age of government cover-up and corporate scandal,
propaganda andmisinformation, one man among many
seeks truth. His alias is “Joe Public.” He lives
with the notion that the American government, in
liaison with corporate interests, is carrying out a
plan unintended for the general public to be privy
of (Public). In light of information concerning how
propaganda has been, and is being used to
psychologically manipulate the American population,
coupled with legislation born of propaganda and the
current economic situation; it seems that conditions
are being created for a Perfect Storm. Given that
propaganda has played an important role in shaping
the American population’s opinion concerning war,
from the Committee on Public Information in World
War I to the White House Iraq Group in the current
Middle Eastern occupation, Joe humbly seeks to learn
the purposes of these deceptions, and more
importantly, how to overcome these manipulative
The art of using propaganda during wartime played a
critical role in World War I. In 1917, President
Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public
Information (CPI) (Faragher et al. 433). George
Creel, the civilian at the head of the CPI, used the
committee to manipulate the American population into
accepting the United States’ entrance into the war.
More than 150,000 people were employed for the CPI
and its various committees. These people were
responsible for producing more than 100 million
pieces of literature, along with motion pictures,
posters, and newspapers that promoted American
involvement in the war (433). The famous poster
which portrayed Uncle Sam with the phrase, “I Want
You!” was a creation of the CPI (Rampton). A group
of 75,000 “Four Minute Men” were used to deliver
short patriotic speeches before movies and stage
shows (Faragher et al. 433).
The CPI used various techniques designed to stir
anti-German feelings into the hearts of Americans.
War-time posters pictured German soldiers as literal
monsters. German books, music, and even the German
language were targeted as being anti-American. The
CPI encouraged ethnic Americans to forget their
cultural heritage and to become “unhyphenated
One member of the CPI was famed
psychologist Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays
(“Bernays”). Bernays became known as the “Father of
Public Relations” for his work in the CPI, as well
as a laundry list of other accomplishments he
achieved in the field of public relations (“Bernays”).
Bernays wrote several books on the topic of public
relations, including Crystallizing Public Opinion,
The Engineering of Consent, and Propaganda.
In Propaganda, Bernays describes the
magnitude to which public relations are utilized.
If we understand the mechanism and motives of the
group mind, [we can] control and regiment the masses
according to our will without their knowing it. …
Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of
society constitute an invisible government which is
the true ruling power of our country. … This is a
logical result of the way in which our democratic
society is organized. In almost every act of our
lives, whether in the sphere of politics or
business, in our social conduct or our ethical
thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small
number of persons… who understand the mental
processes and social patterns of the masses. It is
they who pull the wires which control the public
mind (qtd. in Rampton).
American Tobacco was drawn to Bernays’ work in
public relations. In the 1920’s, it was largely
considered socially unacceptable for women to smoke
in public (“Torches”). Bernays organized for a
group of young ladies who were marching in the 1929
New York Easter Day parade to light up cigarettes
and begin smoking them while they were marching (Rampton).
Bernays also organized for photographers from
leading newspapers to capture the rebellion on
film. The resulting photos appeared on the front
page of the New York Times with stories about how
women had gained suffrage earlier in the decade, and
how they continued their climb to gender equality by
smoking “Torches of Freedom” (Rampton).
Ann Bernays, daughter of the Father of Public
Relations, said that her father knew how to tap into
the deepest desires and fears of the public mind and
use it for his purposes (Curtis). Using
psychological techniques in the field of public
relations allowed the conscious mind of the masses
to be bypassed, and left the unconscious mind
vulnerable to manipulation by those who Edward
Bernays called, the “Invisible Government.”
In June of 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt
created the Office of War Information (OWI) (Faragher
et al. 485). Just as it was the CPI’s duty to sell
World War I, it was the OWI’s job to sell World War
II (485). The OWI issued strict guidelines to
Hollywood filmmakers to ensure that conformity to
the OWI’s propaganda campaign was adhered to (Soroka).
Little Tokyo, U.S.A. was one film among other
anti-Japanese pictures adhering to OWI guidelines,
released after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (Soroka).
In June of 2008, Representative Dennis Kucinich
(D-Ohio) submitted 35 articles of impeachment to the
House of Representatives concerning George W. Bush
and his administration. In the first article,
Kucinich accuses Bush, his agents, his subordinates,
and the Vice President, of “Creating a secret
propaganda campaign to manufacture a false case for
war against Iraq” (Kucinich 1).
In August of 2002, the propaganda campaign, created
by the Department of Defense, fell under control of
the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), whose members
included Karl Rove, I. Lewis Libby, Condoleezza
Rice, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Stephen Hadley,
Nicholas E. Calio, and James R. Wilkinson. The
purpose of the WHIG was to sell the U.S. invasion of
Iraq to the American public (1). The WHIG engaged in
“covert attempts to mold opinion through the
undisclosed use of third parties” (2). Under the
direction of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,
75 retired military officers were used as carriers
to deliver propaganda themes and messages that were
created by the Pentagon, to third party media
outlets such as FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC.
“It was them saying, ‘We need to stick our hands up
your back and move your mouth for you…” reported Fox
News military analyst Robert S. Bevelacqua (2).
Ironically, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell,
under pressure from President Bush and Vice
President Cheney to avoid addressing the
circumstances of the September 11
attacks, withdrew his promise he made on September
23 that a statement concerning the circumstances of
the attack would be published. Powell then said
that Americans would have to find alternate ways of
finding out what happened on September 11, 2001,
such as “information coming out in the press…” (35).
Kucinich accuses President Bush, and those acting
with him, of executing a “calculated and
wide-ranging strategy to deceive the citizens and
Congress of the United States into believing that
there was and is a connection between Iraq and
Saddam Hussein on the one hand, and the attacks of
September 11, 2001, and al Qaeda, on the other
Richard Clarke, terrorism advisor,
personally reported to President Bush that the
attacks on September 11 were not
connected to Saddam Hussein or Iraq. Among Clarke’s
report are a host of other reports delivered by top
intelligence agencies declaring that Iraq was not
connected with the attacks of September 11 (3).
Despite these intelligence findings, President Bush
and his subordinates have made repeated claims
linking the attacks of September 11 and Iraq. In a
June 28, 2007 speech at the Naval War College in
Newport, Rhode Island, President Bush stated:
Now we’re in a new and unprecedented war against
violent Islamic extremists. This is an ideological
conflict we face against murderers and killers who
try to impose their will. These are the people that
attacked us on September the 11th and
killed nearly 3,000 people. The stakes are high,
and once again, we have had to change our strategic
thinking. The major battleground in this war is
Iraq (qtd. in Kucinich 4).
The WHIG had also produced papers
stating that Iraq posed a nuclear threat; papers
which were proved to be fraudulent (1). These
papers were written by the same people that prepared
speeches for President Bush, and provided talking
points for his staff (1).
President Bush used manufactured
evidence that was contrary to that of top
intelligence to deceive Congress into warranting an
invasion of Iraq, which has led to the death of over
4,000 American service members, over 1,000,000 Iraqi
civilians, and over half a trillion dollars in war
The method of using a third party to relay a message
to the masses is known in the public relations field
as the “third party technique” (Rampton & Stauber
331). Merrill Rose, former Executive Vice-President
of the Porter/Novelli PR firm, says the third party
technique is used to “put your words in someone
else’s mouth” (331). The Pentagon’s use of 75
retired military officers to deliver propaganda to
major news networks was an example of the third
party technique in action. The retired military
officers were instructed by the Pentagon to deliver
the propaganda “in the form of their own opinions”
(Kucinich 2). They were also “instructed not to
quote their briefers directly or otherwise describe
their contacts with the Pentagon” (2).
The Department of Defense is one of at least 20
federal agencies to manufacture video news releases
(VNRs) and distribute them to TV news stations to be
presented as independently reported news (Barstow &
Stein 1). Reporters in these government sponsored
video news releases are oftentimes paid actors
reporting under false names. “Suggested” lead-ins
are also prepared by the VNR manufacturer for the
newsroom anchor to introduce the VNR (1).
Medialink Worldwide Inc. produces over 1,000 VNRs a
year for customers like FOX and CNN (3). One VNR
company, TVA Productions, said that “90 percent of
TV newsrooms now rely on VNRs” (qtd. in Barstow &
A Government Accountability Office report, released
by Congressman Henry Waxman, House Democratic Leader
Nancy Pelosi, and other Democratic leaders,
contained findings that the Bush administration has
spent over $1.6 billion on public relations and
advertising contracts in a two and a half year span
between 2003 and 2006 (Miller). Of the $1.6
billion, the Department of Defense spent $1.1
On September 10th, 2001,
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a
statement that $2.3 trillion had been lost by
Pentagon accountants (Grove). This is one instance
among a host of other fraudulent financial
activities surrounding September 11th,
$10 billion in Iraq reconstruction money
went unaccounted for which was under the
responsibility of L. Paul Jerry Bremer, the man who
was in charge of the Coalition Reconstruction plan
in Iraq. Prior to his position as the head of the
Coalition Reconstruction plan, Bremer was the CEO of
financial giant Marsh & McLennan’s Risk Management
In the summer of 2001, Marsh & McLennan
contracted SilverStream Software, an internet
technologies company that caters to Fortune 500
businesses, to link the company to its business
partners via internet portals to conduct paperless
transactions. Specifically, Marsh & McLennan wanted
a secure connection with financial powerhouse
American International Group (AIG). The project was
to be constructed on-site at the Marsh & McLennan
offices in the North Tower of the World Trade
Center, with a strict pre-September 11 deadline.
After the September 11 attacks, AIG and
Marsh & McLennan were investigated for laundering
hundreds of billions of dollars off the tops of
insurance quotes that were beefed up prior to
September 11, 2001. Eliot Spitzer, then attorney
general of New York, conducted the investigation.
Spitzer found AIG guilty, and fined them $1
billion. $1 billion is less than 1% of the hundreds
of billions profited by AIG and Marsh & McLennan in
the insurance scheme.
In the midst of Spitzer’s investigation
of Marsh & McLennan, Marsh replaced their CEO with
Michael Cherkasky. In the years prior to 2001,
Cherkasky helped Spitzer into the position of DA for
New York City. The CEO of Marsh & McLennan, prior
to Cherkasky, was Jeff Greenberg, the son of AIG CEO
In 2001, AIG owned Kroll Associates, a
Risk Management firm responsible for security at the
World Trade Center.
Prior to the collapse of the World Trade
Center buildings on September 11, 2001, a wealth of
fraudulent trading activity took place, which was
captured on hard-drives which were found in the
rubble of the collapsed towers. A German technology
company, Convar, recovered the data on these
hard-drives. In June of 2002, Kroll Associates
purchased Convar, then in July of 2004, Marsh &
McLennan purchased Kroll Associates, who’s CEO was
also Michael Cherkasky (Grove).
In 2004, Kroll was contracted by United
States Agency for International Development (USAID)
to carry out security during reconstruction in Iraq
(Crandlemire). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(USACE) was designated as responsible for the
restoration of Iraq’s oil production which was to be
used as a means to fund reconstruction (Anderson &
Berning). The USACE said that it would use private
contractors to do this work. The USACE secretly
contracted Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of
Halliburton, to put out oil well fires among other
things pertaining to Iraq’s oil production (Anderson
Halliburton, formerly under the
direction of Vice President Cheney, has been charged
with “reckless misspending and waste of U.S. tax
dollars” while under government contract in Iraq
(Kucinich 15). Truck drivers for Halliburton
testify that instead of performing routine
maintenance on brand new $85,000 vehicles, the
company would torch them (15). A Halliburton
manager billed $5.5 billion for a job that should
have cost only $685,000 (16).
Congressman Henry Waxman argued that
“there should be a thorough congressional
investigation of the [Bush] Administration's
relationship with Halliburton” (Crock). Waxman also
serves as the chairman of the House Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform (Waxman). In a
report concerning Halliburton contracts in Iraq
reconstruction, the Committee stated:
From the beginning, the Administration adopted a
flawed contracting approach in Iraq. Instead of
maximizing competition, the Administration opted to
award no-bid, cost-plus contracts to politically
connected contractors. Halliburton’s secret $7
billion contract to restore Iraq’s oil
infrastructure is the prime example. Under this
no-bid, cost-plus contract, Halliburton was
reimbursed for its costs and then received an
additional fee, which was a percentage of its
costs. This created an incentive for Halliburton to
run up its costs in order to increase its potential
profit (Kucinich 16).
Waxman has also expressed serious
reservations concerning the federal bailout of
corporate giant AIG (Waxman). Given the history of
corruption in AIG; also given the history of the
Federal Government’s use of psychological warfare on
the American population via the media; also given
the recent legislation that lays out continuity of
government plans in case of such an economic
situation, the pieces of the puzzle seem to be being
put into place by the hand of the invisible
government that Edward Bernays spoke of.
National Security Presidential Directive
(NSPD) 51 states that in the event of an economic
emergency, or any “catastrophic emergency,” the
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and
Counterterrorism shall be appointed National
Continuity Coordinator, and shall be responsible for
the continuity of executive departments and agencies
among other responsibilities (NSPD 51). The
National Continuity Coordinator will provide
“guidance to promote interoperability of Federal
Government continuity programs and procedures with
State, local, territorial, and tribal governments,
and private sector owners and operators of critical
infrastructure” (NSPD 51).
There are Continuity Annexes attached to
NSPD 51, which are highly classified. In July and
August of 2007, a senior member of the House
Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter DeFazio, as
well as Chairman Bennie Thompson, was denied access
to the classified annexes (Kucinich 24).
Besides economic emergency, NSPD 51
leaves the term “catastrophic emergency” rather open
ended. The term is defined in the directive as “any
incident, regardless of location, that results in
extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or
disruption severely affecting the U.S. population,
infrastructure, environment, economy, or government
functions” (NSPD 51).
The economy is currently heading towards a state
where the term “catastrophic emergency” may soon be
applicable. Now is a pivotal time to acknowledge
that there exists an invisible government “who pull
the wires which control the public mind.” The
masses need to reclaim their minds; to open their
eyes that they may see; to open their ears that they
may hear, the truth.
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