You Can Fool the People
One of the questions always asked by the beginning student of America's political assassinations is, "How is it possible that all of this could be happening in our country without our knowing about it?" The "It couldn't happen here" belief has been extended to, "It couldn't happen here without our knowing about it." This is usually buttressed by such arguments as, "The Kennedys would have done something about it, if it were true", or "Such a giant conspiracy would have been exposed by someone within the conspiratorial group", or "The news media would have found out about it and told all of us by now."
The fact that it is possible to fool a majority of the American people for a long period of time and to cover-up a high level conspiracy involving many, many individuals, can easily be demonstrated by using Watergate as an example. In fact, some published articles  show that the entire truth about Watergate has yet to be revealed.
We do know now about the cover-up of the original crimes in Watergate and the cover-up of the cover-up. We tend to forget the attitude of the majority of the American people, the Congress and the media, toward Richard Nixon and the Nixon administration during the period between the June 1972 Watergate break-in and the November 1972 election and beyond into 1973. Long before Woodward and Bernstein and others began the Watergate expose, a few researchers were calling the Watergate conspiracies to the attention of a small portion of the public. It was not until late 1973 that the research done by these researchers and their hypotheses about high-level conspiracies were proven correct and were generally accepted. How did it happen that for more than a year a majority of the American people were not only fooled by Mr. Nixon and his friends, but also re-elected him? Some of the same ingredients present in that situation were like those used in the taking of America. We can all learn a lot by observing what they were.
What follows is a reproduction of an article by the author. (Because the article was written in l972, some of the material in it is now obsolete. However, it is reproduced here without changes to illustrate the situation and attitudes of the pre-Watergate revelation era.) It was originally written during the Watergate cover-up era (late 1972), after Nixon was re-elected and before Bernstein and Woodward were noticed by anyone. It should be noted that even in 1976, Mr. Nixon still had his vehement supporters who were blind to the ingredients required to fool the people.
You Can Fool the People
You can fool all of the people some of the time
You can fool some of the people all of the time
But you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Abraham Lincoln, 1864
The decade of 1963 to 1973 in the United State of America will go down in history for many things. In the long run it will be known through the world as the period which demonstrated that it is possible to fool most of the people all of the time.
Adolph Hitler didn't fool very many people. He cowed them, frightened them, and killed them. But most Germans knew what was happening even though they chose to do nothing about it until it was too late.
The exercise of power to control what happens and to restrict liberties is much more difficult in a Democracy or a Republic. The United States is always held up as the model case in which the guaranteed election of the president every four years and the two-party system, will prevent the country from being run by dictators. The people are represented by the Congress and also elect the President.
A person or a group planning a coup d'etat in the U.S. would have a completely different job on their hands than Germany in the 1930's, South American or African countries in the twentieth century, or France in the 1890's or Russia in 1918.
It would be necessary to fool a majority of the American people into believing that they were well represented, and that a democracy still existed, while at the same time the coup group were in reality changing the country to suit their own tastes.
It is the contention of the writer that this is exactly what has happened over a period of time following World War II. The methods used to fool the American people, certainly since 1963 and to some extent also since the end of World War I, have varied slightly as administrations changed. The main thrust however has been a constant erosion of civil rights, and a swing of government away from the best interests of the people and toward big companies, banks, the military and rich individuals and families. The trend was slowed down only briefly between 1960 and 1963 when Jack Kennedy attempted to alter the situation. He was assassinated because he did so.
To fool the American people is not easy. It requires immense capabilities, tricky, secret methods, hidden resources, great wealth and the equivalent of brainwashing or mind control on a grand scale. Yet that type of resource is precisely what has accomplished the deed. It is probable that, like Germany, the American people will awaken to what has been happening to them and to who has been doing it. It is also very likely, now that the Nixon administration has been restored for four more years, that by 1976 it will be too late, in spite of Watergate.
George McGovern's speech on ABC Television, the evening of October 25, 1972, was a warning for those citizens who were awake, that "it can happen here." It's happening here, was his basic message. Yet, unlike Germany, the people were silent, and fooled. They didn't believe him when he said, "Your liberties are being removed, one by one." The Supreme Court by 1976 will be so packed with Nixon appointees that we will never get our liberties back. McGovern covered most of the areas in which the people have been fooled. The major area he didn't cover was that of assassination. This tool represents only the end of the spectrum of techniques used by those in control to remain in control. It has been used four times very effectively, on both Kennedys, on Martin Luther King, and in the attempt on George Wallace. In the case of Wallace, crippling was sufficient to change the political outcome in 1972.
More important than the use of assassinations has been the ability to fool the American people into believing there were four lone madmen involved -- and no conspiracies. The techniques involved in fooling people are more complex and subtle than those involved in the crime itself. In the Watergate case, the original crime was the use of every trick and technique necessary to re-elect Nixon. The people had to be fooled into believing that Nixon and the CIA had nothing to do with Watergate and the broader plan of which it was part.
That the fooling part turned out to be so easy is due to a long series of conditioning steps taken with the American news media and the people over the preceding years. The Pentagon Papers case reveals how the people were fooled by several (successive CIA) administrations over a long period of time. Efforts against Ellsberg and the press continued in order to prevent further decay of the fooling process.
How is it possible in the 20th century USA -- with TV and high levels of communication, with freedom of the press, freedom of speech -- to fool most of the people all of the time? Here is how it is done. Five ingredients are required.
Ingredient 1. A patriotic issue. A fundamental issue permeating nearly all conditions of life in the U.S. is needed, around which the rest of the fooling can be constructed. The perfect issue since 1947 has been "The Red Menace," or "Communism" or "The Radical Communist Left Conspiracy." No one is more adept at using this issue than Richard Nixon.
The people, to be fooled, have to really believe in the issue, from the heart, from the gut. In a democracy this is the most essential ingredient. In the U.S. many, many people believe it. Some believe it because they have never heard or read anything other than "The Communists are going to take over." Others believe it because they or their parents or relatives came from Europe and "know what it's like to live under Naziism or Communism." (They don't distinguish.)
Some believe because they are religious, and somehow religion is always linked to anti-communism. Others aren't sure, but they think "radical" groups might be Communist controlled. The flag waving, the national anthem, the American Legion, our prisoners of war, the draft of the past -- all of these symbols are linked to the one big issue of "Communism."
There can be several sub-issues of lesser significance than the fundamental issue. Some of these might be related to the main issue. Others may be unrelated. Some are used to appeal to certain segments of the population. They can be carefully exploited and added together with the main issue in a way which enhances it. Some are useful with low-intelligence-level people. Others appeal to bigots. Some are fearful issues which people would rather avoid. Others hit the individual right in his pocketbook or his security.
If played one against the other, very carefully, many of these sub-issues can be blamed on Communism. Archie Bunker, of the TV series, "All In The Family", was not exaggerating when he blamed his white niece's dancing with a black neighbor boy on "a Communist plot."
Examples of sub-issues used by those controlling Nixon administration to fool the people include:
The black-white issue
The busing issue
The young radical issue
The law and order issue
The national security issue
The old-fashioned American work ethic versus poverty and welfare issue
Ingredient 2. Reaching the minds of the people. To fool a majority of the people all of the time it is necessary to reach into their minds over a relatively long period of time. Make an analysis of what you, the reader, believe today or disbelieve, along with the mental condition you are in when you enter a polling booth, or write a letter to your Congressman. After some thought list all of the ways in which information might reach you today. You will list all of the environmental factors, self images, motivations, ego factors and acquired beliefs that make you do what you do, and make you think what you think.
You will realize that your heritage, your schooling, your life's experience, and the present bombardment of information have an impact on how you vote. If your father and grandfather before you were strong Republicans or Democrats, you may well vote the same "pull one lever" way. You might close your mind to any messages of imminent disaster, and think, "I'm better off not knowing and just voting straight Republican." (In 1972)
You might have strong faith in the "American way of life" and pay no attention to the people who go around claiming that John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were all murdered by elements of an invisible government to keep the U.S. on the military, wealthy, conservative track.
You might ignore solid evidence regarding Lee Harvey Osward's, James Earl Ray's or Sirhan Sirhan's actions and instead rely on a long-term, well engineered faith that something like that "couldn't happen here."
Go back in time to 1935, if you are over 50, or go back to 1945, if you are over 40, or back to 1955, if you are over 30. Examine your general overall attitudes, beliefs and prejudices as developed over that period of time between then and now. You will discover that your political beliefs about the U.S., the Presidency, foreign policy, wage and price controls, and your own economic conditions, etc., have been strongly influenced by the various news media.
Ingredient 3. Controlling the news media. In Chapter 9, the author proves that it has been possible for a very small group of people in power to control or fool nearly all of the major news media in the U.S. about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and subsequent investigations conducted by groups other than the sources of power (Warren Commission, FBI, Secret Service, CIA, Justice Department, the President).
According to polls taken between 1963 and 1970, 50% to 80% of the public at one time or another during this period believed there was a conspiracy. Nevertheless, the major news media took the opposite position. A poll conducted today would, no doubt, show about one-half of the people believing there was no conspiracy. How did this happen? Is it conceivable that the power sources of two succeeding administrations (Johnson and Nixon) fooled or controlled the news media to that extent?
The problem is not so difficult as it seems. Only sixteen media organizations are involved. These sixteen provide each of us with nearly all of the news we either read, see or hear. It is only necessary to control the sixteen men at the very top and that is exactly what happened. The proof contained in Chapter 9 contains specific facts about what happened inside of eleven of the sixteen organizations.
Some of them maintained an editorial position oriented toward the possibility of conspiracy for several years. The last ones to convert because of high level command decisions (at the owner level -- not the editorial level) did not do so until 1969, 5 1/2 years after the assassination. Several of the eleven conducted their own independent investigations and discovered conspiracy evidence sufficient to take that stand. Among these were CBS, Life Magazine, and The New York Times.
The sixteen media organizations are:
NBC-TV and Radio
CBS-TV and Radio
ABC-TV and Radio
United Press International
McGraw Hill - Business Week
U.S. News and World Report
New York Times and their news service
Washington Post and their news service
Metromedia News Network TV and Radio
Westinghouse Radio News Network
Capital City Broadcasting Radio Network
North American Newspaper Alliance
Gannett News Service
Controlling the news media to that extent in order to fool the people is an extreme act. It is a last resort in an extremely serious situation. Such a situation arose when it became obvious to those in power that Jim Garrison was going to expose the truth about the assassination in court. He had to be destroyed, and he was, by fooling the news media as well as the people.
Control of the press by the power group slipped a little with the Pentagon Papers, the Mylai episode, the Green Berets, the FBI use of spying, and the Watergate caper. But effective control over the fooling of the people nevertheless remains. With Watergate, people fooling shifted from controlling the news media, which suddenly awakened a little too late, to the control of the the legal system.
Ingredient 4. Controlling the legal system. Perhaps the most important long-range ingredient in fooling the people of America is the control and influence over the legal system. The U.S. in the post-war era has reached the stage where, in case of doubt on a major issue, the people will wait to see how it is resolved by the courts. The American people in general have always had tremendous faith in their own legal system.
With the exception of the South taking issue with the Warren court over black rights, the American people tend to believe that the Supreme Court will eventually right any wrongs. The faith goes much further than adjudication of crimes or disputes. People have come to rely on the legal system to tell them where the truth lies on a major issue when two sides differ completely on the facts. They believe that the adversary procedure and the perjury penalty system will ferret out the truth.
Thus, to fool the people, and make them believe lies, it is essential to control the legal system. The Nixon and Johnson administrations and the Invisible Government lying underneath or off to one side of both administrations became very adept at controlling the legal system. It can be done, and has been done in several ways. Nixon, of course, loaded the Supreme Court. That is important. The complete control of the Justice Department and the FBI is also obvious. Not so obvious is the need to control Federal judges throughout the land. Truth might leak out in a trial at a local level, so U.S. courts in each area must be controlled.
The Federal grand jury scheme worked out by Nixon, Mitchell and Robert Mardian is a beautiful way to guide, direct and control the legal system. It more than proved its worth in fooling the people in cases involving classified documents, the Black Panthers and other situations where the truth had to be obscured.
Control over the American Bar Association and individual lawyers and district attorneys is another method used. And finally, it is often useful to control local and state police, either individually or in groups.
The exercise of control is important. It may be desirable to suppress truth in a court situation during a trial or hearings. The judge can do this very effectively. It may also be desirable to delay a trial or a hearing in which the truth might be exposed. Judges and lawyers can do this quite easily. It may be desirable to entirely shut off a trial or an appeal where truth could be exposed. Nixon was able to do this to perfection.
Lies and fake cases may be presented as truth in court while truth is attacked as being falsehood. This technique has been very successful.
All of this takes both money and power. Judges and lawyers, must either be paid a lot of money, or frightened about their career and health. The CIA conduits used for espionage financing have been used extensively in controlling the legal system. Power has been used to control lower courts and local police or district attorneys from the highest source of power in America, the invisible government.
A few examples will suffice to demonstrate how the legal system is used to fool the people.
The 1972 election demonstrated that two-thirds of the people either did not associate Mr. Nixon with the Watergate affair and the Chapin-Segretti sabotage project, or else they didn't know about it or didn't care.
Surely, you say, a traditional American patriot would not vote for a man who did all of the things the Watergate 7 and Chapin-Segretti and company did. But wait! The situation as of January 1973 had not yet reached the courts. Except for Bernard Barker's conviction for falsely using his notary public seal to stamp a check from Kenneth Dahlberg in Florida, no court actions had taken place.
Wasn't that lucky for the Republicans, you say. It wasn't luck. The Watergate arrests took place in June 1972. By successfully delaying a whole series of trials and court actions, Mr. Nixon, through control of the courts, kept the truth away from the people until after the election on November 7. Perhaps some of the people who voted for him had doubts, but if court cases had been conducted before November 7, and conducted fairly by uncontrolled judges, the truth would have been exposed in all of its glory.
Now that he had a powerful mandate from the people, it was likely that other forms of control would be used to continue fooling the people about Watergate. Some of these were covered in the prior chapters. Executive privilege has been used to a major extent.
Clay Shaw was actually defended and Garrison, in effect, was put on trial, through CIA money and CIA lawyers. Garrison's attempts to bring Shaw to trial for perjury were successfully blocked by Federal courts and judges.
Sirhan Sirhan's trial for the murder of Robert Kennedy was controlled by the Nixon administration in order to hide the truth from the people. The case involved controlling the judge at the trial, the district attorney, the lawyers for Sirhan, the Los Angeles police, the FBI, and some of the officials of the state of California. The control exercised has continued to prevent Sirhan from receiving a new trial based on new evidence of what happened in the assassination.
The Five Big Events. The five events since World War II about which the power control group must continue to fool the American people about are the assassinations of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King; the attempted assassination of George Wallace; and the Watergate episode. (In 1973, the truth about Chappaquiddick and its importance, together with the threats against Jackie Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, Ted Kennedy and all of the Kennedy children, had not been exposed. Chappaquiddick is the sixth big event.)
All other things this group has done since 1947 fade into insignificance compared to these five. The reason is that the American people may accept such things as the Pueblo incident, the Gulf of Tonkin fake, the Mylai incident, the Pentagon Papers, the Kent State killings, the frame-ups of the Black Panthers and their murders, and even the whole Viet Nam war, but they would rise up in wrath if the truth about any one or all of those five events were exposed.
Thus, Mr. Hanson for Sirhan, Mr. Fensterwald for James Earl Ray, Mr. Lawrence O'Brien and the Watergate suit -- anyone opposing the findings of the Warren Commission with national prominence and success -- and anyone who begins to pry too much into George Wallace's brush with death will be opposed with all the power those in control can muster. Each will be dealt with if he comes too close, just as Jim Garrison was dealt with by both the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Garrison managed to beat out the Nixon-controlled Justice Department in his own trial in September 1973. The jury in New Orleans found him innocent in spite of the fact that the prosecuting attorney, the judge, the key witness, Pershing Gervais, and the news media were all controlled by Nixon and Mitchell. By late 1973 it was becoming a little more difficult to fool the people.
Ingredient 5. Paid Columnists or Lackeys. Control of the news media includes controlling or hiring selected columnists, newsmen, commentators, and lackeys. Sometimes these people are called "spokesmen for the administration." Many of them are supposedly independent. Their importance in the process of fooling the people has increased as the number of independent news media organizations has decreased and the number of organizations relying on syndicated, national columnists or commentators has increased.
The Nixon administration managed to corral a great many more of these types than did the administrations of Johnson, Kennedy, or Eisenhower. In the newspaper field, there were four to five times as many columnists writing "fool the people" type news for Nixon as against Nixon. Alsop was at one extreme. More subtle were writers like C.L. Sulzberger in the "New York Times" and Gary Wills in various conservative papers. On radio, the Westinghouse network used four commentators who appeared to be liberal at first glance, but who adhered to the party line when the time came to get at the truth about the five key events mentioned earlier. These four were Peter Lisagor, Rod McCleish, Simeon Booker and Irwin Cannon.
William Safire, Evans and Novak, Mary McCarthy, and occasionally Jack Anderson also fall into the "fool the people" column. The impact of these columnists on the American people has not really been measured. Alsop's and Evans and Novak's columns appear in Republican and right-wing newspapers all across the U.S. The election poll that indicated over 700 newspapers supported Nixon while fewer than 50 supported McGovern provides some estimate of how influential these papers and columnists can be. With the exception of two or three stories by Jack Anderson about Robert Kennedy and plots to assassinate Castro, none of the evidence about the truth pertaining to the assassinations has ever appeared in any of these columns. Yet the American people read these columns more faithfully than they read the front page.
How the People Have Been Fooled. Now that the ingredients for fooling the people have been discussed, let's examine the net results over the past twenty-five years. Between 1957 and 1972, there was a culmination in the use of these ingredients, many of which were developed with the end of World War II.
Through a succession of presidencies and political party administrations from Truman to Nixon a mixture of wealthy, military and espionage individuals developed a power base and used the five ingredients to fool the people. Except for John Kennedy, none of the presidents tried very hard to resist this power. The book Farewell America (by James Hepburn -- a pseudonym -- Frontiers Press), which has been reprinted in sections in Computers and Automation (1973) shows clearly what kind of power JFK tried to resist and how it resulted in his death.
The American people aren't familiar with this book any more than they are familiar with a movie made from the book, with the same title. And as long as the group remains in power, the book and movie will be banned from the United States, just as "Z" was banned in Greece.
The people of America were fooled into believing each of the following untruths:
The National Guard fired under intense pressure and attack by a bunch of hoodlums at Kent State University. The various grand juries have vindicated the Guard. There was no White House influence involved in the killings, or in the aftermath.
Calley was justified in shooting the civilians at Mylai because those were his orders. You can't tell a "gook" from a Viet Cong and, after all, war is war.
The greatest threat to American freedom is still a world-wide Communist take-over. The domino theory may or may not be correct, but we must never give up a fight. "Peace with honor" was essential in Viet Nam.
Few people have taken the time to read the Pentagon Papers and have understood their significance. The two-thirds majority who elected Nixon in 1972 may have been puzzled by the papers or they may not have cared. No doubt, most of them believed Ellsberg a traitor and worthy of jail. It is very unlikely they will ever believe they were duped by Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon and most particularly by the CIA and allies in matters pertaining to the cold war and Communism. The fundamental, gut issue of the Communist conspiracy overrides any other revelation in this field.
In spite of polls and uneasy feelings, at least half and perhaps a majority of the American people still believe that John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray, respectively, and that the assassination attempt on George Wallace was solely Arthur Bremer's doing. They believe these men acted alone and that they were madmen. (This statement pertains to the period of 1972-73.)
Prior to the election in November 1972, a majority of the American people believed that Richard Nixon, John Mitchell, Maurice Stans and everyone else of importance in the White House had nothing to do with the Watergate affair or the activities of Donald Segretti and others prior to the election. Almost no one believed that the CIA was involved in setting up Nixon so as to capture and control the executive to an even greater degree.
Democracy and Freedom:
By the end of 1973 a relatively large percentage of the American people still did not relate any of the foregoing incidents or situations to their own individual liberties. They believed patriotically in America; they believed we still had a democracy; they believed that President Nixon, with his wise ways and business experience would pull us out of whatever problems we had. From the time he nailed Alger Hiss and the day he won the great kitchen debate with Kruschev, Nixon was believed to be the leader who would secure our eventual victory over Communism. The people refuse to consider the possibility that unknown forces have seized control over the U.S. for the last fifteen years and that our liberties and democracy are fading away.
"Nixon and the Mafia" -- Jeff Gerth, Sundance Magazine, December 1972. Charles Colson Interview, by Dick Russell - Argosy Magazine, March 1976
"Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped?" -- Mae Brussell, The Realist, August 1972
"The June 1972 Raid on Democratic Party Headquarters -- Part 1" -- R.E. Sprague, Computers & Automation, August 1972
"The Raid on Democratic Party Headquarters -- The Watergate Incident -- Part 2", Ibid.
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