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By Christopher Bollyn
Exclusive to American Free Press
A brutal purge of the senior staff at Popular Mechanics preceded the publication of last month's scandalous propaganda piece about 9/11. Pulling the strings is the grand dame of Hearst Magazines and behind the scene is her obscure husband - a veteran propaganda expert and former special assistant to the director of the C.I.A.
The Reichstag fire, a key event in German history, and the steps that followed en suite leading to the Nazi dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, provide remarkable precedents for what occurred in the United States on 9/11 - and since.
The fire that consumed the German parliament building on the night of February 27, 1933, is "widely believed," according to Encyclopedia Britannica, to have been contrived by the newly formed Nazi government to turn public opinion against its opponents and allow it to assume emergency powers.
The day after the burning of the Reichstag, the government headed by Adolf Hitler enacted a decree "for the Protection of the People and the State." Hitler's emergency decree dispensed with all constitutional protection of political, personal, and property rights.
Likewise, a month after 9/11 the U.S. Congress passed, without even reading, similar emergency legislation: the Bush administration's USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. The pre-prepared massive security act's long title is "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism."
Within a month of the Reichstag fire, on March 23, 1933, the parliament passed the Enabling Act, whereby its legislative powers were transferred to Hitler's Reich Cabinet. This act, passed by a vote of 444 to 94, legally sanctioned the Nazi dictatorship,
Another parallel is seen in the way George W. Bush and Hitler came to power. Bush obtained the presidency in 2001 through a Supreme Court decision after a flawed and un-counted election, while Hitler secured the German chancellorship through elections in November 1932 in which the Nazi Party failed to win an outright majority.
Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, is thought to have let arsonists into the parliament building through a tunnel leading from the official residence of Hermann Göring, Reichstag president and Hitler's chief minister.
Göring then presided over the official investigation, which blamed the communists. In a similar manner, the Bush administration openly opposed an independent investigation of 9/11 and fixed blame on Osama Bin Laden and 19 Arab terrorists. Based on this official, but unproven, explanation for 9/11 the United States has invaded and occupied two Middle Eastern nations.
"Ninety-five percent of the work of intelligence agencies around the world is disinformation and deception," Andreas von Bülow, former parliamentary official responsible for the budget for Germany's intelligence agencies, told American Free Press in December 2001. Like Nazi Germany of 1933, American newsstands today carry a mainstream magazine dedicated to pushing the government's "truth" of 9/11 while viciously smearing independent researchers as "extremists" who "peddle fantasies" and make "poisonous claims."
The magazine pushing the government's 9/11 propaganda, Popular Mechanics (PM), is published by the Hearst family. Its March cover story, "Debunking 9/11 Lies," has been exposed by credible researchers to contain numerous distortions and flawed conclusions.
American Free Press revealed that Benjamin Chertoff, the 25-year-old "senior researcher" who authored the 9/11 article, is related to Michael Chertoff, the new Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The PM article illustrates how a propaganda method, used by dictatorships, is now being employed by the U.S. government: controlling mainstream media outlets to promote its version of 9/11.
The actions of Michael Chertoff concerning the events of 9/11, the non-investigation that followed, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the propaganda being disseminated in PM, are strikingly similar to actions attributed to the Nazi ministers Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Göring.
While Chertoff is the "czar" of DHS, he is not sovereign at PM or Hearst Magazines, its corporate parent. The president of Hearst Magazines, one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines with 18 U.S. titles and more than 100 international editions, is Cathleen P. Black, a 60-year old native of Chicago. Black oversees the publication of 175 titles around the world including Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, and Popular Mechanics.
Black is a former president and publisher of USA Today. In 1983, Black was made president of the new newspaper published by Gannett. The following year she was made publisher and soon became a member of Gannett's board of directors.
"Despite her efforts," her biography reads, "USA Today did not show an operating profit in the eight years that Black was there." The newspaper's non-profitability notwithstanding, Gannett paid Black $600,000 a year for her efforts. USA Today reportedly had a circulation of 1.8 million when Black left in 1991. USA Today is often given away free of charge.
Black left USA Today to become president and chief executive of the nascent Newspaper Association of America (NAA), formed on June 1, 1992. She then became the leading spokesperson and lobbyist for the nation's newspaper industry. Black's position at the NAA carried "considerable political heft," Paul Farhi of The Washington Post wrote, "given that the 1,400 members of her organization control the nation's editorial pages."
In 1995, for an annual salary reported to be "in excess of $1 million," Black was hired by Hearst Corp. to head its magazine division.
Named by Fortune magazine as one of the Most Powerful Women in American Business, Black sits on the boards of Hearst Corp., the Advertising Council, IBM, and Coca-Cola. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
It is often said that USA Today is controlled by the CIA, which, like the paper, is based in McLean, Virginia. The little-known fact that Black is married to Thomas E. Harvey, an obscure lawyer who became a White House Fellow in 1977 and served as "special assistant' to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), provides substance to these rumors. Black's corporate biography does not mention her husband.
President Jimmy Carter made Harvey a White House Fellow in May 1977. "In that capacity," Harvey's biography reads, he "served as special assistant to the Director of the C.I.A. Following that he held senior appointed positions within the Department of Defense."
The DCI at the time was Stansfield Turner, who had replaced George H.W. Bush.
Prior to serving the CIA, Harvey worked at the New York law office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The international law firm, co-founded by Morris Hadley, a 1916 member of Yale University's secret society Skull & Bones, has ties to the CIA and lists William H. Webster, DCI from 1987-1991, as a senior partner. Webster also serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
In the 1980s, Harvey served as General Counsel and Congressional Liaison of the U.S. Information Agency, the former external propaganda arm of the U.S. government. Harvey also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Army and Navy. In 1992, Harvey was personnel director for the Bush-Quayle '92 Campaign.
Calls to the offices of Black and Harvey for the purpose of this article went unanswered.
In the months leading up to the Chertoff article in PM, a brutal take-over occurred at the magazine. In September 2004, Joe Oldham, the magazine's former editor-in-chief was replaced by James B. Meigs, who came to PM with a "deputy," Jerry Beilinson, from National Geographic Adventure. In October, a new creative director replaced PM's 21-year veteran who was given ninety minutes to clear out of his office.
A former senior editor at PM, who is forbidden from openly discussing the coup at PM, told AFP that the former creative director was abruptly told to leave and given severance pay of two weeks wages for every year spent at PM. "Three or four" people have been similarly dismissed every month since, he said. He said he was astounded that the coup at PM had not been reported in the mainstream media.
PM has long been a supporter of the U.S. military. The magazine ran a full page ad in support of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in May 2003. Since the purge last September, however, PM readers have noticed that government propaganda has replaced scientific writing. A letter to the editor in the current issue says, "I think you guys are just another tool in the government's propaganda machine."