Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

What is the Government’s Real Agenda?


It has been public information for a decade that the US government secretly, illegally, and unconstitutionally spies on its citizens. Congress and the federal courts have done nothing about this extreme violation of the US Constitution and statutory law, and the insouciant US public seems unperturbed.

In 2004 a whistleblower informed the New York Times that the National Security Agency (NSA) was violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by ignoring the FISA court and spying on Americans without obtaining the necessary warrants. The corrupt New York Times put the interests of the US government ahead of those of the American public and sat on the story for one year until George W. Bush was safely reelected.

By the time the New York Times published the story of the illegal spying one year later, the law-breaking government had had time to mitigate the offense with ex post facto law or executive orders and explain away its law-breaking as being in the country’s interest.

Last year William Binney, who was in charge of NSA’s global digital data gathering program revealed that NSA had everyone in the US under total surveillance. Every email, Internet site visited and phone call is captured and stored. In 2012 Binney received the Callaway Award for Civic Courage, an annual award given to those who champion constitutional rights at risk to their professional and personal lives.

There have been a number of whistleblowers. For example, in 2006 Mark Klein revealed that AT&T had a secret room in its San Francisco office that NSA used to collect Internet and phone-call data from US citizens who were under no suspicion.

The presstitute media handled these stories in ways that protected the government’s lawlessness from scrutiny and public outrage. The usual spin was that the public needs to be safe from terrorists, and safety is what the government is providing.

The latest whistle blower, Edward Snowden, has sought refuge in Hong Kong, which has a better howeconrecord of protecting free speech than the US government. Snowden did not trust any US news source and took the story to the British newspaper, the Guardian.

There is no longer any doubt whatsoever that the US government is lawless, that it regards the US Constitution as a scrap of paper, that it does not believe Americans have any rights other than those that the government tolerates at any point in time, and that the government has no fear of being held accountable by the weak and castrated US Congress, the sycophantic federal courts, a controlled media, and an insouciant public.

Binney and Snowden have described in precisely accurate detail the extreme danger from the government’s surveillance of the population. No one is exempt, not the Director of the CIA, US Army Generals, Senators and Representatives, not even the president himself.

Anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can find interviews with Binney and Snowden and become acquainted with why you do have very much indeed to fear whether or not you are doing anything wrong.

James Clapper, the lying Director of National Intelligence, who would have been perfectly at home in the Hitler or Stalin regimes, condemned Snowden as “reprehensible” for insisting that in a democracy the public should know what the government is doing. Clapper insisted that secretly spying on every ordinary American was essential in order to “protect our nation.” 

Clapper is “offended” that Americans now know that the NSA is spying on the ordinary life of every American. Clapper wants Snowden to be severely punished for his “reckless disclosure” that the US government is totally violating the privacy that the US Constitution guarantees to every US citizen.

President Obama, allegedly educated in constitutional law, justified Clapper’s program of spying on every communication of every American citizen as a necessary violation of Americans’ civil liberties that “protects your civil liberties.” Contrast the lack of veracity of the President of the United States with the truthfulness of Snowden, who correctly stated that the NSA spying is an “existential threat to democracy.”

The presstitutes are busy at work defending Clapper and Obama. On June 9, CNN rolled out former CIA case officer Bob Baer to implant into the public’s mind that Snowden, far from trying to preserve US civil liberties, might be a Chinese spy and that Snowden’s revelations might be indicative of a Chinese espionage case.

Demonization is the US government’s technique for discrediting Bradley Manning for complying with the US Military Code and reporting war crimes and for persecuting Julian Assage of Wikileaks for reporting leaked information about the US government’s crimes. Demonization and false charges will be the government’s weapon against Snowden.

If Washington and its presstitutes can convince Americans that courageous people, who are trying to inform Americans that their historic rights are disappearing into a police state, are espionage agents of foreign powers, America can continue to be subverted by its own government.

This brings us to the crux of the matter. What is the purpose of the spying program?

Even if an American believes the official stories of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing, these are the only two terrorist acts in the US that resulted in the lost of human life in 12 years. Far more people are killed in traffic accidents and from bad diets. Why should the Constitution and civil liberty be deep-sixed because of two alleged terrorist acts in 12 years?

What is astounding is the absence of terrorist attacks. Washington is in the second decade of invading and destroying Muslim governments and countries. Civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya are extremely high, and in those countries that Washington has not yet invaded, such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria, civilians are being murdered by Washington’s drones and proxies on the ground.

It is extraordinary that Washington’s brutal 12 year assault on Muslim lives in six countries has not resulted in at least one dozen real, not fake FBI orchestrated, terrorist attacks in the US every day.

How can something as rare as terrorism justify the destruction of the US Constitution and US civil liberty? How safe is any American when their government regards every citizen as a potential suspect who has no rights?

Why is there no discussion of this in American public life? Watch the presstitutes turn Snowden’s revelations into an account of his disaffection and motives and away from the existential threat to democracy and civil liberty.

What is the government’s real agenda? Clearly, “the war on terror” is a front for an undeclared agenda. In “freedom and democracy” America, citizens have no idea what their government’s motives are in fomenting endless wars and a gestapo police state. The only information Americans have comes from whistleblowers, who Obama ruthlessly prosecutes. The presstitutes quickly discredit the information and demonize the whistleblowers.

Germans in the Third Reich and Soviet citizens in the Stalin era had a better idea of their government’s agendas than do “freedom and democracy” Americans today. The American people are the most uninformed people in modern history.

In America there is no democracy that holds government accountable. There is only a brainwashed people who are chaff in the wind.


Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017
Ron Jacobs
A Theory of Despair?
Gilbert Mercier
Globalist Clinton: Clear and Present Danger to World Peace
James A Haught
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials
Uri Avnery
The Peres Funeral Ruckus
Tom Clifford
Duterte’s Gambit: the Philippines’s Pivot to China
Reyes Mata III
Scaling Camelot’s Walls: an Essay Regarding Donald Trump
Raouf Halaby
Away from the Fray: From Election Frenzy to an Interlude in Paradise
James McEnteer
Art of the Feel
David Yearsley
Trump and Hitchcock in the Age of Conspiracies
Charles R. Larson
Review: Sjón’s “Moonstone: the Boy Who Never Was”