The New Babbleon
by Butler Shaffer
Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
~ George Orwell
Events in Boston this past week are a reminder of the failures of intelligence that have infected this country in recent years. I am not referring to the inadequacy of government agencies that have been given hundreds of billions of dollars, and have usurped police-state powers, to discover and prevent violent attacks upon Americans. So-called "intelligence" agencies have – like such other government programs as schools, police, health-care – demonstrated a systemic incapacity to perform their work, for which their pleas for more money and more authority are met by a public failure to learn from Einstein’s oft-quoted observation: "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
No, the shortcoming of intelligence to which I refer is to be found in the minds of most Americans who long ago rejected the burden of living with a highly-energized, focused awareness not only of themselves, but of the world in which they live. To let others bear this responsibility – particularly those who will insist upon extended power over them – reflects what Walter Kaufmann defined as "decidophobia," the fear of making decisions for oneself. It is this transfer of existential energy from individuals to those eager to exercise power over others, that sustains political systems. I have long thought that the motto "In God We Trust" should be replaced on government currency by the more apt phrase "Ignorance Is Bliss."
Otherwise intelligent people – far more capable of making life-enhancing decisions for themselves than can any cadre of well-intentioned philosopher kings, PhD recipients, social workers, or think-tank "experts" – abandon their lives to institutional authorities and their media/academic propagandizers. Such voices do more than simply answer questions that people have; they define the range of questions it is considered appropriate to ask. It is this process that created "politically-correct" thinking.
In recent weeks we have been subjected to an overabundance of insincerity coming largely from politicians. The murder of twenty small children at a school in Connecticut, followed by the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon, has produced genuine sadness among millions of ordinary people who empathize with those suffering from such brutal behavior. Such feelings, alas, did not translate into comparable sentiments on behalf of the twenty-one children massacred at Waco in 1993 by government forces; the tens of thousands of victims of American bombings in the Middle East; nor cries of righteous indignation for the prosecution of government officials responsible for such heinous crimes.
The Machiavellian sentiments of President Obama’s former chief of staff – and now Chicago mayor – Rahm Emanuel, remind members of the political establishment to "never let a serious crisis go to waste." One after another, politicians descended upon Boston in an opportunistic frenzy designed to reinforce the vertically-structured model upon which political systems are based; systems that had failed miserably to provide their promised protection.
The state is comprised of such a network of lies and contradictions, that it is unreasonable for us to expect truth to come from the mouths of its politicians and other officials. Indeed, one could almost take any statement uttered by such scoundrels, reverse its meaning, and arrive at the truth of what policies are being promoted. I am reminded of the phrase, popular in England, that "one should not accept something as true until it has been officially denied."
So it was with President Obama going to Boston to express moral outrage over the bombing deaths at the marathon, even as his administration continues to bomb equally innocent men, women, and children in Afghanistan and wherever else his warring appetites take him. The tens of thousands of persons killed or maimed by American attacks don’t seem to rise to any discernible level of concern either to him or to the others who came to speak.
Perhaps the most unfocused babbling came from former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who faithfully gurgled the party line that terrorists want to destroy our way of life as free people. There was no break in his non-stop jabbering occasioned by the utter contradiction between his words and the reality taking place in Boston. He assured his listeners that Americans will go about their daily lives as they always have, a statement made during martial law imposed on Boston; with businesses, schools, and transportation facilities closed, and people ordered to stay within their homes; with tank-like vehicles prowling residential neighborhoods and police officers going house-to-house harassing residents. Perhaps this man had in mind that the Bostonian police-state is now part of the American tradition to which we shall all respond with our unquestioning obedience!
This erstwhile solon did pause to remind one-and-all that Boston was the birthplace of "freedom" in America, a thought difficult to reconcile with the mob mentality exhibited on television by so many of its residents. What lover of individual liberty does not harken to the likes of Sam Adams, John Hancock, Josiah Warren, Paul Revere, and Lysander Spooner; voices long since drowned out by such modern Tories as the Kennedys, George H.W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John Kerry, and, of course, Scott Brown.
Who did plan for and carry out these vicious killings and maimings in Boston? This is a question that will doubtless be shoved to the back-burner in political and media babblings. Those who still cling to such antiquated "technicalities" as due process of law, trial by jury, and (gasp!) clear evidence of criminal wrongdoing, will continue to be frustrated by such modern practitioners of Red Queen jurisprudence as Attorney General Eric Holder, who has informed us that "The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process." It is enough that someone, somewhere, comes to a decision as to guilt or innocence and – as the untried prisoners at Guantanamo have learned – without being inconvenienced by attorneys, who will insist upon such niceties as examining evidence and witnesses.
The modern standards for "due process" are now in the hands of Madame Defarge and Judge Roy Bean. So many Bostonians have articulated the premise "verdict first, trial later," joining with government officials and their media cheerleaders to declare the two accused brothers "guilty" without the necessity of any formal trial system. These young men began as "suspects," and their status quickly morphed into "criminals," "scumbags," and any other handy epithets.
It has long been said that "truth is the first casualty of war," a proposition that has metastasized its way throughout all aspects of state action. "Truth" is now negotiable, and a lie will serve as an adequate substitute as long as a sufficient number of people believe it. Facts that stand in the way of ends sought by the state must be repressed and shoved down the memory-hole. Those who raise questions that do not fit within the official script will be labeled "paranoid conspiracy advocates," making it easy for the normally-neurotic to take comfort in their ignorance.
No decent person can defend these murderous acts, any more than they can the bombing deaths carried out by the United States in such places as Afghanistan and Iraq. But though guilt of wrongdoing by bombing victims in the Middle East matters little to most Americans, it would be nice if guilt on the part of the Boston accused could be established with more certainty than the fiat pronouncements of politicians and media hacks.
In ferreting out the perpetrators of these recent atrocities, it would do well to begin with the question handed down to us by ancient Romans, but is considered improper by well-conditioned minds: cui bono (i.e., who benefited?). Sound reasoning would demand such an inquiry in order to arrive at possible motives for the crimes. This does not mean that those who stood to benefit were, in fact, the wrongdoers; only that it sets up more focused questions to ask.
The federal government and, particularly, the FBI has been involved in many "sting" operations in which its agents have lured unsuspecting victims into criminal – including "terrorist" – acts in order to arrest them. A variant on what has long been known as "provocateuring," FBI agents have provided fake weapons and explosives and, on some occasions, have driven the sting victim to the scene of his intended crime. In a 2012 New York Times article, it was reported that "of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks since 9/11 on American soil, 14 were developed in sting operations."
Did the FBI – or any other government agency – help to engineer this attack in Boston? Obviously, I do not know, but I do know how to ask relevant questions, and this is one upon which intelligent minds should insist. One of the experienced marathon runners, Alastair Stevenson, reported that, at the start of this marathon, "there were people on the roof looking down onto the Village at the start. There were dogs with their handlers going around sniffing for explosives, and we were told on a loud announcement that we shouldn’t be concerned and that it was just a drill." Stevenson added that he had never experienced anything like this in previous marathons in which he ran.
Why were such exercises being undertaken, and why did they fail to prevent the very harm they were presumably set up to address? Were the bomb blasts part of the "drill?" Were the bombs part of a "sting" operation that went awry and inadvertently exploded? Or, were the accused young men acting wholly on their own? Their mother has stated that her older son "was controlled by the FBI, like for three, five years. . . . They were controlling every step of him."
Our understanding of what caused these terrible crimes in Boston will depend upon the quality – and the range – of the questions brought to the inquiry. No doubt another whitewash "investigation" will be undertaken by a "blue-ribbon" committee chosen by the political establishment. This committee will, like its predecessors, do its appointed job of calming the public herd and urging an extension of government authority to police an already overly-policed populace. But independent journalists, along with men and women who use the Internet and other technologies to communicate their searches for truth, may find out more than we have thus far learned from babbling politicians and make-believe journalists.