You Are About To Be Cognitively Hacked

Information Clearing House
(February 24, 2006):

Rumsfeld boasts of the vast changes in "communications planning" taking place at the Pentagon.

A "public affairs" strategy is at the heart of the new paradigm, replete with "rapid response" teams to address the nagging issues of bombed-out wedding parties, starving prisoners, and devastated cities. No problem is so great that it can't be papered-over by a public relations team trained in the black-art of deception, obfuscation, and slight-of-hand. Trickery now tops the list of military priorities.

"US Central Command has launched an online communications effort that includes electronic news updates and a links campaign that has resulted in several hundred blogs receiving and publishing CENTCOM content."

The military plans to develop the "institutional capability" to respond to critical news coverage within the same news cycle and to develop a comprehensive scheme for infiltrating the internet.

The Pentagon's strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information has already been chronicled in a recently declassified report, "The Information Operations Roadmap"; is a window into the minds of those who see free speech as dangerous as an "enemy weapons-system".

The Pentagon is aiming for "full spectrum dominance" of the Internet. Their objective is to manipulate public perceptions, quash competing points of view, and perpetuate a narrative of American generosity and good-will.

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How Republicans Manipulate Public Opinion

What kind of idiots does Utah Senator Orrin Hatch take us for? It's one thing to make a bombastic comment and then try to reel it back in. But it's another thing entirely for Hatch to state something unequivocally and then, once he's been found out, to claim that he said something altogether different. (Via Kos.)

Saturday:

Appearing before a group of Iron County, Utah, business leaders Saturday, Hatch said: "And, more importantly, we've stopped a mass murderer in Saddam Hussein. Nobody denies that he was supporting al-Qaida," he said, according to The Spectrum newspaper in St. George. "Well, I shouldn't say nobody. Nobody with brains."

Tuesday:

On Tuesday, Hatch said he may have misspoken at the event, and he was speaking of conditions in post-Hussein Iraq and the terrorist network led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"Saddam clearly had a long history of supporting terrorists, but I was not talking about any formal link between Saddam and al-Qaida before the war," Hatch said in a statement. "Instead, I pointed out that the current insurgency in Iraq includes al-Qaida, under the leadership of al-Zarqawi, along with former elements of Saddam's regime."

I'm sorry, but no. Hatch didn't "misspeak." He lied. And then to cover up for it, he lied again. Just read the quotes. "[w]e've stopped a mass murderer in Saddam Hussein. Nobody denies that he was supporting al-Qaida." How in the world does that square with "I was not talking about any formal link between Saddam and al-Qaida before the war?" He specifically used Hussein's name, not Zarqawi's, so there can be no confusion. There is absolutely no logic by which these two statements can be viewed as anything but completely contradictory.

The vast majority of Republicans in Washington can simply not be trusted to speak honestly about national security. The Bush administration has elevated this kind of doublespeak to an art form. They tailor one statement -- Iraq had ties to al Qaeda -- to the paranoid and the misinformed, and then sit down for interviews in the national press and deliver a message of moderate consideration, denying that they'd ever mislead the public on the topic. Quite honestly, as infuriating as we might find the practice, it had worked out pretty well for them until very recently.

Unfortunately for Hatch, he's not quite the fine artist of doublespeak that one finds in the ranks of the Bush administration. But fortunately for us, someone was on hand to document this willful deception. It's important to keep in mind that this wasn't just a matter of Hatch playing fast and loose to get a rise out of a friendly crowd. This was a United States Senator giving a deceptive "insider briefing" to key business leaders in his state.

It would not surprise me in the least to learn that this is part of a larger, conscious effort by Republicans to manipulate the public by feeding bad information to local opinion leaders. In communities around the country, business leaders serve as a key part of the opinion leadership. In this roll as a trusted source, they disseminate information to those further down on the media food chain. We wonder how so many people can continue to believe that Iraq had WMD or that Iraq was involved with September 11, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. This is how.

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Life in the USA

It would take more than a cell block of arrests from the president on down to make America the Beautiful's dress pretty enough to party again, but who will arrest the arrestors?

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Sick of CNN, FOX and other Right Wing Shill Networks

They continue Politicizing any event for the Bush administration.  I am sick and tired of their lack of respect and dignity.

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Rovian rules & SOTU: Pysch of propaganda

Bush's speech last night was a prime example of applied cognitive psychology and the science of communication, linguistics and propaganda.  While much of the speech was very humdrum - the listing of Clinton-esque programs and a series of claims for how well things are going and how things should go, or why they should go one way or another.  The following are examples from three applications of the Rovian Rules for Effective Communication (humdrum removed).

  1. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt associate one's own weakness with thy enemy's great moral stances
  2. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt create false categories
  3. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt speak in the logic of false dichotomies

cross posted: Political Porn at EconoCulture.com

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