Thom Hartmann at Common Dreams -
Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit — And Power — concerning a three
The Power of Nightmares, written and produced by Adam
Curtis, that was aired by the BBC in October. Guess what? The current
war on “terror” is the second time that Rumsfeld and Cheney have
invented, out of whole cloth, a reason to pour billions of dollars
into their war-making companies. You can view the documentary
here (Real video). A better copy of the third hour is
here. A transcript, including links to Bit Torrents of the video
(which didn’t work for me), is
here. My mirror of the transcript is at
According to this carefully researched and well-vetted BBC
documentary, Richard Nixon, following in the steps of his mentor and
former boss Dwight D. Eisenhower, believed it was possible to end the
Cold War and eliminate fear from the national psyche. The nation need
no longer be afraid of communism or the Soviet Union. Nixon worked out
a truce with the Soviets, meeting their demands for safety as well as
the US needs for security, and then announced to Americans that they
need no longer be afraid.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon returned from the Soviet Union with a
treaty worked out by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the beginning
of a process Kissinger called “détente.” On June 1, 1972, Nixon
gave a speech in which he said, “Last Friday, in Moscow, we witnessed
the beginning of the end of that era which began in 1945. With this
step, we have enhanced the security of both nations. We have begun to
reduce the level of fear, by reducing the causes of fear–for our two
peoples, and for all peoples in the world.”
But Nixon left amid scandal and Ford came in, and Ford’s Secretary of
Defense (Donald Rumsfeld) and Chief of Staff (Dick Cheney) believed it
was intolerable that Americans might no longer be bound by
fear. Without fear, how could Americans be manipulated?
Rumsfeld and Cheney began a concerted effort — first secretly and then
openly — to undermine Nixon’s treaty for peace and to rebuild the
state of fear and, thus, reinstate the Cold War.
And these two men — 1974 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Ford
Chief of Staff Dick Cheney — did this by claiming that the Soviets had
secret weapons of mass destruction that the president didn’t know
about, that the CIA didn’t know about, that nobody but them knew
about. And, they said, because of those weapons, the US must redirect
billions of dollars away from domestic programs and instead give the
money to defense contractors for whom these two men would one day
But the neocons said it was true, and organized a group -
The Committee on the Present Danger — to promote their
worldview. The Committee produced documentaries, publications, and
provided guests for national talk shows and news reports. They worked
hard to whip up fear and encourage increases in defense spending,
particularly for sophisticated weapons systems offered by the defense
contractors for whom neocons would later become lobbyists.
And they succeeded in recreating an atmosphere of fear in the United
States, and making themselves and their defense contractor friends
richer than most of the kingdoms of the world.
The Cold War was good for business, and good for the political power
of its advocates, from Rumsfeld to Reagan.
Similarly, according to this documentary, the War On Terror is the
same sort of scam, run for many of the same reasons, by the same
people. And by hyping it — and then invading Iraq — we may well be
bringing into reality terrors and forces that previously existed only
on the margins and with very little power to harm us.
Curtis’ documentary suggests that the War On Terror is just as much a
fiction as were the super-WMDs this same group of neocons said the
Soviets had in the 70s. He suggests we’ve done more to create terror
than to fight it. That the risk was really quite minimal (at least
until we invaded Iraq), and the terrorists are — like most terrorist
groups — simply people on the fringes, rather easily dispatched by
their own people. He even points out that Al Qaeda itself was a brand
we invented, later adopted by bin Laden because we’d put so many
millions into creating worldwide name recognition for it.
Watching “The Terror of Nightmares” is like taking the Red Pill in the
movie The Matrix.
[End the War on Freedom]