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Pentagon-Funded Plymouth University Cancels Anti-War Academic: the militarization of higher education.

Pentagon-Funded Plymouth University Cancels Anti-War Academic: Reflections on How the US Empire Conquered Higher Education, CouterPunch BY T.J. COLES 17 Feb 23,

The US Empire is in the final and most dangerous stages of its quest for what the Pentagon calls “full spectrum dominance.” Having invaded and fought proxy wars in the oil-rich Middle East, it is now trying to break nuclear-armed Russia in another proxy war before attempting “regime change” in nuclear-armed China. We need not tarry on the potential consequences. Professor Noam Chomsky called it 20 years ago: this is hegemony or survival. Which one do you choose?

As the Empire races towards its biggest bet, using humanity and all other species on the planet as gambling chips, anti-war comment is tolerated less and less. For those who want to know what happened to me, see the Annex of this article for the leaked emails and background. Meanwhile, consider what is taking shape.


Critics of Western imperialism are silenced by the Empire’s witting and unwitting minions in increasingly knee-jerk ways. Google, which was developed with CIA money, has de-ranked anti-war websites, driving traffic to state-corporate outlets that promote imperialism. After buying YouTube, it then went on a de-platforming spree, banning and de-monetizing “conspiracy theorists,” left and right, who dare deviate from the increasingly narrow orthodoxy of acceptable thought.

Under the new McCarthyism of RussiaGate, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has used the pretext of countering foreign disinformation to suspend and terminate political accounts. In 2020, following an evidence-free CNN report alleging that it was a front for the sanctioned nation of Iran, the FBI and Department of Justice seized the US domain for the website of the American Herald Tribune, founded by Dr. Anthony James Hall, who retired from his Canadian university, Lethbridge, following pressure from the Zionist Lobby and from individuals who accused him of being a “conspiracy theorist”—a cheap smear tactic employed against me by a cabal of staff at Plymouth University.

Meanwhile, the Twitter Files have exploded the myth that “social media” are independent corporate actors. Likewise, journalist Dr. Alan Macleod has documented the dozens of former spies now employed to police content at Facebook.


The opinions of self-described fact-checkers—like the Poynter Institute—are amplified by state-corporate media which engage in public humiliation rituals in the hope that retailers will pull magazines, academic institutions will fire staff, digital providers will demonetize accounts, and web hosts will drop entire sites and/or content……….

As governments contract out censorship to “fact-checkers,” critics of Empire are demonetized. Consortium News and Mint Press have seen their PayPal accounts frozen. PayPal’s pro-Trump co-founder, Peter Thiel, has made many millions of dollars from Pentagon contracts. Between 2007 and ’19, US taxpayers gave his Palantir Technologies $1.5 billion via the Department of Defense, particularly to spy on Afghans and Iraqis.


The above examples show how the US military and intelligence continue to influence the infrastructure through which much of today’s information travels. Another target is academia. But how serious is the problem?……………………………………………………..


Universities serve a variety of purposes, one of which is the development of new weapons for the US military. In the past, white voices critical of Empire would be tolerated as long as their non-university work did not grind the gears of Empire. That’s how Professor Chomsky, for instance, was able to get arrested protesting mass murder in Vietnam while receiving Pentagon money to undertake his linguistics research.

The technological origins of “full spectrum dominance” can perhaps be traced back to the outgoing Reagan and incoming George H.W. Bush administrations, under whom the Pentagon founded the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative to further integrate with education and develop tools for things like the so-called Star Wars program (Strategic Defense Initiative). One consequence is that higher education became significantly influenced—maybe not full-spectrum dominated—by the eternal war machine.

By 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD), which in more honest times was called the Department of War, was investing $250 million of taxpayer money in universities. In that year, the DoD decided to look for international partners, of which the Britain was a natural first-choice.   The Pentagon’s Basic Research Office Director, Robin Staffin, said: “we decided it was time to formalize cooperation between the U.S. and the U.K.”

DARPA is the Pentagon’s taxpayer-funded innovation arm. It used to stand for the Advanced Projects Research Agency, but PR experts realized that they’d better prefix it with the word “Defense.” In 2016, venture capitalist-turned-DARPA Director, Arati Prabhakar, said: “DARPA is reliant on research universities as one part of this huge ecosystem  … [We] draw from the deep foundational research, almost always at places like great universities.”

For instance, the DoD recently said that the universities of Alabama-Huntsville, Florida International, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, and others, have received funding to develop solutions for—are you ready?—“monitoring the health and status of hypersonic aeroshells” (heat shields for space systems, which are core elements of “full spectrum dominance.” The “health and status” of ordinary Americans, who still don’t have free coverage, is less important). Other projects include thermodynamic ducts for hypersonic vehicles sponsored by the usual suspects, like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.



As universities continue designing weapons of mass murder, thought criminals in Western countries continue to face deplatforming and public shaming. Are their personal fates as severe as those of dissident academics in US-UK-supported regimes, like Saudi Arabia? Of course not. But that is not the point. An obvious chilling effect is created in which scholars striving for social justice and indeed the survival of the planet are silenced. The witting an unwitting minions of Empire are too obtuse to realize that by issuing penalties for expressing opinions, those penalties may one day be imposed upon them.


MY STORY……………………………………………………………………………….as I have lost my University position as a result of my political views, it is worth considering exactly what I write for Nexus (article by article) and that my articles give a left-wing voice to the so-called conspiracy research community, which is often dominated by right-wingers and apolitical people.

As one can see below, the bulk of my work for Nexus consists of critiques and exposés of US military and intelligence agencies. …………………………………………………………

T. J. Coles is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research and the author of several books, including Voices for Peace (with Noam Chomsky and others) and  Fire and Fury: How the US Isolates North Korea, Encircles China and Risks Nuclear War in Asia (both Clairview Books).


February 20, 2023 - Posted by | Education, PERSONAL STORIES, UK, USA, weapons and war

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