The U.S. government and military learned a lot about control of the media and public relations from the debacle of the Vietnam War. As a result, we now see embedded media, full control of corporate media content, and incessant use of the corporate media for propaganda. We have even seen deliberate lethal attacks by the U.S. military on media efforts that “threaten” U.S. propaganda efforts, as in the firing of tank munitions into a hotel in Baghdad were media personnel were stationed, and other U.S. lethal and non-lethal attacks on media personnel of various nations and media outlets.
A matter that should be of grave concern to peace lovers and persons of conscience is the possibility of U.S. military control of the internet during wartime. And since the proposed War on Terror or World War IV (as described by former CIA chief James Woolsey) is said to potentially last for decades, the U.S. military and government could make an arbitrary determination that wartime status would allow for internet control on an indefinite basis.
The Project for the New American Century produced an outline of U.S. military and strategic planning that specifically made provision for wartime control of the internet by the U.S. military. Details were not specific in that document, but a careful reading reveals a desire by the U.S. government to deny access to the internet to perceived “enemies” and in the Orwellian world of today, any person of conscience could be perceived by U.S. authorities as an enemy, particularly if they network with other like-minded persons or advocate policies of justice and peace instead of brutal, strategic, natural-resource oriented warmaking as practiced and promoted by neo-conservatives.
We know that the internet, including website productions and electronic mailing has been a tremendous force in communicating, motivating, organizing, and encouraging persons of conscience worldwide against the powerful assaults of propaganda and lies by government and government-controlled media. The internet has allowed people to report facts, share photographs, debate and review philosophy, and otherwise carry out real-time communications in a very effective and inexpensive way on a world-wide basis. This fact may be considered a “threat” to future military and strategic policy implementation by the U.S. and its allies.
In a future war, will peacemakers attempt to communicate, only to find that their access to the internet has been denied by military technology? Will the government be able to detect dissent by technological means and come to people’s homes to arrest and detain them without counsel based on internet communications — perhaps confiscating computer hard drives to make their cases?
Persons of conscience must not be gullible or naiive. These things are very possible in a world of the future, and perhaps in the near future. Denial of civil liberties in today’s America may lead to more denial in the future. Complacency now may force a huge cost later.
Therefore, it is critical that the loss of all civil rights be challenged now and in the future, every step of the way at all costs. Americans must be informed about what is possibly at stake, and Americans must fight hard in the next election for a regime change, as well as a philosophy change in the American government and in the American military. The courts must not be stocked with judges who pay scant attention to civil rights in favor of “security” or corporate rights.
American freedoms are being lost now in a way that is truly frightening to anyone who cherishes our history and our constitution. Once lost, these rights may be difficult to regain.
Let us learn our lessons before the confiscators of liberty learn and perfect theirs.
The writer is a member of several falconry and ornithological clubs and organizations. He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from California, USA.