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19 June 2008

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arbogast

The US will look back on this period in history and ask the question, "Why weren't Bush and Cheney impeached?"

Monica Lewinsky merits impeachment, but the destruction of our country doesn't.

Tom Griffin

There's certainly no doubt that the neocons are fascinated with this sort of thing.

I am currently reading Roy Godson's Strategic Denial and Deception.

It features an interesting chapter by Abram Shulsky:

"Soviet front groups might have been more effective, but Stalinist paranoia made impossible the operational autonomy needed to succeed. To the extent that future practitioners of this type of propaganda have learned lessons from the Soviet experience, we may expect that the nonstate groups will be controlled in a more sophisticated manner and their ties to a given state will be less obvious."

"New methods of spreading propaganda (such as via Internet web sites of Non-governmental organizations [NGOs], or specialized email lists) allow a deceiver to reach target audiences via multiple channels. Many of these channels may remain relatively invisible to the public at large"

This is all supposedly aimed at strategic deception of foreign governments, but Shulsky does note that "anonymous leaks to the press could be regarded as a form of domestic black propaganda on the part of the leaker."

linda

the truly frightening aspect to me is the complicity of the higher ranks within the pentagon.

the filthy neocons i have no illusions to their duplicity and contempt for this country and its values. i'm horrified to find so many within the higher ranks do too.

b

Col. Sam Gardiner at Spinwatch keeps a statistic of "Iran Message Volume", i.e the number of stories implicating Iran in google news.

The trend is going up. The issue Col. Lang quotes should be seen in that light.

frank durkee

A question for the Col: Who vets the statements before publication and how is that done? Who finally is responsible?

JohnH

It's easy to blame the neocons. But have Bush/Cheney ever seen a lie they didn't like? Have they ever seen a true statement they liked?

This is probably the only presidency in US history that consistently used lies as its first and only option for explaining itself.

The only thing more despicable is the corporate media that gladly broadcast the lies, and the Congress which sat idly by, seeing no particular reason for concern.

David W.

Early in the Bush era, a common refrain on many topics was 'that's politics,' or 'everybody does it in Washington'--the 'truth' has been nibbled at often in the past, however, the Bush regime swallowed it whole a long time ago, and has been lying wholesale and with impunity since 9/11.

There appears to be no limit to the depths of stupidity in the name of service to King George--as illustrated on a lighter note, where the new US Ambassador to Israel and Israeli Jacobins are up in arms about; apparently, the Israelis themselves are aiding and abetting the purported Iranian A-bomb effort by...wait for it...buying pistachios from Iran!

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3555682,00.html

The kicker here also relates; the outrage appears to be sparked not just by the Jacobins, but by the US pistachio lobby!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-silverstein/israelis-eat-a-pistachio_b_107487.html

So, farce appears to be preceding tragedy here, making it's appearance in the first article:

"Every pistachio nut brings Iran another step closer to achieving nuclear capability."

kao-hsien-chih

Given the changes in media technology--how quickly "overseas" news becomes visible to domestic audience, can selective disinformation/propaganda aimed only at foreign audiences even possible these days? I wonder if the viable choice today is only between any propanda/disinformation and none at all, regardless of the audience.

Homer

arbogast: Monica Lewinsky merits impeachment, but the destruction of our country doesn't.

ML merited censure as well.

Back then, Senator Diane Feinstein (Democrat, CA) personally designed Clinton's pillory and piled up the rotten eggs and veggies herself.

Recently, The Center for Public Integrity carefully demonstrated that President Bush made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda.

In response to this, Senator Dianne Feinstein has not yet done anything.

How can that be?

Were is the outrage?

How can she try to censure President Clinton for lying about sex BUT NOT try to censure President Bush about lying about Iraq?

Were Americans NOT deliberately misled and deceived by President Bush?

Where is her sense of justice?

Contrast her ferocious motion to censure (below) with her absolute silence of today.


WHEREAS -- William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee in the White House, which was shameless, reckless and indefensible;

WHEREAS -- William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, deliberately misled and deceived the American people and officials in all branches of the United States Government;

WHEREAS -- William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, gave false or misleading testimony and his actions have had the effect of impeding discovery of evidence in judicial proceedings;

WHEREAS -- William Jefferson Clinton's conduct in this matter is unacceptable for a President of the United States, does demean the Office of the President as well as the President himself, and creates disrespect for the laws of the land;

WHEREAS -- President Clinton fully deserves censure for engaging in such behavior;

WHEREAS -- future generations of Americans must know that such behavior is not only unacceptable but also bears grave consequences, including loss of integrity, trust and respect;

WHEREAS -- William Jefferson Clinton remains subject to criminal actions in a court of law like any other citizen;

WHEREAS -- William Jefferson Clinton's conduct in this matter has brought shame and dishonor to himself and to the Office of the President; and

WHEREAS -- William Jefferson Clinton through his conduct in this matter has violated the trust of the American people;

Now therefore, be it resolved that: The United States Senate does hereby censure William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, and condemns his conduct in the strongest terms.

Now be it further resolved that: The United States Senate recognizes the historic gravity of this bipartisan resolution, and trusts and urges that future Congresses will recognize the importance of allowing this bipartisan statement of censure and condemnation to remain intact for all time; and

Be it further resolved that: The Senate now move on to other matters of significance to our people, to reconcile differences between and within the branches of Government, and to work together -- across party lines -- for the benefit of the American people.


[Keywords: Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California; William Jefferson Clinton; President of the United States; G. W. Bush; United States Senate; Center for Public Integrity; Saddam Hussein; Iraq; Al Qaeda; State of the Union; high-strength aluminum tubes; weapons of mass destruction; links to Al Qaeda]

Spider Rider

Thank you, Col, beautifully written truth about the "pig trough" of propaganda, and the mediocre who cater to it, much to the detriment of this country.

The neocons believe their lies, how can they govern, much less win a war, without truth?

Spider Rider

Why do we even need propaganda, hasn't it failed, given the travesty of Iraq, Cheney and our sterile press corp?

anon

"Armies operate on a belief in the integrity of comrades. Without that, only a fool will accept the risks involved in trusting the guidance given by one's superiors."

Only a fool would join the army in the first place. Army people have been lied to and sent to their deaths for nothing. Sent to death, brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder etc etc - all for nothing.

I suppose if you were an officer and in a safe command location it might be an interesting career.

Only WW11 could claim to be a legitimate war. Ok the japs and nazis attacked us - it should never have come to that but we have the right to defend ourselves. The rest of the time - only a fool would ever join the army or give it any money or support.

Patrick Lang

All (and anon)

Back from my trip to NYC. Thanks to Zoomie. I hope that he and the others whom I have invited to co-author write a lot more things. As long as the quality of the posts and comments is high, the extension of authorship will free some of my time.

"if you are an officer in a safe command billet" is approximately what anon wrote in a comment. Anon, you do not understand what the process is like. This reminds me of what some American woman said to me in a shop in Turkey during VN. She said that her son had just returned from VN after a year there and that his experience had been terrible. She then said that I would not understand because I was an officer and not exposed to the danger of war. I asked her "if you cut us, do we not bleed?"

You are right anon. We are fools. It's a soldier thing. You would not understand.

How old were you in 1968? pl

anon

Col Lang,

there's an unconfirmed report a US Colonel was killed in a Sadr City bombing. Would that be the highest ranking US officer killed in this war?

I think I know this much: when it gets bad in the trenches, patriotism, nationalism, honor etc mean nothing. The only thing that means anything is comradeship. If you are a good officer, you do bleed when your men get cut, but surely the higher up the chain, the less bleeding?

By the time you get to the Bush/Cheney level, its literally cannon fodder (other people's children) and other people's money (taxpayer). Just as it ever was.

Some people might have joined the army because they were 'patriotic' and had the 'honor' of 'defending' the country. For me, that's a painful delusion, but not nearly as painful as the traumatised victims of war they become, I'm sure.

We've got a lot of problems, but one of the solutions I believe is to rub out militarism as a popular ideology.

Sorry to speak so bluntly to a military man.

Patrick Lang

Anon

What are the qualifications on which you base your opinions? pl

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