Mainstream Media: The Spies Who Choked Me
By Graham Vanbergen: Government and the security services are using the levers of control to manipulate the mainstream media and with it the public discourse like never before. Shadowy informational operatives use technology to stalk every newsroom in the land to gain political advantage. The public are now facing new threats as they are unconsciously herded and trapped inside self imposed informational bubbles. Loyal to the political framework and its corporate interests almost all media that you are reading and seeing today is largely fake, distorted or misrepresented.
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” These famous words were made by CIA Director (1981-87) William Casey when referring to the disinformation plot involving the overthrow of Libya’s Qaddafi. This chilling statement gives an idea of what government is capable of, and what they are up to on a daily basis.
In Britain, the secret intelligence services was not actually made formally public until Prime Minister John Major’s government in August 1993, when it was announced that MI5 and MI6 would answer directly to Members of Parliament. However, the British intelligence and security organisation GCHQ was always to be ‘out of bounds‘ – and still is.
Get Briefed, Get Weekly Intelligence Reports - Essential Weekend Reading - Safe Subscribe
MI5 and MI6 came out of the cold war and “needed the media to trumpet its continued usefulness, lest the Treasury respond to the vanishing of the Soviet threat by slashing its budget” wrote NewStatesman reporter of the time, David Rose.
Rose spoke of the ability of the security services to “plant sheer disinformation for who knows what purpose, and there would be no comeback and no accountability.” MI6 internally called this “plausible deniability.” They had a number of journalists from national newspapers and broadcasters who would report whatever they were fed. Acquiescent journalists were wined and dined and benefitted from all sorts of ‘perks’ and bribes, whilst the public were fed a diet of lies.
Rose comes to the conclusion that it was his “honest belief that the way Britain’s spooks dealt with the media simply became untenable” and that it was simply too damaging for all concerned. This system of plausible deniability went all the way to the heart of the government of the day. When Tony Blair arrived at No10, things changed – for the worse. Peter Preston, who as editor of the Guardian campaigned for reform said – “They enable the reporter to say, ‘Look how clever I am. I’ve got this amazing source, but I’m not going to tell you who it is, so you’re just going to have to trust me.’ The trouble is, the information may well not be trustworthy at all – from either a prime ministerial spokesman or MI6.”
This proved to be the case for the WMD’s of Iraq. It was a misinformation and disinformation campaign by that same government, supported by ‘evidence’ from its security services, now a well documented scandal that disrupted the world order. Rose reported that more lies and propaganda came to the surface after the events of 9/11 in America and then the 7/7 bombings in London. Much of the information released to the press about 7/7 was managed by MI5 to reduce criticism and subsequent scrutiny for failures to identify the killers, because the ring-leaders were well known to them. The same can be said of the Manchester arena atrocity last May, when the bomber was again ‘well known’ to the security services. That story was clearly manipulated by the government and its security services to save face from embarrassing failures that the US FBI had warned about just weeks and days earlier.
A decade ago, Rose was reporting that “a torrent of deniable briefings were given about blood-curdling threats from al-Qaeda, dirty bombs and plots to take down the internet, to say nothing of a long series of stories about Iran’s nuclear weapons programme” – and they were largely false. Newspapers and broadcasters sent a chill down the spine of an electorate who simply allowed government to shred their civil liberties and human rights as a direct result of a fear campaign based on lies. This was stepped up again by David Cameron’s government, especially by the then Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Newspaper editors even admit that whilst the information they were fed was more often wholly inaccurate, they made for good copy. Nothing has changed today of course. Indeed, back in the USA, Milton Bearden, the former head of the CIA’s Soviet and eastern Europe division warned “The energy in the UK seems to be devoted to keeping the media at bay, in the US, our style has been to spin them into submission.”
Then another scandal of state intervention to the national discourse emerged.
Britain’s state broadcaster, the BBC was found to be in full collusion with MI5. In 2006, confidential papers emerged that revealed the BBC allowed MI5 to investigate the backgrounds and political affiliations of thousands of its employees, including newsreaders, reporters and announcers. Indeed, one third of its entire workforce were vetted to ensure that any dissension from the national narrative was minimised. It’s not possible under those circumstances to think the BBC is somehow unbiased.
Then in March this year the Times reported: “Spies at GCHQ have called an emergency summit with Britain’s political parties after warning them that they are at risk of Russian cyber-attacks disrupting the next general election.” Security sources say GCHQ now regards protecting the political system from foreign hackers as “priority work”.
The article said that there was a fear that Kremlin-backed hackers could steal and leak internal emails or publish private databases of voters’ political views in an attempt to damage the standing of political parties with the public. In the meantime, these same ‘spy chiefs’ did nothing at all about American billionaires highjacking Britain’s democracy with illegal use of data causing the small percentage shift required to reach a Brexit referendum result. These are not the words of a conspiracy theorist. The Guardian reported that “A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum”. A number of similar reports have since surfaced. I reported a similar story three weeks before the Guardian story linking MI6 to ‘dark money’ and Brexit. The Guardian is being sued in a blatant attempt to redirect the observant or interested amongst us.
Alex Younger, head of MI6, said last December: “The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims. The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.” So right he was and yet, the security services stood by and did nothing to protect Britain’s sovereignty over the history making Brexit vote, however, they did get their teeth into the dogfight over Donald Trump’s tenure in the Whitehouse. This is evidenced by a former head of MI6 who said Donald Trump had borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis much to the enthusiasm of the click-baiting media. And again, another ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who produced the so-called Russian dossier against Trump – since discredited by Steele himself – both being shady agitators to the democratic will of a foreign nation.
Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept wrote how “western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction”. His article makes distressing reading as it was largely about Britain’s GCHQ. The taxpayer is funding a service that is; luring targets using sex, compromising the integrity of the internet, destroying reputations, posting fake victim blogs, leaking confidential information (often stolen), ruining business deals or relationships.
Think about this for a moment. How dangerous is it to have a secretive government agency, accountable to no-one, being able to target any individual, company or group they want. The very people at most risk are those who speak up for our human rights and civil liberties. Indeed, this was found to be happening back in 2015. No-one knows what they are up to today.
Nowadays, GCHQ and the other intelligence units are screaming for the government to censor the internet, censor social media and destroy all important encryption for law-abiding citizens. They built an illegal surveillance architecture the East German Starsi couldn’t have even dreamed of just 30 years ago and they don’t want privacy laws to hold them back. We are now forced, against our will to live in an Orwellian panopticon, a megastructure of spying on our every move.
Ex MI5 officer Annie Machon reveals the intimate linkage between top politicians and media proprietors, and corrupt relations between police officers and the politicians in her 2013 exposé to The Real News Network. But things have moved swiftly on already.
Transnational corporations such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are now providing citizens with a new set of problems. With Google’s censorship algorithms in full swing, it is now almost impossible to have confidence in the search results of what arrives on your pc or device. Fake news and disinformation is peddled by social media and exploited by government’s and their facilitators. These facilitators are the same billionaires who own the platforms that was supposed to free us from the stranglehold of government meddling in mainstream media. Technology is trapping us in a more confined self imposed space called an informational bubble or echo chamber.
You are very likely to be caught up in this bubble. You get less exposure to conflicting viewpoints and become isolated intellectually. You choose what content you want and then it is managed for you by an aggregator. The truth is much of that information is false and designed to manipulate your world view. With aggregators, it becomes concentrated. Google News is an Aggregator, Facebook is an aggregator. You only get what they deem fit for you to see.
It was Mark Twain who once said – “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” The internet is today’s newspaper.
We think we are more connected to the world, when in reality it’s the opposite. We no longer trust the world we live in precisely because of Facebook, Google and Twitter who now have dominance over the global narrative, themselves braided and intertwined into the architecture of the establishment and their handlers.
According to the 2017 Edelman TRUST Barometer trust in the British media has fallen 4 places in just one year to seventh from bottom globally, behind countries such as Turkey, Poland and Russia, none of which are considered to have a free press. In fact, trust in the four institutions of government, business, media and NGO’s has taken a dramatic dive in just the last three years alone. Military designed disinformation campaigns are being used against us to ensure we fall into line. This is a world concocted by a faulty and deceitful media operated and managed by the neurosis of government and its agencies.
Just six people control about 80 percent of all printed media in Britain and an even smaller number controls nearly 90 percent of what is seen on the Internet. The same exists in the USA and across Europe. Allegations of government officials pressuring and even threatening editors and journalists are now rife in the industry.
Mainstream media was literally choked by government information officers peddling propaganda, disinformation and fake news and now we, the people are directly targeted by the surveillance systems the public paid for but had no control over.