Quotations page 1
"Throughout the twentieth
century and into the beginning of the twenty-first, the United
States repeatedly used its military power, and that of its clandestine
services, to overthrow governments that refused to protect American
interests. Each time, it cloaked its intervention in the rhetoric
of national security and liberation. In most cases, however, it
acted mainly for economic reasons-specifically to establish, promote
and defend the right of Americans to do business around the world
"What chiefly governs
the [U.S.] military budget is the need to spend enormous sums
of money in a useless way. The allegedly powerful Pentagon is
simply a receptacle for wasteful expenditure, just as a city dump
is the receptacle for the refuse of a city."
"There is nothing puzzling ... about America's gratuitously
aggressive foreign policy or about the oligarchs' successful efforts
to drag the Republic into five wars. What an aggressive foreign
policy accomplishes by slow degrees, a state of war accomplishes
in a trice. Overnight [war] kills reform, overnight it transforms
insurgents into traitors and the Republic into an imperiled realm.
Overnight it strangles free politics, distracts and overawes the
citizenry. Overnight it blasts public hope."
"Since free men cannot
judge for themselves what endangers their freedom if they believe
it is never in danger, it is the chief burden of the public school
curriculum to persuade children that their liberty is always secure."
"The military budget is
simply an enormous pork barrel of special privilege, the privileges
taking the form of windfall profits, of no-risk profits and, most
importantly, of enormous outlays of capital supplied by the Pentagon
to arms contractors."
"This is how veal gets
produced: A [male dairy] calf is taken from his mother, placed
in a small pen, tethered so that movement is impossible, then
fed a bland no-protein diet. He becomes anemic and diseased. Then
he is drained of his blood and killed ... there is simply no way
to produce veal without torture."
"There have been times, living in
America of late, when it seemed I was back in the Communist Moscow
I left a dozen years ago. Switch to cable TV and reporters breathlessly
relay the latest wisdom from the usual unnamed 'senior administration
officials... Everyone, it seems, is on-side and on-message. Just
like it used to be when the hammer and sickle flew over the Kremlin."
Rupert Cornwell in the London-based
"Those who cast the votes
decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything."
"Who needs censorship
when we have self-censorship. When news is being withheld, or
neutralized, at best, how can we expect anything but cynicism
from those who read our daily papers? Maybe the reason many aren't
buying newspapers isn't that they can get information for free
on the Internet, but because they don't believe what they read,
and how can they?"
Jane Lyn Stahl
"The United States has
only one party - the property party. It's the party of big corporations,
the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and
the other is Republican."
"We have thrown away the
most valuable asset we had -- the individual's right to oppose
both flag and country when he believed them to be in the wrong.
We have thrown it away; and with it, all that was really respectable
about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism."
"Our government will soon
become what it is already a long way toward becoming, an elective
Senator J. William Fulbright
"And in the general hardening
of outlook that set in ... practices which had been long abandoned
- imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves,
public executions, torture to extract confessions ... and the
deportation of whole populations - not only became common again,
but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered
themselves enlightened and progressive."
George Orwell, 1984
"Intolerance of dissent
is a well-noted feature of the American national character."
Senator J. William Fulbright
"The American public has
become so conditioned by crises, by warnings, by words, that there
are few, other than the young, who protest against what is happening."
Senator J. William Fulbright
" They have pillaged the
world. When the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything,
they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy; if he
is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their
appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and
poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish,
and call it by the lying name of "empire." They make
a desert and call it "peace"."
Roman historian Tacitus
"A well-functioning democracy
has a culture of free speech, not simply legal protection of free
speech. It encourages independence of mind. It imparts a willingness
to challenge prevailing opinion through both words and deeds.
Equally important, it encourages a certain set of attitudes in
listeners, one that gives a respectful hearing to those who do
not embrace the conventional wisdom. In a culture of free speech,
the attitude of listeners is no less important than that of speakers."
"It is the professed goal
[of U.S. multinational corporations] to control as large a share
of the world market as they do of the United States market."
"The United States has
no tradition of subordinating itself to international treaty-based
law, and it has no interest in a world order in which military
force becomes operational only as a last resort."
"Our strategy [after the
fall of the Soviet Union] must now refocus on precluding the emergence
of any potential future global competitor."
U.S. Defense Planning Guidance,
"We must be the change
we wish to see in the world."
"The people will believe
what the media tells them they believe."
"Politicians and the media
have conspired to infantilize, to dumb down, the American public.
At heart, politicians don't believe that Americans can handle
complex truths, and the news media, especially television news,
Tom Fenton, CBS foreign correspondent
"Americans are too broadly
underinformed to digest nuggets of information that seem to contradict
what they know of the world ... Instead, news channels prefer
to feed Americans a constant stream of simplified information,
all of which fits what they already know. That way they don't
have to devote more air time or newsprint space to explanations
or further investigations."
Tom Fenton, CBS foreign correspondent
"The real threat to U.S.
military power is nuclear proliferation, because if every little
country has nuclear weapons it becomes very tricky for the United
States to engage in military action."
"We weren't raised to
protest. We weren't raised to question. We were raised to wave
the flag. To pledge allegiance. "My country, right or wrong."
It's a terrible, terrible trap."
"I think democracy fails
under a variety of conditions and one of the conditions occurs
when people don't have the ability to get the kind of information
they need to make up their mind. Ideologically, I don't care much
for FOX News. But the truth is that, as long as there are countervailing
points of view available on the spectrum, it doesn't matter."
"The problem the United
States faces is that almost all of its invasions violate international
law, and sometimes, as in the case of Iraq, in a blatant manner.
So how do the political elite and the news media reconcile this
contradiction? Simple: They ignore it. It is virtually unthinkable
for a mainstream U.S. reporter to even pursue this issue."
John Nichols and Robert McChesney
"What is the hardest task
in the world? To think."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"For most of the history
of the American empire, government has been a tool for preserving
and furthering the power and might of white male corporate elites
"Our politicians have
sacrificed their principles on the altar of special interests;
our corporate leaders have sacrificed their integrity on the altar
of profits; and our media watchdogs have sacrificed the voice
of dissent on the altar of audience competition."
"The fact is ... that
when totalitarian nations like China and Saudi Arabia play ball
with U.S. business interests, we like them just fine. But when
Venezuela's freely elected president threatens powerful corporate
interests, the Bush administration treats him as an enemy."
"[I] never saw a foreign
intervention that the [New York] Times did not support, never
saw a fare increase or a rent increase or a utility rate increase
that it did not endorse, never saw it take the side of labor in
a strike or lockout, or advocate a raise for underpaid workers.
And don't let me get started on universal health care and Social
Security. So why do people think the Times is liberal?"
New York Times reporter John Hess
"You can always hear the
people who are willing to sacrifice somebody else's life. They're
plenty loud and they talk all the time. You can find them in churches
and schools and newspapers and legislatures and congress. That's
their business. They sound wonderful. Death before dishonor. This
ground sanctified by blood. These men who died so gloriously.
They shall not have died in vain. Our noble dead."
Dalton Trumbo, Johnny
Got His Gun
"A patriot must always
be ready to defend his country against his government."
"Paramount among the responsibilities
of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government
from deceiving the people..."
Hugo Black, Supreme Court Justice
"The country is governed
for the richest, for the corporation, the bankers, the land speculators,
and for the expoiters."
"The size of the lie is
a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses
of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived
than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive
simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big
lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies
but would be ashamed to tell a big one."
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
"They wrote in the old
days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But
in modern war there is nothing sweet or fitting in your dying.
You will die like a dog for no good reason."
"We are mad, not only
individually, but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated
murders; but what of war and the much vaunted crime of slaughtering
Lucius Annaeus Seneca - the Younger,
Roman statesman, philosopher
"The fact that an opinion
has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd."
"You can tell the ideals
of a nation by its advertisements."
"To criticize one's country is to do it a service ....
Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism-a
higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals
and national adulation."
J. William Fulbright
"You believe you are dying
for the fatherland - you die for some industrialists."
"The American press, with
a very few exceptions:, is a kept press. Kept by the big corporations
the way a whore is kept by a rich man."
"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the
formation of public opinion."
Josph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda
"Humanity's most valuable assets have been the non-conformists.
Were it not for the nonconformists, he who refuses to be satisfied
to go along with the continuance of things as they are, and insists
upon attempting to find new ways of bettering things, the world
would have known little progress indeed."
"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction
rather than surrender any material part of their advantage."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"It is true that you may
fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of
the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people
all of the time."
"The majority of people
believe in incredible things which are absolutely false. The majority
of people daily act in a manner prejudicial to their general well-being."
"In individuals insanity
is rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the
"The man who never looks
into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch
as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind
is filled with falsehoods and errors."
"During times of universal
deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary."
"Throughout much of its
history, the AFL-CIO and other U.S. labor organizations have worked
with CIA and multi-national corporations to overthrow democratically-elected
governments, collaborated with dictators against progressive labor
movements, supported reactionary labor movements against progressive
governments, worked with corporate America to organize racist
and protectionist campaigns against foreign countries, and encouraged
racist campaigns against immigrant workers."
Lee Siu Hin
"No matter how paranoid
or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually
doing is worse than you imagine."
"Conceit, arrogance and
egotism are the essentials of patriotism.... Patriotism assumes
that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded
by an iron gate. Those who had the fortune of being born on some
particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander,
more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot.
It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot
to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority
upon all others."
"Economic hit men (EHMs)
are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe
out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World
Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and
other foreign "aid" organizations into the coffers of
huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who
control the planet's natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent
financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex,
and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has
taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.
I should know; I was an EHM."
John Perkins, Confessions of an
Economic Hit Man
"[Ronald] Reagan ... was
most definitely a global empire builder, a servant of the corporatocracy...
He would cater to the men who shuttled back and forth from corporate
CEO offices to bank boards and into the halls of government. He
would serve the men who appeared to serve him but who in fact
ran the government - men like Vice President George H. W. Bush,
Secretary of State George Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar
Weinberger, Richard Cheney, Richard Helms, and Robert McNamara.
He would advocate what those men wanted: an America that controlled
the world and all its resources, a world that answered to the
commands of that America, a U.S. military that would enforce the
rules as they were written by America, and an international trade
and banking system that supported America as CEO of the global
John Perkins, Confessions of an
Economic Hit Man
"All democracies turn
into dictatorships - but not by coup. The people give their democracy
to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf
Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the
idea... That's the issue that I've been exploring: How did the
Republic turn into the Empire ... and how does a democracy become
Star Wars fimmaker George Lucas
"While free markets tend
to democratize a society, unfettered capitalism leads invariably
to corporate control of government."
Robert Kennedy. Jr.
"How far have we gone
where people don't want to air their views for fear of ending
up on some kind of terrorist watch list?"
David Rowell, editor of The Travel
Insider magazine about air travel watchlists and dissent
"To understand free speech
means freedom to speak what others do not like and even cannot
stand to hear? ... Tolerating what you like is hardly a major
achievement. Hitler tolerated what he liked. So did Stalin. Idi
Amin did too. So did Genghis Khan, the Shah, and Henry Kissinger.
Free speech only becomes an issue when someone says what others
don't want to hear."
"We were not born critical
of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month,
or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us,
and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed
in our consciousness-embedded there by years of family prejudices,
orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television."
"There is a hard core
of people in the United States who will not be moved, whatever
facts you present, from their conviction that this nation means
only to do good, and almost always does good, in the world, that
it is the beacon of liberty and freedom."
"Although tyranny, because
it needs no consent, may successfully rule over foreign peoples,
it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national
institutions of its own people."
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of
"Change comes from a degree
of discomfort that allows for and spurs thought and action."
"To initiate a war of
aggression ... is not only an international crime, it is the supreme
international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that
it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
International Military Tribunal
at Nuremberg, Germany - 1946
"Look, if you think any
American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're
stupid. Did you hear that? - stupid."
Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs,
" The news and truth are
not the same thing. "
"This [the U.S. Constitution]
is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end
in despotism... when the people shall become so corrupted as to
need despotic government, being incapable of any other."
"America will never be
destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
"If fascism ever came to the United States, it would be
wrapped in an American flag."
"fascism - A system of
government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right,
typically through the merging of state and business leadership,
together with belligerent nationalism."
The American Heritage Dictionary,
"Fascism is on the march
today in America. Millionaires are marching to the tune. It will
come in this country unless a strong defense is set up by all
liberal and progressive forces... A clique of U.S. industrialists
is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic
government, and is working closely with the fascist regime in
Germany and Italy. Aboard ship a prominent executive of one of
America's largest financial corporations told me point blank that
if the progressive trend of the Roosevelt administration continued,
he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism to
former Ambassador to Germany William
"We live in a nation hated
abroad and frightened at home. A place in which we can reasonably
refer to the American Republic in the past tense. A country that
has moved into a post-constitutional era, no longer a nation of
laws but an autotocracy run by law breakers, law evaders and law
ignorers. A nation governed by a culture of impunity ... a culture
in which corruption is no longer a form of deviance but the norm.
We all live in a Mafia neighborhood now."
"The twentieth century
has been characterized by three developments of great political
importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power,
and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting
corporate power against democracy."
"The point of public relations
slogans like "Support our troops" is that they don't
mean anything... That's the whole point of good propaganda. You
want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and
everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because
it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts
your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you
support our policy? That's the one you're not allowed to talk
"Maybe this time the voters
chose what they actually want: Nationalism, pre-emptive war, order
not justice, "safety" through torture, backlash against
women and gays, a gulf between haves and have-nots, government
largesse for their churches and a my-way-or-the-highway President."
Katha Pollitt on the results of
the 2004 election
"The biggest political
joke in America is that we have a liberal press. It's a joke taken
seriously by a surprisingly large number of people... The myth
of the liberal press has served as a political weapon for conservative
and right-wing forces eager to discourage critical coverage of
government and corporate power ... Americans now have the worst
of both worlds: a press that, at best, parrots the pronouncements
of the powerful and, at worst, encourages people to be stupid
with pseudo-news that illuminates nothing but the bottom line."
"Once the war against
Saddam begins, we expect every American to support our military,
and if they can't do that, to shut Up."
Bill O'Reilly, Fox News
" The crisis of modern
democracy is a profound one. Free elections, a free press and
an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has
reduced them to commodities available on sale to the highest bidder."
"Television is altering
the meaning of "being informed" by creating a species
of information that might properly be called disinformation...
Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading
information - misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial
information - information that creates the illusion of knowing
something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing."
"NPR and PBS at a national
level tend to provide a bland variant of mainstream and conventional
journalism, comparable to what's on the commercial networks, especially
on highly sensitive matters such as the economy and the U.S. role
in the world. Public broadcasting is so obsessed with conservative
criticism, even more than commercial news media journalists are,
that it bends over backwards to appease the Right and appear "balanced."
"24.9 percent of American
children live in poverty, while the proportions in Germany, France
and Italy are 8.6, 7.4 and 10.5 percent. And once born on the
wrong side of the tracks, Americans are more likely to stay there
than their counterparts in Europe. Those born to better-off families
are more likely to stay better off. America is developing an aristocracy
of the rich and a serfdom of the poor - the inevitable result
of a twenty-year erosion of its social contract."
"To oppose the policies
of a government does not mean you are against the country or the
people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition
should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent,
or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing.
Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of
these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer,
do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever
he commands. That's just what the Germans did with Hitler, and
look where it got them."
"Selective Service has
been registering young men for over 20 years and at any moment
the president can go to Congress and ask them to reauthorize conscription
for a male combat draft for ages 18-25. All that is needed is
a short, "trigger" resolution and the draft for men
18 to 25 is back."
"We're not in the business
of providing news and information, We're simply in the business
of selling our customers' products. "
Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays
"Only the grand scale
and technocratic impersonality of the crimes conceived and directed
by the [U.S.] ruling elite acting under cover of state authority
distinguish them from garden variety killers."
"Americans cannot escape
a certain responsibility for what is done in our name around the
world. In a democracy, even one as corrupted as ours, ultimate
authority rests with the people. We empower the government with
our votes, finance it with our taxes, bolster it with our silent
acquiescence. If we are passive in the face of America's official
actions overseas, we in effect endorse them."
"Media criticism does
exist in America. But by and large, it is not citizen-based criticism
designed to make media a better source of information in a democracy.
Instead, it is a cynical manipulation of the discourse designed
to silence even the mildest dissent from the conservative, militantly
pro-corporate dogma that has come to pass for news in an era when
"reporters" brag about the size of their American-flag
Robert McChesney and John Nichols
"Cuba has ... been condemned
for not allowing its people to flee the island. That so many want
to leave Cuba is treated as proof that Cuban socialism is a harshly
repressive system, rather than that the U.S. embargo has made
life difficult in Cuba. That so many millions more want to leave
capitalist countries like Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, El Salvador,
Philippines, South Korea, Macedonia, and others too numerous to
list is never treated as grounds for questioning the free-market
system that inflicts such misery on the Third World."
"The era of manufacturing
consent has given way to the era of manufacturing news. Soon media
newsrooms will drop the pretense, and start hiring theater directors
instead of journalists."
"While vast sums of money
are being siphoned off into hidden [military] coffers, Americas
schools, hospitals and public services are facing cutbacks and
Representative Henry Waxman
"The United States is
a society in which people not only can get by without knowing
much about the wider world but are systematically encouraged not
to think independently or critically and instead to accept the
mythology of the United States as a benevolent, misunderstood
giant as it lumbers around the world trying to do good."
"It's time for our business
and political leaders to help redefine morality beyond sex, drugs,
and rock and roll to include lying, hypocrisy, and callous indifference
to those in need."
"If the test of patriotism
comes only by reflexively falling into lockstep behind the leader
whenever the flag is waved, then what we have is a formula for
dictatorship, - not democracy... But the American way is to criticize
and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government
officials of this or any other country."
"If the U.S. really believes
that supporting terrorists makes you as guilty as the terrorists
themselves, then it would have to put on trial most of its military
and political leadership over the last handful of administrations,
"The media want to maintain
their intimate relation to state power. They want to get leaks,
they want to get invited to the press conferences. They want to
rub shoulders with the Secretary of State, all that kind of business.
To do that, you've got to play the game, and playing the game
means telling their lies, serving as their disinformation apparatus."
"An alternative [U.S.
foreign] policy offering real security would require ending the
support of oppressive rulers in the Middle East and elsewhere,
pursuing a more balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
changing our oil-dependent energy policy, and replacing the drive
for overwhelming global military dominance with policies for the
peaceful prevention of atrocities and deadly conflict."
Friends Committee on National
" Patriotism is the last
refuge of a scoundrel. "
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English
author and social critic
"There is no doubt that
if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists.
If we lived in a country where the police were allowed to search
your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country
where the government is entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop
on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail communications;
if we lived in a country where people could be held indefinitely
based ... on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, the government
would probably discover and arrest more terrorists, or would-be
terrorists.... But that wouldn't be a country in which we would
want to live."
Senator Russ Feingold
"The fact that we've been
a great democracy doesn't mean we will automatically keep being
one if we keep waving the flag."
"Those who own the country
ought to govern it."
John Jay, first chief justice
of the United States, 1787
"Iraq was the target because
neoconservatives wanted to remake the governments of the Middle
East, to secure long-term US. access to oil, to open the economies
to American investment and to protect Israel through installation
of governments friendly to the United States."
"The communists had Pravda.
Republicans have Fox."
"In a media universe where
you're likely to find right-wing conservatives on ABC, Fox, or
NPR, the facts don't matter; only the framing. And in the hands
of biased pundits posing as objective journalists, the framing
is always going to be the same: promilitary, pro-government, and
"The United States is
the world's largest consumer of oil .... Much of the world's oil
lies beneath Iraq and its Gulf neighbors... experts say oil played
a significant role in the decision to confront Iraq."
Council on Foreign Relations
"This is not about oil,
and anyone who thinks that is badly misunderstanding the situation."
"The trauma of 9/11 stimulated
infinite possibilities for worry - some quite plausible, but most
inspired by remote what-if fantasies. A society bingeing on fear
makes itself vulnerable to far more profound forms of destruction
than terror attacks. The "terrorism war", like a nostalgic
echo of the cold war, is using these popular fears to advance
a different agenda - the re-engineering of American life through
"A terrorist is someone
who has a bomb but doesn't have an air force."
"For the third time in
the last hundred years, the U.S. has invaded and occupied Haiti.
Working behind the scenes, the U.S. conducted a destabilization
campaign aimed at toppling the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
This is a message to the rest of the region: If you don't obey,
the U.S. will impose sanctions, overthrow your government, install
a client regime, and support death squads to crush any resistance."
"Democracy is not about
trust; it is about distrust. It is about accountability, exposure,
open debate, critical challenge, and popular input and feedback
from the citizenry. It is about responsible government. We have
to get our fellow Americans to trust their leaders less and themselves
more, trust their own questions and suspicions, and their own
desire to know what is going on."
"To become informed and
hold government accountable, the general public needs to obtain
news that is comprehensive yet interesting and understandable,
that conveys facts and outcomes, not cosmetic images and airy
promises. But that is not what the public demands."
"The United States is
the greatest threat to world peace, and has been for a long time,
and not merely because it is the world's only superpower. Equally
important, the United States is also far more disposed to use
its power than any other powerful nation currently is. Though
Americans are culturally and emotionally blind to the fact, the
mere intrusion of US power is, in and of itself, destabilizing."
"The corporations don't
have to lobby the government any more. They are the government."
"The men and women who
enlist in this country's military [should] be told the truth that
they are not protecting the United States, they are and always
have been protecting corporate interests."
"The job of the President
is to set the agenda and the job of the press is to follow the
agenda that the leadership sets."
Lawrence Grossman - longtime head
of PBS and NBC News
"[The ruling elites] know
who their enemies are, and their enemies are the people, the people
at home and the people abroad. Their enemies are anybody who wants
more social justice, anybody who wants to use the surplus value
of society for social needs rather than for individual class greed,
that's their enemy."
"From 1945 to 2003, the
United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments,
and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements fighting
against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US bombed some
25 countries, caused the end of life for several million people,
and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair."
"War, we have come to
believe, is a spectator sport. The military and the press ...
have turned war into a vast video arcade game. Its very essence
- death - is hidden from public view."
"A tiny portion of the
population controls the lion's share of the wealth and most of
the command positions of state, manufacturing, banking, investment,
publishing, higher education, philanthropy, and media... these
individuals exercise a preponderant influence over what is passed
off as public information and democratic discourse."
"The media serve the interests
of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing
their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established
privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly."
"[U.S.] domestic policy
... has focused on creating a massive welfare state for corporations
even as the minimal welfare state benefiting the majority of the
people was dismantled."
"Media manipulation in
the U.S. today is more efficient than it was in Nazi Germany,
because here we have the pretense that we are getting all the
information we want. That misconception prevents people from even
looking for the truth."
Mark Crispin Miller
"If you tell a lie big
enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe
it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State
can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military
consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for
the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the
truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the
truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
Joseph Goebbels, German Minister
of Propaganda, 1933-1945
"This country is in the
grip of a President who was not elected, who has surrounded himself
with thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or
here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care
nothing about what happens to the earth... The so-called war on
terrorism is not only a war on innocent people in other countries,
but it is also a war on the people of the United States: a war
on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth
of the country is being stolen from the people and handed over
to the superrich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And
the thieves are in the White House."
"George Bush and corporate
America are intent on eliminating taxes on all capital incomes.
Nor do they care if record budget deficits are the result. Many
of their more right-wing friends, including those in Congress,
actually want larger deficits. They see chronic, record deficits
as producing the budget crisis necessary to use as an excuse to
privatize Social Security and dismantle what remains of the Roosevelt
New Deal programs of the 1930s."
"We are the only advanced
nation without a national system of subsidized health care."
Elliott Currie, Crime and Punishment
"With each newly minted
crisis, US leaders roll out the same time-tested scenario. They
start demonizing a foreign leader ... charging them with being
communistic or otherwise dictatorial, dangerously aggressive,
power hungry, genocidal, given to terrorism or drug trafficking,
ready to deny us access to vital resources, harboring weapons
of mass destruction, or just inexplicably "anti-American"
and "anti-West." Lacking any information to the contrary,
the frightened public ... are swept along."
"[The Right] lie with
impunity. Let's face it. They're liars. They lied about the reason
they took our sons and daughters to war. They spend millions of
dollars in campaign ads saying they are for a prescription drug
benefit under Medicare while they work to destroy Medicare and
replace it with private plans and HMOs. They call their dirty
air legislation "Clear Skies" and their plan to give
the timber companies our trees, "Healthy Forests." They
call their job-killing economic program a "jobs program."
They say they are for peace when they are for war. Millions of
children are left behind under their miserly "No Child Left
Behind" education bill. They tout a child tax credit for
working families and then silently drop it in favor of more tax
cuts for millionaires."
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
"When a republic's most
venerable institutions no longer operate as they were intended,
it becomes possible for small cabals to usurp power, and, while
keeping the forms, corrupt the function of those institutions
for their own ends. Looking at things that way, the George W.
Bush presidency has been both result and symptom of the decadence
of America's constitutional mechanisms."
"Where did this idea come
from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care,
free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight
out of the pit of hell."
Texas State Representative Debbie
Riddle of Houston
"Somebody's paying the
corporations that destroyed Iraq and the corporations that are
rebuilding it. They're getting paid by the American taxpayer in
both cases. So we pay them to destroy the country, and then we
pay them to rebuild it. Those are gifts from U.S. taxpayer to
"The U.S. record of war
crimes has been, from the nineteenth century to the present, a
largely invisible one, with no government, no political leaders,
no military officials, no lower-level operatives held accountable
for criminal actions... Anyone challenging this mythology is quickly
marginalized, branded a traitor or Communist or terrorist or simply
a lunatic beyond the pale of reasonable discussion."
"America's punitive and
reactive response to crime is an integral part of the new social
Darwinism, the criminal justice counterpart of an increasingly
harsh attack on living standards and social supports, especially
for the poor ... America [is] a society in which a permanent state
of social disintegration is held in check only by the creation
of a swollen apparatus of confinement and control that has no
counterpart in our own history or in any other industrial democracy."
"The quest for homeland
security is heading ... toward the quasi-militarization of everyday
life ... If danger might lurk anywhere, maybe everything must
be protected and policed."
"Cheap labor has always
been at the heart of U.S.-Haitian relations, ever since the Haitian
Revolution in 1804. It was actually a slave rebellion, the first
and still the only successful one in modern history. The U.S.
sided with French colonialism as the U.S. economy was based on
slavery at the time and Haiti represented the first "dangerous
"Expecting FOX News to
report real news is about as silly as waiting for George Bush
and Dick Cheney to tell the truth... Americans care, but it's
tough to care when you don't know what's going on. That ignorance
is what the warmakers count on and what the corporate media delivers."
"The U.S. continues to
rank last among developed nations in official [international]
development assistance, giving only 0.12% of GNP."
Friends Committee on National
"The hidden hand of the
market will never work without a hidden fist - McDonald's cannot
flourish without McDonnell Douglas ..."
Thomas L. Friedman
"For the media owners,
allegations of a liberal bias make it easier for them to impose
the conservative bias they prefer. For the pseudoliberals who
work in the media system, confessing to a liberal bias is far
more comfortable than admitting that they've sold out their beliefs
for a nice salary. It's only because the mainstream media is so
conservative that all these right-wing pundits can make accusations
of liberal bias without opposition."
John K . Wilson
" The political leadership
of this country, as exemplified by the campaign positions of Bush
and Kerry, has become so obsessed with our own security fears
and so convinced of our own virtue that it has very little to
offer in the way of positive socioeconomic development initiatives.
To most of the people of Latin America, Africa and Asia, the United
States has largely become irrelevant to their hopes for a better
future -- except as a potential market for some of their goods
or as a source of outsourced jobs."
" Few trends could so
thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society
as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility
other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.
in the United States is usually restricted to the moderate to
conservative range that precludes discussion of class conflict.
If "class warfare" is mentioned, it is because a conservative
wants to suggest that certain matters should be kept off-limits
in American political discussion"
"Americans tend to believe
they have the best health care in the world, but in truth it is
a second-rate system and destined to get a lot worse and much
Donald Barlett and James Steele
"[American leaders] are
perhaps not so much immoral as they are amoral. It's not that
they take pleasure in causing so much death and suffering. It's
that they just don't care ... the same that could be said about
a sociopath. As long as the death and suffering advance the agenda
of the empire, as long as the right people and the right corporations
gain wealth and power and privilege and prestige, as long as the
death and suffering aren't happening to them or people close to
them ... then they just don't care about it happening to other
people, including the American soldiers whom they throw into wars
and who come home - the ones who make it back alive - with Agent
Orange or Gulf War Syndrome eating away at their bodies. American
leaders would not be in the positions they hold if they were bothered
by such things."
"What happened was the
gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed
by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to
believing that the situation was so complicated that the government
had to act on information which the people could not understand,
or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could
not be released because of national security ...
To live in the process is absolutely
not to notice it -- please try to believe me -- unless one has
a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most
of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so
inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, regretted.
Believe me this is true. Each
act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse.
You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking
occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will
join you in resisting somehow.
Suddenly it all comes down,
all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more
accurately, what you haven't done (for that was all that was required
of most of us: that we did nothing) ... You remember everything
now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond
German professor after World War
II describing the rise of Nazism to a journalist
"The U.S. is a signatory
to nine multilateral treaties that it has either blatantly violated
or gradually subverted. The Bush Administration is now outright
rejecting a number of those treaties, and in doing so, places
global security in jeopardy, as other nations feel entitled to
do the same. The rejected treaties include: The Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Treaty Banning Antipersonnel Mines,
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a
protocol to create a compliance regime for the Biological Weapons
Convention (BWC), the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, and the
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM). The U.S. is also not complying
with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Chemical
Weapons Commission (CWC), the BWC, and the U.N. framework Convention
on Climate Change."
Project Censored 2005
"The moment war is declared...
the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become
convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves.
They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to
allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the
environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory
of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed
scheme of things, come within the range of the Government's disapprobation...
The State is the organization
of the herd to act offensively or defensively against another
herd similarly organized...
War is the health of the State.
It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible
forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government
in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals
which lack the larger herd sense...
But in general, the nation
in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values
culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could
not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Loyalty-or
mystic devotion to the State-becomes the major imagined human
In a nation at war, every citizen
identifies himself with the whole, and feels immensely strengthened
in that identification. The purpose and desire of the collective
community live in each person who throws himself wholeheartedly
into the cause of war...
It cannot be too firmly realized
that war is a function of States and not of nations, indeed that
it is the chief function of States...
War is the health of the State.
Only when the State is at war does the modern society function
with that unity of sentiment, simple uncritical patriotic devotion,
cooperation of services, which have always been the ideal of the
Randolph Bourne, "The State",
"Free and responsible
government by popular consent just can't exist without an informed
"Four sorrows ... are
certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative effect
guarantees that the U.S. will cease to resemble the country outlined
in the Constitution of 1787. First, there will be a state of perpetual
war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they
may be and a spreading reliance on nuclear weapons among smaller
nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut. Second
is a loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency
eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co-equal 'executive
branch' of government into a military junta. Third is the replacement
of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification
of war, power, and the military legions. Lastly, there is bankruptcy,
as the United States pours its economic resources into ever more
grandiose military projects and shortchanges the education, health,
and safety of its citizens."
"Individuals have international
duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience ...
Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic
laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal,
"Those in power are blind
devotees to private enterprise. They accept that degree of socialism
implicit in the vast subsidies to the military-industrial-complex,
but not that type of socialism which maintains public projects
for the disemployed and the unemployed alike."
William O. Douglas, former U.S.
Supreme Court Justice, 1969
"Never doubt that a small
group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
" Many of us regard ourselves
as mildly liberal or centrist politically, voice fairly pleasant
sentiments about our poor children, contribute money to send poor
kids to summer camp, feel benevolent. We're not nazis; we're nice
people. We read sophisticated books. We go to church. We go to
synagogue. Meanwhile, we put other people's children into an economic
and environmental death zone. We make it hard for them to get
out. We strip the place bare of amenities. And we sit back and
say to ourselves, "Well, I hope that they don't kill each
other off. But if they do, it's not my fault."
" The range of debate
between the dominant U.S. [political] parties tends to closely
resemble the range of debate within the business class. "
"Quite simply, there can
be no popular sovereignty without a real belief in the value of
government. If government does not assume and carry out public
responsibilities, less accountable institutions such as the corporation
will do the job in their own self-interest."
Charles Derber, Corporation Nation
"They that can give up
essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve
neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, 1759
"If those in charge of
our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of
press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure
in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets.
We will control ourselves."
"The goal of conservative
rulers around the world, led by those who occupy the seats of
power in Washington, is the systematic rollback of democratic
gains, public services, and common living standards around the
" To accept opinions is
to gain the good solid feeling of being correct without having
to think. "
C. Wright Mills - from the book
The Power Elite
"Propaganda is to a democracy
what violence is to a dictatorship."
" The only way to abolish
war is to make peace heroic."
John Dewey, American philosopher
and educator, 1859-1952
" It is only when a society
shares caring values that its people can feel secure. "
"The only thing worth globalizing
"In the United States,
both the upper levels of the Republican and Democratic Parties
are in the pay of the corporate media and communication giants."
Robert McChesney and John Nichols
" The most unpardonable
sin in society is independence of thought."
"For the last fifty years
we've been supporting right-wing governments, and that is a puzzlement
to me...I don't understand what there is in the American character...
that almost automatically, even when we have a liberal President,
we support fascist dictatorships or are tolerant towards them."
"No form of government,
once in power, can be trusted to limit its own ambition, to extend
freedom and to wither away. This means that it is up to the citizenry,
those outside of power, to engage in permanent combat with the
state, short of violent, escalatory revolution, but beyond the
gentility of the ballot-box, to insure justice, freedom and well
" I am astonished each
time I come to the U.S. by the ignorance of a high percentage
of the population, which knows almost nothing about Latin America
or about the world. It's quite blind and deaf to anything that
may happen outside the frontiers of the U.S..
" When everyone is thinking
the same, no one is thinking."
"To provide its happy
people with perpetual fun is now the deepest purpose of Western
" With unfailing consistancy,
U.S. intervention has been on the side of the rich and powerful
of various nations at the expense of the poor and needy. Rather
than strengthening democracies, U.S. leaders have overthrown numerous
democratically elected governments or other populist regimes in
dozens of countries ... whenever these nations give evidence of
putting the interests of their people ahead of the interests of
multinational corporate interests."
" If an American is concerned
only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the peoples
of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage
in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence?
Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is
a crime, but the murder of citizens of another nation in war is
an act of heroic virtue? "
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"There is no reason to
accept the doctrines crafted to sustain power and privilege, or
to believe that we are constrained by mysterious and unknown social
laws. These are simply decisions made within institutions that
are subject to human will and that must face the test of legitimacy.
And if they do not meet the test, they can be replaced by other
institutions that are more free and more just, as has happened
often in the past."
" What would have happened
if millions of American and British people, struggling with coupons
and lines at the gas stations, had learned that in 1942 Standard
Oil of New Jersey [part of the Rockefeller empire] managers shipped
the enemy's fuel through neutral Switzerland and that the enemy
was shipping Allied fuel? Suppose the public had discovered that
the Chase Bank in Nazi-occupied Paris after Pearl Harbor was doing
millions of dollars' worth of business with the enemy with the
full knowledge of the head office in Manhattan [the Rockefeller
family among others?] Or that Ford trucks were being built for
the German occupation troops in France with authorization from
Dearborn, Michigan? Or that Colonel Sosthenes Behn, the head of
the international American telephone conglomerate ITT, flew from
New York to Madrid to Berne during the war to help improve Hitler's
communications systems and improve the robot bombs that devastated
London? Or that ITT built the FockeWulfs that dropped bombs on
British and American troops? Or that crucial balI bearings were
shipped to Nazi-associated customers in Latin America with the
collusion of the vice-chairman of the U.S. War Production Board
in partnership with Goering's cousin in Philadelphia when American
forces were desperately short of them? Or that such arrangements
were known about in Washington and either sanctioned or deliberately
Charles Higham, researcher, about
U.S.-Nazi collaboration during WWII