Seeing The Secret State: Six Landscapes

Although people around the world are becoming increasingly aware of the United States’ global geography of surveillance, covert action, and other secret programs, much of this landscape is invisible in our everyday lives.

The drone war, for example, seems to happen “somewhere else” while surveillance programs take place among the (largely) invisible infrastructures and digital protocols of the internet and other communications networks. Moreover, the state agencies responsible for secret programs strive to make them as invisible as possible. In this talk, artist Trevor Paglen discusses his work attempting to “see” the various aspects of the secret state. In examples ranging from tracking spy satellites to foraging through the bureaucratic refuse of CIA front companies, Paglen will discuss methods used to identify and exploit structural contradictions in classified programs which render them visible, and comment on the aesthetics and politics of attempting to “see” secrecy.

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Alpine Follies – Bilderberg 2015 (Part 2)

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Part 2 of 3: Dissecting the Bilderberg Agenda

By Will Banyan, Copyright © 10 January 2016 [See Part 1 and 3]

Among the many differences between the G7 and Bilderberg meetings, perhaps the most significant is the levels of transparency. At last year’s G7 meeting in Schloss Elmau, for example, the German Government not only provided the programme for the “Meeting of Heads of State and Government”, but also overviews of the two days of meetings, the summit declaration, which essentially summarised the outcomes of their discussions and a number of press releases and other documents. G7 participants also spoke to the media about the meeting. The White House, for example, provided transcripts of Obama’s speeches and press conferences, as well as a Fact Sheet and extended press briefing on the G7. This level of detail, and in particular the willingness of its participants to be cross-examined by the media, means that the achievements or otherwise of the G7 are easier to analyse.

It is telling that, in contrast, the Bilderberg Group’s much vaunted “efforts to be more transparent” (The Independent, May 29, 2014) have again been found wanting. As with previous meetings, the official Bilderberg website provided no more than a perfunctory press release and a list of participants. There was no pre-Bilderberg press conference. Questions posed to Bilderberg’s press spokesperson were met with the solemn recitation of information already on the Bilderberg website. Finally attempts to obtain information from Bilderberg participants as they were leaving Austria, elicited either bizarre denials about even being there (as in the case of former World Bank chief James Wolfensohn), or variations on “no comment.” And contrary to the claims made by Steering Committee member, Franco Bernabé – “there is no secret, everything is published on the site…There will be a statement released by Bilderberg” – nothing else was released by the Bilderberg Group.

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Annie Jacobsen: Inside DARPA: The Pentagon’s Brain

The internet, GPS, voice recognition programs like Siri – many of the technologies that we use today were developed with national security in mind. These inventions and many others began as projects of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Department’s secretive military research agency. For more than fifty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the Cold War and the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also major innovations in modern civilian society.

How do they do it? What makes this military organization such fertile ground for invention? What technologies with useful daily applications have failed to enter into civilian use? Can Silicon Valley learn from DARPA, or vice versa? Drawing on extensive interviews, declassified memos and inside sources, investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen will share insights into this top-secret organization.

Speaker Annie Jacobsen is an Investigative Journalist and Author [of The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency].

The conversation is moderated by Andrew Becker, Reporter, The Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Alpine Follies – Bilderberg 2015 (Part 1)

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Part 1 of 3: Is Bilderberg More Important Than The G7?

By Will Banyan, Copyright © 01 January 2016 [See Part 2 and 3]

According to some observers, last year’s Bilderberg Meeting, held over 11-14 June, 2015 at the Interalpen Hotel, near the town of Telfs-Buchen in Austria, was a more significant event than the Group of Seven meeting that had just preceded it across the border in Germany. Bilderberg is “every bit as important as the G7”, claimed The Guardian’s (Jun. 08, 2015) lone correspondent, Charlie Skelton; if not a “much more decisive meeting place [ein viel entscheidenderes Treffen statt]”, wrote Thorsten Schmitt from Extrem News (May 30, 2015). Yet some of the Bilderberg meeting participants – the few that deigned to even speak or write about it – insisted that the 2015 gathering was a very interesting but ultimately benign occasion. Michael O’Leary, CEO of Irish airline Ryanair and newly appointed Bilderberg Steering Committee member, for example, after mocking claims it was a “big conspiracy” told Irish radio that his first Bilderberg meeting had been a “terrific experience” and “very educational.” Another first time participant, Trine Eilertsen, Political Editor of the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten wrote that the “discussions and introductions” at Bilderberg were “very useful because participants spoke so freely.” But she also dismissed as “distant from reality”, a columnist writing in a rival publication, Aftenbladet (Jun. 13, 2015) who criticised her participation and considered it “naïve” of Eilertsen not to see anything sinister in a secret meeting of billionaires, politicians and journalists.

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Militant Masonry: Amis de la Vérité, Buonarroti Masters and French Carbonari

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By Terry Melanson (February 18, 2013)


Amongst the source material utilized during the writing of Perfectibilists, was a 1956 International Review of Social History article by Arthur Lehning: “Buonarroti and His International Secret Societies.”

I became fascinated with the so-called “first professional revolutionist,” especially the evidence of his indebtedness to the stratagems of the Bavarian Illuminati (directly or otherwise).

In the midst of Lehning’s thorough outline of the central role Buonarroti played in various secret societies during the period, a short passage caught my attention involving a clandestine nexus of French Carbonarists, Joseph Rey’s ‘L’Union,’ and a particularly revolutionary Masonic Lodge of the Grand Orient: the ‘Amis de la Vérité’ [Friends of Truth]:

In 1821 the secret leadership of the anti-Bourbon opposition went over to the “Charbonnerie française”. Bazard, the later Saint-Simonist, formed in 1818 the “Loge des amis de la vérité” with its military “Compagnie franche des écoles”. Behind the “Loge” stood the secret “Union” of Rey, and it was Victor Cousin (of the “Union”) who, in fact, took the initiative. Involved in the military conspiracy of 19th August 1820, two of its members, Joubert and Dugied, having fled to Italy, brought back from Naples the statutes of the Neopolitan “carbonari”. They form 1st May 1821 the first “Haute Vente” of the “Charbonnerie française” of which soon the leading personalities of the parliamentarian opposition such as Lafayette, De Corcelle, Koechlin, Manuel – all deputies – and also Cabet and De Schonen, became members (127).

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Frank Gigliotti: Minister, Freemason, OSS and CIA

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Dr. Frank Bruno Gigliotti (Oct. 15, 1896 San Bernardo [Catanzaro, Calabria], Italy – Sep. 20, 1975 Lemon Grove, Cal., USA)

By Terry Melanson (Oct. 30, 2015)

jan-1947-receives-word-of-constitution-ammendmentIf you have studied the history of deep state intrigue, Gladio and stay-behind networks during the cold war, occasionally you may have come across a fleeting mention of someone named Frank Gigliotti. In Philip Willan’s Puppetmasters, for example, Gigliotti is described as a “former OSS and then CIA agent” who played a key role in the US negations to return control to the Grand Orient masons their former headquarters in Palazzo Giustiniani, Rome (57). “Frank Gigliotti of the US Masonic Lodge,” Daniele Ganser asserts in NATO’s Secret Armies, “personally recruited Gelli and instructed him to set up an anti-Communist parallel government in Italy in close cooperation with the CIA station in Rome” (73). In Willan’s book as well, Gigliotti is mentioned in a paragraph that begins with Gelli’s initiation into grand orient masonry.

Gelli, of course, refers to Licio Gelli, the Venerable Master of the Propaganda Due (P2) secret masonic lodge which recruited members with senior positions in the intelligence apparatus, the military, judiciary, parliament, media, banking and high finance. P2 operated like a state within a state, and Gelli as a self-proclaimed puppet master. The discovery, in 1981, of an official list of nearly a thousand members, including “four cabinet ministers, three under-secretaries and thirty-eight parliamentarians,” precipitated a collapse of the government (Willan 2002: 49). In subsequent government inquiries, Gelli and P2 were linked to the downfall of Banco Ambrosiano; Operation Gladio and the Strategy of Tension; the Bologna massacre; far-right/fascist groups such as Ordine Nuovo and Stefano Delle Chiaie’s Italian Social Movement; the Borghese coup; the Rosa dei Venti (Compass Rose) conspiracy; kidnapping, murder and assassination.

The parliamentary commission of inquiry investigating P2 specifically mentions Frank Gigliotti, his OSS/CIA/US Scottish Rite/Grand Orient ties, and draws attention to the conspicuous appearance of Licio Gelli once Gigliotti leaves the scene.

This seemingly obscure mason from the US was meddling in grand orient masonic affairs, on behalf of his masonic brethren as well as the US government, and was linked to the rise of Gelli and his ascendancy to the leadership of P2. Who was this man? What was the trajectory of his career?

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