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Why should you ever believe anything anymore?
The 22nd Letter of an Autonomous Thinker



Amsterdam, March 4 2002

Dear reader, 

Defence Secretary Donald M. Rumsfeld said he has eliminated the secretive Office of Strategic Influence - dubbed the Lie Machine by Pentagon insiders. The sign outside the OSI has indeed been taken down but how do we know the office is closed, how do we know it was ever open, how do we know anything?
The OSI worked in secret to twist the truth and to sway opinion behind President Bush's government by coordinating activities ranging from public press releases to ‘secret’ information warfare including the spreading of inaccurate and misleading information in friendly as well as unfriendly countries. Some lies should even be spread by concerns that had no obvious ties with the government in order to distance the news items from the US Department of Defence.

In the past all governments spread doubtful or even false information. Disinformation was used in the Vietnam War, the Iraq War and the Balkan War. It was perfected in the Afghan War. Now the American Administration tries to institutionalise the covert use of disinformation. In other words, lying and planting false stories will become daily practice. The Tonkin incident that led to the bombing of North-Vietnam, Irangate and Watergate, the unsolved murder of Kennedy, Clinton who denied having sex in office and the first news releases in which Moslems were accused of the Oklahoma bombing that was perpetrated by an American individual were examples of disinformation to influence public opinion. The effort to close down the office of Al Jazeera and the buying of all photographs of Afghanistan taken by commercial satellites so that no independent analysis could be made of the American bombings and the collateral damage (civilian deaths) were also steps on the road that leads to the full control over information by the elite.

Why should you ever believe anything anymore from official or semi-official sources, why should you ever believe what is written in a press that leans heavily on information obtained from official sources. In the Afghan War it has become clear that journalists lost most of their freedom to investigate official information.

Not only governments resort to lies and disinformation. The Enron-debacle proved that also the industrial elite twists the truth to hide its greed. Imagine how news will be managed when Enron directors should decide what is to be published. Information can be real but it can also be constructed to give a picture of an imaginary world. The involvement of leading Hollywood tycoons in the information circus during the Afghan War points to a further evolution in the wish to paint the world in the colours the elite likes. All information becomes subordinated to the benefit of the American establishment.

The propaganda about the ‘axis of evil’ is a fairy-tale. Of course the Taleban, Saddam Hussein or the religious leaders in Iran are awful people though hardly more awful than the ‘friends’ who lead India, Brazil or Saudi-Arabia. In the past the elite told you that the Taleban and Saddam Hussein were friends. But yesterday’s friends are today’s evildoers. Why should you ever believe a government that is telling stories about the danger of outside forces because it wants to hide internal problems in order to extend its rule. The relatively low number of terrorist acts in our countries is a smaller danger to our life than our own elite that makes new strict laws to restrict our freedom on the ground of doubtful information about terrorism.
Most danger for Western humans comes from the own governments that restrict human freedom and the industry that pollutes our living space. The genetic manipulation that produces harmful food, the pharmaceutical industry that produces too expensive medicines, the oil industry that restricts research into other energy sources, the car industry that refuses to make cars that use less petrol, the advertisement industry that tries to coerce people to buy products with deceiving information are greater dangers to our life than a few terrorists who came into existence because their own awful regimes are supported by Western powers.

Activists should not depend on official information. Even discussions with official organizations should be stopped. You never know if you are talking to an honest man or a storyteller. Do not listen too much to what the media are telling you, direct your arrows at the root causes of all inequality, target the own elite, the highest power in the world. The same leaders that are discussing their elitist policy of globalisation in Seattle or Genoa implement in the meantime globalisation in their own countries. Why should you only demonstrate during big meetings? It is more effective to act in your own surroundings than on foreign soil.

Why should we be drawn into a senseless war against a doubtful defined terrorism when the amount of deaths from terrorism is counting in the thousands while the amount of deaths from avoidable hunger is counting in the tens of millions? WE must decide what and where to attack, we must never be led by suspicious information in the so-called free press.

My 77th Letter has the same title. It once again points to the idea that discussion with elitepeople is not possible, the elitist regime should be undermined till a New World arises without any elite. 

Yours truly, Joost van Steenis


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23. Srebrenica, 7000 dead, nobody guilty
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