Believe Nothing, Trust No One
We are now seeing the inevitable consequences of the public's failure to properly condemn George W. Bush and Australian PM John Howard at the ballot box. Having successfully escaped with brazen, bare-faced lying about Saddam's WMDs and other issues, there is no reason why they would not naturally continue with even greater lies now.
In fact, the Pentagon is seriously debating whether or not to introduce global State-sponsored lying as an openly recognised US tactic. The New York Times today has this must-read report:
The Pentagon is engaged in bitter, high-level debate over how far it can and should go in managing or manipulating information to influence opinion abroad, senior Defense Department civilians and military officers say.Such an attitude helps cast light on the discussion of the Fadhil brothers' blog (see below) as well as many of the major stories under US-media-generated "debate" around the globe this week.
Such missions, if approved, could take the deceptive techniques endorsed for use on the battlefield to confuse an adversary and adopt them for covert propaganda campaigns aimed at neutral and even allied nations.
... Nearly three years ago, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, under intense criticism, closed the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence, a short-lived operation to provide news items, possibly including false ones, to foreign journalists in an effort to influence overseas opinion.
Now, critics say, some of the proposals of that discredited office are quietly being resurrected elsewhere in the military and in the Pentagon.
For example, former head of the Iraq WMD inspection team Scott Ritter says the US is promoting the "UN Oil-for-food Scandal" story purely as a means of undermining Kofi Annan:
The oil-for-food programme was never a sincere humanitarian relief effort, but rather a politically motivated device designed to implement the true policy of the United States - regime change.Similarly, efforts to topple the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, are pure US propaganda.
Through various control mechanisms, the United States and Great Britain were able to turn on and off the flow of oil as they saw best. In this way, the Americans were able to authorise a $1bn exemption concerning the export of Iraqi oil for Jordan, as well as legitimise the billion-dollar illegal oil smuggling trade over the Turkish border, which benefited Nato ally Turkey as well as fellow regime-change plotters in Kurdistan...
With The Washington Post's disclosure at the weekend that US officials have been bugging ElBaradei, looking for material to undermine him, both the US and Australian governments are in dangerous diplomatic waters.ElBaradei has, in fact, been doing an excellent job reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions while simultaneously starving the USA of excuses for an invasion. Like Annan, he deserves credit and respect, not contemptuous lies.
It is widely understood that the bugging of ElBaradei's conversations could be carried out only by the National Security Agency. It is also widely known that the agency's partners in its global bugging operations are Australia's Defence Signals Directorate and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters. This was clear before the Iraq war when a GCHQ translator leaked details of another bugging operation against the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and members of the Security Council who were not supporting the US, Britain and Australia over the rush to war.
As the long-time National Security Agency expert James Bamford told the Herald, it is more than likely the Howard Government has been well aware of the spying operation against ElBaradei and receiving highly classified information about it. That, Bamford says, raises a critical question for Downer: Is he a participant in a conspiracy against ElBaradei, and potentially a beneficiary of the process?
It's time to break out of the Cold War mindset and start backing international institutions like the UN, the IAEA and the ICC, instead of working to pull them down.
"In the battle of perception management, where the enemy is clearly using the media to help manage perceptions of the general public, our job is not perception management but to counter the enemy's perception management," said the chief Pentagon spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita.Hey, instead or managing perceptions, how about giving us a credible and honest version of the truth? Stop pretending the USA is the world's greatest democracy, when it cannot even run a fair and honest election in its own states. Stop pretending that the USA wants to spread democracy across the globe, when it just want to spread US power.
Like the salesmen say, a good product sells itself.