Not-Voting is a 'YES' vote to Reject a Corrupt System which thrives on the facade of Elections and Democracy!

 
Zahir Ebrahim
October 22, 2008
Footnote added April 09, 2009


© Project HumanbeingsfirstTM. Permission granted to use freely as per copyright notice.
Document ID: PHBFZE20081022 URL: http://humanbeingsfirst.org. | Print | PDF | Comment.

This is Project Humanbeingsfirst's response to many people's idea of “write-in” independent candidates as an alternate means of creating a third choice in these facade of elections when one is not content choosing from the “lesser of two evils” paradigm.
It is greatly disturbing that some very conscionable peoples of the press are still crying hoarse of “election theft” and “voter fraud” when their entire country has already been stolen. It appears that all within the United States comprise only “the crowd of simpletons and the credulous.” As Hitler had put it,
Elections: I predict that new faces will adorn the White House because the police-state is not ready to overtly break surface just yet, and people still need to be given the illusion of choice lest they revolt before they have been fully enslaved and microchipped. Since you people seem fed up with the taste of vanilla for 8 years, we shall now give you chocolate! And wouldn't that be a revolutionary step for America?
Nowadays when the voting papers of the masses are the deciding factor; the decision lies in the hands of the numerically strongest group; that is to say the first group, the crowd of simpletons and the credulous.”
The master propagandist who had in fact learnt this art-form from the Americans and the British themselves, had further gone on to explain the positive role of the press in “informing” the public according to the wishes of the real rulers “when the voting papers of the masses are the deciding factor”:
It is an all-important interest of the State and a national duty to prevent these people from falling into the hands of false, ignorant or even evil-minded teachers. Therefore it is the duty of the State to supervise their education and prevent every form of offence in this respect. Particular attention should be paid to the Press; for its influence on these people is by far the strongest and most penetrating of all; since its effect is not transitory but continual. Its immense significance lies in the uniform and persistent repetition of its teaching. Here, if anywhere, the State should never forget that all means should converge towards the same end. It must not be led astray by the will-o'-the-wisp of so-called 'freedom of the Press', or be talked into neglecting its duty, and withholding from the nation that which is good and which does good. With ruthless determination the State must keep control of this instrument of popular education and place it at the service of the State and the Nation.”
And we can observe that the systems of governance in the United States have stolen a page from the Third Reich (well one among its many pages), and astutely led its gullible peoples to actually believe, from the day they are born, that the elections are empowering to them. A fuller excerpt with more context for the role of propaganda and indoctrination for manufacturing both consent and dissent when “when the voting papers of the masses are the deciding factor” can be gleaned in Project Humanbeingsfirst's report: “Weapons of Mass Deception – The Master Social Science”. It is shocking how much has been learned from the Third Reich. It is, almost as if, the Third Reich was merely an advanced laboratory testbed for the Fourth Reich.
Elections: A 5% voter turnout, as opposed to the 40% that is minimally expected can, potentially, significantly alter the loci of control on the Grand Chessboard by disturbing its causality planning in a very macro way.
The myth of elections being anything useful, has been so craftily cultivated over the past two generations that none are able to see through the fog of indoctrination that something else entirely, “a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive,” such that people only whisper in hushed voices “when they speak in condemnation of it”, runs the United States with the elected Representatives merely as its front faces.
President Woodrow Wilson, after being naively railroaded into agreeing to support the creation of the Federal Reserve System and because of which he had initially won the backing of the oligarchs as an unknown non-politician professor from Princeton, and after signing off on it as President on Christmas eve despite his better judgment since the bill had not actually been debated at all in Congress – in fact even less discussed than the trillion dollar banksters' bailout bill passed just two weeks ago as most of the people's Representatives had left for their home during that Christmas week in 1913 – was stricken with the usual belated disclosure-disease post fait accompli upon leaving his high office and stated:
Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are of afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breadth when they speak in condemnation of it.”
The evidence for this secretive power was once again witnessed when the Congress, despite its popular opposition, was arm twisted into passing the trillion dollar banksters' bailout legislation (including an additional 600 billion dollars in appropriation for the Pentagon which none of the legislators thought fit to mention). Which power “so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive” arm twists them so trivially? Former President Bill Clinton's professor, Carroll Quigley, exposed that power in his 1966 book “Tragedy and Hope - A History of the World in Our Time”:
The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland; a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank... sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.”
Why does the press not explain all this to the American peoples? Why are respectable dissenting journalists like Greg Palast, appear no different than any mainstream journalist when it comes to the core axioms that really need exposing? They all dutifully and unquestioningly retain them, and create a facade of providing a choice of sources by debating all the corollaries and other derivatives built upon the doctrine of keeping the axioms intact.
So they will energetically debate whether or not it is better to enforce economic sanctions alone, or combine it with 20 bombing runs of nuclear first-strike, or 20000 of Daisy Cutters, but not what right United States has of doing any of it when she herself possesses more than 20,000 atomic weapons of all nomenclature and is the biggest war monger on the planet. They would never remind the American people as the retired and/or serving Generals are paraded before them on television arguing this and that option, of the 1967 words of Martin Luther King: “my country is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”. Watch this principle in operation with astute wordsmithing in the conversation between Henry Kissinger and Charlie Rose on PBS. Of course, in that entire hour long conversation, Charlie Rose did not think of asking Dr. Kissinger whether he had uttered the following famous statements at the secretive Bilderberger meeting, or whether they were merely fiction:
Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.”
Similarly, the press all pretty unanimously agreed, both the mainstream, and dissentstream, the “left” and the “right”, that 911 was an invasion from abroad, fully parroting the White House and the Pentagon version of events as gospels of truth. They still retain that very axiom.
Similarly, here too, for these elections, they all tend to pretty much agree that there is something useful in the way members are elected into the ivory halls of Congress and the White House, and the methods by which they govern, and therefore the integrity of that process needs to be worried about. But they mainly focus on the actual act of balloting and counting or not-counting of the votes, often rehearsing the famous line of Joseph Stalin on “who counts the vote”. So that is great journalism – look, also quoting Stalin!
But do they ever bring to light that the contestants have already been pre-filtered in secret oligarchic meetings at the Bilderbergers and the Council on Foreign Relations? Or that those so anointed are subsequently run in the races with one side artificially pitted against the other, with careful exclusion of any realistic challenge to the 'chosen ones' from all other quarters through fully financing their campaigns and giving full media prominence and editorial support (as all the private presses too are owned by them)?
Obviously that can't come to pass – or they would be out on their bum! So it goes without saying that the press will never uncover how these elected officials are subsequently so cleverly kept on their co-opted short-leash by means “so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive,” just as the world witnessed during the bailout bill proceedings.
Project Humanbeingsfirst has analyzed that bailout magic in its report: “Why Bluff Martial Law?” and Press Release “This may be a psy-op! Response to Wayne Madsen's 'FEMA sources confirm coming martial law' October 09, 2008”. More about media and indoctrination can be read in my book “Prisoners of the Cave”. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the entire system itself has been corrupted and co-opted to its very core. In that entire coverage of the financial crisis, and still on going, I have still not the heard the American newsmedia give sustained prominence to the distinguished name of David Rockefeller, to the Council on Foreign Relations, to private banking, to money as debt which is needlessly paid by the American tax payer to the bankers making them more and more wealthy while simultaneously strangulating the majority of the public in their debt-trap, and to the pernicious planning of these oligarchs to get rid of nation-states altogether in favor of a world government that is run by them. In fact, if any one wanted to, they could simply open up David Rockefeller's Memoir and read the following out to any audience – be it C-Span with energetic Congress folks making their Floor speeches, or newsmedia trying to figure out what's going on:
Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it”
If there is any mention of any of this at all, like journalists Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs and Congressman Ron Paul occasionally seem to dabble in wondering out loud about the North American Union or the financial crisis, or it being orchestrated, it remains all isolated and unconnected, without any cohesive analysis and overarching perspective brought to bear by connecting the widely disparate dots and events which President Kennedy had demanded of the press in 1961 (fuller excerpt follows):
And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment. The only business in America, specifically protected by the Constitution. Not primarily to amuse and entertain. Not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental. Not to simply give the public what it wants. But to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers, and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger public opinion.”
I am still waiting for any of them to even mention David Rockefeller in the context of the import of his monumental words “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order”, and link it to 911, and to the subsequent “imperial mobilization” of Zbigniew Brzezinski as a baby-step to North American Union by first bankrupting America and crashing the dollar while simultaneously using its might for beating the rest of the world into submission as the lone superpower! I am still waiting for them to connect all that to these 1992 words of Strobe Talbot, President Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all.”
We won't even go into Rockefeller's agenda for population control and his family's significant role in the UN as their private instrument for orchestrating coercive policies which are inflicted upon the third world nations. His minion, or perhaps personal friend, Henry Kissinger constructed NSSM-200 for President Gerald Ford's National Security Council in 1974. See its detailed analysis in Project Humanbeingsfirst's report “The Enduring Capitalist Conspiracy For World Government”. See the 2003 6-part description of the Rockefeller systems of governance which America has become, with his counterpart bankster family, the Rothschilds, controlling Europe and the UK, in Will Banyan's, “Rockefeller Internationalism”.
Who connects any of this, as not just the American press, but also the global press (in this age of globalization and international multinational corporations with interlocking ownership and presence on the board of directors of parent companies) mindlessly rehearses “Bin Laden” and “War on Terror”? And now they have one more thing, the global financial collapse, to scare the American people's with, in order to lead them, with incremental baby-steps that are fait accompli once taken, into the desired direction of the North American Union and the Amero!
To borrow a graphic and unflattering description of the bewilderment of the masses, from the late Israeli Defense Minister Raphael Eitan who had famously uttered it to describe the endgame which he thought was the destiny of the valiant Palestinian peoples, the United States peoples too are also being primed to mainly “scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle” in trying to figure out their predicament as they rudely get awakened too late from their “American Dreams”. Like David Icke pointed out in “Turning of the Tide” in 1996, the secret conspiracy for world government has to break surface in order to finally affect it, because, as the philosopher-theologian of world government had correctly observed in his classic book “Impact of Science and Society” in 1950:
There is, it must be confessed, a psychological difficulty about a single world government. The chief source of social cohesion in the past, I repeat, has been war: the passions that inspire feeling of unity are hate and fear. These depend upon the existence of an enemy, actual or potential. It seems to follow that a world government could only be kept in being by force, not by the spontaneous loyalty that now inspires a nation at war.”
Does 90 percent of voting public in the United States know anything about this backdrop as they are being repeatedly told elections are being stolen as if they were meaningful to start with? When they are meaningful and a loose canon ends up on the gun-deck of the White House, or when an earlier anointed patsy refuses to follow abhorrent directives as his eyes open up from the seat of power, he is trivially assassinated.
On April 27, 1961, assassinated American President, John F. Kennedy gave a speech at the Waldorf-Astoria to the American Newspaper Association. Time magazine of May 05, 1961 observed in its article “The Meaning of Freedom”, the following statement of JFK who had expounded upon a commonsensical role for the press in the backdrop of the ideological Cold War challenges facing the world:
This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern to both the press and to the President—two requirements which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril.”
Below is my transcription from an excerpt of that amazing JFK speech because it precisely underscores what Hitler had tried to inculcate in the Third Reich and what a supposedly free nation and free press had to avoid in order to not get where we are today. Please be advised that the speech was transcribed from this narration1, and verified against this narration2, as I have been unable to locate the official recording, or its official transcript. I have discovered that many enterprising rebels have extracted out of context segments from this speech, and concocted it into something far more sinister than what JFK was ostensibly referring to. [1]
However, these portentous words of JFK seem to also accurately capture the descent of America into its Fourth Reich state today. It is, as if, JFK might as well have been talking about America of today, 2008. However, back in 1961, he had the Cold War upon his mind.
I use these portentous words of JFK, in the context that he originally conveyed them, to make the nuanced point, that the American peoples have been indoctrinated into believing the facade of elections primarily through the deliberate errors of commission and omission by the press and all its newsmedia outlets in order to deliberately keep up the pretense of democracy (watch these courageous American youngsters of wearechange run around exposing far more than the American press ever did, but lending an ominous import to Raphael Eitan's unflattering description of their efficacy).
The following is what David Rockefeller admitted of the complicit role of the press in his planning and orchestration towards his version of the new world order at a Bilderbergers Meeting in 1991 (why the press never asks him about it and even offer him a chance to deny it should not be surprising):
We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications, whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
JFK uttered the following prescient words in 1961 – it is unremarkable how the same truthful and un co-opted words, sometimes, can become so enormously clairvoyant that they begin to speak across time and space. This is the ordinary power inherent in any truism. What is actually remarkable however, is the Time magazine's footnote to the opening sentence of JFK: “The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant, in a free and open society.” Time wrote in its coverage:
*To more than 20 million Americans, the word "secrecy" is not as repugnant as all that. They are the members of U.S. secret and fraternal societies, which include, besides student fraternities, such respectable organizations as the Masonic orders, the Elks, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Loyal Order of the Moose. Of the U.S.'s 34 Presidents, 13 have been Masons. President Kennedy himself is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic counterpart of masonry.” (May 05, 1961)
I have deliberately ignored this “secret society” BS line of reasoning in this analysis. The low hanging fruits of empirical reality is sufficiently self-validating as noted in the “The Enduring Capitalist Conspiracy For World Government”. Here is JFK singing a timeless tune: [1]
“The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant, in a free and open society.
And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
We decided a long ago, that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment, of pertinent facts, far out weigh the dangers which are cited to justify it.
Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society, by imitating its arbitrary restrictions.
Even today, there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation, if our traditions do not survive with it.
And there is very grave danger, that an announced need for increased security, will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning, to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
That I do not intend to permit, to the extent that it's in my control.
And no official of my administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight, as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press and the public, the facts they deserve to know. [...]
For we are opposed around the world, by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy, that relies primarily on covet means, for expanding its sphere of influence.
On infiltration, instead of invasion. On subversion, instead of elections. On intimidation, instead of free choice. On guerillas by night, instead of armies by day.
It is a system which has conscripted, vast human and material resources, into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine, that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations.
Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised.
No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. [...]
No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For, from that scrutiny comes understanding. And from that understanding comes support, or opposition. And both are necessary.
I am not asking your newspapers to support an administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task, of informing and alerting the American people.
For I have complete confidence, [lukewarm clapping] in the response and dedication of our citizens, whenever they are fully informed.
I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers, I welcome it.
This administration intends to be candid about its errors, for as a wise man once said, an error doesn't become a mistake, until you refuse to correct it.
We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors, and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.
Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed, and no republic can survive.
That is why the Athenian law maker Solon [2] decried it a crime, for any citizen to shrink from controversy.
And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment. The only business in America, specifically protected by the Constitution.
Not primarily to amuse and entertain. Not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental. Not to simply give the public what it wants.
But to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers, and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger public opinion.
This means greater coverage and analysis of international news, for it is no longer far away, and foreign, but close at hand and local.
It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news, as well as improved transmission.
And it means finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation, to provide you with the fullest possible information, outside the narrowest limits of national security. [...]
And so it is to the printing press, to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news, that we look for strength and assistance. Confident that with your help, man will be what he was born to be, free and independent.”
Well, that did not transpire. American public remains the most ignorant on the planet. Even Henry Kissinger disingenuously and openly admitted that failing (or success) on PBS to Charlie Rose as he pitched his WMD mantra to the American peoples in the drumming up of the propaganda warfare, before the actual “shock and awe” warfare was visited upon the poor souls of Iraq.
Now the American public is seeking to vote-in their new crop of leaders – to cement the final touches to the precipitous transitions now on their exponential path of fruition. Therefore, the oligarchs still need the pretense of “election” and “democracy” for a while longer. And they will likely continue to use it in the world government as well in order to defuse any prospect of the majority mainstream actually fighting back with any efficacy.
I predict that new faces will adorn the White House because the police-state is not ready to overtly break surface just yet, and people still need to be given the illusion of choice lest they revolt before they have been fully enslaved and microchipped. Since you people seem fed up with the taste of vanilla for 8 years, we shall now give you chocolate! And wouldn't that be a revolutionary step for America?
And therein lies the immediate power today for those able to think on the Grand Chessboard scale and mobilize their troops effectively.
Force the 'ubermensch' hands by creating an extremely low voter-turnout to show the world that the American public, by denying any legitimacy to these elections, finally voted YES to NOT grant its co-opted system of elections and its governance, any further credibility whatsoever.
These elections are the American public's final peaceful chance to make a shocking statement to the world – just as the Congress had its great alignment of stars and blew it two weeks ago.
A 5% voter turnout, as opposed to the 40% that is minimally expected can, potentially, significantly alter the loci of control on the Grand Chessboard by disturbing its causality planning in a very macro way.
The people who started Cleansweep2008.org, based on a son's concern for his country, have the correct idea in principle. That principle being, repeating it once again for emphasis, to create a useful third option that is beyond the pale of the staid “lesser of two evils” paradigm being forced upon the American peoples in this election. The following is Project Humanbeingsfirst's response to: http://cleansweep2008.org/blog/2008/10/22/clean-sweep-them-all/
October 22, 2008.
Hello.
Is this “I” bit realistic?
If so, any conscionable person who realizes that both the major parties are merely the two-headed deception dialectics of the same philosopher, two sides of the same imperial coin minted in the same factory, would be hard pressed not to pursue it.
Since this is such a commonsensical approach to cleaning the house, why don't people actually pursue this obvious path? Its history in prior elections would be indicative of the real issues that corrupt the American system behind the scenes.
What are the actual implementation pitfalls? Do those votes count? How is one assured that one's vote to a "write-in Independent" is counted? How is one assured that the new Independent does not make the old "dependent"?
My own limited thinking is along the following lines - that the system itself is corrupting, co-opting, and that despite the good intentions of many who serve within its ambit, it cannot be corrected by the process of elections, by the process of what has become the biggest game show in town, called Congress.
I don't think it is the peoples. I believe it is the system and those who corrupt it. If you only remove those who get corrupted, and keep intact the corrupters and their intricate web of how such corruption is done, it will keep on corrupting.
The first step towards this reform, is to reject the corrupt system itself.
So with that as the backdrop, while your thinking is entirely wholesome that since the "Lesser of two evils" paradigm in life still sticks one with an evil (never mind that in this election which is "lesser" remains rather un-obvious and an arbitrary partisan choice at best), therefore, not choosing any evil at all makes rational sense, my humble thinking is as follows:
Reject them both by withholding one's vote from both sides, by NOT voting in the elections, period, in order to have the lowest turnout in election history. Not through apathy, but through deliberate calculated political-science based purpose.
That is the way to get the third option pushed into the consciousness of the world - that the American public rejects the entire imperial coin minted in the banksters' mint. Not only do they reject the coin, but the whole concept of banksters running the United States of America as their own backyard and using its military might to usher in their long dreamed of world government.
This world government itself sees the destruction of sovereign nation-states, and that included the United States of America. A North American Union is under construction, like the EU, and both parties are complicit in its planning and execution as the front faces of the oligarchs.
Not-voting is the only Constitutional, legal, and supremely astute political-science based political option left to the peoples of the United States when that vote only selects, regardless of who counts it, which pair of socks the "Rockefellers" will wear the day after the election on their way to business as usual.
Very loudly deny both pair of socks any legitimacy in the world's most audacious democracy that is out to teach the rest of the world how to live.
Please compare these two approaches rationally, and pick the one with most realizable efficacy towards really finding a curing protocol for the systemic disease that your son has been worried about. You have already taken the first courageous step, of rejecting to choose from "lesser of two evils".
Not-voting is a legitimate political act. Voting is a privilege, not a right, and it is not mandatory, such that if you didn't vote you'd go to jail, or fined, or denied some rights - at least not yet. But that may happen if the system endures under its 'white man's burden' to control the world.
In order to adjudicate on this political-science driven matter by people more believable, perhaps you could enlist Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, and other prominent members of Congress whom you think are good peoples, like those who actually spoke out against the trillion dollar bailout bill and made a great show of dissent on C-Span, to discuss this concept of systemic disease in their public appearances by getting them to focus attention on the system itself. Ask them – the point raised here.
I doubt any of them will bite. And that is why the system will linger on towards what now appears to me to be a well orchestrated fait accompli – it has been a long time in the making.
Zahir Ebrahim
P.S. For more detailed analysis of some of the statements made above, please see the following:


- ### -


Footnote
[1] The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, President John F. Kennedy, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, April 27, 1961
transcript located:
https://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/JFK-Speeches/American-Newspaper-Publishers-Association_19610427.aspx
download official audio:
https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHA-025-001.aspx
[2] Solon, one of the seven wise men of Athens, http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/solon.html


Appendix Full Transcript from the JFK Library
The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association
President John F. Kennedy
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City
April 27, 1961
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:
I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.
You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.
You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.
We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the "lousiest petty bourgeois cheating."
But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.
If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.
I have selected as the title of my remarks tonight "The President and the Press." Some may suggest that this would be more naturally worded "The President Versus the Press." But those are not my sentiments tonight.
It is true, however, that when a well-known diplomat from another country demanded recently that our State Department repudiate certain newspaper attacks on his colleague it was unnecessary for us to reply that this Administration was not responsible for the press, for the press had already made it clear that it was not responsible for this Administration.
Nevertheless, my purpose here tonight is not to deliver the usual assault on the so-called one party press. On the contrary, in recent months I have rarely heard any complaints about political bias in the press except from a few Republicans. Nor is it my purpose tonight to discuss or defend the televising of Presidential press conferences. I think it is highly beneficial to have some 20,000,000 Americans regularly sit in on these conferences to observe, if I may say so, the incisive, the intelligent and the courteous qualities displayed by your Washington correspondents.
Nor, finally, are these remarks intended to examine the proper degree of privacy which the press should allow to any President and his family.
If in the last few months your White House reporters and photographers have been attending church services with regularity, that has surely done them no harm.
On the other hand, I realize that your staff and wire service photographers may be complaining that they do not enjoy the same green privileges at the local golf courses that they once did.
It is true that my predecessor did not object as I do to pictures of one's golfing skill in action. But neither on the other hand did he ever bean a Secret Service man.
My topic tonight is a more sober one of concern to publishers as well as editors.
I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future--for reducing this threat or living with it--there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security--a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.
This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President--two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.
I
The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country's peril. In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosures to the enemy. In time of "clear and present danger," the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public's need for national security.
Today no war has been declared--and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.
If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of "clear and present danger," then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.
It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security--and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.
For the facts of the matter are that this nation's foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery or espionage; that details of this nation's covert preparations to counter the enemy's covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike; that the size, the strength, the location and the nature of our forces and weapons, and our plans and strategy for their use, have all been pinpointed in the press and other news media to a degree sufficient to satisfy any foreign power; and that, in at least in one case, the publication of details concerning a secret mechanism whereby satellites were followed required its alteration at the expense of considerable time and money.
The newspapers which printed these stories were loyal, patriotic, responsible and well-meaning. Had we been engaged in open warfare, they undoubtedly would not have published such items. But in the absence of open warfare, they recognized only the tests of journalism and not the tests of national security. And my question tonight is whether additional tests should not now be adopted.
The question is for you alone to answer. No public official should answer it for you. No governmental plan should impose its restraints against your will. But I would be failing in my duty to the nation, in considering all of the responsibilities that we now bear and all of the means at hand to meet those responsibilities, if I did not commend this problem to your attention, and urge its thoughtful consideration.
On many earlier occasions, I have said--and your newspapers have constantly said--that these are times that appeal to every citizen's sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal.
I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or any new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.
Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: "Is it news?" All I suggest is that you add the question: "Is it in the interest of the national security?" And I hope that every group in America--unions and businessmen and public officials at every level-- will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to the same exacting tests.
And should the press of America consider and recommend the voluntary assumption of specific new steps or machinery, I can assure you that we will cooperate whole-heartedly with those recommendations.
Perhaps there will be no recommendations. Perhaps there is no answer to the dilemma faced by a free and open society in a cold and secret war. In times of peace, any discussion of this subject, and any action that results, are both painful and without precedent. But this is a time of peace and peril which knows no precedent in history.
II
It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation--an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people--to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well--the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.
No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.
I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers--I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: "An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment-- the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"--but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.
This means greater coverage and analysis of international news--for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security--and we intend to do it.
III
It was early in the Seventeenth Century that Francis Bacon remarked on three recent inventions already transforming the world: the compass, gunpowder and the printing press. Now the links between the nations first forged by the compass have made us all citizens of the world, the hopes and threats of one becoming the hopes and threats of us all. In that one world's efforts to live together, the evolution of gunpowder to its ultimate limit has warned mankind of the terrible consequences of failure.
And so it is to the printing press--to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news--that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.


- ### -





The author, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary geopolitics, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book was rejected by six publishers (those who replied) and can be read on the web at https://PrisonersoftheCave.org.
He may be reached at
https://Humanbeingsfirst.org.
Verbatim reproduction license at
https://humanbeingsfirst.org/#Copyright.
Copyright Notice:
All material copyright (c) Project HumanbeingsfirstTM, with full permission to copy, repost, and reprint, in its entirety, unmodified and unedited, for any purpose, granted, provided the URL sentence and this copyright notice are also reproduced verbatim as part of this license, and not doing so may be subject to copyright license violation infringement claims pursuant to remedies noted at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html. The rights of the author to express these views are based on inalienable rights noted at http://www.hrweb.org/legal/undocs.html, and to do so freely without suffering intimidation and duress. All quotations and excerpts are based on non-profit "fair use" in the greater public interest consistent with the understanding of laws noted at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. Full copyright notice and Exclusions at http://humanbeingsfirst.org.


First Published October 22, 2008 | Footnote added April 09, 2009
Links fixed Saturday, April 16, 2016 5667
Links fixed, JFK full speech transcript added as Appendix, Sunday, August 21, 2016 8293


Not-Voting is a 'YES' vote to Reject a Corrupt System By Zahir Ebrahim 22/22

The Plebeian antidote to Hectoring Hegemons

Home is Humanbeingsfirst.org

INDEX here.

Okay to copy, print, or post this document; verbatim reproduction only.
Comment
here. Full Copyright Notice
here.


Reprint License

All material copyright (c) Project HumanbeingsfirstTM, with full permission to copy, repost, and reprint, in its entirety, unmodified and unedited, for any purpose, granted in perpetuity, provided the source URL sentence and this copyright notice are also reproduced verbatim as part of this restricted Reprint License, along with any embedded links within its main text, and not doing so may be subject to copyright license violation infringement claims pursuant to remedies noted at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html. All figures, images, quotations and excerpts, are used without permission based on non-profit "fair-use" for personal education and research use only in the greater public interest, documenting crimes against humanity, deconstructing current affairs, and scholarly commentary. The usage by Project Humanbeingsfirst of all external material is minimally consistent with the understanding of "fair use" laws at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. Project Humanbeingsfirst does not endorse any external website or organization it links to or references, nor those that may link to it or reprint its works. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of US Copyright Laws, you are provided the material from Project Humanbeingsfirst upon your request, and taking any action that delivers you any of its documents in any form is considered making a specific request to receive the documents for your own personal educational and/or research use. You are directly responsible for seeking the requisite permissions from other copyright holders for any use beyond “fair use”.