Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Goebbels Watch: Towards a Grand Unified Theory of Republican Governance 

Farmer made a great call with that Goebbels quote in the epigraph at right. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?

Anyhow, at the urging of Pansypoo and other alert readers, I looked at the research Col. Sam Gardiner (USAF, retired) did. It's interesting. The title really got me thinking: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II. Here's a quick excerpt from it:

It was not bad intelligence. It was much more. It was an orchestrated effort. It began before the war, was a major effort during the war and continues as post-conflict distortions.

what has happened is that information warfare, strategic influence, strategic psychological operations pushed their way into the important process of informing the peoples of our two democracies. The United States and the UK got too good at the concepts they had been developing for future warfare.

They told us what they were going to do. The Department of Defense created a rather significant press storm early in 2002 when it was revealed that there were plans to create an office to do strategic influence. Efforts to create the office were brought to a halt with White House agreement. In November, the Secretary of Defense announced in a press conference on board an aircraft on the way to South America that he was just kidding when he said he would not do strategic influence. The White House gave a similar warning. Andrew Card, the President s Chief of Staff told us they would do a major campaign to sell the war. Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair s just-resigned Strategy (and communications) Director, was orchestrating the same on the other side of the Atlantic. The research then was to discover what they did and how they did what they said they were going to do.
(the PDFs are here)

I like the notion of a concerted disinformation operation being run from the West Wing to sell the Iraq War. (Gardiner details, but, frustratingly, does not link to, numerous stories that, to the informed eye, look like they were planted in support of this information.) I also like the notion that Bush is, in essence, treating all opposition as an act of war, and using psyops techniques against it. Black operations too, probably. (The division of the country into those who can get tickets to Bush events, and those who cannot, should have given us the heads-up that this would happening. "If you're not with us, you're against us.")

I'd want to go further and ask the question; Now that this enormous disinformation apparatus is in place, is selling the Iraq war the only purpose it's been used for? The history of past Republican administrations is not encouraging in this regard.

It would be nice if Paul Lukasiak and Colonel Gardiner could get together on this....

NOTE I think this story has legs. It's the mechanics of how "the facts and the intelligence were fixed around the policy." Not only is it the how, it's the who.

So, a couple of questions. First, does anyone know of a PDF to HTML converter that works under Linux? I'd like to convert Col. Gardiner's research into HTML so that people could link to it. Second, I'm trying to think of a good name/meme for this topic—better than "Goebbels Watch." InfoFascism? DataFascism? Maybe something without the F word, which, though correct, may not propagate as we would wish?

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