The CAGE/Emwazi Emails: Managing Perceptions of a Counter-Terror Policy in Crisis

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Through the 90s, Gary Webb, an award winning journalist, experienced the wrath of the CIA through the corporate media for exposing CIA’s link with the Contras in Nicaragua and the cocaine epidemic in the US. There was a suggestion that the black communities were being targeted with these drugs. An internal CIA document authored by Nicholas Dujmovic, an employee of the CIA Directorate of Intelligence at the time of publication, noted the “already productive relations with journalists,” which allowed the CIA’s reputation to be left intact thanks to distractions by major newspapers. Webb’s career was destroyed and some years later, was ruled to have committed suicide with two bullets to his head. Much of his core findings however, were found to be accurate. As the Intercept spread articulates, the corporate media spent,

“ …far more time trying to poke holes in the series than in following up on the underreported scandal at its heart, the involvement of U.S.-backed proxy forces in international drug trafficking.”

More interestingly, Dujmovic wrote that the papers had deflected the core allegations, using stories which cited, “[r]espected columnists, including prominent blacks.” In other words, people “representing” the black communities, which were enraged by the allegations, had been abused to successfully shift opinion.

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Mohammed Emwazi: Are Security Service Actions threatening the Security of Britain?

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For some reason there is a perception in Britain and indeed, in the Western world that security services are a squeaky clean in their approach to protecting the citizens of this country. This, despite the fact that they have been exposed in violating the very principles, which are lauded for keeping the “civilised world”, civilised.  In the damning judgment of Binyam Mohamed in 2010, it was found that the Mi5 did not respect human rights, nor renounced torture, misled MPs and operated in a “culture of suppression” in dealing with the court.

As the papers did what they do best – control+c and control+v reports, it seemed as though the corporate media suddenly had an epiphany: we are copying some real journalism here, this needs to be spun asap!

Reading the recent reports demonstrates evidence of media spin once again, where the (government) spin-doctors are in full-swing to skew the story of “Jihadi John”, or Mohammed Emwazi. The focus of the media rapidly shifted to the conveniently government-narrative-compliant “ideology” as a causal factor. The Daily Fail began its campaign against CAGE and Asim Qureshi who were cited in the original Washington Post article, after perhaps realising the implications of the initial report.  CAGE became smeared across the papers for suggesting that a person as violent as Mohammed Emwazi could actually have been a normal human being. Media outlets usually pointing the finger at mental disorders in “white terrorism”, began pointing the finger at CAGE for attempting to “contextualise” the man’s actions, forgetting that the government has been imposing its own academically-wanting contextualisation of belligerent actions on the Muslims community for decades. The academically-wanting conveyor-belt theory to terrorism has been the go-to theory for the government, counter-extremism “experts” from the Quilliam Foundation and the bigoted Henry Jackson Society.

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Criminalising Ideas: The Government Gag through PREVENT Strategy Widens

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Throughout my blogs I have highlighted how the PREVENT strategy has effectively created an Orwellian-style Stasi state.  Yes, most of us live our lives freely. Yes, we can go out happily and shop till we drop. And yes, there is no marshal law with tanks rolling down our streets.  But start asking the wrong questions, questioning establishment narratives, or airing views which contradict the neocon public policy then the sheen of liberty and freedom quickly wears off to reveal a state which increasingly seeks to govern our ideas, creates mistrust and spreads fear – crucial tools to oppress a people.

Governance of “ideas” is the most crucial aspect of neoconservative thinking.  For Irving Kristol, the “godfather” of neoconservativism, ideas are important “social facts” because they define “the way reality is perceived”. “What rules the world”, he wrote, “is ideas.”[1] And whoever governs the ideas, controls the public perception of reality.

Thus, inevitably, the control of ideas becomes imperative in the pursuit of an abstract, neocon-defined “greater good”; a pursuit which eschews individual liberty.  In Britain, we have the imposition of “British values” (Michael Gove a neoconservative, pushed this concept through into education on the basis of “ideas” which essentially support the State – I will be elaborating on this in detail in a later article), an arbitrary criteria, to which a non-subscription would be tantamount to being an extremist worthy of having rights restricted. Of course this strategy, created in a soup of which the key ingredients of fear, distrust and spin, primarily targets the Muslim minority.

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