The grand manipulation

Americans are the most manipulated people in history. Since 2008, the economy has been manipulated for the benefit of a few oversized “banks too big to fail.” US foreign policy has been manipulated to serve the hegemonic agenda of a handful of neoconservatives. These manipulations have undercut the consumer basis of the US economy and have pushed the American people into a conflict situation with Russia and China. 

US economic collapse and nuclear war are the two most likely outcomes of Washington’s manipulations of the American people. Time and again, the American public has fallen for transparent lies and orchestrated events. 2015 is a decisive year. Will a credulous people cast off their gullibility, or will they be swept away by economic collapse and war?

There are reasons to believe that the government’s manipulations have overreached and are crossing the point of believability, even on the part of credulous Americans. Let’s review some of these manipulations — first, economic, and then foreign policy.

Unemployment number is meaningless

On January 9, the US government told Americans that the unemployment rate had fallen to a comforting 5.6 percent, an indication that the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing was successful in restoring the US economy. A 5.6 percent rate of unemployment suggests that Americans have a reasonable chance of finding a job. Yet we know there are millions of discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job.

The explanation of this paradox is that the 5.6 percent unemployment rate (U.3) does not include unemployed people who have not looked for a job in the previous four weeks. These unemployed are called “discouraged workers.” If they have been discouraged for less than one year, they are counted in a seldom-reported measure of unemployment (U.6). This rate stands at 11.2 percent, twice as high as the unemployment rate stressed by government and financial media.

The 11.2 percent rate is an official measure, but it is not publicized because it indicates a dismal employment outlook 5.5 years after the 2008 recession was declared over, in June 2009. What kind of recovery is it when the unemployment rate remains at 11.2 percent years after the recession has officially ended?

The story worsens. The 11.2 percent rate does not include the millions of unemployed long-term discouraged workers (those discouraged for more than one year). Prior to 1994, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics counted the long-term discouraged as unemployed, and the government of Canada still does.  John Williams ( continues to include the long-term discouraged. When the long-term discouraged are added to the U.6 measure, the rate of unemployment again doubles, to 23 percent.

In other words, the actual unemployment rate is actually four times higher than the comforting figure released January 9.

Inflation rate falls victim, too

The government engages in similar deception with the inflation rate. If the price of an item in the index rises, a lower-priced item is substituted, thus eliminating inflation by substitution. Inflation also is eliminated by redefining a price rise as a quality improvement.

By undercounting inflation, the government reports price increases as real economic growth, denies cost-of-living increases to Social Security recipients, and justifies paying savers negative real-interest rates. These manipulations provide banks with free money, thus boosting bank profits while encouraging the stock market with “good news.”

Americans who search for jobs without success know other Americans in the same situation. As time passes, they learn from experience that the unemployment rate cannot be low and falling when jobs are harder to find. People who shop for food and pay utility bills know inflation is far higher than the government reports. Experience and the passage of time make the government’s numbers less and less believable.

The financial markets also are manipulated. To protect the dollar from declining in value due to its overproduction, the Federal Reserve’s bullion bank agents drive down the price of gold and silver by dumping uncovered shorts in the futures market. Since 2011, we have had the extraordinary situation in which the prices of gold and silver have been driven down despite strong demand and constraints on supply — a result that can be achieved only by manipulation in the futures market.

The dollar’s value also is manipulated by foreign central banks in cooperation with Washington. The Japanese and European central banks print yen and euros to protect the dollar’s exchange value. If all major currencies also are being printed, the dollar cannot decline.

The government’s Plunge Protection Team can prevent major stock-market corrections by stepping in and purchasing S&P futures, thus preventing the market’s overvaluation from bursting the bubble. 

These manipulations are apparent to experienced investors. Sooner or later, attentive Americans will realize that the government’s deceit is not limited to the marketplace, but extends into foreign policy.

Fooled, over and over, into war

Ever since the Clinton regime’s demonizations of Yugoslavia and Serbia, Americans have been deceived into supporting expensive wars and foreign-policy positions that are not in their interest. Washington’s demonizations of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran and of Muslims generally have resulted in 14 years of wars in which seven or eight countries have been invaded, bombed and attacked with drones. Increasingly, people at home and abroad understand these wars and bombings are based on lies and deceptions. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Assad did not use chemical weapons in Syria. Gaddafi did not issue Viagra to his troops to assist in the rape of Libyan women. Iran does not have a nuclear-weapons program. 

Millions of Muslims have been killed, maimed and dislocated by these wars, and tens of thousands of American soldiers have been killed and physically or psychologically maimed. The destruction of countries and the massive human hurt happened because the US government lied and deceived.

The most extraordinary aspect of the Charlie Hebdo event is that the French cartoonists are being championed in the name of free speech. Yet the Anglo-American world does not have free speech. Free speech, if it involves criticism or exposure of the government, is being redefined as “domestic extremism.” Criticism of Washington now implies that the critic is hostile to the public, a possible extremist who must be deterred before he inflicts harm on innocents. As Glenn Greenwald noted, try satirizing Israelis in the manner that Charlie Hebdo satirized Muslims, and you will find out how little free speech there is.  Free speech is used to demonize Washington’s hand-picked enemies. That’s about as far as it goes.

As 2014 drew to a close, Washington was at work demonizing Russia and its president. Russia no more invaded Ukraine than Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But despite years of experience with the government’s foreign-policy lies, polls show that more than 60 percent of the US population has fallen for Washington’s demonization of Russia.

We now have two decades of evidence that Washington uses demonization as a prelude to war. Russia and China, recognizing Washington’s intent to destabilize, have formed a strategic alliance. War with Russia and China would not be like war with Iraq and Libya, or drone attacks on Yemen and Pakistan.  Unlike Saddam Hussein and Iran, Russia and China do have weapons of mass destruction — plenty of them.

Whereas Americans are not subject to any meaningful retaliation from Washington’s wars against Mus
lims, Washington’s aggressive warlike policy toward Russia and China, ringing both countries with military bases while demonizing both with false charges, threatens the life of every American and every person on earth. A threat of this magnitude could pull Americans out of their insouciance and force them to confront the government over its dangerous manipulations of public opinion.

Governments successful with their deceptions end up overreaching. The Charlie Hebdo affair possibly is an overreach. The Paris shootings have many characteristics of a false-flag operation. The attack on the cartoonists’ office was a disciplined professional attack associated with special forces; yet the suspects later corralled and killed seemed bumbling and unprofessional. It is like they were two different sets of people.

Muslim terrorists are usually prepared to die in the attack; yet the two professionals who hit Charlie Hebdo so hard escaped. Their identities were established by the unprofessional and unlikely act of leaving their identification in the getaway car. This reminds me of the undamaged passport miraculously found among the ruins of the two World Trade Center towers. The incriminating passport was the only undamaged item in the entire ruins and was the basis for identifying the 9/11 alleged hijackers.

It is a plausible inference that the ID left in the getaway car was the ID of one of the two brothers later killed by police, from whom we will never hear anything, and not the ID of the professionals who attacked Charlie Hebdo.  An important fact that supports this inference is the report that the third suspect in the attack, Hamyd Mourad, the alleged driver of the getaway car, when seeing his name circulating on social media as a suspect, realized the danger he was in and quickly turned himself in to police for protection against being murdered by security forces as a terrorist.

Hamyd Mourad says he has an ironclad alibi. If so, this makes him the despoiler of a false-flag attack. If that is the case, he is likely to be coerced or tortured into some sort of confession to support the official story.

Mainstream media clueless

The American and European media have ignored this important story. I googled Hamyd Mourad and all I found (January 12) was the main US and European media reporting that the third suspect had turned himself in. The news was reported in a fashion that gave credence to the accusation that the suspect who turned himself in was part of the attack. Not a single US mainstream media source reported that the alleged suspect turned himself in because he had an ironclad alibi. The list of sources that reported Mourad’s turning himself in to police report in a way that can be read as confirmation of his guilt. Some merely reported it in a headline with no coverage in the report. The list of those I googled includes:
The Washington Post (January 7, by Griff Witte and Anthony Faiola)
Die Welt (Germany), “One suspect has turned himself in to police in connection with Wednesday’s massacre at the offices of Parisian satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo”
• ABC News (January 7), “Youngest suspect in Charlie Hebdo Attack turns himself in”

• CNN (January 8), “Citing sources, the Agence France Presse news agency reported that an 18-year-old suspect in the attack had surrendered to police.”

Another puzzle in the official story that remains unreported, according to my 6 p.m. Google search on January 12, is the alleged suicide of a high-ranking member of the French Judicial Police who had a lead role in the Charlie Hebdo investigation. For unknown reasons, a police official involved in the most important investigation of a lifetime decided to kill himself in his police office in the middle of the night while writing his report on his investigation. The alternative media reports it:  So did the UK Telegraph. But no suspicion is seen in the police official’s death, and as far as the US “presstitute” media is concerned, it did not happen. There are no reports, domestic or foreign, at the time of writing, about his death and whether his report has disappeared.

As Gerald Celente has pointed out for years and as Patrick L. Smith writes in CounterPunch (Vol. 21, No. 10, 2014), the media serve as presstitutes. The media justify withholding information from the public on the basis of patriotism. Patriotism requires the media to support the government, not the truth.  Patrick Smith quotes former New York Times editor Jill Abramson, who says in defense of the New York Times misleading the American people: “Journalists are Americans, too. I consider myself to be a patriot.” Of course, journalists lie to us because their careers are controlled by government and corporations dependent on government. Patriotism has little to do with it, but it serves as a cover. Patriotism is like “national security,” a cloak for the lies and crimes of government.

Here we have it. The media lie to us because they are patriots. We believe the lies because we are patriots. More likely, the fact of the matter might be that both the media and the people are morally and spiritually corrupt.

In other words, we willfully live in The Matrix and are our own worst enemy.

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