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The Magic Security Cult and Its Bungled Trip to Paradise

McKIllopAndrew McKillop
21st Century Wire

As far as the Establishment is concerned, the 21st century should be defined as a running series of one major ‘threat’ after another. Whether they are conscious of it or not, the audience has been trained to react accordingly, without giving a second thought about what part they are actually playing in this drama.

Like a really bad film (certainly not a remake of George Orwell’s 1984), national security “concerns and threats” and the herd political response to these mostly fake threats – produces farce after farce. Absurdity piled on top of imbecility.

Although it wore itself out and is winding down, we were told by green gods that global warming was an epic challenge to our civilization which needed urgent extreme action by stern-jawed great leaders. After 8 years of propaganda, the issue has been reduced to concerns regarding electric bicycles.

Economic challenges, as we also know, mutated into an enduring farce of selectively enriching the rich and the criminal bankster-broker fraternity, and impoverishing everybody else. The record got stuck in the groove. When our great leaders blether and gurgle about “the economic crisis”, these days, most people turn off.

Of all the threat bubbles created thus far, the most successful security farce cooked-up by backroom boy nerds for their employers – those great leaders who rule over us – has to be the Terror War with a Middle Eastern flavour. Like a recycled Christmas fruit cake, this is the gift that never stops giving, or so it seems.


For reasons we could wrongly call “historical”, the terror war security cult emerged in the USA. Perhaps it was designed as a sideshow to take peoples’ minds off the failing economy and rising social inequality. Other reasons might have existed – even an intrinsic death cult and desire for self-humiliation. Plain old stupidity certainly helped. Think of it as the CIA’s plunge into Hollywood-Bollywood  — and the absurd. Anything to do with Guantanamo and its semi-secret terrorist’s workcamp reeducation center is either somber or absurd, mawkish or repulsive. Recent revelations make it clear the spiraling number of CIA-type outfits “defending national security” have created a fully-staffed shadow war, where private contractors and some of the world’s most notorious (but secret) prisoners and villains enact various play scenes, usually armed, usually ending in a few “collateral dead” to spice up the evening TV news reports – carefully scripted in advance – that the consumer herd will gobble. Mindlessly.

Through the fog of a phony war, bosses have quietly erased the line between what is military and what is corporate. Anything to do with the US Navy SEAL’s and its lookalikes in other “troubled and challenged democracies” (end of citation) is likewise tainted, mutated and absurd.  These streetwise killers, if you didnt know it, are being privatized and encouraged to turn a profit. When it concerns fully-reeducated Guantamites, the Gitmo Babies, these are paid from multimillion dollar “secret slush fund” called The Pledge. Pledged to national security, of course, and motivated to deliver shareholder value.


Possibly very revealing, the Associated Press reported in November that the CIA handpicked a few dozen men from its stock of terror suspects at Guantanamo and trained them as double agents in the “Penny Lane” program. At Guantanamo, one of the torture programs was called “Strawberry Fields”, because the highest-value detainees needed torturing “forever”, but in fact were able to be recycled, reeducated, and sent back out into the theatre. These Penny Lanesters were then sent to infiltrate Al Qaeda cells in the dangerous Middle East and elsewhere – and of course invented cells themselves, and then infiltrated them. This was, and still is a nice way to cook up drone attack targets for so-called selective assassination.

Going back to the black-and-white TV era of bakelite discs turning at 78 rpm, secret double-agent programs were a standard fixture and fitting for the Cold War. In some ways, all we have today is a Bollywood color-enhanced version, but this version is drolefully and and remarkably unsuccessful. In fact it is much worse than that – it is a deliberate disaster. Or an accidental disaster – there is not much difference. What counts is the anarchy-drive to privatized the military under the banner of ‘security’, in an massive push to conceal spending and to draw down the gusher of funding that exploded on the US scene from September 2001. Spend and protect, while serving the true shareholders, now called “stakeholders”.

The creation of the War on Terror meant that an old and failing Cold War crowd of contractors got a new lease on life. The Bush Sr mob with their companies like Booz Allen were put in charge of intelligence gathering. The new boys like Blackwater (now tastefully renamed Xe Services, then Academi), Hyperion/ Qitec all boomed. They employed anybody at all and charged the US government per hour, for example Edward Snowden’s job was to “perform special tasks in information technology”. The new boys would help the downsized, spend-less government departments and employees.

Zero Dark Thirty: More fictional theatre for a well-trained public.

Glamor has also been a very important aspect in selling this, of course Bollywood-style. James Bond was back in business and on the prowl, in the streets of Lahore, Benghazi, Baghdad, Kabul, Beirut, Sanaa, Port Said and a long list of other places where trouble-making and provocation was (and is) needed. The ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ treatment was certainly laid on thick. The  endless need for self-justification and corporate communication – advertising, that is – results in major government friendly news outlets carrying regular tidbits on these heroic works to defend national security. This is what they call “Global Response”.

Reports in supposedly highly serious newspapers, like the Washington Post or New York Times paint a picture of shadow-lurking operatives who do not meet foreign nationals or learn their languages and do not write intelligence reports after their three- or four-month missions. They are there to provide an “unobtrusive layer of security” for the government employees tasked with the right stuff. Call it Security Tourism.


On a very regular basis, double agents turn out to be triple ones. This again isn’t anything new – the Cold War not only kept the so-called military industrial complex alive, but also a herd of spy book and film writers and producers. The books or films ended with what you half-suspected all along, the good guy was bad, and the others were terrible. Today however, this entertainment business got mixed with a new and major, very well-funded corporate activity. Hollywood and media are not just selling stories now, they are selling weapons, contractor services and technology. Any fool can see it.

Business needs advertising! The new military-industrial complex has to keep its mostly-male schizophrenic and megalomaniac operatives – their operating names if not their faces – in the media on a regular basis. Based on gung ho competition, it spawns lookalike monkey doers everywhere.

Street scene technology, like the times, have also moved on to kamikaze suicide bombing – making the collateral death tolls often very impressive, but nighttime TV news death voyeurs seem to lap-up the body parts on the sidewalk. They feel even more protected and served, when they see that in Baghdad or Beghanzi on a regular basis, but go ape when a pale and tacky version is enacted for them in Boston – allegedly with a kitchen pressure-cooker bomb, using shotgun cartridge scrapings as the explosive. You’d think they were in Beirut, when in fact they are not. Americans have been trained well.

Strange times! Hypocrisy democracy.

Spearhead actors and bit part players in the post-9/11 security contractors war make it into the news with startling regularity. Unlike their Hollywood cousins, however, they shun Happy Endings because that would be very bad for business. The news they make is always bad. Rather often, they blow themselves up with a range of former colleagues, and of course collateral persons in the wrong place at the wrong time. Among the reasons they do this, we find pure and simple corporate jealousy of the outfit that got the biggest scrapings from the national security banquet table. The high-tech weapons and derring-do playact ends with a vulgar blowout.


Sometimes we get well-scripted journalistic pieces, in our impeccably truthful media, about these farcical but bloody events. In January 2011, for example, a GSO or Global Security Operative employed by a GS contractor, Raymond Davis, felt he had to shoot his way out of what he thought was a difficult situation in Lahore, Pakistan. He was a US Army Special Forces veteran, an ex-Blackwater Boy, and he spent his time taking photos of  “military installations” in the Pakistani NW Frontier tribal areas, because it was pretty certain Al Qaeda was doing the same thing, and the photo set would or could throw up nice drone attack targets. But one day (the 27th January 2011) he was stopped in his unmarked car by two men, so he shot them dead and took photos of their bodies. The backup squad sent to save him from the local safe house then careened down a one-way street the wrong way, killed a road user and injured some bystanders. What could be more discreet?

Davis was caught by traffic police, taken to a police station and jailed. To be sure, local Pakistani and US media took up the story, followed by international media. Just as surely Davis was released, but the Pakistani victims were given $2.3 million in compensation. The Benghazi disaster of 2012 doesn’t need retelling one more time, but the supposed GS goal of having CIA safe houses and cells in Benghazi was because the looted arsenals of Muammar Gaddafi included Stinger missiles which had to be tracked down and recovered. Exactly how Gaddafi was able to purchase this potent high tech juju with his petrodollars was never disclosed.

The Cold War, which ran for a little more than 40 years but ended abruptly in 1989, was such a great invention of “global security concerns and threats” that it had to be reinvented, but with a very crowded playlist this time around. The Edward Snowden story, for example, started internationally and keeps getting traction. At least a half-dozen US, Russian, Chinese and other security services and their operatives were on the Snowden caper – before the story even started!  Supposedly secret NSA programs sucking up incredible amounts of global communications are duplicated by smaller-but-trying competitor outfits in any developed country you care to name, as revealed during the 2013 “scandal” of Angela Merkel’s eavesdropped cellphone.


There are so-predictable howls of outrage across the planet, from spied-on heads of state down to their dumb waiters and bodyguards, whenever a spy-security story breaks. The universal claim is we might be or are witnessing the rise of an Orwellian global secret police which will clamp down on dissent everywhere.

Nobody notes the security “bizniss” is firstly very, very well-funded, and secondly is privatized. It is obliged to invent outrages to keep itself in bizniss, spending your money.

Simply, the type and range of farcical events and “scandals”, with or without the body parts on the sidewalk, shows we need another explanation – desperation. To be sure, we could start with professional esteem and acumen. Top intelligence officials and GS corporate directors permanently fear they will be seen as having done a poor job, and must strive to prove their worth. Being dumb as well as passably megalomaniac, the only way they can do this is more of the same.

As a former top aide to Leon Panetta (former CIA director and US defense secretary) told the media in 2012, “If you’re looking for a needle in the haystack, you first need a haystack”. In other words forget about the needle and build plenty of haystacks while the sun shines and the taxpayers’ dollars roll in. As Mr Barack Obama (a US politician claimed to be president) said, following the Angela Merkel snooping scandal, the NSA’s great work has prevented or thwarted “54 plots to date”. He was not obliged to provide any proof of the count – because its secret! CIA competitors, like the NSA and FBI inside the US, and their lookalikes outside the US, and the global security bizniss crowd or ratpack, are obliged to trumpet their victories.

Despite stunning investments of funds running into the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, per agency, and the feelgood doubling of the playing field with the private contractors, ineptitude and farcical errors are the rule of the game. According to an Associated Press account of “Penny Lane”, Al Qaeda never trusted the former Guantanamo Bay detainees released into their midst and resented the Penny Lanesters’ attempts to set up their own designer terror bombings. This absurd program, officially at least, was declared a failure and canceled in 2006.

Meanwhile of course, the drone war has to go on – because it is an official success. It really does kill people, even if most of them are civilians! This particular war on terror, as plenty of leading US politicians say, has now completely morphed from war on terror, to War For Terror. In leading target countries – like Yemen – the number of declared Islamic militants sympathetic to or members of Al Qaeda have grown exponentially since the drone war started in 2002. Kill enough civilians, called “collateral dead” and you will get blowback.

The howls of rage are a pure waste of time, unfortunately. Only the next and last stage in the massive global tragic-comic farce, and its killing sprees, can roll down the curtains. This will be the Spy Versus Spy phase, when the operative fight it out between themselves.

Their present usually-small scale turf wars will go critical. Their street theater outrages will play out in the security-obsessed, fear-riddled west where the farce was invented, bringing it all back home.

And the man with the can of Coor in his right hand says, “Bring it on!”.

READ MORE WAR ON TERROR NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire W.O.T. Files



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Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue