match the separate functions. If it were, civil war would probably be an endemic condition. The separation of functions has done honorable service in the United States, as has most of the rest of the U.S. Constitution. (5) One wonders, however, how such separation would perform in the wildly counterfactual case of the Congress's severely limiting its own authority to impose taxes or the Supreme Court's denying Congress's authority to vote taxes and the executive's entitlement to collect them.

In sum, we must be soberly skeptical of the very logic of a rule of rule making--its ultimate claim to legitimacy and enforceability. In most cases, constitutions seem to "work" principally because they are not tested and are not designed to provoke severe tests or to settle severe conflicts between state and society. Most of their practical effect pertains to the regulation of how governments may obtain power and how their tenure may be terminated. Only in a very idealized sense do they "safeguard liberty"; more precisely, the liberties they safeguard are those that the state is fairly willing to remove from the competence of collective choice because doing so permits a more economical use of power spent on staying in power and is thus conducive to maximizing the residue, discretionary power.

Shrinking Freedom

I find it deeply objectionable to speak, along with John Ravels, of "basic" freedoms, a usage that suggests both that some freedoms are "basic," hence important, and others "nonbasic," hence not very important or perhaps even negligible, and also, more insidiously, to say that someone, perhaps the speaker or perhaps "society" speaking through some authority., is entitled to say which freedoms are "basic" and which are not. I find it equally objectionable to dismiss the presumption of liberty on the grounds, put forward by Joseph Raz (1986, 8-14), that it fails to discriminate in favor of the more important liberties. Setting up a rank order of liberties, some more basic than others and more deserving of protection under the presumption of liberty, is too close to arrogance to be seemly.

Nevertheless, it is a matter of common perception that some curtailments of freedom have a greater impact on an individual's life and that some have an impact on more individuals than do others. It is therefore not good enough simply to observe that "our freedom is shrinking by the day." We need to spell out which of our freedoms are being shrunk. It might be desirable, in addition, to find an objective measure of the shrinkage.

The prohibition of smoking on public premises is one of the most often cited deprivations of liberty. It seems particularly irritating to smokers (and to a sprinkling of high-principled nonsmokers), perhaps because it is recent and the freedom it suppresses is still fresh in the memory. However, it arguably affects only smokers adversely and even them only when they are on public premises. The excuse offered for the interdiction--that smoking exerts a dangerous negative externality on nonsmokers--may or may not be accepted by smokers as relevant and as justification for the violation of one of their freedoms. But even if it is rejected, the loss of the freedom in question is more significant as a precedent than as an actual deprivation.

The shrinking, by various forms of taxation, of a vast array of freedoms--feasible acts offending against no rule--is best considered in this perspective. The acts in question depend on the use or disposal of material resources--opportunities offered by the possession of wealth and the spending of income--that the state preempts. It is as if the act that depends on the resources subject to preemption had been moved from one side of the fence of rules to the other side, from the "may" to the "must not" category. The upheaval is massive, given that many modern states preempt 50 and even 55 percent of their gross national product and that few preempt anything less than 40 percent, if central and local government spending and compulsory social insurance are added up.

To appreciate the peculiar relationship between the state and property (what current usage persists in calling "property rights," which are derivative forms of property and evoke wrong legal connotations), one must revert to its conventional roots in such behavioral equilibria as "first come first served," "finders keepers," and perhaps also queuing. This trace leads to the Humean conception of first possession, its stability, and its "transference by consent," all antecedent to any sort of state. There is logically a presumption of property--that is, of possession signaling good title in the absence of sufficient reason to challenge it.

States at least implicitly undertake to protect property from everyone except themselves. All but fully socialist ones recognize the inviolability of property as wealth (subject to expropriation under "due process" or "due compensation"). Only a tiny minority of states tax wealth, although most tax inheritance. Somewhat oddly, none recognizes the inviolability of property in the form of income, and, as noted earlier, no rule of rule making so much as mentions constraints on collective choice in the matter of writing tax codes (though a couple make pious references to just taxation). Some apologists of the strange asymmetry between the treatment of wealth and the treatment of income contend that pretax income is not property. No one seeks to find good cause in justice for the numerous other forms of taxation. Consumption, sales, and value-added taxes and excise duties pass without questions of legitimacy and the immense restriction of freedoms they represent.

The tax take is "returned" to society in natura as publicly provided goods and services. (There are two exceptions: transfer payments that are returned as cash and the state's discretionary spending permitted by its discretionary power.) Nominal national income is almost unaffected, but real national income falls, perhaps substantially. A basket of goods and services made up of health care, education, pensions, and other entitlements is at best worth its money cost to the recipient if by a fluke he would have chosen the same basket had he been free to do so. In all other cases, though, it is worth less to him than the basket he would have freely chosen. However, although the fact of a decline in real income seems to be a necessary truth subject only to minor qualifications, we cannot put even a rough a number on it. In any event, we should perhaps not commingle questions of riches with questions of freedom at given levels of riches.

The shrinkage of freedom due to taxation, however, is clearly massive, and we can put a number on it. In modern states, as noted earlier, between 40 and 55 percent of what is produced by the efforts of individuals under the division of labor is preempted and disposed of by collective choice that is endowed with the power to override individual choices. We may well grant that not all liberties require the use of material resources for their exercise. Some authors on the political left enjoy mocking the liberties that do so, calling them liberties to choose between flavors of ice cream. The metaphor is preposterous. Without setting up a hierarchy of noble, less noble, and ignoble freedoms, we may safely contend that the ones that depend on material resources are immensely important, and if half of all riches is removed from the grasp of individuals, the resulting shrinkage of freedom is immensely important, too.

Another Inadvertent Surrender

For as long as states have existed, their rulers and governments have been buying the support of one part of society--initially a small part--by extorting the purchase price from other parts. At the outset, they would buy the close councilors, courtesans, Praetorian guards, mameluks, bishops, abbots and other spiritual guides of the people, territorial administrators, and tax collectors. The base on which states relied for support, using redistribution in the widest sense to obtain it, was progressively broadened. In medieval and early-modern Europe, it was not unusual for the state to seek the alliance of an entire class, the better to deter another class from disobedience. Alliances between the king and the towns against the nobility were common. The ally was remunerated by tilting economic policy, such as it was, in the ally's favor and by making classes other than the merchants and artisans bear the main burden of wars.

In buying support with the redistribution of privileges, benefits, and burdens to and from selected groups in society, the state was "using power to stay in power." Using power to raise and move material resources and handing them out as bribes in exchange for support formed a more sophisticated manner of proceeding than deterring disobedience and breach of rules by intimidation. This conduct became an ingrained habit. It has also inadvertently led to the surrender of the state's ultima ratio, its discretionary power.

In part for reasons lodged in the history of political thought and particularly the Enlightenment, early in the nineteenth century egalitarian principles began to make their way into the advanced countries' rules of rule making. Competition between political rivals contributed to an evolution in which the granting or termination of the mandate to govern became the privilege of a gradually broadening part of the governed until it finally settled down at what we now consider its terminal form--namely, simple majority voting in anonymity under universal suffrage.

Under this system, assuming that voters cast their ballots exclusively to promote their own ascertainable material interests (an obvious simplification whose saving virtue is that it is not very conducive to woolly verbiage), a sufficient condition for a person or group to gain or retain the mandate to govern the state is the formation of a decisive coalition more interested in voting for him, her, or it (let it be "it"). A voting coalition cannot be beaten by a rival coalition if the former consists of the majority of all voters and no anonymous member of it can be tempted to desert it and join the rival. (Under anonymity, no bribe can be credibly offered to a voter to join a coalition unless the same bribe is offered to all of its members. If anybody can be the median voter, it is impossible to buy the median voter without offering the same price to all voters in the coalition.)

Recall that the offer made to members of a potential coalition is redistributive--that is, that the winning coalition is to be rewarded out of resources taken from the losing coalition(s). A coalition cannot be beaten if no other coalition can offer more to the average member of a simple majority. This condition will be the case if the winning coalition undertakes to tax the richer half of society (minus one person) up to its taxable capacity and distribute the proceeds to the poorer half of society (plus one person). Note that a coalition greater than the simple majority can be beaten by one having merely a simple majority because the latter can dispose of the taxable resources of a larger losing minority.

It is obvious that any number of potential coalitions can make the same unbeatable offer, each proposing to reward the same poorer half of society with the resources that can be taken from the same richer half, and each limiting its offer only to the members of a bare majority because any larger majority will have to make do with the spoils taken from a smaller minority.

Therefore, if this situation is recognized by at least two of the rivals partaking in the auction to win the mandate to govern, at least two identical electoral programs will be put forward, and the outcome will depend on some random variable, the toss of a coin. (Some modern electoral contests with convergent programs and very close results do resemble this idealized result.)


Conducted on a somewhat abstract level, nay analysis suggests that in a condition of perfect liberty where all rules emerge as spontaneous behavioral equilibria, individuals will either abandon this freedom without fully realizing that they are doing so (and entrust power to a rule-enforcing agency) or will be made to do so by foreign conquerors to whom they yield. Either way, they bow to collective choice, surrendering freedom rather inadvertently. They gain a measure of what Arnold Toynbee called "security of maintenance." Only a few would rather undo this bargain and seek liberty in ordered anarchy.

The state, personified in the government, seems no more successful than the individual in consciously pursuing an objective rather than inadvertently allowing outcomes to happen to it. Logically, it would seek to maximize the discretionary power that it could devote to purposes of its own instead of solely to those of its supporters, but it ends up by dissipating all of its discretionary power in political competition of its own making. It inadvertently surrenders the potential its initial endowment of power provides. In the process of becoming a redistributive drudge, it is spreading wider as the sphere of freedoms shrinks. Like the firm in the perfectly competitive industry that makes no profit, the state ultimately achieves only its own survival, and no one is satisfied by this relatively pointless result.


Brennan, H. G., and J. M. Buchanan. 1999. The Power to Tax." Analytical Foundations of a Fiscal Constitution. Indianapolis, Ind.: Liberty Press.

De Jasay, Anthony. 1985. The State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Hobbes, T. [1651] 1968. Leviathan. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin.

Hume, D. [1777] 1985. Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary. Edited by Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis, Ind.: Liberty Press.

Mueller, D. C. 2003. Public Choice III. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Ostrom, V. [1971] 1987. The Political Theory of a Compound Republic: Designing the American Experiment. 2d ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Raz, Joseph. 1986. The Morality of Freedom. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.

Stasavage, D. 2003. Public Debt and the Birth of the Democratic State: France and Great Britain, 1688-1789. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Suber, P. 1990. The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Logic, Law, Omnipotence, and Change. New York: Peter Lang.

(1.) Geoffrey Brennan and James Buchanan [1980] (1999) frame the state as a unitary actor maximizing taxes, rather than discretionary power.

(2.) For the public-choice background, see Mueller 2003.

(3.) On the enhancement of credit, see Stasavage 2003.

(4.) Related paradoxes are discussed in Suber 1990.

(5.) One might refer here as well to the originally Dutch idea of a compound republic that became so important in theories of federalism in America; see Ostrom [1971] 1987.

Anthony de Jasay is an independent scholar and author living in Paluel, France.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

9/11 Video & Victim Fakery,The Matrix, Governments vs.Your Freedom- A "No-Planer's" Essay

9/11 Video and Victim Fakery, The Matrix, Governments vs.Your Freedom- A "No-Planer's" Essay

A newly re-edited, updated version of my 911 essay written especially for those among us who, like myself, are poor, demented souls calling themselves "9/11 no-planers" or similar because they believe that the network videos of the events of 9/11 were mostly faked, can be viewed here:

Regards, onebornfree

Thursday, July 29, 2010

All My Music Videos Have Been Moved!

N.B. All Fake Eye-D music videos previously at this address have been moved to:

Regards, onebornfree.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Bill of Rights Scam - [aka The 1789 Judiciary Act Scam]

Many freedom seekers suffer under the illusion that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are not, and never were, open to free interpretation by the Federal judiciary and its Supreme Court, and thus waste much valuable time and resources fighting the system "for their rights" etc. [See also my previous blog "You've Never Had Any Rights: Three Good Reasons Why The US Constitution and Bill of Rights are Not Worth the Paper They Were Written On" ]

The article linked to here["1789" by Jim Davies] shows how wrong they are and explains how the Bill of Rights, which , by itself would have effectively limited the scope of the federal courts entirely to the two crimes listed in the constitution itself, [piracy and treason],leaving all other criminal prosecutions to individual states, was effectively gotten around [i.e subverted] by the exact same persons who drafted the Bill of Rights.

Important Chronology
The Judiciary Act of 1789 was signed into law on Sept.24th. 1789, while the Bill of Rights did not leave congress until the next day,Sept 25th 1789.

Keep in mind that the same people who passed the Judiciary Act into immediate law of the land status, were, at the exact same time busy putting the final touches on a document [the Bill of Rights] which they knew had to be ratified by the individual states before it ever [if ever!]became law . That ratification of the Bill of Rights took almost 2 years.

That means that for almost two years before the Bill of Rights ever went into effect, a Federal law was in operation that already, pre-emptively, granted "supreme" power to the Supreme court to ultimately decide what both it and the constitution actually "meant". [ And who decides who sits on the Supreme court?].

Also,bear in mind that the Judiciary Act accomplished the exact opposite of the intent of the Bill of Rights,most of which was concerned with placing severe limitations on the jurisdiction of federal courts and the evidentiary procedures that could be used to prosecute the only two constitutionally specified federal crimes - treason and piracy.

Section 25 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 granted overriding power to the Supreme Court to ultimately"interpret" the Constitution and Bill of Rights, deciding what they meant on a case by case basis, effectively filling in the huge gaps in Article 3 of the Constitution itself, where , despite what most today imagine, no overriding,specific authority for the Federal judiciary to decide/interpret the "law of the land" was ever actually granted {except in cases of piracy or treason}

You have to hand it to them- one hell of an "end run" around the supposed "constitutional limits" and the far more restrictive language of the Bill of Rights!

- Regards, onebornfree.

Link to article by JimDavies: "1789"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More Film Fakery-The Faked Zapruder Movie of The JFK Assassination

[Onebornfree comment : As well as 9/11 video fakery previously examined here, here is part of an excellent article by Professor Jim Fetzer outlining the blatant fakery that has come to light in the famous [amateur] "Zapruder" home video of the JFK assassination in Dallas in November 1963 which was "only" released by the F.B.I. some 10 years [?] after the event [if that was not suspicious enough by itself! And lets not even get into the purported Apollo moon landings!]

US government official: JFK cover-up, film fabrication
By Jim Fetzer
Online Journal Guest Writer

Apr 7, 2010, 00:19


"MADISON, Wisconsin -- Douglas Horne, who served as the Senior Analyst for Military Affairs of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), has now published INSIDE THE ARRB (2009), a five-volume study of the efforts of the board to declassify documents and records held by the CIA, the FBI, the Secret Service, and other government organizations related to the assassination of JFK.

As a former government official, historian, and author, he is speaking out to disabuse the public of any lingering belief that THE WARREN REPORT (1964), THE HSCA FINAL REPORT (1979), Gerald Posner’s CASE CLOSED (1963), or Vincent Bugliosi’s RECLAIMING HISTORY (2007) represent the truth about what is known about the assassination of our 35th president, even remotely! Indeed, in relation to a new article, “Birds of a Feather: Subverting the Constitution at Harvard Law”, Horne has made a forceful declaration to set the record straight:

I know, from my former role as a government official on the staff of the ARRB (from 1995-1998), that there is overwhelming evidence of a government-directed medical cover-up in the death of JFK, and of wholesale destruction of autopsy photographs, autopsy x-rays, early versions of the autopsy report, and biological materials associated with the autopsy. Furthermore, dishonest autopsy photographs were created; skull x-rays were altered; the contents of the autopsy report changed over time as different versions were produced; and the brain photographs in the National Archives cannot be photographs of President Kennedy’s brain -- they are fraudulent, substitute images of someone else’s brain.

Over and beyond the medical evidence, however, Horne -- in Vol. IV of INSIDE THE ARRB (2009), has also demonstrated that the home movie of the assassination known as “the Zapruder film” -- and others that correspond to it, such as the Nix and Muchmore films -- have been massively edited to remove indications of Secret Service complicity in the crime and to add other events to these films in order to sow confusion and conceal evidence of the true causes of death of John F. Kennedy.

There are many proofs that the film has been fabricated—including that the driver brought the limo to a halt to make sure he would be killed; that his brains were blown out to the left-rear; and that a motorcycle patrolman accompanying the limo rode forward at the time of the stop to inform Dallas Chief of Police Jessie Curry that the president had been hit. But none of these events appears in the extant version of the film, which has been massively edited. That these events occurred has been established by more than 60 witness reports of the limo stop, where the wound to the back of his head was confirmed by 40 witnesses, including virtually all the physicians at Parkland Hospital, who described cerebellum as well as cerebral tissue extruding from the wound. The blow-out to the right-front, as seen in the film, therefore, is not authentic.

Indeed, in an appendix to Vol. IV, Horne explains that a copy of the film has now been studied by Hollywood exerts, who found that the blow-out to the back of his head had been painted over in black in an amateurish effort to obfuscate the blow out, which can actually be seen in a few later frames, including 372 and 374. Those who have persisted in defense of the authenticity of the film have offered three major arguments -- (1) that the features of the extant film correspond to those of the original processed in Dallas, (2) that there was an unbroken chain of custody, which precluded the film be changed; and (3) that the Dealey Plaza films are not only consistent with themselves but with one another, where the Zapruder could only have been faked if the others had been as well.

The following extracts from INSIDE THE ARRB (2009), Vol. IV, demonstrate that all three arguments are fallacious: (1) there are five features of the extant film that differ from those of the original and (2) that different films were brought to the NPIC on consecutive days, which vitiates the chain-of-custody argument. The consistency of the films with one another (3) turns out to be an interesting question, since they all seem to have been edited to remove the turn of the presidential limousine from Houston onto Elm. More significantly, there are subtle inconsistencies between the films and, most importantly, the Zapruder film is not even consistent with itself, which proves that it cannot possibly be authentic! Horne’s new studies thus confirm the previous research that has previously been reported in THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003), “New Proof of JFK Film Fakery” (2007), and “Zapruder JFK Film impeached by Moorman JFK Polaroid” (2008), where these two articles are on-line........"

For rest of article , go here

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"The 9/11 Hoax: Pondering Questions of Strategy & Opportunity"

[some more 911"Food for thought" enjoy!- onebornfree]

"The 9/11 Hoax: Pondering Questions of Strategy & Opportunity"

By Simon Shack, January 11, 2010

One question which naturally emerges from the study of the 9/11 memorials is : “Even if many ‘victims’ identities appear to be entirely made up by a computer database, could it still mean that a number of real people were killed on 9/11?"

Or did 9/11 claim no victims at all?

If we are to apply a logical thought-process to this particular issue, we need to look at questions of strategy and opportunity which the perpetrators must have prefigured. Surely, any sensible investigation must start by defining the type of crime that is being investigated. By defining the scope and the objectives of the crime, we should be able to rule out what the perpetrators themselves would have ruled out, in terms of unnecessary risks and liabilites. Was 9/11 designed as a barbaric murdering spree or was it more of a gigantic bank robbery? Let us make an’ educated guess’ and say that the latter is the case.

Bank robberies are considered terrible failures by the robbers themselves in the event of any bystander, guard/police officer getting killed; the sole objective of a bank assault is that of stealing money – never that of commiting murder. The penal aggravations of manslaughter is most unwelcome to any professional gangster – a grave mistake to be carefully avoided.
To be sure, there was no ‘added-value’ for the 9/11 perpetrators to commit a mass murder of some 3,000, mostly white-collar professionals. As we have seen, a large amount of alleged “victims” appear to be mock-up identities. Of course, precisely how many remains to be verified. Yet, consider this: if 300 deposit-boxes are emptied by a gang of bank robbers and fingerprints are found in just thirty boxes, would they be suspected only for robbing those thirty? Or would a court of law assume that they also robbed the other 270?

The idea that nobody was killed on 9/11 is, usually and predictably, rejected offhand by many folks as ‘outrageous’ or ‘unbelievable’. Others will accept that some simulation took place - but that a number of real people must have died. So let us imagine an ’intermediate’ scenario of, say, 1000 people being killed that day. If this were true, an immediate problem emerges: what if those 1000 families, at some stage, discovered that the other 2000 families were untraceable/non-existent? It is quite unlikely that the 9/11 planners would have run the risk of such a dire, worst-case scenario: Imagine a horde of angry families filing an avalanche of executive court orders, all demanding access to public records and official verifications! Truly a recipe for disaster… Surely, the 9/11 plotters didn’t want any of that? Thus, we may reasonably assume that every precaution was taken to ensure that NO civilian lawsuits might ‘spoil the show’; in all logic, the assassination of any number of people on 9/11 was a definite no-no, a stupid and senseless aggravation to be avoided at all costs. The chief directive of the Grand 9/11 Deception plan may well have been: “Zero casualties”.


The almost unlimited resources of the 9/11 planners allowed for a multifaceted simulation which certainly involved a great many people by any conspiracy standards – only a few of which needed to be fully briefed about all details of the plan. A recurring objection skeptics keep raising is that “too many people had to be involved, therefore it would have been impossible to keep them all quiet.” Not so. Allow me to set forth a brief personal perspective on this issue: As the son of an idealist Norwegian sociologist who pluckily ‘fought’ the Sicilian Mafia with a typewriter, I often like to remind people of the concept of “omertà”; in Sicily, tens of thousands of honest citizens know perfectly well the names and whereabouts of the Mafia bosses – yet they are kept silent for decades with bribes and fear. Historically – and this is a nigh but undeniable fact - cold cash and hot threats have never failed to put a lid on people’s mouths.

A limited number of people were needed to pull off the 9/11 hoax – a hoax which relied on an incalculably larger budget than any smalltown Mafia hit. Needless to say, the US executive branch also firmly controls all key government-appointed agencies, an asset no criminal organization could ever dream of. Most importantly, every single major news corporation has been, in the last 50 years or so, thoroughly infiltrated and co-opted by the higher echelons of power. Today, their globalized monopoly of world news makes them the single most powerful persuasion-machine ever known to mankind. In fact, their unchallenged control of information was a crucial player in the 9/11 plan: Most lower-level operatives involved in the execution of the plan were induced - much as the average ‘Joe Public’ - to believe in the televised version of the events.

Hence, the “too-many–people-involved” argument fails on two counts:

1: It is effectively disproved by historical precedents.
2: It does not account for the wide, unprecedented range of assets available to the 9/11 planners.

Simon Shack, January 11, 2010

[ N.B.please also see article "The Memorial Scams"under heading "Main Articles", at:

Regards, onebornfree.

Monday, January 4, 2010

9/11: "False In One- False in All"

Elaine to Jerry: "Fake, Fake, Fake!"

Yes, I agree with Mr Shack.[see previous post"Deconstructing the Grand Deception"]

After at first appearing patently absurd,thanks to his unrelenting work it now seems to me to be very obvious , that most, if not all of the footage aired by the media on 9/11 was faked on computers, as were all "amateur" videos showing aircraft [regardless of actual airspeed capabilties at 700 feet above sea level], magically penetrating buildings in one piece without slowing down, and without any parts whatsoever [let alone most!], shearing off at impact :-) ; as was all media footage showing two 1300 feet high, 500,000 ton steel and concrete buildings magically collapsing from top to bottom in 10- 17 seconds [depending on which "live"collapse version you happen to time], and as was [by logical extension] all of the footage of WTC building 7's collapse later that day.

Furthermore, all supposed "live" broadcast network imagery of the Pentagon [i.e. post- "terrorist attack" ], also appears to have been fake imagery generated by computers, as Mr Shacks close analysis appears to show.

And if that was not enough, it now it looks highly likely that many, if not all, of the supposed tower victims names were faked on computers as well, along with their alleged photographic likenesses.

As the female lead, in "Seinfeld", Elaine, tells Jerry when discussing her supposed orgasms with her former lover: "Fake, fake , fake, fake!"

In other words, fake plane into building videos, fake collapse videos, and now, fake victim lists.


The Predicable Reaction- "It's a threat To our movement!"

At the same time, the reality is that the typical, violently negative reactions to even considering this type of information as valid,[Mr Shack's video presentation is available for viewing and consideration here : ], is wholly predictable , given that the reality of ALL movements, regardless of whether it be the "Ron Paul movement", the "libertarian movement", the "911 truth movement [eg the "loose change/prison planet crowd"] or something else entirely [i.e any other political or quasi- political "movement you care to name - take your pick!], ALWAYS end working actively to suppress information that is seen as a threat to that "movement" .

A true search for truth becomes secondary and eventually counterproductive and therefor subordinate to the furtherance of the group agenda [usually political in nature] .

Therefor, more than likely, for political[i.e group] reasons, Mr Shacks research will continue be rejected and/or suppressed within the "Ron Paul movement", the "Libertarian movement", the "Austro- Anarcho- Capitalist" movement, the "911 Truth movement", etc. etc. as well as elsewhere, even, dare I say it, within any future so-called "September Clues Truth Movement" that might come into existence "down the road" :-)

However, all of those predictable "foaming at the mouth"and accompanying verbal and "logical" contortions/denials etc. of Mr Shack's work ARE highly amusing, to say the least! :-)


For those that do not know, there is a simple legal principle named "false in one false in all"[try "googling" that phrase], whereby a judge may instruct a trial jury that should they find that any part of a witness/entities testimony to be false then they have the incontestable right to discount all "evidence" provided by that person/entity.

Therefor,and according to that principle, and since we each have to be both judge and jury at this stage, should any of us find any one part of the government/media 911 story to be false, then it is perfectly acceptable for that person to then conclude that all "evidence" supplied by the government/media and/or "witnesses", is either knowingly false, or simply to be distrusted, until definitively proven otherwise.

Attention: Jim Fetzer/ Loose Change/Prison Planet/ Ace Baker/ Judy Woods/ Morgan Reynolds! Etc.

This judge to jury instruction would seem to be particularly relevant for the supporters of the 911 theories of "Loose Change" and "PrisonPlanet",website , as well as for the Jim Fetzer/Ace Baker/ Morgan Reynolds /Judy Woods supporters .

All of those researchers/scientists, and more besides, at this time continue to believe that it is acceptable, logical and procedurally correct [both scientifically and legally] to automatically assume the truth and veracity of certain sequences of media video footage [e.g the building collapse sequences], without definitive proof, , while rejecting other sequences as fake, possibly because it continues to suit their present agendas.

Regards, onebornfree.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

9/11- "Deconstructing the Grand Deception"

Deconstructing the Grand Deception by Simon Shack - December 31, 2009


If you have come to terms with the fact that 9/11 was a massive money-making scheme and - of course - a pretext to wage hugely profitable wars, the basic rationale behind this Grand Deception should, hopefully, become clearer. It is essential to consider all the variables which such an audacious false-flag operation would entail and what precautions its plotters must have observed: The Grand Deception plan was undoubtedly meant to be foolproof and, ideally, free of unnecessary elements of risk and opposition. There was simply no rationale for the 9/11 plotters to commit a mass murder of some 3,000, mostly white-collar professionals (brokers, bankers, financial analysts, etc.) whose families would likely have access to first-rate, ‘uptown’ legal assistance. Surely, killing that many people would have been an utterly senseless, self-inflicted aggravation on the part of the perpetrators. Since they could reliably rely on the fully compliant ‘top-brass’ of the mainstream media, they would have used this unique, exclusive asset to its full potential. Ever since day one, the major hurdle for many people to even start considering 9/11 being an ‘inside job’ has been: “I can’t believe my own government would murder 3000 of their own people”. Once that psychological obstacle is removed, it should become apparent that the whole operation consisted essentially of a covert demolition of a redundant, asbestos-filled building complex. To kill thousands of people in the process never was an envisaged proposition as it would have encountered severe resistance among the insiders involved. The second objective was to blame this destruction on a foreign enemy; an outlandish tale involving hijacked airliners used as missiles was orchestrated, supported by digital imagery and special movie effects. How this was done is thoroughly illustrated in my September Clues video analyses.

WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN ON 9/11 ( the deceptive imagery )

No unauthorized, private imagery was captured on September 11, 2001. Most - if not all - of the imagery we have of that morning’s events is prefabricated and/or manipulated. The September Clues video research – and many similar independent studies - have amply demonstrated the mainstream media’s unfettered complicity – insofar as the live TV broadcasts are concerned. The 9/11 morning broadcasts were, by and large, digital computer-animations and all successive, so-called “amateur” video snippets (featuring crashing planes or collapsing towers) have likewise been methodically exposed as a series of poorly crafted forgeries. The defining, real-life ‘action shots’ (fake plane crashes and real tower collapses) of the day were simply not meant to be captured on film - much less aired on television: As it is, no real footage of those crucial time windows is to be found. To be sure, the existence of specific, military-grade technology able to achieve this precise aim is well documented. In all likelihood, electromagnetic weaponry (EMP/HERF) routinely employed in war zones was employed, causing the temporary jamming of all unshielded camera equipment *. With no real footage being captured, the TV networks could ‘safely’ broadcast their substitute, artificial imagery of the morning’s events.
* (see : )

WHAT DID HAPPEN ON 9/11 (the tower collapses)

The ‘ground operations’ in Lower Manhattan called for a coordinated demolition of the entire WTC complex (9 buildings in all). Just what type of explosive forces caused this destruction is hotly debated among scientists galore – yet it is but a secondary and ultimately doomed endeavor - since there is no certifiably authentic rubble nor any authentic imagery to examine. We may however assume (as of the events’ timeline) that the demolition process started a full hour after the alleged “plane strikes”, leaving plenty of time to evacuate the area. The briskly displaced bystanders – as well as more distant eyewitnesses - would have had very slim chances to make out the precise dynamics of the collapses as, most plausibly, smokescreens (military obscurants) started blocking the WTC from view. The time-window of the Lower Manhattan evacuation was “filled in” with two convenient, yet blatantly phony “Distraction Dramas” : The Pentagon and Shanksville mock-events. These two diversions also helped sway the attention away from the absurd absence of helicopter rescues at the WTC. As it is, the improbable tale of 3,000 souls trapped for up to 100 minutes in the WTC top floors (with no rooftop rescues - “due to locked access doors”) may have a simple explanation: The WTC towers were empty. To be sure, all photographs and video snippets depicting people (or silhouettes thereof) falling down the side of the WTC’s have also been comprehensively exposed as digital forgeries. Only time will tell whether any people really were killed on 9/11 - and under what circumstances - but, as things stand, the bulk of available evidence suggests otherwise.


Perhaps – and probably - none. A ‘fanciful’ contention? No. Not if measured against the thoroughly fanciful, grotesquely contrived and conflicting 9/11 ‘victim memorials’. A close scrutiny of the numerous available listings of alleged 9/11 victims provides countless indications that they are, by and large, outright fabrications. Most of them are still easily accessible on the internet by the general public – yet some have been (‘mysteriously’) shut down. Of course, if it’s true that the WTC was fully evacuated, thus follows that the many memorials listing the 9/11 victims must, in turn, be fabricated too. As elaborated below, that is precisely what they appear to be. The 9/11 victim memorials simply do not stand up to scrutiny and comparison. The sheer bulk of inconsistencies and absurdities pervasive in those unseemly listings unveils their true nature : Just another piece of the Grand Deception. Let us see why, point by point :

MEMORIAL PROBLEMS(1): The totals’ nonsense

At a first glance at the various 9/11 memorials, we see that each and every one reports a different casualty toll. Here’s a selection of total figures, all ostensibly meant to represent official and definitive listings of all victims of 9/11 for WTC, Pentagon and “4 flights”- (minus the “19 hijackers”) :

SEPT11th memorial: “3.181”

CNN memorial: “2.985”

FOX News: “2812”,2933,62779,00.html,2933,62151,00.html (full list)

La Repubblica ( Sept11,’09 ): “2.752”

America Forever memorial: “2.467”

As absurd as this may seem, it is a fact that more than 8 years after 9/11, there is still no consensus whatsoever on the total death toll. Indeed, the first and last of the above-listed memorials show a discrepancy of a full 714 names! These are entirely verifiable figures – in full public view. Of course, even a discrepancy of only 2 or 3 victims should be considered unacceptable at this time. Let’s hope that the National 9/11 Memorial, currently under construction in Manhattan will finally reveal to the world the exact number of the 9/11 victims... Whatever that figure will be (and which names will be retained or discarded), the fact remains that for all of 8 years virtually all memorials have displayed wildly conflicting casualty tolls.

Most will remember that, in the days, weeks if not months following 9/11, the news media kept reporting what, admittedly, were speculative casualty figures ( the “20,000 victims” soon became “10,000”). Yet the first, official casualty toll was still a hefty “6,729” (New York Times). Then, a full 12 days after the event, Major Giuliani went on record with an “estimated 6,333 victims ”, a figure which was touted for some time before gradually - and inexplicably - dwindling to less than half that figure. How, one must ask, could it possibly take weeks to obtain reasonably accurate figures of the WTC tenants’ missing employees? Now, this was no tsunami sweeping unfathomably populated coastlines of Indonesia, Thailand or Sri Lanka; these were two confined building-collapses in civilized Manhattan! Undeniably, in the shocked post-disaster climate, the inflated death tolls effectively boosted the drama and the public outrage over the “murderous Binladen attacks”. However, as weeks went by, Mayor Giuliani’s “6,333” estimate started raising a few eyebrows. In time, the news media came up with a ‘shocking news story’ : As the tale went, a horde of greedy, despicable fraudsters were usurping the 9/11 compensation funds claiming the loss of “non-existing, totally made-up relatives”…

A long string of such scams were reported - & denounced with righteous outrage – for weeks on end. Ultimately, even though a whopping total of 400 such “callous con men schemes” were reported, it did little to account for – or even remotely explain – Giuliani’s previous “6,333”estimate (of September23, 2001). The Grand Deception was already creaking and - unbeknown to most – initiating its own, inevitable collapse.
Now, some people will argue that these wild inaccuracies were brought about by “the havoc and confusion” surrounding the 9/11 events. Fine. Let us not argue about it - and agree for now on at least one incontrovertible fact: Between the first official NYT death toll figure (6729) and the figure found on, for instance, the “America Forever” memorial (2467), we have a discrepancy/margin of error of 4262 ‘units’. These are plain and simple arithmetics. Lastly, let it be said that the vast majority of "9/11 victims" are NOT listed in the SSDI (Social Security Death Index). The few that ARE to be found listed on the SSDI are usually names that have been cited in the press, i.e. more 'prominent' and 'public' victims...

MEMORIAL PROBLEMS(2): The ghost names nonsense

So, how do these conflicting death tolls translate as one takes a close look at the various memorials? Does that mean we may find random, ‘ghost’ victims listed on some memorials, complete with tributes and obituaries, who are simply missing on others? Yes. Is there a significant amount of such nonsensical examples, such as to rule out ‘innocent sloppiness’ on the part of the various memorial curators? Yes. Let’s take a look, for instance, at the “Wall of Americans” memorial. At the very top of letter “A”, we find two people named “AALYIGH”.

user posted image

Inexplicably, the two “AALYIGH”s (as indeed many other names) are found only in some memorials and are absent from others (such as CNN’s). Now, imagine for a minute that your surname is “Aalyigh”. Would you not try contacting (in over 8 years) the ‘offending’ 9/11 memorials and have them correct their listings? Who are the “Aalyigh’s”? Or perhaps we should ask : why are the “Aalyigh’s” to be found only in selected memorials? Is there indeed anyone called “Aalyigh” on this planet apart from Diana Aalyigh (Die-In-A-Lie?) and Justin Aalyigh (Just- In-A-Lie?). One may be tempted to surmise that some brave whistleblower was trying to tell us some truth about 9/11: “it’s all AALYIGH”.
Interestingly, the Wall of Americans memorial has now been shut down. This is the message we may find on the blank internet page which ‘explains’ its sudden closure:

user posted image

Then, staying with letter “A”, there is the case of Mrs. “Cici AADA”, another of the many ‘ghost names’ to be found bouncing around the various 9/11 memorials. Now, if you google “AADA” you will bump right into the “American Academy of Dramatic Arts”.
A coincidence, perhaps. However, since a great deal of characters rotating within the 9/11 saga (Mark Humphrey, Gary Welz, et al) have been exposed as professional actors, one may reasonably wonder whether this also could be the work of a heroic whistleblower. The fact remains that “Cici (See-See?) AADA” and both the “AALYIGH’s” are only to be found on a few 9/11 memorials – and are simply missing on others (most notably the CNN memorial).

There are plenty more examples of ‘ghost names’ appearing only in selected 9/11 memorials. To list them all in this article (with comprehensive cross-comparisons between all the lists) is not realistic and would surely be a tedious read. So let’s just compare three alphabetical groups (Q, X, Y, Z) which contain moderate amounts of names (so that the reader may easily check out these facts personally).Below is a list of 9/11 memorials; for each one we have the number of people listed under the surname initials “Q”, “X”, “Y” & “Z”:

CNN memorial :
Q:8 X:0 Y:20 Z:24

Q:8 X:0 Y:20 Z:25

Q:7 X:0 Y:15 Z:19

Q:16 X:0 Y:25 Z:26

FOX memorial :,2933,62151,00.html
Q:9 X:0 Y:21 Z:24

Q:9 X:0 Y:13 Z:23

Q:11 X:4 Y:24 Z:26

The prosaic nonsense

A common aspect of the various 9/11 memorials are the consistently sappy and contrived tributes supposedly posted by families, co-workers and friends. We are talking about thousands of brief writings which, of course, require some steady patience to sift through. However, and for what it’s worth, I can personally testify that it’s hard to find any 9/11 tribute graced with any ring of authenticity. The prevalent impression is that they are written by the same person – or at best – by a gang of bored, unimaginative novelists. Naturally, some will retort that this is a ‘subjective’, personal interpretation; I can only encourage everyone to spend some time reading those tributes for themselves. Taken together, those tributes read like an endlessly reshuffled concoction of mawkish and tear-jerking rhetoric. I’m confident that anyone armed with a critical mind – and a healthy sense of humor - will actually enjoy sifting through these tributes as an eye-opening, entertaining and slightly surreal experience. Best of all, this ‘enjoyment’ comes with an odd sense of relief and appeasment as one gradually comes to realize that:
1. The 9/11 memorials are all in conflict with each other.
2. The 9/11 memorials are anything but credible tributes to real victims of a real terror attack.
3. Perhaps, in the light of these facts, few - or nobody - died in the “9/11 attacks”.

(Author’s appeal: I welcome anyone asserting to be a family member of a 9/11 victim to come forward with documentation – such as would be admissible in a court of law - of their loved one’s existence and passing. I can be reached on my private e-mail posted here: ).

: The portrait-morphing evidence
Three main observations can be drawn from a methodical cross-scrutiny of the many 9/11 memorials which feature portraits of the “victims” – henceforth referred to as “entities”:

1: Most of the “entities” found in the memorials are represented with two - and no more than two apparently different portraits.

2: When two seemingly different portraits of a given entity are compared, they reveal more often than not striking similarities in facial expression, pose, angle/perspective, lighting, reflections.

3. Striking similarities are also observed between separate, often alphabetically adjacent entities of same or different sex. While a few such cases might be expected in a list of 2500+ portraits, the sheer frequency of such instances featuring seemingly ‘cloned’ facial attributes cannot reasonably (in a statistical sense) be ascribed to ‘coincidence’ or ‘happenstance’.

Obviously, this topic needs to be visualized by the reader since it deals with photographic issues. Please look up this illustrated article for image-supported descriptions of this issue:
(Other interesting issues related to the metadata - or ‘exif’ data - embedded in all the “.jpg” picture files will, in time, be comprehensively expounded and added to this article.)
For a comprehensive study of the 9/11 memorials, please read the “Vicsim Report” by Hoi Polloi:

Some of the more prominent ‘casualties’ of 9/11 - such as “Flight93-hero Todd M. Beamer”- have long been exposed as stolen identities from previously deceased namesakes . The Barbara Olson story also turned out to be a fraud when Ted Olson (George W. Bush’s solicitor general) was caught altering 3 times his tale of her alleged phone calls from “Flight77”. Similarly, “the 9/11 victim number 0001”, Father Mychal Judge, was another faith-based saga for devout believers: At least three different versions of the causes/circumstances of his death were published by the news media – and the evacuation of his corpse from the WTC has also been exposed as another staged photo-op. In other words, the stories surrounding the 9/11 “VIP” casualties are riddled with so many questions as to be divested of any sort of credibility. With such an abundance of deceptive, media-promoted bunkum, it is perfectly reasonable to question every single official newsstory to emerge from the events of September 11, 2001.

Article originally appeared here, about 1/3rd of the way down the page.