State Crimes Against Democracy

New research in the journal American Behavioral Scientist (Sage publications, February 2010) addresses the concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” (SCAD). Professor Lance deHaven-Smith from Florida State University writes that SCADs involve highlevel government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities for political advantages and power. Proven SCADs since World War II include McCarthyism (fabrication of evidence of a communist infiltration), Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (President Johnson and Robert McNamara falsely claimed North Vietnam attacked a US ship), burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in effort to discredit Ellsberg, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, Florida’s 2000 Election (felon disenfranchisement program), and fixed intelligence on WMDs to justify the Iraq War.1

Other suspected SCADs include the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, the shooting of George Wallace, the October Surprise near the end of the Carter presidency, military grade anthrax mailed to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, Martin Luther King’s assassination, and the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11, 2001. The proven SCADs have a long trail of congressional hearings, public records, and academic research establishing the truth of the activities. The suspected SCADs listed above have substantial evidence of covert actions with countervailing deniability that tend to leave the facts in dispute.1

The term “conspiracy theory” is often used to denigrate and discredit inquiry into the veracity of suspected SCADs. Labeling SCAD research as “conspiracy theory” is an effective method of preventing ongoing investigations from being reported in the corporate media and keep them outside of broader public scrutiny. Psychologist Laurie Manwell, University of Guelph, addresses the psychological advantage that SCAD actors hold in the public sphere. Manwell, writing in American Behavioral Scientist (Sage 2010) states, “research shows that people are far less willing to examine information that disputes, rather than confirms, their beliefs … pre-existing beliefs can interfere with SCADs inquiry, especially in regards to September 11, 2001.”2

Professor Steven Hoffman, visiting scholar at the University of Buffalo, recently acknowledged this phenomenon in a study “There Must Be a Reason: Osama, Saddam and Inferred Justification.” Hoffman concluded, “Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as ‘motivated reasoning,’ which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe. In fact, for the most part people completely ignore contrary information.”3

Sometimes even new academic research goes largely unreported when the work contradicts prevailing understandings of recent historical events. A specific case of unreported academic research is the peer reviewed journal article from Open Chemical Physics Journal (Volume 2, 2009), entitled “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust for the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.” In the abstract the authors write, “We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.” Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide which produces an aluminothermic reaction known as a thermite reaction and is used in controlled demolitions of buildings.4

National Medal of Science recipient (1999) Professor Lynn Margulis from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is one of many academics who supports further open investigative research in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Margulis recently wrote in Rock Creek Free Press, “all three buildings were destroyed by carefully planned, orchestrated and executed controlled demolition.”5 Richard Gage, AIA, architect and founder of the non-profit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Inc. (AE911Truth), announced a decisive milestone February 19, 2010 at a press conference in San Francisco, CA. More than 1,000 architects and engineers worldwide now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center complex on September 11, 2001.6

Credible scientific evidence brings into question the possibility that some aspects of the events of 9/11 involved State Crimes Against Democracy. Psychologically this is a very hard concept for Americans to even consider. However, ignoring the issue in the context of multiple proven SCADs since World War II seems far more dangerous for democracy than the consequences of future scientific inquiry and transparent, fact-based investigative reporting. Anything short of complete, open discourse based on all the evidence about these critical issues in our society relating to the possible continuation of SCADs is simply a matter of censorship.7

  1. Lance deHaven-Smith, “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government,” American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, (February, 2010): pp. 795-825. For more studies on SCADs and related issues see all articles for American Behavioral Scientist, Sage publications, Vol. 53, No. 6, (February, 2010).

    For more background reading on this subject with specifics on the controversial cases mentioned in this paragraph, see the following scholarly works: Robert Abele, The Anatomy of a Deception: A Reconstruction and Analysis of the Decision to Invade Iraq (New York: University Press of America, 2010); Bob Coen and Eric Nadler, Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail (Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2009); Daniel Ellsberg, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (New York: Viking Adult, 2002); Steve Freeman and Joel Bleifuss, Was the 2004 Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006); Robert Griffith, The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987); David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report About 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (New York: Olive Branch press, 2008); Mark Crispin Miller, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008 (New York: Ig Publishing, 2008); Kenneth O’Reilly, Hoover and the Un-Americans: The FBI, HUAC, and the Red Menace (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1983); Robert Parry, Trick or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1993); William Pepper, An Act of State: The Execution of Marin Luther King (Updated) (New York: Verso, 2008); Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq (New York: Tarcher and Penguin, 2003); selected works of Peter Dale Scott, including Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993, 1996), Drugs Oil and War (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, March 2003), The Road to 9/11 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008); Norman Solomon, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning us to Death (New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2005); Lawrence Walsh, Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997); Gary Webb, Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2nd Edition, 2003). [] []

  2. American Behavioral Scientist, Sage publications, February, 2010, Vol. 53, No. 6. Specifically, see Laurie A. Manwell, “In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes Against Democracy Post-9/11,” American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, No. 6, (February, 2010): p. 848-884. []
  3. How We Support Our False Beliefs,” Science Daily (Aug. 23, 2009). For the full study see Steven Hoffman, Ph.D., et al., “There Must Be a Reason: Osama, Saddam and Inferred Justification,” Sociological Inquiry, Volume 79 Issue 2, (2009): p. 142-162. []
  4. Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” Open Chemical Physics Journal, Vol. 2 (April 3, 2009): 7-31. []
  5. Lynn Margulis, “Two Hit, Three Down, the Biggest Lie,” Rock Creek Press, February 2010, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 6. []
  6. Richard Gage, AIA, Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth, Press Conference, February 19th, 2010, SF, CA, online at http://www.ae911truth.org/info/160. See the Conference announcement video online. []
  7. For more on issues of media censorship see Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff, eds., Censored 2010 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2009). []

Peter Phillips is a professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and President of Media Freedom Foundation: peter.phillips@sonoma.edu. Mickey Huff is a associate professor of History at Diablo Valley College, and serves on the executive committee of Media Freedom Foundation: mickeyhuff@mac.com. Read other articles by Peter Phillips.

2 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on March 3rd, 2010 at 10:32am #

    I thought i had been the stupidest, most worthless person that ever lived. Whatever other people asked me or told me to do i did. I felt like non-human.
    To get noticed, i even unwittingly invited for 4 to 5 decades scorn, rejection, blame, etc.

    But ever so slowly i began to see myself differently and seeing others as mean, stupid, arrogant, warlike, etc.

    Now, when a child acquires a notion that there is god or a great land like amerika with ist perfect laws, constitution, and governance, and having possibly at least 50mn others like her or him, that child cannot ever change its mind.

    This bodes unwell for all neo-indians. With at least 50mn unsane people with such a strong army, wmd, cia, fbi, city police all evaluating america as infallible no matter what it does, we can expect much more bloodshed all over the world.
    sorry, folks, for bad news! tnx

  2. Josie Michel-Bruening said on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:21am #

    Thank you very much for this comprohensive and well-founded article!
    I would wish that more sociologists and psychologists would care for policy.
    Sorry for my poor English, but I think, it is high time for people being educated in how their perception is working on one hand and on the other hand how certain lobbies are exploiting their desire for not being disturbed in their believes.
    Regrettably, it needs most of the time a disturbing personel experience for a disposition of changing beloved attitudes or thinking.
    In the worst case: a direkt experience of an act of war.
    Some times, however, it needs just surprise.
    I would like to add another example I am concerned with, since I had travelled to Cuba for the first time in 1995:
    It was completely different there, from what I had expected because of that I have been told by our medias at home (Western Germany), which are related to US medias, of course.
    Well, since 2002, I am involved in the world wide campaign to free the Cuban Five, s.: http://www.freethefive.org or http://www.thecuban5.org/ .
    The Five are kept as hostages of the demonization of Cuba.
    As it turns out, certain lobbies, above all exile Cubans, don’t hesitate to spread the worst lies, for justifying their violation acts against Cuba and for punishing the Five and their relatives because of their loyality to Cuba.
    One simple argument is always very useful for them: they are communists.
    In other words they are no human beings – not worth for any respect.
    However, such a truism is: any fundamentalism can be dangerous for humanity whether Christianism, communism or capitalism.
    And the truth is: neither the five Cubans nor their relatives nor even the Cuban government has a fundamentalistic attitude.
    However, the respective interest groups and successive US governments don’t want to care.