Chemurgy – we don’t need to pollute

Once upon a (unfortunately, very distant) time, there existed a movement whose main mission was to introduce the industrialised world to the use of “chemurgy”.

But what exactly is chemurgy? Well, in a nutshell, it is a field of applied chemistry which focuses on the transformation of vegetal materials into finished industrial products: for example, soy oil into dyes and paints, peanuts oil into lubes and inks, hemp into plastics, paper, fuel and so forth. To put it simply, a production method in which raw materials have the minimal impact on the environment.

It was 1934 when the chemist William J. Hale published “the Farm Chemurgic”, an essay built on the revolutionary idea that farmers should not only focus their efforts on food production but, also, on employing their produce to extract materials such as cellulose, starch and lignite.

Albeit Hale coined the term and introduced his theory to the world, many other personalities of the time were amazed by the idea. George Washington Carver, an African-American agronomist born at the end of the 19th century from slave parents, was able to patent hundreds of commercial products inside the Tuskegee laboratories in Alabama only by analysing plants and their seeds. For example, he found that from the skin of peanuts it was possible to extract cladding for construction and that its proteins could be transformed in fibres. The exploitation of agrarian resources to produce industrial goods could have been the answer to the 1930s downturn, during which granaries were full of unsold produce and millions of famers on the verge of economic ruin.

The chemurgy cause was joined by the famed industrialist Henry Ford, who was introduced to the idea by Thomas Edison. Ford funded the first conventions of the National Farm Chemurgic Council and established, along with his friend Edison, a research centre close to Detroit known by the name of “Edison Institute of Technology”. One of the first and most important investigations was on the use of soy and hemp. The potential of the latter was cited numerous times by the US Department of Agriculture, which in the meantime established four chemurgy laboratories to investigate the areas of application on agricultural products.
This was declared by Henry Ford on the NY Times in 1925:

The fuel of the future will come from the fruits, roads, apples, grass, sawdust… in a nutshell, from almost everything. There is fuel in every vegetal matter that can be fermented and be source of nutrition. There is enough alcohol in a single harvest from a potato field to fuel the machines needed to farm for at least a hundred years.”

Some 16 years after this interview, the automotive behemoth revealed the “Hemp Body Car”, a car made of – as the name suggest – hemp, which had the qualities of being much lighter than steel and biodegradable. Nevertheless, the true revolution was represented by its fuel: the prototype used ethanol, from fermented hemp, with the minimal environmental impact.
Modern reconstruction of the “Hemp Body Car”

The material was there, the ideas and the needed research was done. It seemed that chemurgy was on the verge of giving the world the natural resources it needed: a fuel that was not only not limited by its sources and that helped build an economy that respected both the consumer and the natural world.

Nevertheless, in front of these developments, chemurgy had to face the biggest conflict of interest in modern history. In the US, William R. Hearst purchased thousands of hectares of a forest to produce enough timber in order to print his popular newspapers. This empire was threatened by the emergence of hemp paper, which was much cheaper in comparison. Another key character from the industry who felt jeopardised by hemp was Lammot Dupont, owner of the homonymic chemicals producer.

Lammot Dupont

At the time, his company was dominant thanks to a series of patents for the production of nylon and other synthetic fibres. Both were financed by the eminent banker Andrew Mellon, also owner of Gulf Oil. On top of the risk for the most important petrochemical companies, there was the newly established pharmaceutical industry, backed by J.D. Rockerfeller and Andrew Carnegie. Both of them fought a war to supplant all natural remedies (especially those that are herb and cannabis based)in the pharmacopoeia.

All these characters had the common intent of getting rid of hemp in the shortest time possible. Fortunately for them, Andrew Mellon was the US Secretary of the Treasury and he was able to nominate as head of the narcotics department his future son-in-law Harry J. Aslinger, already federal agent during the prohibition years.

Hearst used his newspapers to aid a terror campaign against hemp, associating it with syringes, “weird orgies”, “savage feasts”, “unrestrained passions”, insanity and indigence. The smear campaign was kept running by Aslinger’s public-service announcements:

“A marijuana cigarette can make its victim addicted in a few weeks, leading them to the physical and moral ruin until death. The truth is that every joint brings a person to immorality and bestial perversions, brutality, homicides, sexual crimes, mental instability or suicides.”

In addition, during the smear campaign, the name “hemp” was never used. Instead marijuana was employed in its place, a term used by the Mexicans, that helped distract the public opinion as it exploited the racist and xenophobic attitudes of the time.
This media operation culminated in the “Marijuana Tax Act”, which started the prohibition policy towards the commerce, the use and the cultivation of hemp, even though the psychotropic compound (THC) in only present in the flower. The majority of the senators and congressmen that voted for it were not aware that hemp and marijuana were the same plant.

But this was not enough: over the 60s and 70s Anslinger’s initiative was brought directly to the UN: In fact, there the “Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs” was signed and enacted, which as a matter of fact led to a worldwide prohibition.
Chemurgy disappeared and, in concomitance with Ford’s death, the “Hemp Body Car” prototype died too. The hemp-based fuel was discredited by the oil companies, destroying every possibility of development.

It has been 82 years since that law and, to this day, most people are only aware of hemp’s flowers and its psychotropic effects. The industry has effectively moved on towards synthetic materials, derived from fossil fuels, which are almost impossible to dispose of. The world needs around 90 million barrels per day to power machines, industrial production and commerce. Harvesting oil is not easy: in many cases it involves perforating the Earth’s crust for kilometres in some areas of the world. This is not achieved without geo-political conflicts.

Today the discoveries made on chemurgy during the 30s are largely ignored: millions of products are made of synthetic plastics instead of vegetal fibres. Most envelopes, fils and containers, such as food- grade tupperware, are produced from fossil fuels as well. Biscuits, crisps, yogurt, meat, vegetables, frozen food – you name it – use plastic envelopes.

Plastic needs additives to obtain properties such as colour, anti-oxidation resistance, UV screening etc. These substances have a massive issue: they can migrate, through wear and tear, to other things such as food.

The EU officially published guidelines regarding what a 60kg adult can tolerate. How about children? Let us consider for example phthalates, which are additives needed to make plastic pliable: they are, according to the Endocrine Society, persistent organic pollutants and endocrine interferants. This means that this substance is recognised from the body as an oestrogen, creating malfunctions in the organism: for example alterations in the mammary gland are common, which can cause a range of diseases such as breast cancer or inhibit the male fetus growth by blocking testosterone production.

Another endocrine interferant is Bisphenol A. It is produced in the Netherlands in Europe’s biggest refinery, owned by Shell. Bisphenol is linked to the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, male sterility, behavioural disturbs and decreased testosterone production. Another interferant is formaldehyde, a substance present in plastic dishes for children, which has been shown to cause lymphomas and leukaemia.

PFOA is a substance present on no stick pans. A study was carried out in a town close to a Dupont plant (a company that contributed to the “hemp prohibition” campaign), which used PFOA to produce TEFLON, found on most pans. The study showed a correlation between this coating and 6 diseases: high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disfunctions, testicular and kidney cancer, and gestational hypertension. Dupont was accused of having contaminated the town’s water reserves with PFOA and it was condemned to pay 5 million dollars to a man who contracted testicular cancer. PFOA is a persistent substance which is not broken down by the environment, the human metabolism, and sunlight. It does not just represent a threat to humans but also the ecosystem. Green Peace found traces on the Apennines (as high as 2000+ m), in swiss lakes, and in mountain chains in Slovakia, Russia, Turkey. They found traces at 3000m in Chili, at 5000m in China and even near the North Pole.

The disposal of synthetic plastic represents another huge polluting activity. In the Pacific Ocean there is a “patch” of floating plastics and microplastics which extends more then the US.

After 82 years marked by the conflict of interest that brought hemp and chemurgy to the verge of disappearance in an industrialised world, we are all aware of the environmental disasters and of the many diseases caused by synthetic substances. Many summits are organised every year to prove people that the issues of deforestation, of air, soil, rivers, lakes, oceans pollution and C02 are being tackled. But the green revolution brought about in the 30s keeps being ignored.

Unfortunately, hemp is only mentioned to incriminate people that smoke its flowers.

The intelligence of plants

Now let’s take a break from all the human mess.
There is a world that we do not feel, but that we see every day. A world that we think cannot speak, be listened to, or be conscious. Something that we have always underestimated, but which decorates our homes. These are the plants, living beings that we have never known, much less understood in their complexity.
We always take for granted that a reality we cannot perceive with our five senses does not exist.

It is interesting to know which and how many beings live on Earth. Plants make up 85% of all the living mass of this planet. Then the animals come, with 0.3% and only afterwards human beings. A meagre 0.06%.
Here’s a question to ask: how did 85% of life on Earth develop and survive for hundreds of millions of years without being aware of themselves and of what surrounds them?
We humans never had a great regard for plants. In 1510 they made a ranking of living beings on Earth.

On this table the plants are in the penultimate place. After the stones. Therefore they exist and live. Nothing else. At the peak, however, is the scholarly man, who exists, lives, feels and is intelligent. The pinnacle of evolution, it seems.
Of course, this table is out-dated, but our perception of the plant world has not changed much.
Fundamentally, the problem is that we don’t know about this reality, and when you don’t know something you can’t even recognise its extraordinariness.
Let’s start by saying that if there were no plants, there would be no life on this planet. If all the plants disappeared, the Earth would become a big ball of rock, like Mars. Thanks to them, however, the Earth is blue, white and green.

In addition, the oxygen and food that animals and humans consume are produced exclusively by plants. Therefore, without plants, no living thing could survive. Including each and every one of us.
But why can’t we recognise the importance of plants? Sometimes we don’t even notice their presence.
If we show these pictures to people and ask what they can see…

… 94% of respondents will answer a frog, a bee and a hummingbird. Very few will cite the plants in the photos (according to Prof. Mancuso’s experiment). Even in cave paintings, the drawings made by prehistoric people represent animals and men, never plants. What about the Bible? When Noah has to save living beings from the flood, he only puts pairs of animals in the ark. Too bad that without plants no one could survive on Earth.
This lack of attention towards plants has a very specific cause and it is called plant blindness.
Through the eyes 1.5 GB of information enters our brains per second, but our brains can process only 300 MB of it, so it takes information that it doesn’t consider important and “throws it away.”
When we had to defend ourselves from predators, it was more important to focus on an animal or another man, not on a plant that was peaceful and not dangerous. So we learnt not to take it into account, and over time we assumed that plants are something inferior, just because they don’t move like us or don’t look like us.
Yet it is the living being that keeps everyone alive on Earth.
Since humans tend to understand only what looks like them, it would be helpful to make an
account of what unites and differentiates plants from human beings or animals. Is 0.06% of the planet really smarter than the remaining 85%?
This needs clarification: in order to write this article and immerse myself in a world that until now I could only imagine, a world more fascinating than what we can see with our eyes, I was helped by a professor of neurobiology, Stefano Mancuso, who through his studies showed us a reality that we had always refused to see.
I recommend you also to look at the videos posted below, because he explains the plants better than I do.

The biggest difference: we move, the plants are rooted in the earth

Why are plants and animals/humans so different? They can’t run away like us, so they had to develop ploys to solve problems similar to ours, but staying on the spot. This is the basic difference that divides the animal world from the plant. While plants have to deal with problems because they can’t move, we who can move, we go around them. Simple strategic differences.

The body of the Plants

We humans or animals are individuals, which means “not divisible“. Everything has to be attached to the body, if not we die.
A plant doesn’t. You can remove 90% of her body and she will live on. You can chop her into a thousand pieces, but she can still breathe.

Humans and animals have a body with organs inside, each with a very specific vital function, so that when they move they can carry them with them.
But imagine if a body rooted in the earth had individual organs. Organs are weak points capable of endangering the entire “body system”. A small hole made by a caterpillar would kill an entire plant. Reason why they have no organs, but that doesn’t mean they lack senses and vital functions.
Plants have developed another type of system. Of the “receptors” that are found throughout the body, able to interact at the same time with each other: plants see, feel, breathe and reason with the whole body.
If they have survived for millions of years in the majority, it can be said that their system works very well.

The movement plants

The human eye can’t sense the movement of plants. They don’t need to move as fast as we are, so we can’t pick up their individual movements. Luckily the cinematography filled our lack with the Timelapse that allowed us to observe the movements of the plants. These are the videos that prove it:

Plants not only move, but do so with conscience.

Plants have no eyes, but they have self-awareness and what they have Around. If you put a support next to a bean plant, this will start swinging to perceive what’s around it. He’s going to make a hook with his leaves and you will cling on, but only if no other plant has arrived before She.
The experiment below shows this very clearly.

Min. 12:45

Anesthetics have the same effects on plants as they have on animals and humans

Plants can defend themselves without escaping

Plants have a thousand strategies to protect themselves from predators. If a caterpillar begins to eat its leaves, the plant emits odors, which will attract the enemy of the insect that is eating it. When you say “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Click on the third video of the following
Plants Attract Parasitic Wasps to Defend Themselves against Insect Pests by Releasing Hexenol

Plants feel

Humans can listen to good music, or a nice speech. Plants, on the other, can feel something that humans cannot, for example the physical and chemical parameters of the environment: they can feel gravity, light, humidity, electric fields, magnetic fields, PH, salinity, water. This allows him to understand what’s going on around him, without needing organs like us. The parameters are perceived at the same time by each individual root system.

Parental care

These are the behaviors that the parent assumes towards the child in order to make him survive when he is still not self-sufficient. Like a lioness mom teaching the little boy to hunt. The plant world also assumes these sets of behaviors.
Plants take light and turn it into chemical energy, which it will use to survive. But how does a map in a dark forest live without being able to reach the light, because it is still too small? All the “relative” plants around him will provide him with the necessary to survive through the roots. Like when a mom breastfeeds her baby.
Plants can actually take care of their offspring

Do plants have neurons?

Plants don’t have neurons. Yet plant epidermal cells, just like neurons, are able to produce and transmit electrical signals. Cells that are scattered throughout the body.
Research progress on electrical signals in higher plants

Plants give us life, make us survive and make us happier

After numerous studies it has been found that in city neighbourhoods there is a direct relationship between the amount of green and public order: the less green it is present, the more crimes against the person, mental health problems and suicides. Other studies have measured the stress parameters while driving: the moment you enter a tree-lined boulevard all the stress parameters are lowered, people calm down, drive more slowly and accidents decrease.

To make an epilogue, we can define plants as intelligent because they have the ability to recognize and solve problems, and conscious because they have knowledge of themselves and what surrounds them. Plants are proof that you don’t necessarily need neurons to have intelligence, perform calculations and have behaviors.
Let us never forget that arrogance is the first killer of intelligence.

One great man said,”let’s see what we know, what we don’t know we don’t know.”
Be less sure of your beliefs.

Translated by Adrian Waters



Look for Stefano Mancuso in the search engine.,AJB.pdf,the%20transmission%20of%20electrical%20signals.[1657:PPCCNE]2.0.CO;2

The mother of all wars

I saw a movie a while ago. It was entitled Vice and it was about a man. A man who in the first half of his life was not devoted to studying, much less to work.
Kicked out of the prestigious Yale University, his favourite hobbies were drinking and fistfighting in the bars of rural Wyoming (USA).
One of those people you never thought could become vice president of the United States during the most delicate period of the new century.
This man’s name is Dick Cheney, tied to the Republicans and his sweetheart, who will accompany and support him throughout his rise to power.
He began as the administrative assistant of the Republican Donald Rumsfeld, a controversial figure who needed a faithful and silent subordinate, a task not difficult for Dick Cheney.

From right Dick Cheney and his legal adviser David Addington

We are still in the old century, in the 1970s to be exact, when the Republican presidency of Nixon was assailed by the Watergate scandal. The party needed new faces that could not be traced back to Nixon’s circle, and thus Cheney’s political career commenced.
Before long, Dick Cheney became Chief of Staff, which means that he was managing the entire staff at the President’s service, and was therefore part of the highest authority of executive power.
But what does “executive power” mean? Cheney hadn’t been good at school, so he had it explained by someone who was more shrewd in this field than he was, someone already inside the palace rooms.

The executive branch is one of three democratic state powers and is responsible for enforcing the laws, but a flea in the ear enriched this definition, showing him how great those in charge of the executive power can become.
This flea was a career-driven young lawyer in the Justice Department who introduced Cheney to the “unitary executive theory.”
Explained in simple words, this theory is an interpretation of Article 2 of the American
Constitution. It asserts that everything the President does is legal, because he’s the President.
As a result, the President can be independent and act without consulting other institutional offices. In this way, the President would have the right to do whatever comes to his mind, like we were not used to in a democracy.
From then on, Cheney began to see politics in a different perspective, especially with other outlooks.
However, the Democrats turned the tables.

4 May 1970, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA — Students demonstrate at Rutgers
University here, May 4, protesting the Nixon Administration’s Cambodian policy. The
Rutgers demonstration is one of many being staged on university campuses across the nation,
May 4, and the remainder of the week. They’re gathered in front of the Administration
Building. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

These were the years of change, of social revolutions, of civil rights. The environment was seen in a different light and with unprecedented ideas.
People perceived reality differently and were beginning to understand that fossil energy is not the only one available on this planet.

But this did not suit everybody.
The Republicans and the corporations had nothing to gain from this breath of fresh air. They actually had more to lose.
However, some wealthy families had the solution: the Koch brothers, for example, who managed Koch Industries, with an annual turnover of around 100 billion dollars thanks to oil refining and more. In their LinkedIn profile they describe themselves as follows:

“Food. Shelter. Clothing. Transport. Koch Industries creates the basic needs of life, innovating ways to make it even better. However, the defence of a free and open society is what truly sets us apart.
Are you interested in the lives of the Kochs? Follow us on Twitter at @LifeAtKoch!”

Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2016 MONDAY JULY 11TH, 2016: ASPEN, CO 3:00 PM WHAT MAKES A LARGE PRIVATE COMPANY TICK? Charles Koch, Chairman and CEO, Koch Industries Interviewer: Alan Murray, Editor, Fortune PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN MOLONEortune Brainstorm TECH 2016 MONDAY JULY 11TH, 2016: ASPEN, CO 3:00 PM WHAT
MAKES A LARGE PRIVATE COMPANY TICK? Charles Koch, Chairman and CEO, Koch
Industries Interviewer: Alan Murray, Editor, Fortune PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN
MOLONEY/Fortune Brainstorm TECH

Here, families like these began signing fat cheques to fund research and analysis institutes in the fields of sociology, health policy, economic policy, international politics, and constitutional studies.

Under the names Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute research and experiments were and are still carried out to “promote to the political leadership and public opinion of a belief about society and politics, whose main values are the free market, the defence of individual freedoms, the limited intervention of the state in economic and social life and effective border protection” and “orienting the choices and political vision of public leadership”. (Source: Treccani)

To sum up, the goal of these research institutes and those who funded them was to push civil society and leadership to see the world with the eyes of the big corporations. When a corporation needed to implement an idea or decision the government would support them, and no one in civil society would feel the need to protest.

These ideas managed to reach the homes of Americans thanks to the Fox News channel.
After the veto on the doctrine of impartiality, also known as the fairness doctrine, they managed to create a channel of information that clearly veered to the conservative right, which provided a platform to all the results that these research institutes had discovered.

In this way the greenhouse effect became “climate change”, the inheritance tax for millionaires “death tax” and began to alter words to give them a more convenient meaning.
Words became a means of imposing one’s will. When television and radio were the only available means of information, it was not difficult to achieve this.

But back to Dick Cheney.
Dick Cheney failed to become President of the United States. He returned to private life and changed his career path. From politics to industry.
By now he had become a CEO of a large oil company, Halliburton.
There will be an opportunity to discuss this later.

The twists and turns don’t end.
A phone call and a meeting with presidential candidate George W. Bush. He wants Dick to be his vice president. He is not convinced by this proposal, but something tempts him.

Then comes election day.
The results are unclear and it is still unclear whether the presidency should go to the prodigal son George W. Bush or the Democratic challenger and environmentalist Al Gore. The crossroads where the story was perched at that time was divided by a very thin line that the Supreme Court defined, preventing the recount of electoral ballots.
George W. Bush, the son of the Bush lineage, who was a “hothead” in his youth, became the 43rd President of the United States by a margin of 537 votes.
Dick Cheney, the vice president of the first Republican government of the 21st century, but on one condition, i.e. to be able to work like a loose dog. And so it was.
He chose he White House staff himself, leaving out some who were in President Bush’s circle.
He opened his offices in most state bodies, where the Vice President did not normally reside. One in the Chamber, where the budget was defined, two offices in the Senate, one at the Pentagon, and a meeting room at the CIA, when the decision to invade Iraq was taken.

It was time to put the theory of the unitary executive into practice.
With the network he had managed to build over the years it would not be difficult: research institutes found the most suitable way of presenting their intentions to the public, as television broadcast their message to people.
The game was done, so was his empire.

Then came the hour of Cheney’s energy policies. Even then it was easy to break the rules.
Details of meetings with energy (oil and gas) CEOs were never disclosed, but a request based on the Law of Transparency revealed a map of Iraq’s oil fields with all companies interested in buying them if they were available.

Then time stopped.
New York was engulfed by a huge cloud of dust.
Two towers of 110 floors and one of 47, a few metres apart, collapsed to ashes because of two planes.
President Bush was not in the White House so it was the vice president’s job to handle the situation.

Dick Cheney and his circle, including his legal consultant, found themselves in the rooms maneuvering the operations, in a controversial manner, as they had done until now. The
fighter jets did not immediately fly in the air to follow the planes that had been hijacked, and the Pentagon did not respond immediately to alarm reports. It was chaos.
In what was later revealed to be a terrorist attack, 2 977 people died. Office workers, firefighters, moms and dads extinguished themselves like the flames in the skyscrapers that had collapsed, leaving around them and all over the world only dust, anger and so much fear.

Journalist No.J. Burkett during the collapse of the South Tower

The media demanded revenge, so did the people, and soon there was war. The so-called “war on terror” against terrorism and terrorists, which still reaps victims who do not know the reason why they are being killed.
It began with the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan, but the primary goal for Cheney and his associates was another. It was Iraq, part of ancient Mesopotamia, full of artifacts of ancient civilisations now engulfed by war. Rich in that precious material that the earth gives us called oil.
The propaganda machine had to get back on track. News emerged from the CIA that Iraq and its dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In addition, the media kept repeating that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al-Qaida, the terrorist group that attacked the US on September 11, 2001.

These links, just like weapons of mass destruction, have never been found.

But convincing only the Americans was not enough. A vial full of white powder was shown during a speech against Saddam Hussein by US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations. They were looking for allies in that war and they found them.
First they bombed towns and houses, then they took the reins of the government and disbanded the Iraqi army, leaving thousands of armed and angry soldiers on the streets. To fight terrorism, to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people.
The capital Baghdad was no longer recognisible, the bombs had changed the appearance of ancient cities and had exhausted those who lived there. More than 600 000 Iraqis suffered violent deaths for a cause that cannot be attributed to them.
A total of 4 550 American soldiers were also killed, a number that exceeded the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Suicide among American soldiers has increased by 31% since 2001.

But there were those who were doing better. After the destruction comes the construction. And those who had destroyed before, now were the builders of new facilities, new schools, roads, hospitals and primary services, such as electricity and water. The new goal of the Bush presidency and the Cheney vice presidency was no longer to destroy but to build.
The Iraq War had turned into a “new emerging market.” At a Sheraton hotel in Virginia, 400 businessmen gathered at a meeting they labelled ReBuilding Iraq, to share the sectors and money that the U.S. government had made available to rebuild the country they had just bombed, occupied and destroyed.
On that occasion, contracts were available for USD 18.6 billion for the next two months.
The people that attended the meeting came from the Iraqi Provisional Authority of the Coalition (CPA, which replaced Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi government), its new programme management office, the Army Corps of Engineers, the US Agency for International Development, multinationals, Bechtel and Halliburton.
Do you remember Halliburton? The oil company that Cheney was CEO of before he became Vice President? It was the first to receive a multibillion-dollar contract to rebuild Iraq without a tender together with its twin company KBR. Now Halliburton’s field of action was no longer just oil, but also the procurement of the armed forces present in Iraq and the reconstruction of a country that existed only on the map.

See from 0:43:00

While the U.S. Department of Defense lost track of 2.3 trillion in a single year. Taxpayers’ money, of course.

Senate Confirmation hearings Secretary of Defence, Mr. Byrd.

While tens of thousands of mercenaries, run by private companies, enjoyed doing target practice with poor people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

While torture was considered legitimate, on the basis of the “unitary executive theory”, justified by the state of “war on terror”, secret documents (see also Torture Memos, John Yoo, 2002) suggested to the military in the field the use of unheard-of violence, dogs, the removal of clothes, sexual humiliation, staying hours tied up in stressful positions, all this to prisoners captured without legitimate warrant. Abu Ghraib is a witness.

While the Bush-Cheney White House claimed to have lost 22 million emails due to periods of “blackout.”
While the war on terror and the chaos it created gave rise to new terrorist organizations like ISIS.
As our civilisation died, on the other side of hell you could hear the chalices of wealthy entrepreneurs, such as those of Halliburton who saw their shares rise by 500%, or those of oil companies like Exxon Mobil, which during the war managed to earn ten and a half billion in three months. In three months.
While these characters gnawed greedily and happily whatever was presented to them in their path, those who were born and raised in those streets were left with nothing but death and destruction. And those who lived a little further away from those battered lands would later only know their refugees.

The film ends, the lights are turned on and the cinema closes. I have to go out and it’s already dark, just like the reality that movie showed me.
On the way home I cry. I cry, remembering this video.

Wesley Clark, former U.S. Army General
Full interview:

Translated by Adrian Waters



Film Vice – The Man in the Shadows, by Adam McKay, Gary Sanchez Productions, Plan B Entertainment, 2018