All posts tagged: Edward Curtin

A Marriage of Conscience: Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

Edward Curtin “About suffering they were never wrong,” wrote W. H. Auden in the poem “Musée Des Beaux Arts.” These lines occurred to me last week when all eyes were focused on the brutal British seizure of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. No one should have been surprised by this despicable spectacle carried out in the noonday light for all to see, for the British government has not served as America’s jailer for the past seven years for no reason. It doesn’t take x-ray eyes to see that the British and the Moreno government in Ecuador are twin poodles on the American leash. After a phony display of judicial fairness, the British, as required by their American bosses, will dispatch Assange to the United States so he can be further punished for the crime of doing journalism and exposing war crimes. Assange has suffered mightily for American sins. The Anglo-American torturers know how to squeeze their victims to make old men out of the young. Abu Ghraib was no aberration. The overt …

The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s is the Story of Our Times

A Quasi-Review of A Lie Too Big To Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Lisa Pease Edward Curtin ‘We’re all puppets,’ the suspect [Sirhan Sirhan] replied, with more truth than he could have understood at that moment.” Lisa Pease, quoting from the LAPD questioning of Sirhan When Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968, the American public fell into an hypnotic trance in which they have remained ever since. The overwhelming majority accepted what was presented by government authorities as an open and shut case that a young Palestinian American, Sirhan Sirhan, had murdered RFK because of his support for Israel, a false accusation whose ramifications echo down the years. That this was patently untrue and was contradicted by overwhelming evidence made no difference. Sirhan did not kill Robert Kennedy, yet he remains in jail to this very day. Robert Kennedy, Jr., who was 14 years old at the time of his father’s death, has visited Sirhan in prison, claims he is innocent, and believes there was …

News and Propaganda by Omission: The Suppression of a Major Spy Study

While there is much talk these days about “fake news” and an enormous amount of claptrap following the collapse of so-called Russiagate, omitting important news is perhaps as widespread and egregiously harmful to an informed public. The following report tries to remedy the way the mainstream media (MSM) have for years ignored one of the oddest but more important news stories of the last sixty years. I will call it Pig-gate for short, and will try to explain it in language less abstruse than the MSM’s obfuscating explanations for so much.

A Conspiracy Theorist Confesses to his Petty Crimes

I am not referring to the conspiracy theories of George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump and other such luminaries concerning events such as the attack of September 11, 2011, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the ongoing war on terror, Julian Assange’s alleged ties to Russia, etc. These people’s conspiracy theories have nothing to do with petty crime, for their handiwork is grand indeed. They are big people. In any case, I don’t know what small stuff they might be up to when not killing so many people all around the world.

The Fascinating Spell Cast by Weasels

Edward Curtin Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful. Hence one must choose a master, God being out of style.” Albert Camus, The Fall To be fascinated by another person who holds or symbolizes power is very common. It is often accompanied by a frisson of sexual excitement, whether repressed or acknowledged, explicitly or implicitly projected. Masters need slaves and slaves need their masters. The chief, the big man, the fascinating woman, the glamorous celebrity, the rich mogul, the powerful politician, while all standard vintage people without their accoutrements of prestigious (magical) power, magnetically attract many people wishing to surrender passively to the perceived superior power of what Carl Jung called the “mana-personality.” However, such supernatural power or aura is in the eyes of the beholder, who wishes to be hypnotized and to fulfill his secret wish to be will-less. As Dostoevsky has written, “Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over …

Counterpunch Shadowboxes and Loses

Edward Curtin In a fair boxing match, opponents enter the ring with similarly padded gloves and battle under the bright lights for the world to see. There are, of course, cases where one fighter cheats, as in the infamous case in 1983 when Luis Resto wore weakly padded gloves and hand wraps hardened with plaster to make them rock solid. His opponent, Billy Collins, an up-and-coming boxer from Tennessee with a 14-0 record, was permanently and very seriously injured in the fight at Madison Square Garden. His eyes were battered shut and his vision damaged. He never fought again and died depressed the following year at age twenty-two. In the fight for truth in the public arena, similar subterfuges occur. To battle honestly in the open forum, to argue to and fro squarely, is often prevented in advance by eliminating an opponent’s voice from the debate. This is the typical method used by the corporate mass media that stack the deck with sycophants and refuse dissidents a place to voice their ideas. Then there is …

No More Bullshit: Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill

Edward Curtin Growing up Irish-Catholic in the Bronx in the 1960s, I was an avid reader of the powerful columns of Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill in the New York newspapers. These guys were extraordinary wordsmiths. They would grab you by the collar and drag you into the places and faces of those they wrote about. Passion infused their reports. They were never boring. They made you laugh and cry as they transported you into the lives of real people. You knew they had actually gone out into the streets of the city and talked to people. All kinds of people: poor, rich, black, white, Puerto Rican, high-rollers, low-lifes, politicians, athletes, mobsters – they ran the gamut. You could sense they loved their work, that it enlivened them as it enlivened you the reader. Their words sung and crackled and breathed across the page. They left you always wanting more, wondering sometimes how true it all was, so captivating was their storytelling abilities. They cut through abstractions to connect individuals to major events such as …

The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles

The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg – “world view warfare.” As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d’ȇtre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.

We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth

As Martin Luther King’s birthday is celebrated with a national holiday, his death day disappears down the memory hole. Across the country – in response to the King Holiday and Service Act passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1994 – people will be encouraged to make the day one of service. Such service does not include King’s commitment to protest a decadent system of racial and economic injustice or non-violently resist the U.S. warfare state that he called “the greatest purveyor of violence on earth.”

A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot

Edward Curtin In my little town/ I grew up believing/God keeps his eye on us all.” Simon and Garfunkel, My Little Town Hello my old friends Paul and Art, I’m just sitting here chilling out in the silent darkness of a late night spinning some discs and thinking your song is great but even great songs age as do we all and so I want to tell you that as a NYC born and bred boy like you guys who moved out to the country some years ago that in my little town many young people grew up not believing that God keeps his eye on us all because they grew up not believing in God, and even many of their parents, baby-boomer believers in hands-off parenting and meditation and yoga weekends didn’t keep an eye on them, not at all, since the parents thought of themselves as super cool and so the kids were allowed to fend for themselves in a most culturally liberal life-style way, and then, when the kids got confused and …

What Are We Working For “At Eternity’s Gate”?

Ever since I was a young boy, I have wondered why people do the kinds of work they do. I sensed early on that the economic system was a labyrinthine trap devised to imprison people in work they hated but needed for survival. It seemed like common sense to a child when you simply looked and listened to the adults around you. Karl Marx wasn’t necessary for understanding the nature of alienated labor; hearing adults declaim “Thank God It’s Friday” spoke volumes.

A Spiritual Special Ops Team’s Christmas Gift

It was snowing hard in the days before Christmas in 1972 as I sat at my writing desk looking out the back window toward the woods that were filling up with snow. I felt trapped by the heavy snow that made the roads impassable, but even more so by the contemplation of the barbaric “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam carried out by Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and their associated war criminals. I was filled with despair and imagined the snow turning red with blood.

Sometimes A Pair of Pants Can Give You Vertigo

It is a dastardly habit no sane person should inflict on oneself. To rise from one’s night dreams and step into a litany of hyperbolic headlines shouting doom and gloom at every turn is to inject oneself with a poisonous drug before the sap of life has a chance to rise in one’s veins and one’s imagination might give birth to new possibilities.

Phil Ochs and the Crucifixion of President John F. Kennedy

Edward Curtin They say they can’t believe it, it’s a sacrilegious shame Now, who would want to hurt such a hero of the game? But you know I predicted it; I knew he had to fall How did it happen? I hope his suffering was small. Tell me every detail, I’ve got to know it all, And do you have a picture of the pain?” Phil Ochs, The Crucifixion You are aware of only one unrest; Oh, never learn to know the other! Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother.” Goethe, Faust President John Kennedy was assassinated by the U.S. national-security state, led by the C.I.A., on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. That is a fact beyond dispute, except for those who wish to engage in pseudo-debates to deny the obvious. I prefer not to, since there is nothing to debate. But there is everything to mourn, even after fifty-five years, first of course for the man himself, then for those who have suffered and …

AUDIO: “It’s the Empire Stupid”, Episode 37 – Edward Curtin

In this episode of his podcast, Philip Farruggio talks regular OffG contributor Edward Curtin about the current relevance of the movie “Network”. “ … in the film we see the introduction of what is now called ‘Realty Television’ taken to its satirical end. Curtin shows us how writer Paddy Chayefsky captures the anger so many felt then, and how his main character, Howard Beale came to represent ‘ Everyman’ when pushed against the wall of this empire. Curtin, a professor of Sociology, has used this film for years as a bridge to understand the how much our media is

Spooks and the Masked Media

There are innocent and guilty actors populating the American stage. Unlike the naïve children who joyously revel in the costumes they don for Halloween, unaware as they are of the death fears they exorcise, the corporate mainstream media wear their masks year-round, while they consciously abet the United States government, its intelligence agencies, and its allies in exercising their God-given right to inflict death on people around the world, including many innocent children.

The Apocalypse Not Now

Edward Curtin It was balmy and breezy by the bench where I sat outside a public library east of Atlanta, Georgia, brooding about the state of the world. It seemed like the end times, and I had just attended a fire and brimstone sermon, not perused the mainstream and alternative press. I had just spent a few hours on the internet, noting so many articles that announced that the world as we know it was coming to an end, or maybe just the world. The American Empire was collapsing, the U.S.A. was a failed state, climate change would soon destroy the world if nuclear war didn’t do it first, etc. Many of these articles were predicting that soon the elites who run the U.S. would be getting their comeuppance because of hubris and overreach and, like the Roman Empire, the die had been cast and disaster was on the horizon. Such prognostications were appearing in publications that covered the political spectrum. All of it was fear-inducing, notwithstanding one’s political beliefs. Left, right, and center had …

Showtime in America: Idiots’ Delight – A Quasi Review

Edward Curtin The making of a journalist: no ideas and the ability to express them.” Karl Kraus, Half-Truths & One-and-a-Half Truths Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” Mark Twain All cats die. Socrates is dead. Socrates is a cat.” Eugene Ionesco, Rhinoceros If believability is your gauge for discerning truth, you are living in a fantasy world. But that is the reality of life in the United States today. This is the land of make-believe in which actors and audiences are engaged in a vast folie à deux full of sound and fury signifying a nothingness that passes for intelligence. Assertions made convincingly enough are the new facts for a population hypnotized by a stage-managed reality show. The recently closed Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford Show that mercifully had a short run at the National Comedic Congressional Theater is the latest case in point. The believability of the actors was said to be the key issue. In other words, who seemed to be telling the truth. Demeanor …

“9/11 Unmasked” – update & reminder to READ THIS BOOK

Catte We’re returning to 9/11 this Sunday, partly because it’s still being debated BTL on our various 9/11 threads, and partly because – 9/11 matters, maybe more than any other single issue of the 21st century. What we are noticing is the same issues being raised again and again in comments and in emails we receive. Over and over we are told the government has explained what happened that day in NYC, that it was “the planes”, or “the fires”. Repeatedly we are confronted by people who simply do not realise they have been conned – because the government has NOT explained what happened that day, nor has it even claimed to do so in scientific terms. What it has done, through its commissions and reports, is fudge and evade and elide on a scale so massive it’s hard to comprehend. It’s pulled a bait and switch on all of us. Claiming to offer proof and evidence and solid science, while in actuality it offers only guesswork, assumptions and weasel words. With this in mind, …

Updated: A compilation of OffGuardian’s 17th anniversary 911 articles

Every year on OffG we use the month of September as a reminder of the events of 9/11 2001, and the still unanswered questions pertaining. We tend to be attacked for this from some quarters, and we understand many other alt news sites prefer to remain silent on tis controversy. The subject has been so successfully propagandised in the mainstream that anyone raising even the most rational and well-supported doubts about the official theory of what happened that day call too easily be dismissed as a lunatic. But we made an editorial decision two years ago not to let that deter us. After all, if we’re here to challenge prevailing narratives, how can we ignore one of the most impactful prevailing, and poorly substantiated, narratives of the 21st century? This year we published a number of general overviews, including retired professor Graeme MacQueen’s quick and cogent summary of why what happened that day continues to be a crucial issue for The 9/11 anniversary: Conspiracy theory or critical thinking? Journalist and academic Alison Broinowski recalled Trump’s …