On the Use Value of Conspiracy Data for the Power Elite

By Paul Street, published on ZNet’s daily commentaries, March 28, 2007

Excerpts: Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading global consulting firm that “has more than 18,000 employees serving clients on six continents.” According to its website, the U.S.-based company “integrat[es] the full range of consulting capabilities” and “is the one firm that helps government and commercial clients solve their toughest problems with services in strategy, operations, organization and change, and information technology” …

… “Declassification of information that no longer needs to be protected is an excellent objective. Indeed a very large amount of the material reviewed appeared to be of no use – intelligence or otherwise [as]…is to be expected in records that are 45 to 50 years old. This does not mean releasing information solely based on age or extremely narrow review criteria. Some information or collection of information, especially in the area of nuclear weapons, does not lose its value with the passage of time.”

Speaking of old government information holding “use” and “value,” it is interesting to note that the document made an interesting case for releasing “Kennedy assassination data:” such release, Booz allen Hamilton said, will help keep Internet researchers “diverted” from substantive matters of U.S. policy and focused instead on the pursuit of trivial irrelevance related to the long ago death of JFK …

… Even if substantive basis existed for 9/11 conspiracy theories, the industry is a great diversion from the most critical matter at the heart of real threats to ordinary citizens at home and abroad: the incitement of terrorist attacks against the U.S. (with the 9/11 actions and much worse well within the capacity of people U.S. policymakers have deeply antagonized) by the structurally super-empowered agents of a brazen imperialist project that privileges U.S. global dominance (and related U.S. control over pivotal Middle Eastern energy resources) over human survival and over the survival of ordinary Americans (3).

Decades later, perhaps, Booz Allen Hamilton or some other spooky multinational consulting firm will produce a similar report regarding the declassification of archived materials from the early 21st century. Releasing bits of tantalizing data about 9/11 could be useful, the firm will argue, for diverting citizens from the documentary record of the hubristic and imperialist decisions and agendas that provoked 9/11 and led to the disastrous and illegal occupation of oil-rich Iraq in 2003 and then to a massive, partially nuclear U.S. assault on Iran. The last action, it will possibly have happened, killed a half million Iranians and helped spark a Middle East conflagration leading to the death of millions and to numerous terror attacks (including the use of radioactive materials) against U.S. citizens at home and abroad.

Some in the battered U.S. public will perhaps have an “unrestrained appetite” for getting to the heart of these key historical matters. It might be useful, future U.S.-affiliated corporate-Orwellian information managers will argue, to occasionally toss those angry Americans a few spicy 9/11 Internet scraps to throw them off the trail of questions that matter.

[Paul Street is the author of Empire and Inequality and the World Since 9/11 (Paradigm, 2004), Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Routledge, 2005) and Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis (forthcoming in 2007)]. (full text).
He can be reached here.

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