State Crimes Against Democracy

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State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:32 am

Many threads for GD that belong here.

First, some worth caveats from PDS:

Peter Dale Scott wrote:More recently the concept of State Crimes Against Democracy, or SCADs, has been proposed by Prof. Lance deHaven-Smith, and endorsed by some of my friends in the 9/11 Truth community, including Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff. By SCADs, Prof. deHaven-Smith means "concerted actions or inactions by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty."

One great advantage of the SCAD hypothesis is that, unlike my own work, it has been discussed in academic journals, thus breaking a kind of sound barrier. But I have problems with the term "State Crimes." On the one hand I would claim that the State, or some segments of the state, is often the victim of deep events, as in 4/19. On the other I see the State as primarily a guarantor of democracy, not simply an enemy of it.

I agree that some government insiders play an important role in these events, indeed, I have documented some of these in the preceding pages. But I find it misleading to pin the blame for the crime on the State alone. After all, if a bank insider opens the door to a group of bank robbers, what ensues (even if you choose to call it an "inside job") is unmistakably a robbery of the bank, not by it.

SCAD analysis is far more useful and sophisticated than I can present it here, and I expect to continue to learn from those who pursue it. But it is not deep political analysis. DeHaven-Smith's list of SCADs includes "the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia," two relevant policy decisions (rather than events) that we know came from the Oval Office; although covert at the time, and very arguably illegal, they were when exposed not at all mysterious and thus essentially not very deep.

By positing SCADs as a struggle between the State on the one hand and democracy on the other, I believe this analysis oversimplifies both concepts, and underestimates (as Moyers did not) the internal contradictions within each. Democracy is after all a form of the state in which the people's freedom and power is constitutionally guaranteed by the state (or what I call the public state). And at least one of deHaven-Smith's SCADs - the JFK assassination - might more logically be considered a crime against the state, rather than by it.

Phillips and Hoff seem to recognize this difficulty: they drop the JFK assassination from their own list of SCADs. But this artificially segregates the JFK assassination from other deep events, such as the Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinations, which I believe are parts of a common syndrome.

In short I believe in the crucial importance of a distinction that SCAD analysis does not make - between the public state that is ostensibly dedicated to fostering the welfare, rights and upward power of the people, and that residue of unofficial powers inside and outside government, or what I have awkwardly called the deep state, that for a half century has been progressively eroding that upward or persuasive power, and replacing it with unrestricted, unconstitutional power (or violence) of its own.

My final objection to SCAD analysis is practical. If the state is the author of these crimes, then the work of critics must be to mobilize public opinion against the state. This fits the libertarian politics of those who (like Alex Jones and other lovers of the Second Amendment) profoundly distrust the public US state in its entirety, and not just its covert agencies. Prof. DeHaven-Smith's own analysis implicates not just covert intelligence agencies of the US Government but the government as a whole, and perhaps particularly the courts. (In support of this indictment, he is able to point to the Supreme Court's unusual action, in 2000, of itself electing George W. Bush as president, by a vote of five to four.)

now the real meat: 911 and American Behavioral Scientist SCAD series by Joao


Sense Making Under "Holographic" Conditions: Framing SCAD Research
Matthew T. Witt

University of La Verne, CA, USA,

Alexander Kouzmin

Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales (NSW), Australia; University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia (SA), Australia,

The ellipses of due diligence riddling the official account of the 9/11 incidents continue being ignored by scholars of policy and public administration. This article introduces intellectual context for examining the policy heuristic "State Crimes Against Democracy" (SCAD) (deHaven-Smith, 2006) and its usefulness for better understanding patterns of state criminality of which no extant policy analytic model gives adequate account.This article then introduces papers included in this symposium examining the chimerical presence and perfidious legacy of state criminality against democracy.

Key Words: state crimes against democracy • empiricism • shock and awe • holographic state

American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, 783-794 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764209353272

Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government
Lance deHaven-Smith

Florida State University, Tallahassee,

This article explores the conceptual, methodological, and practical implications of research on state crimes against democracy (SCADs). In contrast to conspiracy theories, which speculate about each suspicious event in isolation, the SCAD construct delineates a general category of criminality and calls for crimes that fit this category to be examined comparatively. Using this approach, an analysis of post—World War II SCADs and suspected SCADs highlights a number of commonalities in SCAD targets, timing, and policy consequences. SCADs often appear where presidential politics and foreign policy intersect. SCADs differ from earlier forms of political corruption in that they frequently involve political, military, and/or economic elites at the very highest levels of the social and political order.The article concludes by suggesting statutory and constitutional reforms to improve SCAD prevention and detection.

Key Words: state crimes against democracy • conspiracy theory • assassinations • constitutional reform • political corruption • National Security Apparatus • criminogenic

American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, 795-825 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764209353274

Negative Information Action: Danger for Democracy
Christopher L. Hinson

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA,

This article explores evidence of, and provides insight into, secrecy-related information actions that are sometimes used to circumvent established government policy and law. These information actions may also be used to cover up such circumventions after the fact. To better understand secrecy as a negative information action and its impact on democracy, secrecy-related information actions are described according to methods, information technologies, and knowledge support. Negative information actions are willful and deliberate acts designed to keep government information from those in government and the public entitled to it. Negative information actions subvert the rule of law and the constitutional checks and balances. Negative information actions used by government officials to violate policies and laws during the IranContra Affair are identified, analyzed, and categorized by type. The relative impact of negative information actions on enlightened citizen understanding is demonstrated using a Negative Information Action Model by assigning a location according to type on a continuum of enlightened citizen understanding. Findings are compared with democratic theory and conspiracy doctrine.

Key Words: conspiracy doctrine • democratic theory • enlightened citizen understanding • government secrecy • group-danger rationale • information policy • negative information action • SCAD • state crimes against democracy

American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, 826-847 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764209353276

In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes Against Democracy Post-9/11
Laurie A. Manwell

University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada,

Protecting democracy requires that the general public be educated on how people can be manipulated by government and media into forfeiting their civil liberties and duties. This article reviews research on cognitive constructs that can prevent people from processing information that challenges preexisting assumptions about government, dissent, and public discourse in democratic societies. Terror management theory and system justification theory are used to explain how preexisting beliefs can interfere with people’s examination of evidence for state crimes against democracy (SCADs), specifically in relation to the events of September 11, 2001, and the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Reform strategies are proposed to motivate citizens toward increased social responsibility in a post-9/11 culture of propagandized fear, imperialism, and war.

Key Words: state crimes against democracy • terror management • system justification • government • media

American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, 848-884 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764209353279

The USA PATRIOT Acts (et al.): Convergent Legislation and Oligarchic Isomorphism in the "Politics of Fear" and State Crime(s) Against Democracy (SCADs)
Kym Thorne

University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia,

Alexander Kouzmin

University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK

The irrelevance of habeas corpus and the abolition of "double jeopardy," secret and protracted outsourcing of detention and torture, and increasing geographic prevalence of surveillance technologies across Anglo-American "democracies" have many citizens concerned about the rapidly convergent, authoritarian behavior of political oligarchs and the actual destruction of sovereignty and democratic values under the onslaught of antiterrorism hubris, propaganda, and fear. This article examines synchronic legislative isomorphism in responses to 9/11 in the United States, the United Kingdom and European Union, and Australia in terms of enacted terrorism legislation and, also, diachronic, oligarchic isomorphism in the manufacture of fear within a convergent world by comparing the "Politics of Fear" being practiced today to Stalinist—Russian and McCarthyist—U.S. abuse of "fear." The immediate future of Anglo-American democratic hubris, threats to civil society, and oligarchic threats to democratic praxis are canvassed. This article also raises the question as to whether The USA PATRIOT Acts of 2001/2006, sanctioned by the U.S. Congress, are examples, themselves, of state crimes against democracy. In the very least, any democratically inclined White House occupant in 2009 would need to commit to repealing these repressive, and counterproductive, acts.

Key Words: USA PATRIOT Act • "War on Terror," politics of fear • policy and oligarchic isomorphism • state crimes against democracy

American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, 885-920 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764209353280

Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship
Matthew T. Witt

University of La Verne, CA, USA,

This article opens with an inventory of how popular culture passion plays are homologous to the stampeding disenfranchisement everywhere of working classes and the emasculation of professional codes of ethics under siege by neoliberal initiatives and gambits.The article then examines a recent example of contemporary,"deconstructive" scholarly analysis and inventory of presidential "Orwellian doublespeak." The preoccupation among contemporary critical scholarship with "discourse analysis" and language gambits is criticized for displacing interrogation of real-event anomalies, as with the porous account given by the 9/11 Commission for what happened that fateful day. The article concludes by explaining how critical scholarship consistently falls short of unmasking Master Signifiers.

Key Words: neoliberalism • poststructuralism • racism • discourse analysis • 9/11 • habeas corpus • thermodynamics

American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, 921-939 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764209353281

And links to readable copies:

Joao » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:55 pm wrote:It's been 3.5 years since the OP, but these recently fell off a truck:

See also elfismiles' thread "Latest MSM Crack at 'Conspiracy Theory'" for some additional discussion of SCADs (starting at the bottom of the first page).
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:33 am

jfshade » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:51 pm wrote:An excerpt from deHaven-Smith's book:
A Curious History

The term “conspiracy theory” did not exist as a phrase in everyday American conversation before 1964. The conspiracy-theory label entered the American lexicon of political speech as a catchall for criticisms of the Warren Commission’s conclusion that President Kennedy was assassinated by a lone gunman with no assistance from, or foreknowledge by, any element of the United States government. Since then, the term’s prevalence and range of application have exploded. In 1964, the year the Warren Commission issued its report, the New York Times published five stories in which “conspiracy theory” appeared. In recent years, the phrase has occurred in over 140 New York Times stories annually. A Google search for the phrase (in 2012) yielded more than 21 million hits—triple the numbers for such common expressions as “abuse of power” and “war crime.” On, the term is a book category that includes in excess of 1,300 titles. In addition to books on conspiracy theories of particular events, there are conspiracy-theory encyclopedias, photographic compendiums, website directories, and guides for researchers, skeptics, and debunkers.

Initially, conspiracy theories were not an object of ridicule and hostility. Today, however, the conspiracy-theory label is employed routinely to dismiss a wide range of antigovernment suspicions as symptoms of impaired thinking akin to superstition or mental illness. For example, in a massive book published in 2007 on the assassination of President Kennedy, former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi says people who doubt the Warren Commission report are “as kooky as a three dollar bill in their beliefs and paranoia.” Similarly, in his recently published book Among the Truthers (Harper's, 2011), Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay refers to 9/11 conspiracy theorists as “political paranoiacs” who have “lost their grip on the real world.” Making a similar point, if more colorfully, in his popular book Wingnuts, journalist John Avlon refers to conspiracy believers as “moonbats,” “Hatriots,” “wingnuts,” and the “Fright Wing.”

The same judgment is expressed in more measured terms by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule in a 2009 journal article on the “causes and cures” of conspiracy theories. Sunstein is a Harvard law professor appointed by President Obama to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He and Vermeule claim that once a person buys into them, conspiracy theories are resistant to debunking because they are “self-sealing.” That is, because conspiracy theories attribute extraordinary powers to elites to orchestrate events, keep secrets, and avoid detection, the theories encourage their adherents to dismiss countervailing evidence as fabricated or planted.

In a book on technology and public opinion, Sunstein argues further that conspiracy-theory groups and networks are proliferating because the highly decentralized form of mass communication made possible by the Internet is altering the character of public discourse. Whereas television and radio provide platforms for debating competing viewpoints on matters of widely shared interest, the Internet tends to segment discussion into a multitude of small groups, each focusing on a separate and distinct topic. Sunstein argues that this splintering of discourse encourages extremism because it allows proponents of false or one-sided beliefs to locate others with similar views while at the same time avoiding interaction with competing perspectives. In Sunstein’s words, “The Internet produces a process of spontaneous creation of groups of like-minded types, fueling group polarization. People who would otherwise be loners, or isolated in their objections and concerns, congregate into social networks.” Sunstein acknowledges that this consequence of the Internet is unavoidable, but he says polarization can and should be mitigated by a combination of government action and voluntarily adopted norms. The objective, he says, should be to ensure that those who hold conspiracy theories “are exposed to credible counterarguments and are not living in an echo chamber of their own design”.

In their law review article, Sunstein and Vermeule expand this idea and propose covert government action reminiscent of the FBI’s efforts against the civil rights and antiwar movements in the 1960s. They consider a number of options for countering the influence of conspiracy theories, including public information campaigns, censorship, and fines for Internet service providers hosting conspiracy-theory websites. Ultimately rejecting those options as impractical because they would attract attention and reinforce antigovernment suspicions, they call for a program of “cognitive infiltration” in which groups and networks popularizing conspiracy theories would be infiltrated and “disrupted.”

A Flawed and Un-American Label

As these examples illustrate, conspiracy deniers assume that what qualifies as a conspiracy theory is self-evident. In their view, the phrase “conspiracy theory” as it is conventionally understood simply names this objectively identifiable phenomenon. Conspiracy theories are easy to spot because they posit secret plots that are too wacky to be taken seriously. Indeed, the theories are deemed so far-fetched they require no reply or rejoinder; they are objects of derision, not ideas for discussion. In short, while analyzing the psychological appeal of conspiracy beliefs and bemoaning their corrosive effects on public trust, conspiracy deniers have taken the conspiracy-theory concept itself for granted.

This is remarkable, not to say shocking, because the concept is both fundamentally flawed and in direct conflict with American legal and political traditions. As a label for irrational political suspicions about secret plots by powerful people, the concept is obviously defective because political conspiracies in high office do, in fact, happen. Officials in the Nixon administration did conspire to steal the 1972 presidential election. Officials in the Reagan White House did participate in a criminal scheme to sell arms to Iran and channel profits to the Contras, a rebel army in Nicaragua. The Bush-Cheney administration did collude to mislead Congress and the public about the strength of its evidence for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. If some conspiracy theories are true, then it is nonsensical to dismiss all unsubstantiated suspicions of elite intrigue as false by definition.

This fatal defect in the conspiracy-theory concept makes it all the more surprising that most scholars and journalists have failed to notice that their use of the term to ridicule suspicions of elite political criminality betrays the civic ethos inherited from the nation’s Founders. From the nation’s beginning, Americans were fearful of secret plots by political insiders to subvert constitutional governance. Those who now dismiss conspiracy theories as groundless paranoia have apparently forgotten that the United States was founded on a conspiracy theory. The Declaration of Independence claimed that “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations” by King George proved the king was plotting to establish “an absolute tyranny over these states.” Today, most Americans are familiar only with the Declaration’s opening paragraphs about self-evident truths and inalienable rights, but if they were to read the rest of the document, they would see that it is devoted to detailing the abuses evincing the king’s tyrannical design. Among the complaints listed are onerous taxation, fomenting slave rebellions and Indian uprisings, taxation without representation, and indifference to the colonies’ complaints. The document’s signers claimed it was this “design to reduce them under absolute despotism,” not any or all of the abuses themselves, that gave them the right and the duty “to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

The Founders considered political power a corrupting influence that makes political conspiracies against the people’s interests and liberties almost inevitable. They repeatedly and explicitly called for popular vigilance against antidemocratic schemes in high office. Educated in classical political philosophy, they understood that one of the most important questions in Western political thought is how to prevent top leaders from abusing their powers to impose arbitrary rule, which the Founders referred to, appropriately, as “tyranny.” Whereas Great Britain relied on common law to define the powers and procedures of its government, the generation that established the American republic developed a written constitution to set clear limits on public officials. Nevertheless, they understood that all constitutions are vulnerable to subversion because ultimately they are interpreted and administered by public officials themselves. The Founders would view today’s norms against conspiratorial suspicion as not only arrogant, but also dangerous and un-American.

The Founders would also be shocked that conspiracy deniers attack and ridicule individuals who voice conspiracy beliefs and yet ignore institutional purveyors of conspiratorial ideas even though the latter are the ideas that have proven truly dangerous in modern American history. Since at least the end of World War II, the citadel of theories alleging nefarious political conspiracies has been, not amateur investigators of the Kennedy assassination and other political crimes and tragedies, but the United States government. In the first three decades of the post–World War II era, U.S. officials asserted that communists were conspiring to take over the world, that the U.S. bureaucracy was riddled with Soviet spies, and that the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s were creatures of Soviet influence. More recently, they have claimed that Iraq was complicit in 9/11, failed to dispose of its biological weapons, and attempted to purchase uranium in Niger so it could construct nuclear bombs. Although these ideas were untrue, they influenced millions of Americans, fomented social panic, fueled wars, and resulted in massive loss of life and destruction of property. If conspiracy deniers are so concerned about the dangers of conspiratorial suspicions in American politics and civic culture, why have they ignored the conspiracism of U.S. politicians?

Finally, there is something very hypocritical about those who want to fix people who do not share their opinions. Sunstein and Vermeule say conspiracy believers need to have their discussions disrupted, because they are dangerous. But what could be more dangerous than thinking it is acceptable to mess with someone else’s thoughts? Sunstein and Vermeule’s hypocrisy is breathtaking. They would have government conspiring against citizens who voice suspicions about government conspiracies, which is to say they would have government do precisely what they want citizens to stop saying the government does. How do Harvard law professors become snared in such Orwellian logic? One can only assume that there must be something bedeviling about the idea of conspiracy theory.
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:42 pm


Frequently Asked Questions about State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs)

1. What are State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs)?

I coined the term “State Crimes Against Democracy” in a peer-reviewed article published by Administrative Theory & Praxis, the journal of the Public Administration Theory Network. SCADs are defined as “concerted actions or inactions by government insiders intended to manipulate democratic processes and undermine popular sovereignty.” Until recently, scholarly research on political criminality has given little attention to antidemocratic conspiracies in high office, focusing instead on graft, bribery, embezzlement, and other forms of government corruption where the aim is personal enrichment rather than social control, partisan advantage, or political power. However, SCADs are far more dangerous to democracy than these other, more mundane forms of political criminality because of their potential to subvert political institutions and entire governments or branches of government.

2. What are some examples of SCADs in recent U.S. history?

Examples of SCADs that have been officially proven include the Watergate break-ins and cover up; the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia; the illegal arms sales and covert operations in Iran-Contra; and the effort to discredit Joseph Wilson by revealing his wife's status as an intelligence agent. Examples of suspected SCADs include the fabricated attacks on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964; the "October Surprises" in the presidential elections of 1968 and 1980; the assassinations of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King; the attempted assassinations of George Wallace and Ronald Reagan; the election breakdowns in 2000 and 2004; the numerous defense failures on 9-11-2001; the anthrax mailings in October 2001; and the misrepresentation of intelligence to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

3. Are suspicions about SCADs “conspiracy theories”?

The concept of State Crimes against Democracy was developed, in part, to replace the term "conspiracy theory.” The conspiracy-theory literature about assassinations, 9/11, and other suspicious events has generally examined each event in isolation. The SCAD construct was introduced to move inquiry beyond incident-specific theorizing. It delineates a crime category comparable to white collar crime, organized crime, and hate crime. SCAD research looks for patterns across events. The objective is to develop (a) an empirically grounded theory of elite political criminality, (b) forensic methods for SCAD detection and investigation, and (c) political reforms to discourage SCADs from being committed in the first place.

4. Why are SCADs difficult to detect?

SCADs are usually complex conspiracies involving people with expertise in law, law enforcement, and police procedures. Ordinary crimes are often solved by pressuring criminals to inform on one another, but this may be impossible with SCADs because they are often organized like covert intelligence operations. Each element of the operation is compartmentalized, and information about participant roles is shared only on a need-to-know basis.

5. Why are SCAD suspects seldom convicted and punished?

One reason SCADs often go unpunished is that the agencies assigned to investigate what may be high crimes often bear some blame or have some connection to the events in question; hence, personnel in these agencies are inevitably tempted to conceal evidence that would implicate or embarrass the agencies or their top managers. In the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy, for example, both the FBI and the CIA concealed evidence of their contacts with Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby (Talbot, 2007). Likewise, in response to the inquiry into the defense failures surrounding 9-11, the Department of Defense appears to have withheld from the 9-11 Commission evidence that military intelligence agents had uncovered the 9-11 hijackers' activities well in advance of September 2001. SCAD investigations and prosecutions are also impeded by Presidential pardons and commutations. Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon without even allowing a full investigation into all of Nixon's possible crimes. Similarly, George H.W. Bush pardoned the Iran-Contra conspirators and effectively prevented further investigation of his own role in the affair. George W. Bush appears to have had similar motives with respect to Scooter Libby. In commuting Libby's sentence rather than issuing a pardon, Bush made it impossible for Congress to compel Libby's testimony in any further inquiry into Plame's exposure.

6. Why do the mainstream media spurn “conspiracy theories”?

There are powerful norms among political, economic, and media elites that discourage speculation about corruption in high office. In elite discourse, convention prohibits suspicions from being voiced about top officials unless their guilt can be proven unambiguously by “smoking gun” evidence. This norm does not come from the principle in American jurisprudence that suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty. The presumption of innocence was never intended to outlaw suspicions. Rather, it calls for suspicions to be tested with thorough and fair investigations grounded by procedural rules for procuring and presenting evidence. Norms against conspiratorial speculations in elite discourse function to protect the legitimacy of elites as a class.

7. Was 9/11 a SCAD?

Much circumstantial evidence suggests the Bush-Cheney Administration may have somehow been involved in 9-11. The Administration ignored many warning signs that the 9-11 terrorist attack was imminent and that the attack might include hijackings; the CIA had a working relationship with bin Laden, and provided weapons, money, and technical support to Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation; some officials appear to have received warnings not to fly on 9-11; the Twin Towers and Building 7, which collapsed at near free-fall acceleration, are suspected of having been brought down by controlled demolition; chemical tests have found traces of Thermate (an incendiary for cutting steel) in dust from the Trade Center site; and, as is usual with most SCADs, the Twin Towers crime scene was cleaned up quickly and given only a superficial investigation.

8. What patterns have been uncovered with SCAD research?

Several patterns stand out when SCADs and suspected SCADs are considered comparatively. First, many SCADs are associated with foreign policy and international conflict: the Gulf of Tonkin incident; the burglary of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office; Iran-Contra; 9-11; Iraq-gate; the assassinations of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy; and the attempted assassinations of Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle. All of these SCADs contributed to the initiation or continuation of military conflicts.

Second, SCADs are fairly limited in their modus operandi (MO). The most common SCAD-MOs are assassinations and mass deceptions related to foreign policy. Other MOs include election tampering, contrived international conflicts, and “black bag” burglaries. All of these MOs are indicative of groups with expertise in the skills of espionage and covert, paramilitary operations.

Third, many SCADs in the post-WWII era are associated with two presidents: Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. Nixon was not only responsible for Watergate and the illegal surveillance of Daniel Ellsberg, he alone benefited from all three of the suspicious attacks on presidential candidates in the 1960s and 1970s: the assassinations of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, and the attempted assassination of George Wallace. The SCADs that benefited Bush include the election-administration problems in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004; the defense failures on 9/11; the (U.S. defense grade) anthrax attacks on top Senate Democrats in October 2001; Iraq-gate; and the multiple and specious terror alerts that rallied support for Bush before the 2004 presidential election.

9. Are there any patterns in assassination targets?

The range of officials targeted for assassination is limited to those most directly associated with foreign policy: presidents and senators. Presidents are most vulnerable when they have Vice Presidents who are more closely aligned than they are to military and intelligence elites. This was the case for both Kennedy and Reagan. Senators are most vulnerable when the Senate is very closely divided along partisan lines and the death of a single senator will shift control of the Senate to the more hawkish party. This was the situation when Senator Paul Wellstone was killed in a suspicious plane crash, and when anthrax was mailed to Senators Daschle and Leahy.

Most other high-ranking officials in the federal government have seldom been murdered even though many have attracted widespread hostility and opposition. In the post-World War II era if not generally, no Vice Presidents have been assassinated, nor have any members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Supreme Court. If lone gunmen have been roaming the country in search of political victims, it is difficult to understand why they have not struck more widely, especially given that most officials receive no Secret Service protection.

10. What do SCAD patterns reveal about SCAD perpetrators?

SCADs frequently involve presidents either as victims or principals, benefit military and military-industrial elites, and employ the skills of intelligence and paramilitary operatives. This policy locus could mean that the nation's civilian leadership is being targeted by military and intelligence elites, or that military and intelligence assets and capabilities are being politicized by the civilian leadership, or both. In any event, officials at the highest levels of American government appear to be using deception, conspiracy, and violence to shape national policies and priorities. This sub rosa manipulation of domestic politics is an extension of America's duplicity in foreign affairs and draws on the nation's well-developed skills in covert operations.
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Lord Balto » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:34 pm

Phew! Amazing! Looks like someone in the intellectual establishment has actually come out of their hypnotic trance. I should probably read some of these guys.

Thanks for this! Great work! I should probably link to this on the Black Op Radio forum.

There's an excellent 1.5 hour presentation at the Toronto Hearings by Lance deHaven-Smith here:
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Grizzly » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:01 pm

Sage publishing is impossible to access, even as a student with acess to jstor and lexus nexus etc... Does anyone have acess to these papers? Hell, I'd buy that whole issue if I could figure out how with out a subscription.
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Lord Balto » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:45 pm

These articles are from the February 2010 issue (vol. 53, no.6) of the American Behavioral Scientist, which should be available online from your university, if not in printed form. Login to WorldCat: to see if they have it. The PDFs can also be bought from the ABS here:
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby elfismiles » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:14 pm

Alex welcomes to the broadcast via Skype Dr Lance deHaven-Smith of University of FLA to discuss his new book hat investigates how the Founders' hard-nosed realism about the likelihood of elite political misconduct -- articulated in the Declaration of Independence -- has been replaced by today's blanket condemnation of conspiracy beliefs as ludicrous by definition.

elfismiles » 01 Nov 2013 20:02 wrote:Lance de Haven Smith was just on with ... Alex Jones.

Videos to follow -

See also ...

911 and American Behavioral Scientist SCAD series
by elfismiles » 04 Mar 2010 16:56

SCADS = State Crimes Against Democracy (SCAD's)

Entire February 2010 Issue of the American Behavioral Scientist Devoted to State Crimes Against Democracy: The Case of September 11, 2001
— Elizabeth Woodworth, Professional Librarian

MinM » 27 Apr 2013 15:38 wrote:Of course the Lance deHaven-Smiths of the world will never be allowed to lend legitimacy to 'conspiracies' .. Instead crackpots and self-promoters like Glenn Beck and Alex Jones...
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby elfismiles » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:18 pm

Aug 10, 2013 - Uploaded by breakingtheset
Abby Martin talks to Lance deHaven-Smith, Florida State University professor and author of 'Conspiracy ...
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Lord Balto » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:33 pm

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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby guruilla » Mon May 16, 2016 2:05 pm

Lord Balto wrote:One wonders why a legitimate scholar would go on with this character.

Yeah. I'm just finishing his book & am really impressed. On the other hand, I see he has done the rounds on mainstream US TV, and... Alex Jones....? So there may be some subtle taint I'm missing.

Some striking passages from chap 3, "Conspiracy Denial in the Social Sciences" (76-106):

The intellectual basis for abandoning the conspiratorial concerns
of the Founders was developed in the 1940s and 1950s
by two European philosophers: Karl Popper and Leo Strauss.
It would be only a modest exaggeration to say that Popper and
to some extent Strauss blamed conspiracy theory for totalitarianism
in Europe, World War II, and the Holocaust. Popper
is largely responsible for the mistaken idea that conspiracy
theories are modern variants of ancient superstitions and
nineteenth-century social prejudices, and that, thus rooted
in irrationality and paranoia, are the seeds of authoritarian
political movements [1 pp. 94–97]. For his part, Strauss did
not use the term “conspiracy theory,” but he advocated state
political propaganda and covert actions to protect a society’s
traditional beliefs and ongoing illusions about its origins and
virtues from unrestrained inquiries or, in other words, conspiratorial
theorizing [2 pp. 146–173]. Strauss’ thinking differed
from much of Popper’s analysis but saw scientific criticism
of official accounts of important historical events as a
precursor to totalitarianism because it undermines respect
for the nation’s laws and traditional beliefs
; it ushers in,
with philosophy and science, the view that nothing is true;
and it unleashes tyrannical impulses in the political class as
top leaders compete for popular support. [3] Although Popper
and Strauss arrived by diff erent routes, they agreed that
conspiracy theories can fuel totalitarian political movements
that threaten respect for human dignity, popular sovereignty,
and the rule of law. [4]


Strauss assumes that all but the most primitive societies are stratified into an
elite and mass; that the elites are simply smarter, stronger,
braver, and better than are the masses; and that the decisive
factor in social organization is how the elites are controlled
and managed. For the most part, he thinks the latter depends
on the elites’ reverence, or lack thereof, for the established
laws and traditions.
Elites who revere their societies’ values
and norms will be magnanimous, restrained, and caring.
When traditional beliefs erode, the elites become gangsters
and eventually one gangster rises through guile and brutality
to the top, thus establishing tyranny. Therefore, whereas
Popper envisions as the endpoint of societal development a
totally open society without superstition, Strauss says such
a society is not possible in the long run because it would
eventually become totalitarian or, in Strauss’ terms, “tyrannical.”
Democracy and respect for human dignity depend on
“salutary myths” and “noble lies” that must be propagated by
a special class of philosophical elites who are dedicated to
guarding the society’s values and traditions.

Strauss never defines what he means by “noble lies”
beyond referring to Plato’s The Republic, which is where
the term originates. But this was certainly no oversight on
Strauss’ part, for it leaves the matter open, which is to say,
unlimited. For Plato, noble lies included myths and stories
about the society’s origins, rigged lotteries for choosing
marriage partners, infanticide, and other actions to create a
strong people willing and able to defend themselves in a hostile
This short list would seem to imply support for
many antidemocratic elite conspiracies, including assassinating
political leaders, framing dissidents, fomenting mass
fear, demonizing rival societies, and letting enemy attacks
succeed so that the masses are galvanized to deal with a gathering
threat. [3] The upshot for modern democracies is that
political leaders must conspire to manipulate mass opinion
and reinforce patriotism, reverence for the Founders,
religious faith and piety, and generally “love of one’s own.”
Like science and philosophy, conspiracy theories (or “dastardly
truths”) are corrosive of political cohesion and the rule
of (traditional) law because they undermine authority and
raise doubts about foundational stories extolling the societies’
founders and rules.


They may also wish to consider that the theory they are embracing—
the conspiracy-denying theory of Karl Popper—is blind to
the possibility that a segment of U.S. political elites, perhaps
under the infl uence of Leo Strauss or a living Straussian, is
conspiring to manipulate American democracy to make it
more authoritarian for the sake of preserving a remnant of
American democracy in a hostile world.


In effect, Strauss believed state
political crimes, insofar as they reinforce the society’s values
and myths, are necessary and beneficial because without
them, liberal democracies are doomed to become totalitarian
or to be conquered by totalitarian regimes.


On the basis of an innovative analysis of classical political
philosophy, Strauss challenged modern belief in the civilizing
effect of science. He concluded that the ancient philosophers
had realized that a society based on philosophy alone
eventually transformed into tyranny. [3] The truth discovered
by philosophy is that there are no gods, the universe is
eternal rather than created, and life according to nature is for
the strong to rule the weak. If this truth is shared with people
who are not philosophers, social order will be destroyed
because non-philosophers will no longer revere their society
as unique and exemplary and will become lawless and politically
opportunistic. Elites will abandon restraint in their
competition with each other, and the masses will turn to elite
demagogues who promise them equality of power, wealth,
and status. The result will be rule by the will of the tyrant
rather than by the laws of the land.


Strauss concluded that Western culture could be
preserved only by somehow insulating biblical beliefs from
scientific criticism.


Strauss did not speak openly of all that would be
condoned by his point of view, but SCADs to shore up hatred
against the enemy would seem to be acceptable. The key consideration
would be the ability to avoid detection. Just about
anything would be allowed if it could be kept secret.
Dirty tricks would also be justified for discrediting scientists,
historians, journalists, independent investigators, and
others who formulated conspiracy theories that discredited
or cast doubt on beliefs important to the democratic society’s
existence in a hostile world, a world in which liberal democracies
are faced with powerful, totalitarian enemies.
In this
context, formulating and popularizing conspiracy theories
that undermine popular confidence in the nation’s leaders,
institutions, and traditions would border on treason. Hence
the state could reasonably resort to targeting domestic conspiracy-theory
groups and networks with Sunstein and Vermeule’s
program of “cognitive infiltration.”


However, the possibility remains that American militarism
has been maintained by SCADs, or more generally the
policies advocated by Strauss. If the system followed the
Platonic model of guardians, the requisite actions would be
assigned to covert operatives by an inner circle of national
security elites. The operatives would have developed their
skills in covert operations overseas. The tactics might
include, for example, political assassination, false-flag terrorism,
election theft, military provocation, and contrived
economic crises. [21, 22] In theory, national security elites
would stage, facilitate, or execute events that discipline politics
and policy by changing either the lineup of top policymakers
or the perceived constellation of major problems and
threats facing the social order. Their objectives would be to
foster social panic and militarism in the American mass public
and belligerency in U.S. foreign policy. [21]

Of course, the source of American neoconservative militarism
in the post-WWII era is an empirical question that
poses serious difficulties for observation because of extensive
government secrecy. There is also the potential for the object
of inquiry to turn on its observers and not simply elude detection
but deploy violence or other forms of force. Nevertheless,
experience shows that at least some access to this milieu
occasionally opens up, as it did with the Watergate hearings,
Nixon’s audiotapes, the Church Committee, and other inquiries.
Consequently, the failure of all major research and theoretical
traditions in U.S. social science to investigate the possibility
of strategic interventions by national security elites
and covert operatives into U.S. domestic politics can be reasonably
attributed to powerful norms in academia, as in the
broader society, against speculating about possible mischief
in high office. Indeed, it is likely that the CIA propaganda program
to instantiate the conspiracy-theory concept in America’s
civic culture was directed as much toward intellectuals
as ordinary citizens.
Of course, there is no reason to believe
that the CIA program that was discovered by a Freedom of
Information Act request is the only such CIA program that
has been, or is, shaping U.S. culture.


Today in the United States, intelligence agencies are generally
prohibited from carrying out covert actions against
American citizens, but this prohibition is not always honored.
When violations of the prohibition come to light, as
with the warrantless wiretaps of the Bush-Cheney administration,
they are dismissed as isolated mistakes of judgment
by overzealous officials. In actuality, however, U.S. military
and intelligence elites actively manipulate domestic affairs
as a matter of policy.


To the extent that national security elites
are influencing national political priorities by manipulating
the constellation of issues confronting the nation, all of the
theories in the social sciences and their associated research
programs are studying downstream phenomena while the
real explanation of events resides earlier in time and higher
in America’s authoritative hierarchy. In other words, it is
quite possible that the social sciences are studying shadows
and that the people making the shadows are designing
them for effect. Of course, this was how Plato described the
situation of the citizens, except that in his story, which we
must assume was a noble lie, the philosophers were helping
citizens understand the shadows, not using the shadows for
social control.

And this from Chap 5, SCAD, very HMW:

The 1967 CIA propaganda program shows that the United
States government has been actively engaged in engineering
America’s civic culture and has been alarmingly effective at
doing so. It appears that one of its methods is to insert memes
into the culture through a global network of media contacts
and assets.
The scholar most directly familiar with this propaganda
machine has compared it to a giant pipe organ, or
“Wurlitzer.” [23]

The possibility of cultural engineering in relation to 9/11,
the anthrax letter attacks, and other associated crimes should
be investigated. It should be assumed that covert cultural
operations involve inserting debilitating memes and perhaps
other forms of weaponized language into the discursive
arena to skew the search for meaning, agreement, and collective
action in the public sphere. These destructive memes
may have characteristics similar to those of the conspiracy-
theory label, which is normatively powerful but conceptually
fl awed and alien to America’s civic culture.


A SCAD approach to memes assumes further that the CIA
and other possibly participating agencies are formulating
memes well in advance of operations, and therefore SCAD
memes appear and are popularized very quickly before any
competing concepts are on the scene. The tendency in meme
analysis for marketing research is to track the life cycle
of memes from obscurity to popularity and then fadeout.
SCAD memes would be expected to become widely used very
quickly, block new memes from entry, and consequently have
a much longer longer shelf life than standard memes.

The rapidity with which the new language of the war on
terror appeared and took hold; the synergy between terms
and their mutual connections to WWII nomenclatures; and
above all the connections between many terms and the emergency
motif of “9/11” and “9-1-1”—any one of these factors
alone, but certainly all of them together—raise the possibility
that work on this linguistic construct began long before 9/11.
The decision had to be made that the core concept would be
the world-historic emergency before planning could be set
in motion around the September 11 date and downstream
terminology could be framed accordingly. In short, once we
recognize the centrality of 9/11 as a symbol and linguistic
core for what has materialized as a new paradigm of American
government (an endless emergency) and an American dominated
world order backed by military forces deployed
around the globe; once we recognize that NSC 68 put America
on the path of constructing U.S. civic culture to stand firm
against the threat of global thermonuclear warfare; once we
see that U.S. policy both domestically and internationally
has become subordinate to military plans and calculations
that envision the future, decades in advance, 9/11 itself is put
in a larger perspective, as is the hope and fate of American
democracy. It turns out that elite political crime, even treason,
may actually be official policy.
It is a lot easier to fool people than show them how they have been fooled.
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Re: State Crimes Against Democracy

Postby Grizzly » Mon May 16, 2016 4:55 pm

State Crimes Against Democracy - Lance deHaven-Smith
If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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