Citizen "Combatants," Robot Warnings, And Endless "Wars"
by W. David Jenkins    June 24, 2002

I was a child of the '60s and it finally dawned on me what all the warnings and threats and manufactured mayhem emanating from Bush II and Co. remind me of. Just how many of you good people remember "Lost in Space?" There we were as kids every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. glued to the TV. The Robinson family, Dr. Smith, the robot and some goofy monkey type thing named "Bloop."

It seems like every time we turn around, here comes another warning of those dastardly terrorists! Whether the warnings come from Rummy, Cheney, Ridge, Mueller or "Mr. Salty" himself, I get the same picture in my head. That robot from "Lost in Space" waving its "arms" while announcing,

Warning! Aliens approaching! Danger, Will Robinson!"

So it seems that I can no longer hear these endless, precisely scheduled rantings from the White House, or thereabout, without shaking my head and laughing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say there's no threat of further terrorist attacks. I'm absolutely positive that as long as Bush The Appointed and his gang continue to call various countries "evil" or threaten first strikes in the name of defending democracy that the threat will remain. But, come on already! Really, just how long will it take before the fear mongers in DeeCeeVille run out of things to name as "potential targets" before we have to go back to the top of the list?

This weekend it was synagogues and other targets named special to infuriate our Jewish population. Then there were the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, compliments of the movie "Godzilla." Somewhere in the middle, we were supposed to be afraid of the nuclear power plants as potential targets. Heck, I was leery of those back in the '70s. I didn't need any "maybe terrorism" to put those things on my list of things to be wary of.

Warning, warning! They're coming for the Golden Gate Bridge! They're coming for the subways! They're trying to rent or buy moving vans and ambulances! Watch out for the big trucks and lobster boats! They've got anthrax, small pox, chicken pox, hangnails and dandruff! They hate us because of our freedom! They hate us because we can buy houses! They hate us because we have express lanes at the grocery store! Fight back, Americans! Go shopping but be careful because they hate us because we have shopping malls! Be aware of that checkout person who comments that the picture of George Washington on your one-dollar bill looks like Barbara Bush! She might be a terrorist!

But, whatever you do, don't pay attention to those leaks that undermine our national security. So what if we've arrested people without charge and won't let them talk to a lawyer? So what if we arrest and suspend college graduates for turning their backs to the "president?" So what if the Attorney General is in Moscow discussing tactics concerning the "war" on terrorism? So what if we're doing everything possible to make sure that you have no idea what is really going on? Americans have more important things to do to make this country strong! You people need to . . . to . . . oh yeah, you people need to EXERCISE!

That's right, you heard them correctly. That's this week's version on how to keep America strong! Just how are you supposed to maintain constant vigil on your neighbors' suspicious activities if you're too busy gorging yourself in front of the TV? C'mon, give good old George a "squat thrust" in his honor. Who cares if he thinks he's Jack LaLanne this week? You have to admit it's easier than watching him act like "Gilligan." Besides, it'll give you something to do as you ponder next week's "target for terrorism."

I don't know about all of you, but it's become a kind of guessing game for me and others. Like I said, how long before they run out of things to scare us with? Think about it. We have the big old July 4th weekend coming up. They're already putting up security fences all over DeeCeeVille landmarks. They have a little less than two weeks to have us all waving the flag in celebration of our disappearing freedoms from the safety of our basements.

"Warning! Warning!"

There's another bit of media history that comes to mind amidst all this mindlessness. Back in the late 1930s on the night before Halloween, Orson Welles scared the crank shaft out of the nation with a little program called "The War of the Worlds." For those of you unfamiliar with this production, it was a radio broadcast which depicted the invasion of the East Coast by Martians. Many people hadn't heard the disclaimer that it was only a play and many citizens became so terrified that widespread panic in the streets ensued. Water towers in New Jersey were shot at for fear they were the invaders and many people had to be treated for shock and other injuries. When they woke up the next morning they felt embarrassed and more than a little angry for having been duped.

Well, I can't help but feel that we are currently experiencing a combination of a constant airing of "The War of the Worlds" while listening to the robot from "Lost in Space" broadcasting warnings all over the place. With all of this fearmongering and saber rattling going on, not to mention American citizens being denied their basic rights because John and George like to call them "enemy combatants," I'm finding it difficult to find a reason to celebrate the 4th of July.

Besides, I hear the terrorists hate us because we have backyard barbecues too.

Is The BushAdmin The Fourth Reich?
Part Two: The Propaganda Machine

By W. David Jenkins and Sara DeHart

Propaganda isn't really a dirty word. Basically, it's nothing more than information from one group to sway another to the source's way of thinking. Campaign promises, political messages, heck, even deodorant commercials fall under the true definition of propaganda. The old adage "Everybody does it" is true. Democrats and Republicans utilize propaganda to do their best to influence the masses to help them pass legislation or kill a bill. Propaganda is nothing more than a tool and a very powerful one. And like all powerful tools in politics and the media, it's fair game for abuse against those of us on the receiving end.

In the early days of Bush II's appointed reign, both members of his administration and their media supporters used the word "elected" every chance they had when in front of the TV cameras. There's an old rule that if you tell the same lie over and over that people will eventually believe it. Bush was heard to say repeatedly, "I was elected because…" or I'm doing this because that's what the American people "elected me to do." Ari Fleischer continues to remark about the will of the American people in reference to Bush II's latest attack on us without pausing to think that the majority of the American people wish Ari was nothing more than an occasional right wing blow-hard guest on MSNBC and his boss was still governor of Texas trying to figure out why his Daddy's plan didn't work. Their claim to speak for the American people is a clear example of the abuse of propaganda. But it doesn't stop there. There is also this little problem with the mainstream media. Like pigs at the trough, they line up to feed on whatever garbage Bush II throws their way with an enthusiasm that would make Goebbels envious.

Democracy is not simply a matter of being able to vote, it is a matter of being sufficiently informed about crucial issues to participate in decision-making processes. Why are mainline news sources denying the American public such information? In regards to Nazi Germany the entire world agrees that the German people were misled by an organized propaganda campaign. Is this currently happening in the United States? Why is there such a disparity between what is reported in the European and American press? Why, with each new revelation from the coup d'etat in Venezuela to the new information on what the Bush administration knew about a potential al Qaeda strike prior to 9/11, do American citizens trust the word of the American media? What seems to be the need to hide what's actually happening? What is so wrong with the truth other than the fact that it threatens the only court appointed president in history?

We are not referring to the press revealing state secrets, military intelligence or sensitive negotiations with foreign powers. We are talking about information that is basic to understanding what goes on in the current administration and our government. In other words, information that is crucial for American citizens to be informed voters and part of the democratic process. How has the esteemed American press fallen to such depths that we can no longer trust its journalists as bearers of truth? Even a cursory glance at major newspapers and the way that they covered the recent coup d'etat in Venezuela by misnaming it a "transition" as the White House released their spin to a welcoming and uncritical press. For days almost all newspapers originating in the United States used almost identical words to describe Chavez, Venezuela's legally elected president: "Socialist," "dictatorial," "unpopular" and "resignation". The Washington Post's editorial stated "the violation of democracy that led to the ouster of President Hugo Chavez Thursday night was initiated not by the army by Mr. Chavez himself." The Washington Post accepted Condoleeza Rice's version and words without question.

What sort of nonsense is this? The United States of America's media, as representatives of a free and unfettered press, supporting a coup d'etat without a single question asked about the official White House version? Had this been Germany 1934 with the threats of armed SS and SA thugs beating down doors and crashing windows of newspapers, it might be comprehensible. But in the United States, 2002 with no evidence of armed thugs beating publishers and closing them down, one has to wonder who is calling the shots? Could it be the same financial sources that put Mr. Bush into the office of president? Who put Adolf Hitler's playbook into action? And there is ample evidence that the playbook of the Third Reich is now in effect.

A propagandized media has to have a director and sub-directors. In 1930 Germany it was Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Is this the role that Karl Rove holds? Are there others now that Karen Hughes is slated to leave the White House? Is Michael Powell's role as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission to facilitate mergers so that a single-voiced media is fully operational by 2004? It is hard to come by accurate news in this administration, but certain facts are indisputable. Secrecy is the tool of the day. "Secrecy is a tool the leadership uses to maintain power and control over issues of controversy" (Sr. Nancy Sylvester, 5/2/02). The good sister was not speaking about either Nazi Germany's leadership in 1933 or Mr. Bush's administration in 2002. She refers to the way the Catholic Church is handling it's current controversy of pedophilia amongst its priests. The quote is striking though because it reflects the way that both Hitler and Bush II seized and used power.

The cast of characters in place for Mr. Bush's Propaganda machine:

The most likely key players in the Bush propaganda machine include Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, but who else is involved? What official roles do former Iran-Contra operatives, Otto Reich and John Poindexter play? How does the U.S. Army's 4th PSYOPS fit? This was the military unit assigned to carry out policies of the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI) that planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration's Central American policies in the 1980s. This is also the group that staffed the National Security Council's Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD) of the Reagan-Bush (the elected) administration. And while both the OSI and the OPD are officially disbanded, two players are back in the current Bush administration, Otto Reich (Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs) and John M. Poindexter as head of a new agency, Information Awareness Office. These are interesting appointments if an administration is choosing to set up a propaganda network, and both bring considerable propaganda skills to their new jobs.

One of the striking similarities between the Third Reich and the Bush Reich is the list of euphemistic names given to agencies responsible for propaganda. Mr. Bush created a new agency called the Information Awareness Office in 2002 and named John M. Poindexter as its head. Hitler created the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and named Joseph Goebbels as director. It is more likely that Karl Rove is the power behind the Bush propaganda machine, but he holds the official title of Director, Office of Political Affairs. Mr. Rove's increasing circle of influence may be a factor in pushing Karen Hughes from the White House Inner Circle.

Karen Hughes, Bush's former official spinmaster held the title, Counselor to the President and though she is in the process of "resigning," she is currently traveling in Europe with Mrs. Bush as her adviser. According to press reports, Hughes will continue to travel to the White House to consult with Mr. Bush.

Another player is Charlotte Beers, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs chief. She has recently (May 1, 2002) asked Congress for $600M for the Propaganda budget. Ms. Beers comes from an advertising background and sees her role as public persuasion. She is careful to use the term "persuasion" rather than "propaganda", but the net effect is the same. The Bush administration is managing perception, and up until the foreknowledge about a potential attack with too many details provided in presidential briefings came to light, the mainline media bought into perception management. Lewis Lapham, Harper's editor, views it as "the media is hand in hand with the government." (Fost, Dan 4/24/02, SF Chronicle). It remains to be seen if this latest wrinkle in Mr. Bush's façade continues to be noticed by the somnambulant American public.

John Rendon and his public relations firm, The Rendon Group, specialize in making images, manipulating scenes and managing news. He is currently under a $100,000 per month contract to track foreign news reports and offer advice on media strategy. Rendon consulted with the Pentagon when it created the Office of Strategic Influence. Supposedly this office was snuffed after publicity leaked that the Pentagon planned to use it to spread disinformation. But, whether it is gone or just gone underground is a legitimate question.

"Persuasion works best when it's invisible. The most effective marketing worms its way into our consciousness, leaving intact the perception that we have reached our opinion and made our choices independently" (George Monbiot, The Guardian, UK 5/14/02). This is what Beers and Rendon do best and it is why Mr. Bush's administration hired them.

Whether it was the Reichstag fire in February 1933 or the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, perceptions of the events were orchestrated and managed for political gain. Hitler used the Reichstag fire to mobilize the German population for Hitler's National Socialist German Worker's Party (Nazi Party). Mr. Bush's propaganda machine is using 9/11 for political advantage. Any call for a Congressional investigation of 9/11 has been met with sneering propaganda tactics. Fear, intimidation, loss of one's livelihood, public ridicule are the Bush tactics. Hitler's SS and SA troops beat publishers to a bloody pulp. To date, Bush has not resorted to public beatings; people just lose their jobs as TV's Bill Maher learned for being Politically Incorrect.

The Republican National Party is currently selling photographs of Mr. Bush depicting the "resolute leader" on 9/11 and it's aftermath (even after he told a German reporter he was trying "to stay out of harm's way" that day). This is one example of perception management that may come back to haunt him and his administration. Goebbels used exactly the same strategy to sell the image of Hitler even though his weaknesses were known to those close to him. "Give me ten years and you will not recognize Germany" (Adolf Hitler, 1933). Between his Gestapo troops and propaganda machine, he transformed Germany in four years. The United States has changed dramatically from January 2001 to May 2002. What role has a propagandized press played in this?

John Stanton and Wayne Madsen state that "A crisis without precedent is underway in the United States. And its consequences will be far graver than those wrought by the U.S. presidential election of 2000 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The collapse of the Jeffersonian 'free and uncensored press' in America endangers the liberties of all Americans. --The only remaining barrier to monstrous U.S. totalitarianism is a sickly and crippled U.S. media, an aggressive foreign media and the hope that the heretofore somnambulant American public will awaken from its stupor." (Stanton, J & Madsen, W. (4/25/02) U.S. Media Profit, Propaganda and Puffery,

"Secrecy is a tool the leadership uses to maintain power and control over controversy" (Sr. Sylvester, 5/2/02). Mr. Bush has learned that lesson well. And when secrecy doesn't work, then resort to propaganda and perception management. If things get to close to the truth then they offer up another "terrorist alert" so everybody stays too scared to ask any questions. Or Ashcroft can bust another former gang member and call him a terrorist and wave the flag some more. And when perception management doesn't work, what then should Mr. Bush do? Does he go home to Crawford or does he continue to raise funds for Far Reich/Right causes by telling that God awful sick Trifecta joke?

What it boils down to is that we are being subjected to a form of propaganda that even the Europeans recognize. The American people are being ruled and controlled through fear tactics. The media shows us images of America standing tall and then, in the same breath, does its best to work with Bush II to send us cowering into our basements for fear of another attack. America waves the flag while it covers its eyes and ears to the real threat to this country.

History repeats itself.

Is The BushAdmin The Fourth Reich?

By W. David Jenkins and Sara DeHart

George W. Bush is not Adolph Hitler. Although we've seen the sentiment in so many different places and in many different ways, the fact still remains that Bush II has not yet achieved Nazi Germany's horror at its apex, but it is like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's sincerely hard to believe that Bush II's "Final Solution" includes the elimination of an entire race. Although we still have reportedly over one thousand people of Arab descent being held without charge or access to legal counsel, these are not the real enemies of Bush's America. Ever since December of 2000 and especially since September 2001, George W. Bush and his administration have made it more and more apparent just who they consider the real enemy. The enemy is anyone who does not agree with or follow Conservative Far Right dogma. He refers to these Americans as "the fringe."

One of the main differences between Bush and Hitler as leaders is that the later built a nation out of rubble. Germany post WWI was left virtually castrated after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The people of Germany were ostracized on an international level and needed a scapegoat. Hitler initially selected Jews and Communists to fill that slot. Hitler helped to create and then triumphed over the political unrest that plagued post war Germany. During the early years under his leadership, Germany experienced a period of rebirth and pride in the Fatherland. The economy improved greatly and, as witnessed during the 1936 Olympics, the world was introduced to a new Deutschland. The world saw a proud and thriving country rise out of a once devastated enemy.

George W. Bush, on the other hand, has taken a country that enjoyed peace and prosperity for almost a decade and trashed it completely. But when we look at the similarities, however, between post September 11th, 2001 and post February 27th, 1933 (The Reichstag Fire) is where the rise of the Third Reich and today's Bush II administration look remarkably alike. The attacks of September are Bush's "Reichstag Fire."

On February 28th, 1933 President Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler invoked Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which allowed the suspension of civil liberties in time of national emergency. This Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State abrogated the following constitutional protections:

1. Free expression of opinion
2. Freedom of the press
Right of assembly and association
Right to privacy of postal and electronic communications
Protection against unlawful searches and seizures
Individual property rights
7. States' right of self-government

A supplemental decree was also added to create the SA and SS federal police agencies. Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn't it?

Although Bush has not yet proposed the elimination of these rights formally, in the wake of "Election 2000" and especially after 9/11, they have all been placed on the "endangered species" list to the point where many people are finally starting to wake up and ask questions. Just last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft placed #3 and #4 in the crosshairs with his proclamation of new powers to be given the FBI. The rest of these rights have been tested and tainted ever since Bush slipped through the back door of the White House. Like Hitler, Bush has surrounded himself with experienced thugs or just plain thugs with a perverted sense of what it right for the country. Yet both leaders were blessed by a common mindset of the people they lead. A mindset that allowed both leaders to inflict their tunnel view of the world and its people on their own countrymen in order to achieve their personal goals. The mindset of apathy.

21st century America and 1930's Germany share a form of apathy even though its root is of different sources. Germany's apathy stemmed from the population so content with its new found prosperity that it trusted its leaders overall in their endeavors. Today's American apathy is based upon their being manipulated by their leaders and the media in a time of national grief and xenophobia. Both populations were and are being played like marionettes and their apathy and paranoia allowed and allows them to be blind to the blatant evil of their leaders. Two weeks ago in the wake of the "What did they know" reports, Cheney, Mueller and Rumsfeld took a chapter from Hermann Goering book of mass manipulation. They use this rule of Hitler's Third Reich every time things get a little too warm for them.

"Why, of course the people don't want war ... But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

This is the rule now. In less than a century, things have come full circle. The only difference is that it's not happening "over there." It's happening right here. In America. What used to be the Land of the Free.

No, Bush is not Hitler. The current administration is not the Third Reich. It's subtler and yet, it's just as dangerous. It's just as threatening. And worse yet….'s here...…right now.

Next: "The Propaganda Machine."