tv [untitled] February 26, 2014 9:30pm-10:01pm EST
seems they are looking very hard to take a. look at that or had sex with her right there. it's no secret that islamophobia is bred in the us military in fact some would argue that it's a necessary tool to dehumanize the enemy in order to carry out operations in the least but extremist islam is not the only radical ideology influencing how the
military functions in fact one root called the officers christian fellowship is made up of over fifteen thousand five hundred of fundamentalist christian military officers who don't think their oath is to the constitution but in fact to the bible or the organizations own website its purpose is to quote glorify god by uniting christian officers for biblical fellowship and outreach equipping and encouraging them to minister affectively in the military society sounds innocuous enough but according to some of the military there is a brutal culture of only men harassment for those who just aren't christian enough so here to discuss this unreported issue i'm joined now by r.t. correspondent ana stasi a church thanks so much for researching as nazia what did you learn from your investigation about the prevalence of religious extremism in the military while abbie one of the first things was certainly the fact that it's definitely something that's hugely under reported and not really talked about i mean we did see concerns about. extremist christianity make headlines in the me to some of the outlets
during the peaks of the iraq and afghan war but this topic has certainly kind of disappeared and been brushed aside and not discussed as opposed to you know the role of islam like you just mentioned and as it turns out this issue is certainly still around and it's a very serious one because it's not only affecting as it turned out and we discovered you know the enemy but it's also affecting our soldiers at home because of in some cases very severe pressure that is being imposed on them of being either of a different religion or not being christian enough like you said and another shocking thing to discover was that we were told that apparently this kind of understanding that extremist christianity exists in the u.s. military goes up quite high in the ranks and that people even addressing this issue with the high ranking officials are just basically told to stop talking about it or else and what sort of tangible facts does this type of religious expression have on
both the military as a whole and the populations where soldiers are serving. well you know when it when it comes to wars abroad certainly the way this affects the situation is that there's much more aggression that needs to be on the ground i mean despite apart from the violence that actually goes on in any battlefields and another new level of aggression resurfaces one it becomes about not just you know geopolitical ideas or whatever it is that you're fighting about but when it is one belief towards against another and several beliefs against each other and it becomes like you know the whole issue of religion that is supposed to be a personal peaceful kind of thing that a person has for themselves and be a major issue that is becoming a new level in these wars that are being fought religiosity in part about your report was this one particular group said you know ninety six percent of people who said that they were persecuted for not being christian anough i mean what about
those who don't identify with any religion do you find that they've been persecuted by more religious members of the armed forces. you know well you know we have to be clear that it's not ninety six percent of the u.s. military and ninety six percent ninety six percent of the people that come to them but you're right i mean the question is what happened to those who don't believe in anything and in our report we haven't specifically talked to talk to people about the nonbelievers but just the fact that christians are being targeted for not being christian enough and you know being kind of brainwashed in a sense to be a lot more committed to god speaks for itself i mean if that's the issue with christians you can only imagine how much pressure people who are nonbelievers also experience. it is the army addressing this type of persecution and if so how. well abbie these certainly are over the years several years ago there were attempts made to kind of. excuse me i don't know what's going on today. basically what was going
on the military did sound so-called fix-it kids for example to into the military so that rifle for rifles for example and there were hundreds of thousands of them out in the battlefield that had biblical verse numbers on them be wiped out but according to what we were told this is really not been a very efficient method because the fix it's essentially you know some of them we were told were basically quoits to kind of just rub on the rifle to get rid of the number are there not being used or not efficient enough or the number of rifles is so huge that it was you know just hard and the military had other priorities to take care of and this is just one aspect of this just the rifles when there's so much more out there are the. people were kind of scared of former employees were saying you know he was carrying out a religious holy war i mean he thought that he was carrying out some kind of end time revolutions and it scares me that people can be this extremist and actually you know in that mindset i mean how can the military really manage the balance between freedom and religion and intimidation of other soldiers and civilian
populations. you know i think that is the most complicated question in all of this i mean because certainly religion is something that is so deeply rooted for people who are believers that it's very hard to understand how it is that on an individual basis the military can target every single person for me an interesting point was one expert we spoke to told us that the reason this had reached such an extent really i mean and we have to understand that this is not you know prevalent in the military by any means but it's a serious concern and what he told us was that it's because a lot of the extremist believers were recruited during kind of the peaks of the iraq and afghan war because of these kind of mass recruiting process sees when people were just looking to get more people into. military and not really looking into who they were getting into their ranks that was part of the problem and so it seems like there's just many different levels that need to be addressed from an individual thing to kind of making the population learning more about what religion
is really all about but also we were told that because some of the high ranking officials in the military do support this sort of extremism because it does make soldiers fight harder according to what we were told they're not really looking to eradicate this issue as much as they're telling the people thanks so much for shining a light on this on a saucer churkin i appreciate it. i if you're a regular internet user you probably peruse the message board or comment section of a website and wonder why so many people write inflammatory horrible and downright insane diatribes after all in real life most people don't communicate with each other through racist homophobic and nasty insults so is it merely anonymity reading this type of vitriol on the internet or something else that played well thanks to a newly released edward snowden document by journalist glenn greenwald we now know
some of these comments probably aren't coming from members of the general public at all in an article titled how covert agents infiltrate the internet to manipulate deceive and destroy reputations remold outlines how intelligence agencies use online troll tactics to influence real world outcomes the documents were obtained by greenwald from the u.k.'s n.s.a. counterpart g c h q in its secretive joint threat research intelligence group unit or j trigg c j triggs mission is to destroy the reputation of specific targets by both releasing the falls and damning information about them and manipulating cyber conversations to affect public perception and this program goes way beyond just posting nasty comments guys according to top secret slides which. were shared with intelligence agencies in the us australia canada and new zealand j. trigger employees tactics such as honey trapping were online affairs are created for blackmail purposes changing the targets photos on social networking sites and
writing blogs pretending to be a victim of the target and even emailing and texting incriminatory messages to the target's friends and colleagues but just stop at sabotaging specific individuals online the unit also employs tactics for taking down and hire companies these tactics include leaking confidential business information to other corporations of the press the negative information on online forms and getting involved in business deals to ruin relationships and just in case j. triggs agents are still confused about what their mission exactly is another site explicitly states that the whole purpose of the program is using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world all of this is summed up in the catchy slogan of the four d.'s denied disrupt degrade and to see how cute this type of behavior by intelligence agencies has been long suspected by some journalists and technophiles but as usual those concerns are generally dismissed as
conspiracy theory nonsense but in reality the signs were everywhere i was agreeable points out as far back as two thousand and eight cass sunstein obama's advisor and former head of the office of information and regulatory affairs proposed the u.s. government use independent advocates to quote cognitively infiltrate online groups websites and activist groups he even suggested agents go into chat rooms and social networks to spread false and destructive government conspiracies well just so happens the very same cast sunstein was recently appointed the white house's and it's a review panel you know the one proposed token n.s.a. reforms that were almost entirely ignored by obama not to mention that in two thousand and eleven the us military admitted to having developed software that allows one end of it. will to control up to ten separate online fake personalities also called sock puppets want to come to these type of tactics other countries haven't even been secretive about their intentions to manipulate cyber information
according to tronic and fatah excuse me in two thousand and twelve the national union of israelis studies partnered with israel's government to offer students two thousand dollars to spread state propaganda on online social websites like facebook according to documents obtained by the website the program is an opportunity for israeli students to quote provide the hebrew word for state propaganda that is correct and balanced to help in the struggle against the deal of generalization of the state of israel and a hatred of jews in the world. yes because pain naive students to promote your official government message is a healthy part of any open society but i will admit that there is another side of the coin which i recently experienced first hand after talking about countries and corporate powers that profited from nazi germany in the holocaust their racist anti-semitic and neo nazi comments flooded my youtube and social media sites and uniform honestly making me wonder if the effort was part of
a larger cordon native campaign to discredit this show and unfortunately it's not just countries that are responsible for contributing to the growth of toxic online dialogue it's corporations too as revealed on breaking a set by investigative journalist or mel b p u's p.r. firm ogilvy and mather to hire online trolls to attack and bully individuals who complain about the company's response of the deepwater horizon oil spill and we'd have to be naive to think that most multinational corporations aren't copying this exact technique of controlling their online image after all that's just twenty first century p.r. so for every machiavellian narcissist acting alone to dumb down and distort information you might as well hunker down in your troll cave and get on the government and corporate payroll. coming up i'll speak with someone who's identified these seven threats facing our democracy stick around.
beach were for each other bribes to. the dead rather. than talk about historical revisionism in the white washing of events in american history as attempts to hide society's ugly truths the narrative of america's story offered by the establishment is in many ways like scripture and that this narrative is not to be questioned but it's not just the past that is repeatedly distorted presently there are powerful interests that shield us from seeing this country's current problems which brings me to my next guest his name is jed mores the
publisher of the long island and the author of the book the great american disconnect seven fundamental threats to our democracy joins me now to break down what those threats are and maybe find out just how they can be overcome they do so much for coming on thanks for having me on the so your book breaks down seven distinct threats to american democracy one of them is christian fundamentalism seeping into the public consciousness what danger does this pose. then you know that chapter really stem from jeff sharlet book the family would choose i think one of the best books that has been written in modern times about both politics and religion and this sort of bizarre orthodoxy this very specific american christian fundamentalism that has crept into our politics as well there's one thing to have christian fundamentalism as a movement that has been on the sidelines. throughout our history there's another thing to have it's so influenced our politics to such a dramatic degree and what he did was he was able to explore the intersection between wall street and k. street as well to be it because there was
a fundamentalist group that was living in d.c. influencing the political sphere and how that sort of backed into our economy as well which not a lot of people really think about but there's this again this bizarre orthodoxy that blends the economic side. of objectivism and rand's philosophy with this idea of christ is capitalist and that if you've succeeded in this life you've already attained what christ had meant for you and and none of that makes any sense none of it were able to roots of this idea that capitalism run you know runs core perfectly parallel to christianity. it's just make believe in that and that's the part that that it's just so difficult to really understand i mean we see these policies playing out politically in uganda now how we're sort of exploiting this bizarre christian fundamentalism idea into the end to anti-gay policies that we see in uganda these roots are very deep here but it's it's in it's
in a political structure that is kind of on sea and so we have these prayer groups in washington for example that get together and they talk about how to influence policy from a very spiritual place but in accordance to scripture but a scripture that says that again if you've made it here and you are the powerful and the leet then you have already been deigned as you know christ like that these ideas are rooted in reality which is really when your influence in the political sphere that's a dangerous notion when you're kind of had these fantastical notions backing out what you're what your push is politically i mean the second chapter in the book focused on speculation has been another thread on talk about how you see market manipulation as undermining the democracy. that's one of my favorite topics in speculation and deregulation really go hand in hand because you really can't have the rampant speculation that we have today inside the markets without this
excessive deregulatory frenzy that we've had for the better part of four decades of speculation in the markets the best way to think about it is the end of this cycle which is in how we consume our products how are these products going to be priced in the marketplace what is the price of gasoline one of the prices of milk on the shelves that's the net effect that we as consumers take in what's happening behind the scenes is monster manipulation on the scale that we've never seen before because we've had protections in place since the crash in the one nine hundred twenty s. these protections have been taken out they've been like threads on an overcoat that have been pulled out over decades to try and allow the banks to go in things like proprietary trading and manipulate the price of commodities derivatives even equities it's very very day it is indeed i mean you argue that the difference for nine hundred twenty nine and today is that the american economic system isn't collapsing it's actually rotting from the inside out can you elaborate on that
notion sure we didn't have the protections in place in one thousand twenty nine it today that we had in our in one thousand twenty nine that we have today we learned from that collapse to have more of a keynesian model to take care of the social structures that to make sure that people didn't fall through the cracks and that's what really kept us in place through the various boom bust cycles we also had economic and financial policies that allowed us to mitigate those boom bust cycles to make sure that they the depths weren't too low and the highs weren't too high but we've again we've pulled back so many of these these regulations that allow this to hold in place that today we don't see inequality as we did then nobody storming big screen t.v.'s. looks just a little bit like a mercedes so i think it. bodies ok when we know that inequality is one of the biggest things that we grapple with absolutely well american disconnect also points to the origin of civil liberties militarism the police state all of these things clearly there is
a system failure here if you could point to one thing driving this downward spiral what would you say it is. i think. putting the book together allowed me to take some of these issues that i had looked at in isolation and thread them together into a singular narrative which doesn't seem like it's that obvious when you look at how distinct some of these are when you look at militarization or speculation you wonder how can they be related putting it together made me realize there are so many of the same players behind the scenes that are pulling the strings there's so much so much of the same philosophy which is how do we hoard natural resources how do we cored economic and financial resources and just made out of nothing to make everybody feel like they're still liberties and so we have this we have this disconnect hence the name in that we think that liberty is being protected and we're in the land of the free even though we have the highest incarceration rate we have the you know so-called free markets but there's no competitive spirit in the free markets anymore and so we tend to not have the full picture we misunderstand
what's happened here deconstructing all these myths that it's like the glue that holds american society in place in grappling on to these is the last bastions of truth that aren't really true at all let's talk about solutions here we've got a minute left but i mean how can we began to take you know former cohesive country again and prevent it from completely destabilize him in each of the chapters there's something that we can do whether it's regular regulatory fix but you know at the end i think occupy was was the best antidote that we had because occupy gave our generation a new language that we've lacked for so long and it was the language of dissent for so long we haven't questioned authority we haven't questioned the government shows like breaking the set you know what and what the interceptors. doing right now this is so important for us to capture that revolutionary spirit that we once had to be able to speak with a new language and that language is old it's descent it is indeed it's right in
front of our faces the answer it's rising up it's always been in the streets jed morey thank you so much everyone check out great american disconnect pleasure to having you here so much. twenty years ago the world lost an amazing person bill hicks was one of the greatest standup comedians of all time and one of the most prescient social critics of our generation takes was a dark satirist who often criticized materialism and triviality and he spoke out about a whole host of political and social issues that still remain taboo in comedy circles today he died at the unforgivably young age of thirty two years old from pancreatic cancer but his spirit lives on and his words have never been more pointed and apt than today so he did a proper tribute to one of the greatest american social critics stand up comedian and host of the moment a clarity web seriously camp what is it how are you doing. so we you know my
favorite piece i think from bill hicks was his iraq war and of course you got the first iraq war a war back in the ninety's him talking about how it was never a war because of wars was about two armies fighting each other and i want to play you a clip of just the best most pointed point from that clip. i wondered about that during the persian gulf war those intelligence reports would come out iraq incredible weapons and credible weapons how do you know that. well. we looked at the receipt. if only you were alive to see the horrible failures of the two thousand and three and i remember watching that during the beginning of the second iraq war and being like it's an iraq war and it's bush and we have the receipts it's all over. you know it was amazing you know your favorite i guess hicks moment well i mean there's a lot i mean i always loved when he would go after marketing because that is not
something you really see from a lot of comedians i mean or even you know it's people that speak in general in front of crowds and he would go you know he said marketers kill yourselves and he meant it to. like the deleuze of law you read that we take in one thousand to three thousand ads a day or banners or whatever and he had the guts to speak out against that and say look what's this doing to our brains and so whenever you go after marketers i was like yeah that was one great thing of going confluent after advertising you made a tribute to him where you interviewed his brother i mean how was it to talk to someone and his family and so close to him yeah i did so i did a video yesterday for this twentieth anniversary but in it i featured some of my interview with his brother and steve great guy who just wants to make it all about bill and it sounds like the family is just they really love how bill's legend has grown and you know he said they never could have imagined that he would have grown to this legend status that he has but
a really cool moment was when steve said that when people come up to him or his family and say he's like although bill hicks was very funny and he'll come up and joe oh he was very funny i found a very funny they say he changed my life and that's the deeper truth in bill hicks words is what change people i mean he broke paradigms i mean he was cutting to the heart of so many issues that still are so pointed today i mean lee you're literally one of the only political comedians i mean of course there's you know louis. other people like that you are cutting to the core undermining the exact system that needs to be called out like hicks did i mean did he inspire you to take the route that you did in political comedy yeah he was an inspiration as were a lot of other great comics like george carlin and bruce even some people that didn't do comedy but you didn't do standup comedy but you used comedy to make change like abbie hoffman so yeah bill hicks was a huge influence and seeing that someone could take these dark issues that needed to be talked about and make an audience laugh and enjoy themselves but still learn
just learning that could be done was a huge inspiration i mean people need comedy people respond so much better to comedy than they were just like my newscast and that's why you're so great and what you do and why do you think more comedians are political considering the want to completely have to up. i think i think there's two reasons one is that comedians like your average american a lot of them aren't political they just don't care that they're not there they don't understand they don't care to learn about it and that and then the and then there's also a lot of them that understand it's a tougher route to go i mean you're going to alienate a certain percentage of the audience every time you go out there like i have to realize that ten to thirty percent of the audience is going to be forget you and so you have to accept that so it's easier route to not discuss that stuff luckily there are some comedians out there talking about it i love when you've given the shows here in d.c. the audience is like wait you're talking about me oh no you're calling know everything that i am. but the great that's you know that's what you're saying
a moment ago the great thing about comedy is that a lot of people even though you are hitting to the heart of things they believe or didn't realize they believed they still will sit there and enjoy themselves and leave with something deeper exactly thank you so much of the recant for remembering . that's our show you guys join me again when i break this all over again tomorrow . well. science technology innovation all the latest developments from around russia we've got the future are covered. wealthy british style. that's not right.
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the classic. over by the old if you. did you know the price is the only industry specifically mention in the constitution which says that's because a free and open press is critical to our democracy shrek office. told. them you know i'm sorry and on this show we reveal the picture of what's actually going to comment on we go beyond identifying to try to fix rational debate a real discussion critical issues facing america by ready to join the movement then welcome to the big picture. oh i'm sorry but in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. the koch brothers are at it again this time leading a nation.