By Kevin Barrett, Ph.D.
Alternative media personality Russell Brand has been demonetized by YouTube. Mainstream media wants to cancel him. Brand is being pummeled by media-hyped allegations of sexual misbehavior in the mid-2000s when he was a BBC presenter.
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Brand’s antagonists are mainstream media companies, not police and prosecutors. He has not been charged with any crime. Like E. Jean Carroll, who accused Donald Trump of raping her almost 30 years ago (she couldn’t remember what year it supposedly happened), the women who say they willingly got into intimate situations with Brand, then experienced some form of boorishness or assault, never complained to police.
Rather than being accused in a timely fashion, tried in a court of law, and judged by a jury of his peers, Brand is facing a grossly belated trial-by-media in which he is presumed guilty until proven innocent. His punishment—a besmirched reputation, loss of income, and career damage—arrived with the dubious accusations, and will likely prove irreversible.
Brand’s encounter with the #MeToo inquisition (call it the #MeTooInquisition if you like hashtags) raises the question: Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence?
The United States of America has historically embraced the concept that accused people are considered innocent until proven guilty.
Though we inherited that notion through English common law, it has since become quasi-universal. The presumption of innocence is now enshrined in more than 150 countries and is mandated by the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Then along came the #MeToo pandemic. A long list of women, along with a few homosexual men, began echoing each other’s complaints: “So-and-so molested me decades ago and I forgot to complain then, so now I’ll get revenge by whining about it on Twitter.”
On the plus side, #MeToo did help take down some creeps, like Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. The perception that powerful men have sometimes enjoyed impunity, and that victims who failed to complain in a timely fashion were simply being realistic about their chances in court, is not entirely specious.
But the real problem with powerful men enjoying impunity for their dastardly crimes goes way beyond cases of boorishness, molestation, and allegations of sexual assault. America’s real rulers systematically violate the law, often in almost unimaginably egregious, horrific, and disgusting ways, and are almost never called to account for it, much less prosecuted, sentenced, and punished.
University of California professor Peter Dale Scott describes such people as members of the Deep State, which he describes as “the politically active rich” who constitute an “overworld” that is as far above the law as the ordinary mafia’s “underworld” is below it.
These are the people who use the CIA to dominate the world’s narcotics trade. They steal U.S. nuclear weapons and give them to Israel. They kill politicians, journalists, and whistleblowers who stand in their way: JFK, RFK, JFK Jr., Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Paul Wellstone, Karen Silkwood, Danny Casolaro, and Gary Webb are just a few of their most notable victims.
They orchestrate false-flag terror outrages like the Lavon Affair, the USS Liberty incident, 9/11, 7/7, Charlie Hebdo, and so much more. They blackmail politicians and other leaders, including fellow Deep State members, using satanic and pedophile cults to compile film footage of targets committing unbelievably evil crimes against children, as demonstrated by author Nick Bryan’s shocking book The Franklin Scandal. And they systematically rape, pillage, and slaughter nations targeted for destruction: The body count for covert CIA and overt U.S. military interventions since World War II has been credibly estimated at around 60 million by scholars Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek in their important volume On Western Terrorism.
And that is just the shortest of short lists of well-documented Deep State crimes. A comprehensive list, especially if it included the 99% of suspected crimes that are less well-documented, would fill volumes.
Mainstream media’s primary task is to cover up the crimes of the Deep State and promote the “public myth” of democracy and the rule of law. To that end, the media misuses the presumption of innocence. It insists that Allen Dulles, James Angleton, self-confessed JFK assassin Howard Hunt, and other CIA figures who killed the president must be presumed innocent because they were never convicted in court. The same assumption applies to other “conspiracy theories,” i.e., examples of Deep State impunity.
#MeToo arrived conveniently in 2017, just as Americans were waking up and smelling the Deep State. Suddenly, instead of seeing through mass media misuse of the presumption of innocence and facing the reality of Deep State crimes, we were supposed to believe that the real problem was individual men who treat women boorishly. They—not the Deep State—are the ones who are “obviously guilty.”
The takeaway: media propagandists are welcome to molest women (or children) with Jimmy Saville-style impunity, while whistleblowers like Russell Brand are fair game for the #MeToo Psyop.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.