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truth in media
While Americans are calling Putin a dictator for his actions on Saturday, many of the same Americans are unaware that they live in a nation where wars are often dictated by their President.
As recently as 2011, President Obama committed troops to Libya without Congressional approval. At the time, Libya was not attacking or threatening the United States. Obama made the decision to send troops to Libya due to the pressure put on him from NATO and others.
Starting in July of last year, the war drums were beating on America mainstream media channels and even libertarian Glenn Beck was calling for a war in Syria. Ben Swann didn’t waste any time after the Season 1 Truth In Media project was funded to create a video titled, “What The Media Isn’t Telling You About Syria.” The video went viral and had over 500,000 views. It was about a month later Glenn Beck made the decision to not support a war in Syria.
For the first time since World War II, an American President actually felt forced to ask for Congressional approval for war due to the overwhelming lack of support from Americans for a war with Syria. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) even started a petition that was signed by lawmakers that demanded the President get Congressional approval before going to war with Syria.
As reported by Time, even Obama’s aides believed that he may still attack Syria if approval was not given by Congress:
“To make matters more complicated, Obama’s aides made clear that the President’s search for affirmation from Congress would not be binding. He might still attack Syria even if Congress issues a rejection.”
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this but thank goodness we did not go to war with Syria. But what is next? With President Obama warning Russia to not proceed any further and Senator McCain calling on Obama to rally international allies to possibly use military force against Russia, there is no doubt that we are entering a time when Americans are once again going to have to put pressure on lawmakers to obey the U.S. Constitution.
So who will prevail? As Ron Paul put it, an “idea whose time has come can not be stopped by any army or any government.” What does this mean to us when it comes to foreign policy? It means that a new era of ideas has emerged in America where American’s prefer a non-interventionist foreign policy. As reported in December of 2013 by the the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity:
This year the highest percentage of Americans ever — 53 percent — agree with the statement that “the US should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.” (See illustration below)
So what does Season 2 of Ben Swann’s Truth In Media Project mean to America? It means more videos that we can use to educate ourselves and others during a time when the mainstream media rarely reports the truth. In 2013 and 2014, the videos that the project created were often the videos that we sent to our lawmakers and posted on social media websites. Did we make an impact in helping to stop a war with Syria? Absolutely!
Happy New Year!
Here we are, on the first day of 2014! I am so excited about what this year will hold, especially as I look back on all that took place in 2013.
Consider for a moment that so much of what we have been talking about, the overreach of government, disregard by the feds and even the states of rule of law, NSA spying and data collection, the intrusion of government into every area of our personal lives and the the fact that both major political parties, Republicans and Democrats are really just to sides of the same coin, has reached a new level of pubic discourse. What a remarkable moment! Much of this moment must be credited to Edward Snowden.
Consider how the emergence of new media and social media prevented another American war in the Middle East, this time in Syria. Of course, we know that the U.S. is still funding those Al Qaeda fighters in Syria but the only reason that the U.S. has been unable to use military force to completely hand Syria over to Al Qaeda is because of the push back from the American people. Do not underestimate the significance of that victory.
At this time last year, I never would have imagined being where I am right now. Nor would I have guessed that the nation would have gone through such a dramatic swing since the 2012 Presidential process.
Our Truth in Media project has been very exciting and incredibly timely. 1,000,000 unique users have visited BenSwann.com each month since we launched in September. I want to thank everyone who has shared our stories and stood with us as we are building out this online platform.
We also completed Season 1 of the Truth in Media episodes. I have included a special video at the top to thank everyone who contributed to the project, from those who gave $10 to those who contributed $5,000. Every last one of you helped us to create something that I believe is a great foundation for the road ahead.
This has been and continues to be a learning process. I know that there is much more to be done and as I said, I am excited about plans already in place for 2014. Above all else, I believe that 2014 will be an incredible year for the Liberty Movement. In the last 100 years, the idea of Liberty has not been stronger. This is our moment to really push back against a growing American tyranny, imperialism, the police state and the continued erosion of Constitutionally protected liberties.
2014 is our time. It will be an opportunity to continue to gain ground and push forward for the cause of Liberty. Make no mistake, this will not be easy. Do you really expect that those who have attempted to strip away every one of your natural God-given rights would simply just hand them back when confronted? Of course not. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I am proud to be a part of the fight.
Can’t wait to show you all that we have in store for 2014!
New: “The United States Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will start drawing down (i.e. “tapering”) its multibillion-dollar quantitative easing policies in 2014.
The Fed will begin tapering its $85 billion monthly purchases of Treasuries and Treasury mortgage-backed securities by $5 billion each starting in January.”
100 years ago, this December, the United States Congress created a central bank today, we know it as the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. What most people don’t know is that the bank isn’t a federal entity and candidly, it really has nothing in reserves.
Is the Federal Reserve good for the United States? Is it even possible to get rid of it?
The first step toward truth is to be informed.
10 years ago, virtually no American knew anything about the Federal Reserve Bank. Most thought it was a government agency, an entity that helps to create and protect U.S. currency and our economy. Then came along the national rise of a Congressman from Texas by the name of Ron Paul.
One of the most impressive things about the career of now retired Congressman Ron Paul was the national attention he drew to the Federal Reserve Bank.
It was Congressman Paul who made millions of Americans aware of a simple truth. That the single entity with the most power and control over the U.S. dollar is not accountable to the American people.
So what exactly is the Federal Reserve?
To begin with, it is a private bank that serves as the exclusive bank of the U.S. government. Though it was created by Congress, the Federal Reserve does not answer to Congress. The President himself doesn’t have direct oversight.
So what else does the fed do?
The Fed regulates financial institutions, manages the nation’s money and has incredible influence over the economy. The fed can raise and lower interest rates, in fact, they are the only entity able to do so.
That is very big deal because with that power, the fed is able to control the U.S. economy. can cause the life savings of Americans to lose value through inflation, controls the value of your investments, and even impacts employment rates and manufacturing outputs.
An awful lot of power for an entity that has no accountability to the U.S. people. so where did this central bank come from?
A writer by the name of G. Edward Griffin blew the modern lid off this story when he wrote a book called “The Creature from Jekyll island.”
He spoke to me via Skype.
Ben: For folks who don’t know the name, why is the book called “The Creature from Jekyll Island”?
Griffin: Sure, because there is a lot of significance to it. Many people think it’s just a tricky title to attract attention which frankly that’s some of the motive for doing that but Jekyll Island is a real island, Ben, as you well know, and it’s significant because it was on that island back in 1910 that the Federal Reserve was created. And that’s an interesting fact of history that why should something as important as the Federal Reserve system be created any place other than Washington D.C.
Ben: How did the meeting at Jekyll Island in 1910 become a central bank in 1913?
Griffin: Back in 1910 when all of this happened, there was a great deal of concern in Congress and among the American people about this concentration of financial power in the hands of a small group of companies, financial centers, on Wall Street. The big banks, the big insurance companies, the brokerage houses and so forth. There was a clamor at that time for legislative reform, there’s that word that we hear so much about. What happened is that the banks decided that the public was going to get its reform one way or the other, so why should they just sit back and let it happen? They decided to take the lead in that parade and make sure that they provide the so-called reform. They were going to draft this legislation and of course, if it were known that they were the ones drafting the reform legislation, it wouldn’t sell too well. So there had to be a lot of secrecy about that particular period of history. Well what were they concealing? It wasn’t just, they weren’t concealing just the fact that they were the ones writing the legislation to control themselves but when you follow that thread you come to the realization was what they were doing is creating a cartel. You see these were competing banking companies within the industry and this was at the time of history when competition was being replaced by monopolies and cartels and this happened in spades as far as the banking industry is concerned. And on Jekyll Island they created a banking cartel to regulate itself, to set up its own rules, to offer it to the American people as though as it was some kind of banking reform and the stupid politicians in Washington accepted it and they passed this banking cartel agreement into law and they called it the Federal Reserve Act.
It was in 1913 that congress, in passing the “Federal Reserve Act” violated the U.S. Constitution and essentially granted its power to create money to the Fed banks. Since 1913, the fed has ordered the printing of currency and then loaned it back to the government charging interest. The government levies income taxes to, among other things, pay the interest on the debt.
So when you take a dollar out of your pocket, look at what it says at the top. This is a Federal Reserve Note, currency issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.
In 1964, that changed. President John F Kennedy issued an Executive Order, 11110. It gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: “to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.” This means that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury’s vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation based on the silver bullion physically held there.
These were United States Notes. As a result, of that executive order, more than $4 billion in United States Notes were brought into circulation in $2 and $5 denominations. $10 and $20 United States Notes were never circulated but were being printed by the Treasury Department when Kennedy was assassinated.
After his assassination, The United States Note Project ceased.
Ben: To your knowledge, Mr. Griffin, is that Executive Order that was issued by President Kennedy still active today?
Griffin: The Executive Order is not still in existence. It went through several transitions. First it was absorbed into another Executive Order, it was consolidated into another order, and then finally it was repealed, I think Johnson himself got rid of it. But that’s really not the important question whether it’s still standing or not because it never did represent what many people thought it meant in my view. I checked into the allegation that President Kennedy had taken a stand against the bank and that he was going to put an end to the fiat money and go back to government issued notes. That’s the general idea and that therefore that’s the reason he was killed. Unfortunately or fortunately, whichever the case may be, the record really doesn’t support that at all. And every time I went to try and run down the origins of this myth as I call it, it just fizzled out unless somebody can give me some hard information that I haven’t yet seen. I think it’s just one of those urban myths that is popular.
So what has the Federal Reserve Bank been up to in the past few years? As you probably know, the Fed has been holding interest rates at historically low rates. Meanwhile, the Fed has been creating between $40 and $80 billion dollars a month in U.S. currency. The name you have heard this by, quantitative easing.
The first round of Quantitative Easing came in late 2008 under President George W. Bush. The Fed initiated purchases of $500 billion in mortgage backed securities in order to help resolve the housing crisis. The Fed also cut the key interest rate to nearly 0%. QE1
The economy didn’t improve, but banks sure got a lot of money.
So, under Bernanke, the fed was at it again. The second round of Quantitative Easing was from November of 2010 until June of 2011. The Federal Reserve went to work buying up $600 billion in U.S. Treasury Bonds to spur the economy. But again, it didn’t work.
Part of the reason QE2 failed was because it wasn’t meant to spur the U.S. economy. That $600 billion was given to foreign banks. During the QE2 funding period cash reserves of foreign banks grew from $308 billion to $940 billion
In the fall of 2012, came the beginning of QE3, in this case, the Fed began purchasing mortgage backed securities and treasuries at a rate of $85 billion dollars a month. What made this Quantitative Easing attempt different than others, there is no end to it.
In January of 2013 the Fed began what is called. QE4, an attempt to continue to purchase securities and hold interest rates down until the unemployment rate drops to below 6.5%.
In February of 2014, Janet Yellen will succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman and has already said that her priority is to continue these programs even longer than was originally anticipated. Yellen says that unemployment is a bigger problem than inflation so the for the Fed it will be business as usual.
What you need to know: Is that in 1913, the original charter for the Federal Reserve Bank allowed it to exist for only 20 years. In 1927, the Fed charter was renewed.
Some believe that on December 23rd, 2013, the Fed charter runs out. That at the 100 year anniversary, the Fed will have to be renewed by Congress. Others say that the Fed does not have to be renewed, that it is a permanent entity. That happened they say in 1927 under the McFadden Act.
Whether that is true or not, here is something undeniable, in the 100 years that the federal reserve bank has been in existence, the U.S. dollar has lost 98% of its value.
The purpose of creating the Federal Reserve was to protect the dollar. The Fed hasn’t done that.
The Federal Reserve Bank didn’t stop the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve Bank has done nothing to improve the so called great recession. In fact, some can make the argument that the fed policies under Alan Greenspan in the early 2000‘s and not only helped to create our current situation, but the Fed policies under Ben Bernanke have made the economy worse.
The bottom-line, the one entity that truly has the power to end the Fed is Congress, but if Congress were to do that then Congress would also have to be responsible for fulfilling its constitutionally mandated role to “to coin money” and “regulate the value thereof”.
Truth in Media: Government Program to Control Religious Thought?
Is the U.S. Government working on a program to…well…program the way you view religion?
A whistleblower who has worked on that program says yes and he wants you to know exactly what has been going on.
The first step towards truth is to be informed.
If I told you that the Defense Department was using taxpayer dollars to learn how to influence people with religious beliefs in order to control those beliefs, would it really surprise you?
Would you think that I am a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist?
Would you care if I told you that the program was aimed at controlling fundamentalist Muslims?
How about fundamentalist Christians?
Here’s the backstory. In 2012, Arizona State Universityʼs Center for Strategic Communication or CSC was awarded a $6.1 million dollar research grant by DARPA or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The goal of the project according to ASUʼs website is to “study the neurobiology of narrative comprehension, validate narrative theories and explore the connection between narrative and persuasion.”
A lot of technical talk there, so lets dig into the details.
The CSC program is actually about creating narratives. Using effective communication, largely video, to control the thought process of groups of people. And ultimately to be able to trigger narratives through magnetic stimulation. At its core, the program is focused on how to win the narrative against Muslim extremism. It’s a fairly interesting concept.
According to documents leaked to us, this project integrates insights from three mutually-informing theoretical terrains.
In short, the goal of the program is to combat and change religious narratives because of their role in “extremist behavior.” The whistleblower who revealed this program to us, worked for several years on the program. They asked not to be identified.
Ben: What were you told about the proposal as you began working through it?
Whistleblower: Yeah, I thought that it was benign. They told me it was about trying to figure outwhat parts of the brain are affected by narrative persuasion. Just to figure it out just for academic reasons. So we looked at narrative transportation which is basically how an individual is transported into a narrative, how they understand it…kind of like when you read a good book you get really enthralled with it.
At its core, the program attempts to map the brain to determine which portions of the brain allow you to accept a narrative presented to you. It’s called narrative theory.
Mapping this network will lead to a fuller understanding of the influence narrative has on memory, emotion, theory of mind, identity and persuasion, which in turn influence the decision to engage in political violence or join violent groups or support groups ideologically or financially.
You see, the project is focused on the belief that the reason Muslims in the Middle East are swayed to religious violence is not because of the reality of what is going on around them per se, but because they are believing a local or a regional narrative.
Ben: The local and regional narrative then is that the brain automatically assumes things because of a narrative we’ve been taught since our childhood, is that it?
Whistleblower: Right yeah that’s true. We call those master narratives. So in America we have this “rags to riches” master narrative where if you work really hard you can become successful and make a ton of money. So in the Middle East, they always use the example of the Pharaoh. That’s the master narrative that’s in the Qur’an, where there’s this corrupt leader that, you know, is really bad for society. And they use the example of Sadat who was assassinated. When
the assassin killed him, he said, “I have killed the Pharaoh, I have killed the Pharaoh.” So they assume that he was relying upon this Islamic master narrative to fuel his actions.
So how does the program change this? Again a lot of technical speak here so stay with me. But it’s broken into three phases.
Update: Ben Swann has released his exclusive interview.
Is the United States government providing grant money to explore the possibility of controlling the way Muslims and Christians view religion? A whistleblower who worked on that program at Arizona State University says, yes. That the funding is being used to shape the way the brain processes religious narratives.
Wednesday, October 16th, Ben Swann will explain how the program works. Plus, you will hear from the whistleblower who says that the technology being used isn’t sci-fi… it is very real and being used right now for other purposes.
Ben Swann on RT_America attempts to cut through the left/right paradigm surrounding the government shutdown and the coming debt ceiling debate. Plus, why does Ben say that this shutdown demonstrates why government acts? “…not as a representative of the people but lords over the people.”
On an interview with Joshua Cook on Conservative Voice on Friday, Ben Swann discussed America’s faulty left-right paradigm, and the role, future and threats to the “new media.” His overwhelming message was that the US, in order to overcome its current problems, must break out of the patterns and rhetoric which have dominated it for the past century. The forces of the world, he said, are “tyranny versus liberty.”
In May 2013, Swann left Fox19 in Cincinnati to found the Truth in Media and Full Disclosure Projects. These new media projects challenge readers’ belief systems and thinking. “Journalism,” Swann said “is supposed to be the check and the balance for political power. We hold those in power accountable. That is our role, and we haven’t been doing it.” Part of this challenge to power comes from challenging the left-right paradigm which allows those in power to keep it.
He used food stamps as a prime example, highlighting two traditional media approaches. The left holds up people who are “hurting,” who need help, while the right points to cases of waste, fraud and abuse. “In reality, both sides have some truth to what they’re saying…But the reality is neither side is telling you what’s really happening.” The broken monetary system has reduced the value of the American dollar by 97% in the last century, and that has hurt American families more than greedy corporations, or people taking advantage of the system.
Essentially, by breaking out of traditional paradigms, the core of these problems can be addressed, rather than simply the symptoms. The problem, though, is that many people don’t use the media to find more information. They use it to validate their preexisting beliefs and paradigms, though these ways of thinking are actively detrimental to the country, preventing people from confronting the forms of tyranny which do harm people.
Swann also said that the media, like the political sphere, is in the midst of a revolution. New media is a bottom up approach to journalism built on two platforms. The alternative, or new, media is the content creator, while social media is its distributor. It’s hard to control, with free flowing – and free – information moving at a rapid pace. It’s also unpredictable and not easily controlled or monetized by corporations, which have dominated the media for decades.
This new media has been the platform which has spread increasing amounts of information, and its influence is consistently growing. It is also the ideal platform to break through the left-right construct, and it has been crucial in spreading information which the traditional media has refused to. Much of the future of the new media, though, depends on the success of the government in stifling it.
Lindsey Graham, for instance, along with Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer, has advocated the idea that new media journalists should not be protected by the Media Shield Law. The Media Shield Law prevents members of the media from having to reveal confidential sources, such as whistleblowers like Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning. Journalists who are not covered by this can be prosecuted for refusing to reveal sources, meaning that whistleblowers would only be able to safely spread information to government approved sources.
The problems, both practical and ideological, with this notion are obvious. In addition, the new media is threatened by the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. In theory, CISPA would protect intellectual property, but in reality it would limit the number of voices in the media. Instead of new media journalists, independent websites and blogs, media would once again be relegated to a small number of media companies.
In his interview, Swann urged people to break out of current molds. From new versus traditional media to liberty versus tyranny, only by adopting more appropriate societal constructs can Americans – and people in general – oppose the elite which holds political and monetary power. This requires not only personal questioning of beliefs, but also opposition to external threats facing liberty-minded individuals everywhere. The media is the core of this, the Fourth Estate, which holds all holders of political power accountable.
It has been all of 10 weeks since Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor revealed the collection of information on hundreds of millions of Americans by the NSA.
10 weeks and the fallout for the NSA could be just the beginning thanks to what appears to be a growing push for restoring American liberty.
The first step towards truth is to be informed.
Since Edward Snowden revealed the collection of American phone and email records and conversations, there has been debate throughout the country, debate in the media, debate among politicians and debate among the public.
How much is too much?
Right now, members of Congress are considering 11 legislative measures that would on some level reign in the National Security Agency.
The proposals range from entirely defunding the NSA, to repealing or rolling back the bills that the NSA claim give them the power and authority to spy on Americans who have committed no crime. Remember, the NSA has claimed that the prism program is authorized by the FISA and Patriot Acts.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the author of the Patriot Act is one of those who wants the NSA brought into line. Sensenbrenner says that the way the NSA has interpreted the Patriot Act was never envisaged when it was passed.
But what Sensenbrenner now claims is necessary is for the NSA to be blocked from spying on Americans, and accessing phone and email records without a warrant and without some legal justification.
Congressman Sensenbrenner and the rest of Congress had their chance to move exactly that kind of control forward.
The Republican Congressman from Michigan, Justin Amash authored an amendment to the Defense appropriations bill just weeks ago.
It was called the Amash/Conyers Amendment, also called the Liberty Amendment and it attempted to ban the NSA from collecting the anonymous telephone and email records of Americans who are not under investigation for any crime.
Amash argues that the NSA is violating the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Both Republicans and Democrats got behind the Amash amendment but others did not and the amendment failed by a narrow margin of 217-205.
So you might ask…why didn’t more members of Congress get behind this amendment? One of those who did not is Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.
She stood against the amendment saying,
“We need to win the war on terror and defeat the goals and aims of Islamic jihad and for that reason I will be voting no on Representative Amash’s amendment,”
Amash argues that the NSA cannot legally seize a company such as Verizon’s phone records because it violates an individual’s privacy rights.
But Congresswoman Bachmann says that is not true. “There is no expectation of privacy,”
she says, technically, the government is requesting to see a business’s internal records, which is what the NSA does.
“Individuals do not own the records, the records do not belong to the individual,” but the phone company itself. “There’s no Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy on right to the business records exception.”
But that point is debatable. The “government”, for instance, the IRS isn’t asking to see Verizon’s financials. In this case the NSA is demanding access to private information and despite what Congresswoman Bachmann says, that information is not Verizon’s alone. It is information that is gathered under a contract agreement with the customer and nothing in the terms of service agreement explicitly states that government agencies will be reviewing that personal information.
Interesting that Congresswoman Bachmann who believes that Obamacare is a huge intrusion into the private lives of Americans does not believe that Verizon customers have a right to privacy.
But what you need to know actually goes back to what Congressman Sensenbrenner said about the Patriot Act.
Remember, I told you that he claims he had no idea the Patriot Act would be used in this way by the NSA. Well that is the lesson that needs to come from all this.
The Patriot Act was rushed into law just after September 11th, 2001 as Congress threw its hands in the air and decided that safety was more important than liberty. Government agencies took a law that allowed the Constitution to be trampled and handed a blank check to government agencies. 12 years later, we’re surprised that the feds are abusing that power?
Some people say that once you give government a power they will never give it back and that is true. But that doesn’t mean that power can’t be taken back. That is the beauty of a constitutional republic.
Christopher Greene of AMTV interviews Ben Swann at LPAC 2013.
Ben Swann had the distinct privilege of speaking before a group of liberty activists in Minnesota a little over a week ago. Liberty Minnesota graciously extended the opportunity for him to bring the “Liberty is Rising, Truth in Media” tour to the campus of the University of Minnesota on Friday, September 13. Liberty Minnesota billed the event as:
“A kick-off of Liberty Minnesota’s Free Communities Project and featured local mayors, city council members, movie directors, and award winning journalist Ben Swann who talked about his new Truth in Media project.”
Within days after the event, a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article that was a thinly veiled attempt to smear Republican candidates who were in attendance. The reporter Rachel E. Stassen-Berger begins the article by insinuating that Swann is a conspiracy theorist and “9/11 truther” and then goes on to criticize Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson as well as Republican candidates, Phil Krinkie, and David Gerson for having a presence at the event to engage potential voters.
Interestingly, Stassen-Berger does not mention Paula Overby, Democratic Farm Labor candidate for Congress, was also present at the event. Overby was the only candidate not mentioned in the article, one can only assume, because of her political affiliation.
The Star Tribune article, titled “Ben Swann’s controversial ‘truth’ event attracts controversy — and campaigns”goes on to quote the group “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”. Alliance is only identified as a group that campaigns against Republicans
“Minnesotans deserve an apology and an explanation from this man (Jeff Johnson) who wants to lead our state,” said Alliance executive director Carrie Lucking.
What the reporter, Stassen-Berger does not disclose to readers is that while “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” is demanding an apology from Jeff Johnson who is running for Governor, the organization is funded by the family of the current governor.
According to Fact Check.org “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” is not only a progressive organization, it receives its primary funding from labor unions AND the family of current Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.” Had the reporter disclosed this very important fact, the story would have no longer been “concerned citizens standing up to 9/11 truthers” and instead would have been the much less interesting “political group uses smear to attack opponent.”
For the reporter to not disclose this while attempting to connect Jeff Johnson to the “truther” movement is at the very least amateurish reporting and at worst an unethical betrayal of her title as a journalist.
In addition, the reporter was provided with Ben Swann’s personal cell phone number before the article was released. Liberty Minnesota offered the number so that Stassen-Berger could talk with Swann herself but she never called to ask him about the “conspiracy theories” he is accused of “breathing life into.”
Furthermore, the article does not once discuss the merit or content of the 9/11 report by Swann. For those who have watched the report, the piece itself never makes a single claim about who was behind 9/11 but rather discusses a global campaign called “Rethink 9/11”.
It is important to note that Rachel Stassen-Berger was not in attendance for the “Truth in Media” event. Again, this is not disclosed to readers. Every bit of information about the event, the speakers and those in attendance was second hand information.
A similar story to the Star Tribune’s piece was also released in a smaller Minneapolis newspaper, City Pages. The City Pages article was even less honest than the Star Tribune’s piece, with Liberty Minnesota not even reached for comment. Interestingly, while the City Pages story smears the Truth in Media event over the 9/11 controversy, City Pages itself sold a full page color ad on the back page of their paper promoting the Rethink 9/11 campaign on the week of 9/11.
Ironically, this entire subject is what the Truth in Media event was all about, the left/right paradigm in media. A paradigm that has discredited broadcast and print media because of journalists who attempt to shill for one political party or another. The articles in the Star Tribune and City Pages do EXACTLY what Swann is critical of. Reporters who begins with the conclusion and work their way backward to create a story.
Ben Swann and the Liberty Is Rising, Truth In Media Idaho Liberty Expo made the front page of a local newspaper.
Did you know that a 3rd building fell on 9-11? That bill board is today over Times Square. It was placed there through donations to a campaign called Rethink 9/11.
In fact, that group has placed posters and signs across the world, from Australia, to Canada, from San Francisco to right here in New York City.
So what is Rethink 9/11? Wouldn’t only a fringe group of people would still question 9/11? Perhaps not, because today we will tell you about new polling that shows a majority of those polled either question the official 9/11 story or don’t believe it at all. Is that possible?
The first step toward truth, is to be informed.
Here in New York City, today at the site of the 9/11 Memorial, promises to never forget what happened the morning of September 11th, 2001. But never forgetting doesn’t mean that you don’t rethink what you have been told.
Rethink 911 is the first ever global 9/11 anniversary campaign. Sponsored by a coalition of more than 40 organizations, ReThink911 is placing ads in 11 major cities around the world this September 2013.
But what is there to rethink? According to a group called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, you need to start by rethinking the third building that fell that day.
Building 7, behind me. That rectangular building is the new building 7. It stands a little smaller but in the same place where the original World Trade Center 7 once stood.
To be fair, the collapse of building 7 has long been the claims of conspiracy theorists. In 2008, the National Institute of Standards and Technology or (NIST) released its long-awaited report on the collapse of World Trade Center 7. The lead investigator Shyam Sunder told journalists, “WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings. It did not collapse from explosives or from diesel fuel fires.”
But that claim has been taken on by that rapidly growing group known as Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Today, more than 2,000 progressional architects and engineers from around the world have joined together to say that the NIST claim that Building 7 came down because of office fires is not only untrue, it is not possible. That no skyscraper in history has ever come down that way.
That the way Building 7 fell was without the building tipping or rocking and that in order to fall like this, a building could only come down IF all the internal columns supporting building were to give way at the same time.
Enginneering is a technical field but most of us would know this as a controlled demolition.
To better understand the claims of AE for 9/11 Truth, I talked with Tony Szamboti, a mechanical design engineer with 27 years of experience in the aerospace and communications industries and one of the 2,000 engineers calling for an a new, independent investigation of the collapse of Building 7 and the World Trade Center towers.
Swann: “So you look at this image of the building falling, again NIST says that its office fires that have caused this. You say.. ‘give me another example?’”
Szamboti: “There is no other example.”
Swann: “No other example in the world?”
Szamboti: “They have no other example,”
Swann: “So this has never happened? This would be the first building in the world to come down this way?”
Szamboti: “And they say that. They say that thermal expansion caused it. What I say caused it and you can cut this out or leave it in, but I think they took out the core columns for 8 full stories, and that pulled in the exterior. When you have controlled demotion, and when take the core out, you pull in exterior and it comes down. When you take out 8 stories it all comes in.”
Swann: “What happens if you leave half of them? If it is not a controlled demolition and you have a failure of some columns?”
Szamboti: “Then you have a partial collapse.”
And there is another issue of how NIST says Building 7 came down. The say it was normal office fires. The technical explanation is that floor beams expanded because of heat and ultimately pushed a single column, column 79 off of its seating. That, NIST says, caused the entire collapse of the building. But what NIST told the public in 2008 was the reason these columns were pushed loose is because they were unrestrained.
What was discovered last year in 2012 after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was granted, that claim was not true, that the columns were not unrestrained. In fact there were 3,896 shear studs holding those columns in place.
Szamboti: “One is, the beams could not expand far enough and if they could expand enough, those stiffeners would stop that girder from falling off. They were bonded.”
Swann: “But for the person that say, so you have so disagreements on some technical things.”
Szamboti: “No, no, its much more than that, it can’t happen to start. It would be sorta like me saying, I can put something thats a half inch wide and if i push it a half inch it will fall off this rail and thats not true. Thats what they’re saying, its that simple.”
There is something else Tony is passionate about. The claim by NIST in 2008 was that not only that building 7 came down as as the result of office fires but that the north tower fell down because of something called “deceleration”. Simply put, when you use a hammer to strike a nail, the force used does two things, it drives the nail downward but a certain moment pushes the hammer upward.
When you watch the video of the north tower coming down, Tony says there is no moment of impact where the burning top of the tower creates impact against the rest of building. Instead it all just free falls. Without that impact, the top of the tower could not have cause the rest of the building to collapse.
Szamboti: “What a legitimate investigation would have done would be to have interrogated anyone who had access to those interiors. I’m not talking about office people, (I’m talking about) security people, contractors, those types of people. That has never been done, that has never been done. I think our government is responsible to do that but we would want it to be above board. I don’t think the investigations we have had so far have been above board.”
So that is the professional challenge to the official story. Only a controlled demolition could have brought the building down and again, during the government investigation the evidence of explosive materials or a demolition was ruled out, not because the evidence didn’t exist, but because the inspectors didn’t bother to look for it.
How do families of 9/11 victims feel about this? Are they insulted by this campaign? Some may be but others are the ones supporting it.
Bob McIlvaine lost his son on 9/11.
McIlvaine: “Bobbie had just started Merrill Lynch two or three weeks before 9/11. Bobbie was VP of media relations, he was going to be writer and he was writing for a PR firm and their only client was Merrill Lynch and they loved his writing so much that they hired him. That day Merrill Lynch was holding a training on the 106 floor of the north tower. No one was able to get a hold of Bobbie. The tower was hit. We weren’t that worried because we knew he worked at Merrill Lynch. 150 people called him that morning. No one ever got a response.”
Swann: “But if he worked at Merrill Lynch why was he in the north tower?”
McIlvaine: “Well, this is what we are guessing because Merrill Lynch was sponsoring a seminar on the 106 floor that day.”
For Bob the most shocking thing about his son’s death, unlike most 9/11 families, Bob was able to recover parts of his son for burial and he actually received a cause of death from the coroner.
McIlvaine: “I got up to the morgue, talked to the doctor who examined him. He gave me the pictures, he asked me if I wanted to see the actual pictures and i didn’t want to see it. I felt bad about it. But no matter how you look at it, he got hit by a sudden force. He was impacted by something, yeah, a force, the top of his head was taken out. His right arm was blown off and his body had lacerations. If he had been on the 106 floor, we would have heard from him because a lot of people would have been calling out on the 106 floor.
But part of that autopsy reveled that Bobbie was not killed by being burned. In fact, the burns he received came after he had died.
McIlvaine: “So post-mortum means that he had burns after he died. I can say with confidence that Bobbie died, and I can say with confidence before the planes hit. So the point is, the planes had nothing to do with his death and I could prove that in a court of law pretty easily. And therefore if the planes had nothing to with his death, who killed him?”
The claims being made by Bob and Tony are compelling but the question we must ask, where is the American public on this issue? A newly commissioned poll on this very subject finds that 12 years after the 9/11 attacks, there is growing skepticism in the public.
According to that poll, 38% of Americans have doubts about the official account of 9/11 and 10% do not believe it at all. That is compared to only a minority of those polled, 40% who are completely satisfied.
But there is more. Because when you start asking questions about Building 7, the public is even more skeptical. 46% suspect or are sure it was controlled demolition, compared to 28% who say it was fires (the official story), and 27% who don’t know. And of those polled, the largest group, 41% support a new investigation of Building 7′s collapse, compared to 22% who opposed.
What you need to know, is that the idea that we rethink 9/11 some would call unpatriotic, others would call conspiratorial, but increasingly, those folks are now in the minority.
How far we come in 12 years.
But regardless of how you feel about this campaign, rethinking 9/11 is about more than just what happened in 2001. Over the last 12 years, we have watched just about every single constitutional liberty afforded to Americans taken away as a result of our “war on terror”. We have watched our government take away our right to speech, due process, freedom from search and seizure, the right to privacy of your person or papers, all taken away in the name of security. We can argue about whether that quest for security has made us more secure but what is beyond argument is that we are certainly less free. Despite all the rights that have been taken away, at least one right that still remains… the right to question who took those rights, how and why.
And that is Reality Check.
Ben Swann Reality Check will take on the “Rethink 9/11″ campaign Tuesday, September 10, 2013. This will be the first “on-location” shoot for Reality Check as part of our Truth in Media Project.
It is called the Federal Data Hub. Massive amounts of information gathered on every American and shared between government agencies. Agencies ranging from the the IRS to the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services. The best part there is no opting out.
So who all has access to this information and the bigger question does private information even exist anymore?
The step toward truth is to inform.
There is as we speak an army of new federal government employees being hired by the department of Health and Human Services. Why does HHS need all these new employees? The answer is simple, the massive new healthcare law, The Affordable Care Act is behind schedule and the Feds need to start signing Americans up for the health care exchanges as quickly as possible.
So what kind of information is going to be collected?
When individuals sign up for federal insurance exchanges, they are required to enter their personal information into a new Federal Data Hub. We are talking about information like medical records, Social Security numbers, tax information, and bank account information. This is done by allowing seven government agencies, including the IRS, Department of Justice, Social Security Administration and others, to share and verify information in order to determine eligibility for an insurance subsidy.
In short, basically everything about you will be shared among multiple agencies. Remember, no actually agency can see or access any information, people working in those agencies do. So who, specifically, will be able to access this information?
They are called Navigators. Men and women who are being hired to work for between $20 and $48 dollars an hour. Sounds like specialized work that will required highly trained individuals, but, not so much. The requirements to become one of these navigators do not even include a high school diploma. And even though these navigators will have access to just about every piece of personal information on Americans enrolled in this exchange, they are not even required to pass a background check.
That is what the house committee on oversight and government reform has been told by HHS.
Navigators will only have to take a 20 to 30 hour online course about how the 1,200 page ACA works.
Interestingly, there is another role of these navigators that deserves a mention. There is more to the role of the Navigators than just signing Americans up for the healthcare exchange.
These Navigators will also be responsible for registering Americans to vote. According to People’s World Magazine in California,
“California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen is designating the state’s new Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, as a voter registration agency under the National Voter Registration Act. That means Covered California will be incorporating voter registration into every transaction – online, in-person and by phone – it has with consumers.”
So, to be clear these Navigators will have access to every bit of your personal and financial information, federal employees who haven’t even been given so much as a background check.
Of course, HHS says you have nothing to worry about. Marilyn Tavenner the head of HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services testified before Congress saying,
“I want to assure you and all Americans that, when they fill out their [health-insurance] marketplace applications, they can trust the information they’re providing is protected,”
But how would any American know that? Even with background checks how can Americans trust that a Federal Data Hub that involves the gathering and consolidation of so much information not be attacked by hackers or compromised by those inside the departments?
We don’t know what will happen but we do have evidence of how some other expansive government agencies with even less intrusion into your life are functioning. An audit by the Government Accountability Office of the Transportation Security Administration points out major problems in that agency. That includes TSA agents accused of taking bribes from drug traffickers in Los Angeles or 56 cases alleging theft since 2010 including a 2011 incident involving a screener at Orlando International Airport who pleaded guilty to stealing more than 80 laptops and other electronic devices valued at $80,000.
In all, there were 426 cases of neglect of duty and 384 cases of ethical violations like bribery or credit-card abuse. Then there are the agents who are caught sleeping on the job but the biggest problem here isn’t even the behavior of the agents. According to the GAO Half of workers accused of sleeping on the job received less than the lowest penalty called for by agency policies. In all, the GAO found over 9,600 cases of misconduct in an agency that only has the power to allow you to get on an airplane.
What you need to know is that when it comes to the National Data Hub, there is a bigger question here than just one of whether or not HHS navigators might be overstepping their role by registering voters with this personal information. A bigger question than whether or not the information compiled in this data hub is susceptible to fraud, or corrupt workers.
The most important question, does personal or private information exist anymore? Chances are the feds would say no. After all, we know the NSA believes they have the right to read your emails and listen to your phone calls. So why wouldn’t they have the right to any and all of your private information? Even your banking information. The federal apparatus that is nearly complete is telling you that you don’t have the right to withhold anything about yourself and your life from government.
But that is simply not true.
The rights to privacy are all but gone in America today. Consider this, you do not belong to the state. Your money, your business, your private correspondence and conversations, your identity belongs to you and you alone. Those in power know it but the population has forgotten it. It is time that we remember.
And that is full disclosure.
Ben Swann joins Tyrel Ventura on Buzzsaw to talk about truth in media and the important role alternative media has played in possibly preventing a war with Syria.
Find Buzzsaw on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buzzsaw/315063551949301
Visit Buzzsaw on The Lip here: http://thelip.tv/buzzsaw/
We are only two weeks away from the anniversary of 9/11 and how far we have come. The Obama administration has been making the case for using cruise missiles to strike Syria. Unlike 12 years ago when the U.S. entered Afghanistan or in 2003 when the U.S went to Iraq to prevent Saddam’s WMD’s (which were never found) this time, Americans aren’t buying it.
Two polls conducted this week make a strong point about how the majority of Americans feel about the U.S. carrying out cruise missile strikes against Damascus. The first poll, conducted by Reuters found that only 9% of Americans support any U.S. intervention in Syria.
The second poll, conducted by NBC News finds 79% Americans, including nearly 70% of Democrats and 90% of Republicans say President Obama should be required to receive authority from Congress before taking any action against the Syrian regime for its suspected use of chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war.
It is important to note that the demand for the President receive “authorization” follows the Constitution but is not something President’s have done since WWII. This is a significant shift and one that likely reflects an American electorate that no longer believes whatever claims its government makes about the need for military intervention.
I talked Wednesday with Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie about the need for Congressional authorization for a military strike against Syria. You can see the interview here:
So what has changed over the past 12 years since September 11, 2001? Could it be that the rise of alternative media over the past decade have provided a much stronger voice in balancing information for the American people?
For example, Monday Secretary of State John Kerry made the case that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime was “morally wrong”. He went on to insist that the only force in Syria with access to chemical weapons is the Assad regime. Secretary Kerry is of course, wrong. As we pointed out, Kerry ignored the fact that al Nusra Front the Syrian wing of al Qaeda in Iraq was caught with 2kgs of sarin gas.
Sec. Kerry’s claims along with claims by the rest of the Obama Administration have done little to nothing to shift the views of the American public. The national media has not been the one to challenge erroneous claims about chemical weapons, nor has the national media done much to cover the strength of al Nusra Front in Syria. The alternative media has.
It is alternative media such as Benswann.com that has explained that by the U.S. working to overthrow Assad, that we will, in effect, be handing Syria over to al Qaeda.
Now, with the British Parliament voting down action against Syria, and virtually no support around the world, President Obama is left in a tough position. A position that no President has found themselves in some time. That position… one where an increasing number of people have access to good information about what is happening in the Middle East and more importantly an American electorate that is becoming increasingly educated about U.S. foreign policy that doesn’t make much sense. It is a position President Bush did not find himself in as he led the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but it is a position American presidents will hopefully find themselves in going forward.
Update: Dan McCall tells BenSwann.com that it is no longer just the NSA that is claiming trademark infringement. He has now had any of his shirts with DHS parodies also removed from the Zazzle marketplace. DHS is also claiming the that parodies infringe on their trademark. McCall is talking with attorneys and may take the issue to court.
Ben Swann Reality Check
NSA Using Copyright Claims To Crush Free Speech?
Can a government agency block criticism by claiming copyright infringement? Sounds a bit ridiculous but it is happening. The NSA is effectively stopping one small business owner from criticism, claiming that by using its name he has infringed on their copyright.
Can they do that?
This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.
This is a story I had a hard time believing until I looked into it for myself. Here is the backstory.
Dan McCall is the owner of a company that makes snarky t-shirts. The company is called Liberty Maniacs. Liberty Maniacs carry a number of t-shirts dealing with lack of privacy and the growing police state. They sell on a site called www.Zazzle.com
None of it has been a problem—until Liberty Maniacs released a shirt called “The NSA.”
The image looks like the NSA logo but has a motto that is clearly a pun—“Peeping while you are sleeping”—followed by the phrase “The NSA, the only part of government that actually listens.”
Shortly after the shirt went online, www.Zazzle.com pulled the shirt from its website, sending this message: “Thank you for publishing products on Zazzle.
Unfortunately, it appears that your product, The NSA, contains content that is in conflict with one or more of our acceptable content guidelines. We will be removing this product from the Zazzle Marketplace shortly.
“Policy Notes: Design contains an image or text that may infringe on intellectual property rights. We have been contacted by the intellectual property right holder and we will be removing your product from Zazzle’s Marketplace due to infringement claims.”
Dan McCall, the owner of Liberty Maniacs spoke with me via Skype and says there were multiple items dealing with the NSA that were pulled down from Zazzle.
“In terms of shirts, two, and then maybe four or five bumper stickers. Basically anything remotely relating to the NSA was taken down. So I’m not sure if that was subsequently a blanket policy that Zazzle themselves put up because they don’t want to deal with the hassle and they didn’t want to spend time interpreting each thing knowing they would run into problems or if they were plugged into NSA legal and they were watching things as they go,” says McCall.
So to be clear, McCall was using the NSA logo, the NSA claimed copyright infringement and Zazzle.com pulled the content down.
In fairness, what McCall was doing does use the official logo of a government agency. Can anyone just use that logo? Actually, yes. According to both the Electronic Freedom Foundation and the American Bar Association, “parody is recognized as a type of fair use, like other commentary and criticism, and courts recognize that a parody must often take recognizable elements from the work it comments upon.
Courts do distinguish parody from satire. Parody copies from the object it mocks…”
You can’t claim copyright infringement if your logo or image is used as part of a parody. So the next question, is this logo a parody?
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a parody “is the use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s works. Like other forms of comment or criticism, parody can provide social benefit, by shedding light on an earlier work, and, in the process, creating a new one.”
“According to the [U.S. Supreme] Court, a parody is the ‘use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s works.’ Id. at 580. Like other forms of comment or criticism, parody can provide social benefit, ‘by shedding light on an earlier work, and, in the process, creating a new one.’ Id.” –Juli Wilson Marshall, Nicholas J. Siciliano, Latham & Watkins LLP
McCall says, “I tried to visually take the most obvious direction at pointing at them that I could. It was their logo. I just tried to adulterate it a little bit and put a few jabs in there and that will be it. So it wasn’t a huge design coup and it did the job basically.”
Now, what might be the most interesting twist in this entire story is that while the NSA is claiming copyright infringement against McCall for his parody, the NSA itself is facing accusations of true copyright infringement.
Take a look at this image. This is the official NSA logo for the Prism program. Prism is, of course, the program that deals with NSA spying via email and phone records.
According to reports from England, the Prism image used here is being used without permission.
Adam Hart Davis is a well-known BBC presenter and the image belongs to him. Here is the Davis pic. As you can see, the NSA image is just Davis’ picture flipped upside down. Adam’s son, Damon, who wrote about this in the Register Newspaper, claims that the image is free for use, but a donation is requested and, at minimum, use of the image requires a link to his photo gallery and acknowledgement, none of which he has received from the NSA.
What you need to know is that because the work put out by Liberty Maniacs is clearly a parody, it is not copyright infringement. That is the easiest part of this story.
But the bigger issue here is the issue of free speech. It is a first amendment issue. McCall sees it that way as well.
“First amendment issues affect everybody and it specifically affects everybody who is expressing themselves—any artist, whether on the right or on the left or in the middle or whatever side. If you are not allowed to express yourself artistically or in many other ways, we have taken a turn for the worse,” says McCall.
Bottom line, there is no gray area here. But the NSA is a very powerful government agency. They don’t need a gray area or even to be right to get companies like Zazzle.com to cooperate.
This is why Internet piracy bills like SOPA and PIPA and CISPA are so dangerous. If those bills become law, all the feds have to do is claim copyright infringement to shut down an entire site. They don’t have to be right.
Dan McCall’s story is just a taste of what happens when government agencies decide they will enforce laws but not be subject to them.
And that is Reality Check.
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Vince Urrabazo from The Vindicated Show Podcast, interviews Ben Swann about his Truth in Media Project.
Vince is a newly-awakened individual here on Earth to expose truth about our planet, corrupt governments & the dumbing-down of society. Follow & spread our message far! #OneLove
We Are Change CT catches up with Ben Swann at the Defense Of Liberty PAC barbeque. Ben talks about the Truth In Media project and what it will look like.
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