The real American, Paul Craig Roberts

Truth Has Fallen and Has Taken Liberty With It
By Paul Craig Roberts
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. George Orwell
There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a
time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an
independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race,
ideological, personal, or financial interest.
Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard
for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it.
Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits.
Those who speak it run the risk of being branded "anti-American,"
"anti-Semite" or "conspiracy theorist."
Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups
whose campaign contributions control government.
Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not
the discovery of innocence or guilt.
Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.
Today many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid
handsomely to hide it. "Free market economists" are paid to sell
offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added
American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts
from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by
"the New Economy," a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-
tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance
activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to
participate in this "new economy" are finance degrees from Ivy League
universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar
Economists who were once respectable took money to contribute to this
myth of "the New Economy."
And not only economists sell their souls for filthy lucre. Recently we
have had reports of medical doctors who, for money, have published in
peer-reviewed journals concocted "studies" that hype this or that new
medicine produced by pharmaceutical companies that paid for the
The Council of Europe is investigating big pharma’s role in hyping a
false swine flu pandemic in order to gain billions of dollars in sales
of the vaccine.
The media helped the US military hype its recent Marja offensive in
Afghanistan, describing Marja as a city of 80,000 under Taliban
control. It turns out that Marja is not urban but a collection of
village farms.
And there is the global warming scandal, in which climate scientists,
financed by Wall Street and corporations anxious to get their mitts on
"cap and trade" and by a U.N. agency anxious to redistribute income
from rich to poor countries, concocted a doomsday scenario in order to
create profit in pollution.
Wherever one looks, truth has fallen to money.
Wherever money is insufficient to bury the truth, ignorance,
propaganda, and short memories finish the job.
I remember when, following CIA director William Colby’s testimony
before the Church Committee in the mid-1970s, presidents Gerald Ford
and Ronald Reagan issued executive orders preventing the CIA and U.S.
black-op groups from assassinating foreign leaders. In 2010 the US
Congress was told by Dennis Blair, head of national intelligence, that
the US now assassinates its own citizens in addition to foreign
When Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that US citizens no
longer needed to be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of a
capital crime, just murdered on suspicion alone of being a "threat,"
he wasn’t impeached. No investigation pursued. Nothing happened. There
was no Church Committee. In the mid-1970s the CIA got into trouble for
plots to kill Castro. Today it is American citizens who are on the hit
list. Whatever objections there might be don’t carry any weight. No
one in government is in any trouble over the assassination of U.S.
citizens by the U.S. government.
As an economist, I am astonished that the American economics
profession has no awareness whatsoever that the U.S. economy has been
destroyed by the offshoring of U.S. GDP to overseas countries. U.S.
corporations, in pursuit of absolute advantage or lowest labor costs
and maximum CEO "performance bonuses," have moved the production of
goods and services marketed to Americans to China, India, and
elsewhere abroad. When I read economists describe offshoring as free
trade based on comparative advantage, I realize that there is no
intelligence or integrity in the American economics profession.
Intelligence and integrity have been purchased by money. The
transnational or global U.S. corporations pay multi-million dollar
compensation packages to top managers, who achieve these "performance
awards" by replacing U.S. labor with foreign labor. While Washington
worries about "the Muslim threat," Wall Street, U.S. corporations and
"free market" shills destroy the U.S. economy and the prospects of
tens of millions of Americans.
Americans, or most of them, have proved to be putty in the hands of
the police state.
Americans have bought into the government’s claim that security
requires the suspension of civil liberties and accountable government.
Astonishingly, Americans, or most of them, believe that civil
liberties, such as habeas corpus and due process, protect
"terrorists," and not themselves. Many also believe that the
Constitution is a tired old document that prevents government from
exercising the kind of police state powers necessary to keep Americans
safe and free.
Most Americans are unlikely to hear from anyone who would tell them
any different.
I was associate editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal. I
was Business Week’s first outside columnist, a position I held for 15
years. I was columnist for a decade for Scripps Howard News Service,
carried in 300 newspapers. I was a columnist for the Washington Times
and for newspapers in France and Italy and for a magazine in Germany.
I was a contributor to the New York Times and a regular feature in the
Los Angeles Times. Today I cannot publish in, or appear on, the
American "mainstream media."
For the last six years I have been banned from the "mainstream media."
My last column in the New York Times appeared in January, 2004,
coauthored with Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer representing
New York. We addressed the offshoring of U.S. jobs. Our op-ed article
produced a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
and live coverage by C-Span. A debate was launched. No such thing
could happen today.
For years I was a mainstay at the Washington Times, producing
credibility for the Moony newspaper as a Business Week columnist,
former Wall Street Journal editor, and former Assistant Secretary of
the U.S. Treasury. But when I began criticizing Bush’s wars of
aggression, the order came down to Mary Lou Forbes to cancel my
The American media does not serve the truth. It serves the government
and the interest groups that empower the government.
America’s fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement
bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government’s
account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this
defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable
wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for
investigation in the media. It is pointless to complain of war and a
police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based.
These trillion dollar wars have created financing problems for
Washington’s deficits and threaten the U.S. dollar’s role as world
reserve currency. The wars and the pressure that the budget deficits
put on the dollar’s value have put Social Security and Medicare on the
chopping block. Former Goldman Sachs chairman and U.S. Treasury
Secretary Hank Paulson is after these protections for the elderly. Fed
chairman Bernanke is also after them. The Republicans are after them
as well. These protections are called "entitlements" as if they are
some sort of welfare that people have not paid for in payroll taxes
all their working lives.
With over 21 percent unemployment as measured by the methodology of
1980, with American jobs, GDP, and technology having been given to
China and India, with war being Washington’s greatest commitment, with
the dollar over-burdened with debt, with civil liberty sacrificed to
the "war on terror," the liberty and prosperity of the American people
have been thrown into the trash bin of history.
The militarism of the U.S. and Israeli states, and Wall Street and
corporate greed, will now run their course. As the pen is censored and
its might extinguished, I am signing off.
Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury
during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the
Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments,
including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and
International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research
Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the
Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the
author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of
Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and
Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with
Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How
Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview
with Roberts about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct. His
latest book, How The Economy Was Lost , has just been published by
CounterPunch/AK Press.