The power to control truth is the greatest power. Our government’s quest to attain this power begins with a seemingly innocuous and, in the model of a “non-confrontational” ultra politically correct society which is constantly being fed everyone, a supposedly reasonable idea of linking every website which contains a controversial or contentious question to other sites which contain the opposing view. This was expressed by Obama’s information czar Cass Sunstein as something which should be urged for voluntary compliance but, in the anticipated absence of voluntary compliance, should be mandated – meaning legislated.
When he expressed this idea about a year ago in May 2010 he used the false “conservative vs liberal” dichotomy as his example. I say false dichotomy because the only difference between conservatism and liberalism in today’s context is that they merely use different and apparently opposing rhetorical material and supposed ideals toward the same common goal: the establishment of control over the thoughts, beliefs, and activities of the population at large.
Of course Sunstein’s idea, expressed as infinitely fair-minded and reasonable, is neither. If implemented, it would work as follows. A government information department very much resembling George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth would first of all establish what is true and what is not true. Once this masterful feat was accomplished, the sites which expressed “the unthruth” according to the newly formed government definitions would be forced to be linked with sites which expressed “the truth”. It would not be a two way street. It would not work in both directions.
For example websites which discuss Intelligent Design would be forced to establish links to websites espousing Darwinism or Neo-Darwinism or some other form of junk science purporting to prove Evolution, but sites on Darwinism and Evolution would not be forced to provide links to those espousing Intelligent Design. Websites which produce evidence that the orthodox history regarding 911 violates all video evidence from the event, all reality as perceived with the five senses by all people at all times and places, and in fact the very laws of physics, would be forced to link to conspiracy debunking websites which uphold the orthodox history – and again, not vice versa. This is how it would work in every case. Any controversy on any subject would first of all be resolved by fiat, and then the mandated ideal of exposing readers to the opposing view would be applied in only one direction.
But this would only be a first stage. The next step would be to drum the views opposite to the government’s established truths off the web altogether. This could be done in a number of ways.
One way is to militarize the web, as would be done by Bill S.3480, the proposed Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. Once not only American internet assets, but those of the entire world according to this proposed legislation, are under the umbrella of national security, anything becomes possible, including concerns regarding the morale of the nation in this time of war – oh yes, don’t forget, we are still at war. The War on Terror which was proclaimed by George W. Bush has not been undeclared either by him or by Obama, nor is it likely to be undeclared by any future President except in the unlikely event that we were to be blessed by a President Ron Paul. In fact already, even without this Bill, Amazon last year was coerced by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to terminate Wikileaks. Wikileaks was accused of endangering military forces in the field and the work of diplomats in the field.
A second method for controlling internet content and providing an excuse for removing websites is already well underway in Britain under a copyright infringement legislation called the Digital Economy Bill. Under that Bill ISPs are responsible for reporting copyright violations or illegal downloading abuses among their own customers and are required to hand over information to authorities when asked: no court orders or warrants necessary. It also includes enormous crippling fines in the order of £50,000 or, worse yet in our modern increasingly digital world, being banned FOR LIFE from using the internet in any fashion.
A third method would be to actually criminalize certain ideas such as has already happened in some jurisdictions with holocaust denial. I personally find holocaust denial to be simply crazy, contrary to all evidence, and more often than not to be espoused by people with strong tendencies to racism, but I also believe that though acts can certainly be crimes, thoughts and ideas cannot. Once any idea, no matter how repugnant, is proclaimed a crime, that opens the door to any other idea being proclaimed such. Michael Chertoff, former head of the DHS, is already on record comparing 911 truth to holocaust denial.
One must hold no illusions about the potential of governments, when not constrained like the rebellious Titans of myth by chains of adamant, to commit any level of evil one can conceive. It was a government after all which perpetrated the holocaust in the first place. Open the door even a crack to the criminalization of idea or belief and the expression thereof, and you place a dangerous, loaded weapon in the hands of an amoral entity with vast power – into the hands of that vast self-aggrandizing cancer on the body politic which is an unrestrained government.