May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Patterns of Propaganda

Skeptisim and PseudoScience  > Who Rules America > Neoliberal Brainwashing

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Lewis Powell Memo Islands of Objectivity in the Sea of Disinformation
The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Deception as an art form The Real War on Reality Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Diplomacy by deception British hypocrisy Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Color revolutions The importance of controlling the narrative What's the Matter with Kansas
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manifactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
The Techniques of a Female Sociopaths Gaslighting Isolation as a psychological pressure strategy Projection Workplace mobbing The False Opportunity
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

For any citizen now it is extremely important to be able to discern patterns of propaganda. Modern propganda should actually be property called information war that elite conducts against the population of their countries The key concept of the information war entails that the created by propaganda virtual reality affects and even replaces actual reality.  What is more important, virtual reality creates real motivations that ultimately bring real changes including "regime changes" via color revolutions or Arab string variation of the latter. Unfortunately this subject is not thought schools and universities.  Actually propaganda is impresize and politically loaded word. A better word might be  “perception management” (or what is often referred to as  “spin”, “public relations”, “public diplomacy”, “positioning”, “presentation”, or “informational war”, or even “disinformation”, and so on).

Essentially all propaganda efforts are attempts of perception management.   In fact, the term “perception management”, which is now used as synonymous with the word  “propaganda”, demonstrates the increasing sophistication and refinement of propaganda itself. Which since the First World War became the powerful tool by which the elite controls that population, a technology of social, psychological, and political manipulation, and control. Think about the movie The Matrix. Although The Matrix looks like improbable science-fiction dystopia, the basic concept and feasibility of something similar is not completely out of the question. It’s just a step toward more full psychological contol of minds of people. And it is, moreover, the logical development of the Natural Security State, as disclosed by the Snowden files. The intent is to ultimately shift these perception management programs from mere monitoring and surveillance to active and direct psychological engineering. That is implied in the documents (Propaganda and “Information War”: Theirs and Ours ,  Mar 18, 2014)

In contrast to overt and clumsy style Soviet and post-Soviet propaganda, the “invisible hand” of democratic propaganda has to remain “under the radar” — undisclosed, covert, and hidden, as Bernays taught and as was affirmed by Vance Packard’s 1957 book The Hidden Persuaders.  In the absence of an overt authoritarian state, other, more subtle, sly, and cunning means of exerting pressure on consciousness and the public had to be devised. Gaining access through the “back door” of the unconscious was the effective solution.  And it is ironic that many of the issues related to artificial intelligence and “malware” (“back doors”, “trojan horses”, “spoofing”, “viruses”, “spam”, “black ops”) exactly parallel those of propaganda, information/disinformation war, and perception management. All this is, of course, reflected in that earlier reference I quoted from the late Samuel Huntington,

“The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen. Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.”

... ... ...

Propaganda that is entirely evident, noticeable and recognisable as propaganda is failed propaganda. Far more dangerous, pernicious, and insidious is the covert, hidden, and invisible kind that creeps in through the back door of the unconscious, and which I have referred to as “the foreign installation”.

But the problem is that even pitiful remnants of democracy that are sill present in some western societies despite emergence of National Security State (with it Orwell-style permanent war against "terrorism") are impossible when population is subjected to the influence of a powerful government-funded propaganda machine. The essence of elite politics in this area was the best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

They also are required skill for anybody dealing with sociopathic managers, especially female sociopaths. See The Techniques of a Female Sociopaths

Patterns of propaganda

From Wikipedia

  1. Ad hominem A Latin phrase that has come to mean attacking one's opponent, as opposed to attacking their arguments.
  2. Ad nauseam This argument approach uses tireless repetition of an idea. An idea, especially a simple slogan, that is repeated enough times, may begin to be taken as the truth. This approach works best when media sources are limited or controlled by the propagator. Repetition is used in advertizing to "stick" the product name in people mind and it is repeated many times during an advertisement. This technique may use a jingle, which is appealing to the masses and fits in their minds.
  3. Appeal to authority Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action. Cult of personality is a common variant. A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. The hero personality then advocates the positions that the propagandist desires to promote. For example, modern propagandists hire popular personalities to promote their ideas and/or products.
  4. Appeal to fear Appeals to fear and seeks to build support by instilling anxieties and panic. Commonly called Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). An attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative and dubious/false information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs.
  5. Appeal to prejudice. Using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition. Used in biased or misleading ways.
  6. Glittering generalities Glittering generalities are emotionally appealing words that are applied to a product or idea, but present no concrete argument or analysis. This technique has also been referred to as the PT Barnum effect.  Generalities are logical fallacies. They are often vague but positive ideas. An example could be, "It's cool!" What is cool is not specified. It implies the use of appealing words giving no concrete idea of what the words are talking about.
  7. Bandwagon: It aims at persuading people to do a certain thing because many other people are doing it. An example can be a soft drink advertisement wherein a large group of people is shown drinking the same soft drink. People feel induced to opt for that soft drink as it is shown to be consumed by many. Snob appeal is reverse of bandwagon. It indicates that buying a certain product will make you stand out from the rest, as the masses won't afford to buy it.
  8. In 'Plain Folks' propaganda technique, common people are attracted on the basis of their common values. The current vernacular of the target audience is used. Scholastic speech seems artificial. So errors are made on purpose to give the feeling of spontaneity. 'Homey' words, as they are called, are used, so that audience can connect to the propagandist. 'It's Morning in America' is an example of 'Plain folks' strategy. It is an attempt to convince the audience that the propagandist's positions reflect the common sense of the people. It is designed to win the confidence of the audience by communicating in the common manner and style of the target audience. Propagandists use ordinary language and mannerisms (and clothe their message in face-to-face and audiovisual communications) in attempting to identify their point of view with that of the average person. With the plain folks device, the propagandist can win the confidence of persons who resent or distrust foreign sounding, intellectual speech, words, or mannerisms." For example, a politician speaking to a Southern United States crowd might incorporate words such as "Y'all" and other colloquialisms to create a perception of belonging. This technique is used with glittering generalities.
  9. Testimonial: This propaganda technique uses words of an expert or a famous person to promote a particular idea. For example, a sports person is shown recommending a brand of sport shoes. Generally, people idealize celebrated figures. So celebrities are used to advertise certain products. A testimonial has to be reasonable. Advertisers are cautioned not to use false testimonials, as they lack authenticity.
  10. Transfer: In this technique, qualities of a well-known person are associated with a product to promote or demote it. Linking an item to a respected person is positive transfer. Creating an analogy between a disliked person and a product is negative transfer. It is also used during war times.
  11. Emotional words: This is meant to generate positive feelings in the minds of the masses. Words like 'luxury', 'paradise' are used to evoke certain feelings in the minds of the people, which they associate with the product being sold.
  12. Name-calling also called stereotyping or labeling. Name-calling is a direct attack on an opponent. If it is likely to annoy the audience, indirect name-calling is used. In this case, sarcasm is employed. That is related to standard technique of demonizing the enemy during the war, make the people with an opposing standpoint, appear inferior. The use of the term 'gooks' for NLF soldiers during the Vietnam War-era is an example of this type of propaganda. Obtaining disapproval is another technique of obtaining disfavor of an idea by signifying that the opposite idea/approach is of the 'hated lot' .
  13. 'Quotes out of Context' is a technique of selectively changing quotes to change meanings. It is used in political documentaries. 'Half truth' technique makes use of a deceptive statement. Double meaning may be used to misinterpret a truth. 'Card stacking' is another propaganda technique, where information is manipulated to make a product appear better. Only the facts in favor of the propagandist are used. The advertisement of comparison between Apple Macintosh and Windows computers is an example of card stacking. Success of this technique lies in the choice of facts or cards and the way they are stacked by the propagandist!
  14. 'Black and White fallacy' aims at presenting only two choices to the public. Either you with us or with enemies mentality. 'Unstated assumption' that any other choice is bad and represents betrayal is used although it is not stated explicitly. But it is obviously implied.
  15. Rumors (grey propaganda) is propaganda without any identifiable source or author. A major application of grey propaganda is making enemies believe falsehoods using straw arguments: As phase one, to make someone believe "A", one releases as grey propaganda "B", the opposite of "A". In phase two, "B" is discredited using some strawman. The enemy will then assume "A" to be true.

Children are most vulnerable to different types of propaganda techniques. They cannot reason to decide whether a message is propaganda or not. They are highly fascinated by media and influenced by the behavior of their peers. They assimilate propaganda promiscuously.

Media manipulation Map (The Full Wiki)

Media manipulation is an aspect of public relations in which partisans create an image or argument that favours their particular interests. Such tactics may include the use of logical fallacies and propaganda techniques, and often involve the suppression of information or points of view by crowding them out, by inducing other people or groups of people to stop listening to certain arguments, or by simply diverting attention elsewhere.

As illustrated below, many of the more modern mass media manipulation methods are types of distraction, on the assumption that the public has a limited attention span.

 Distraction by nationalism

This is a variant on the traditional ad hominem and bandwagon fallacies applied to entire countries. The method is to discredit opposing arguments by appealing to nationalistic pride or memory of past accomplishments, or appealing to fear or dislike of a specific country, or of foreigners in general. It can be very powerful as it discredits foreign journalists (the ones that are least easily manipulated by domestic political or corporate interests).



Straw man fallacy

The "straw man fallacy" is the lumping of a strong opposition argument together with one or many weak ones to create a simplistic weak argument that can easily be refuted.


Distraction by scapegoat

A combination of straw man and ad hominem, in which your weakest opponent (or easiest to discredit) is considered as your only important opponent.


Distraction by phenomenon

A risky but effective strategy summarized best, perhaps, by David Mamet's 1997 movie Wag the Dog, by which the public can be distracted, for long periods of time, from an important issue, by one which occupies more news time. When the strategy works, you have a war or other media event taking attention away from misbehaving or crooked leaders. When the strategy does not work, the leader's misbehavior remains in the press, and the war is derided as an attempted distraction.

Distraction by semantics

This involves using euphemistically pleasing terms to obscure the truth. For example saying "choice" or "reproductive rights" instead of referring to the medical term "abortion", or, similarly, "pro-life" instead of "anti-abortion". A brilliantly executed example was the way that President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation prevented European nations from entering the war in support of the Confederacy by framing the war in terms of the moral issue "slavery" as opposed to states rights. In reverse "States Rights" was used as justification for the fight against Civil Rights in the 1960s.


Other types

Appeals to consensus

By appealing to a real or fictional "consensus" the media manipulator attempts to create the perception that his opinion is the only opinion, so that alternative ideas are dismissed from public consideration. Michael Crichton explains:


This is a widespread and subtle form of media manipulation: simply giving credence only to "mainstream" sources of information; it exists in many news outlets. Information, arguments, and objections that come from other sources are simply considered "fringe" and ignored, or their proponents permanently discredited, or accused of having their own agenda.

Fear mongering

Fear mongering (or scaremongering) is the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. The feared object or subject is sometimes exaggerated, and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of this tactic to frighten citizens and influence their political views. It often states that if something is or is not done, a disastrous event will occur, and that by voting for or against it this can be prevented. The end result is the voter being scared into changing their vote or opinion to one more favorable to the person that is fear mongering.

Demonisation of the opposition

This is a more general case of distraction by nationalism. Opposing views are ascribed to an out-group or hated group, and thus dismissed out of hand. This approach, carried to extremes, becomes a form of suppression, as in McCarthyism, where anyone disapproving of the government was considered "un-American" and "Communist" and was likely to be denounced.

Propaganda techniques

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Anti-capitalist propaganda
See also: Doublespeak, Cult of personality, Spin (politics), Demonization and Factoid

Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. Less common nowadays are letter post envelopes examples of which of survive from the time of the American Civil War. (Connecticut Historical Society; Civil War Collections; Covers.) In the case of radio and television, propaganda can exist on news, current-affairs or talk-show segments, as advertising or public-service announce "spots" or as long-running advertorials. Propaganda campaigns often follow a strategic transmission pattern to indoctrinate the target group. This may begin with a simple transmission such as a leaflet dropped from a plane or an advertisement. Generally these messages will contain directions on how to obtain more information, via a web site, hot line, radio program, etc. The strategy intends to initiate the individual from information recipient to information seeker through reinforcement, and then from information seeker to opinion leader through indoctrination. [1]

A number of techniques based in social psychological research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid.

Information dissemination strategies only become propaganda strategies when coupled with propagandistic messages. Identifying these messages is a necessary prerequisite to study the methods by which those messages are spread.

Specific techniques (Wikipedia)

Scholars have identified many standard techniques used in propaganda and persuasion.[2]

Ad hominem
A Latin phrase that has come to mean attacking one's opponent, as opposed to attacking their arguments.
Ad nauseam
This argument approach uses tireless repetition of an idea. An idea, especially a simple slogan, that is repeated enough times, may begin to be taken as the truth. This approach works best when media sources are limited or controlled by the propagator.
Appeal to authority
Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action.
Appeal to fear
Appeals to fear seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population, for example, Joseph Goebbels exploited Theodore Kaufman's Germany Must Perish! to claim that the Allies sought the extermination of the German people.
Appeal to prejudice
Using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition.
Bandwagon and "inevitable-victory" appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that "everyone else is taking."
Beautiful people
The type of propaganda that deals with famous people or depicts attractive, happy people. This suggests if people buy a product or follow a certain ideology, they too will be happy or successful. (This is used more in advertising for products, instead of political reasons.)
Big Lie
The repeated articulation of a complex of events that justify subsequent action. The descriptions of these events have elements of truth, and the "big lie" generalizations merge and eventually supplant the public's accurate perception of the underlying events. After World War I the German Stab in the back explanation of the cause of their defeat became a justification for Nazi re-militarization and revanchist aggression.
Black-and-White fallacy
Presenting only two choices, with the product or idea being propagated as the better choice. (e.g., "You're either with us, or against us....")
Cherry picking (fallacy) or Selective truth
Richard Crossman, the British Deputy Director of Psychological Warfare Division (PWD) for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) during the Second World War said "In propaganda truth pays... It is a complete delusion to think of the brilliant propagandist as being a professional liar. The brilliant propagandist is the man who tells the truth, or that selection of the truth which is requisite for his purpose, and tells it in such a way that the recipient does not think he is receiving any propaganda... [...] The art of propaganda is not telling lies, but rather selecting the truth you require and giving it mixed up with some truths the audience wants to hear."[3]
Classical conditioning
All vertebrates, including humans, respond to classical conditioning. That is, if object A is always present when object B is present and object B causes a physical reaction (e.g., disgust, pleasure) then we will when presented with object A when object B is not present, we will experience the same feelings.
Cognitive dissonance
People desire to be consistent. Suppose a pollster finds that a certain group of people hates his candidate for senator but loves actor A. They use actor A's endorsement of their candidate to change people's minds because people cannot tolerate inconsistency. They are forced to either to dislike the actor or like the candidate.
Common man
The "'plain folks'" or "common man" approach attempts to convince the audience that the propagandist's positions reflect the common sense of the people. It is designed to win the confidence of the audience by communicating in the common manner and style of the target audience. Propagandists use ordinary language and mannerisms (and clothe their message in face-to-face and audiovisual communications) in attempting to identify their point of view with that of the average person. A common example of this type of propaganda is a political figure, usually running for a placement, in a backyard or shop doing daily routine things. This image appeals to the common person. With the plain folks device, the propagandist can win the confidence of persons who resent or distrust foreign sounding, intellectual speech, words, or mannerisms."[4] For example, a politician speaking to a Southern United States crowd might incorporate words such as "Y'all" and other colloquialisms to create a perception of belonging.
Cult of personality
A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. The hero personality then advocates the positions that the propagandist desires to promote. For example, modern propagandists hire popular personalities to promote their ideas and/or products.
Demonizing the enemy
Making individuals from the opposing nation, from a different ethnic group, or those who support the opposing viewpoint appear to be subhuman (e.g., the Vietnam War-era term "gooks" for National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam aka Vietcong, or "VC", soldiers), worthless, or immoral, through suggestion or false accusations. Dehumanizing is also a termed used synonymously with demonizing, the latter usually serves as an aspect of the former.
World War I poster by Winsor McCay, urging Americans to buy Liberty Bonds
This technique hopes to simplify the decision making process by using images and words to tell the audience exactly what actions to take, eliminating any other possible choices. Authority figures can be used to give the order, overlapping it with the Appeal to authority technique, but not necessarily. The Uncle Sam "I want you" image is an example of this technique.
The creation or deletion of information from public records, in the purpose of making a false record of an event or the actions of a person or organization, including outright forgery of photographs, motion pictures, broadcasts, and sound recordings as well as printed documents.
Door-in-the-face technique
Is used to increase a person's latitude of acceptance. For example, if a salesperson wants to sell an item for $100 but the public is only willing to pay $50, the salesperson first offers the item at a higher price (e.g., $200) and subsequently reduces the price to $100 to make it seem like a good deal.
A euphemism is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant.
The use of an event that generates euphoria or happiness, or using an appealing event to boost morale. Euphoria can be created by declaring a holiday, making luxury items available, or mounting a military parade with marching bands and patriotic messages.
An exaggeration (or hyperbole) occurs when the most fundamental aspects of a statement are true, but only to a certain degree. It is also seen as "stretching the truth" or making something appear more powerful, meaningful, or real than it actually is. Saying that a person ate 20 spring rolls at a party when they actually ate 7 or 8 would be considered an exaggeration.
Fear, uncertainty, and doubt
An attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative and dubious/false information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs.
An attempt to justify an action on the grounds that doing so will make one more patriotic, or in some way benefit a group, country, or idea. The feeling of patriotism this technique attempts to inspire may not necessarily diminish or entirely omit one's capability for rational examination of the matter in question.
The Finnish Maiden - personification of Finnish nationalism
Foot-in-the-door technique
Often used by recruiters and salesmen. For example, a member of the opposite sex walks up to the victim and pins a flower or gives a small gift to the victim. The victim says thanks and now they have incurred a psychological debt to the perpetrator. The person eventually asks for a larger favor (e.g., a donation or to buy something far more expensive). The unwritten social contract between the victim and perpetrator causes the victim to feel obligated to reciprocate by agreeing to do the larger favor or buy the more expensive gift.
Framing (social sciences)
Framing is the social construction of a social phenomenon often by mass media sources, political or social movements, political leaders, or other actors and organizations. It is an inevitable process of selective influence over the individual's perception of the meanings attributed to words or phrases.
Glittering generalities
Glittering generalities are emotionally appealing words that are applied to a product or idea, but present no concrete argument or analysis. This technique has also been referred to as the PT Barnum effect. (e.g., the advertising campaign slogan "Ford has a better idea!")
Guilt by association or Reductio ad Hitlerum
This technique is used to persuade a target audience to disapprove of an action or idea by suggesting that the idea is popular with groups hated, feared, or held in contempt by the target audience. Thus if a group that supports a certain policy is led to believe that undesirable, subversive, or contemptible people support the same policy, then the members of the group may decide to change their original position. This is a form of bad logic, where A is said to include X, and B is said to include X, therefore, A = B.
A half-truth is a deceptive statement that includes some element of truth. It comes in several forms: the statement might be partly true, the statement may be totally true but only part of the whole truth, or it may utilize some deceptive element, such as improper punctuation, or double meaning, especially if the intent is to deceive, evade, blame, or misrepresent the truth.
Intentional vagueness
Generalities are deliberately vague so that the audience may supply its own interpretations. The intention is to move the audience by use of undefined phrases, without analyzing their validity or attempting to determine their reasonableness or application. The intent is to cause people to draw their own interpretations rather than simply being presented with an explicit idea. In trying to "figure out" the propaganda, the audience forgoes judgment of the ideas presented. Their validity, reasonableness and application may still be considered.
A Euphemism is used when the propagandist attempts to increase the perceived quality, credibility, or credence of a particular ideal. A Dysphemism is used when the intent of the propagandist is to discredit, diminish the perceived quality, or hurt the perceived righteousness of the individual. By creating a "label", "category", or "faction" of a population, it is much easier to make an example of these larger bodies, because they can uplift or defame the individual without actually incurring legal-defamation. Labeling can be thought of as a sub-set of Guilt by association, another Logical Fallacy.[5]
Latitudes of acceptance
If a person's message is outside the bounds of acceptance for an individual and group, most techniques will engender psychological reactance (simply hearing the argument will make the message even less acceptable). There are two techniques for increasing the bounds of acceptance. First, one can take a more even extreme position that will make more moderate positions seem more acceptable. This is similar to the Door-in-the-Face technique. Alternatively, one can moderate one's own position to the edge of the latitude of acceptance and then over time slowly move to the position that was previously.[6]
"The Conquest or Arrival of Hernán Cortés in Veracruz", 1951, National Palace, Mexico City. Diego Rivera's political murals depict a modern interpretation of the Black Legend.
Loaded language
Specific words and phrases with strong emotional implications are used to influence the audience, for example, using the word reforms rather than a more neutral word like changes.
Love bombing
Used to recruit members to a cult or ideology by having a group of individuals cut off a person from their existing social support and replace it entirely with members of the group who deliberately bombard the person with affection in an attempt to isolate the person from their prior beliefs and value system-see Milieu control.
Lying and deception
Lying and deception can be the basis of many propaganda techniques including Ad Homimen arguments, Big-Lie, Defamation, Door-in-the-Face, Half-truth, Name-calling or any other technique that is based on dishonesty or deception. For example, many politicians have been found to frequently stretch or break the truth.
Managing the news
According to Adolf Hitler "The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."[7][8] This idea is consistent with the principle of classical conditioning as well as the idea of "Staying on Message."
Anti-Muslim propaganda in Germany produced during the Ottoman wars in Europe, 16th century
Milieu control
An attempt to control the social environment and ideas through the use of social pressure
Minimisation is the opposite of exaggeration. It is a type of deception[9] involving denial coupled with rationalization in situations where complete denial is implausible.
Propagandists use the name-calling technique to incite fears and arouse prejudices in their hearers in the intent that the bad names will cause hearers to construct a negative opinion about a group or set of beliefs or ideas that the propagandist wants hearers to denounce. The method is intended to provoke conclusions about a matter apart from impartial examinations of facts. Name-calling is thus a substitute for rational, fact-based arguments against the an idea or belief on its own merits.
Obfuscation, intentional vagueness, confusion
Generalities are deliberately vague so that the audience may supply its own interpretations. The intention is to move the audience by use of undefined phrases, without analyzing their validity or attempting to determine their reasonableness or application. The intent is to cause people to draw their own interpretations rather than simply being presented with an explicit idea. In trying to "figure out" the propaganda, the audience forgoes judgment of the ideas presented. Their validity, reasonableness and application may still be considered.
Operant conditioning
Operant conditioning involves learning through imitation. For example, watching an appealing person buy products or endorse positions teaches a person to buy the product or endorse the position. Operant conditioning is the underlying principle behind the Ad Nauseam, Slogan and other repetition public relations campaigns.
Favorable generalities are used to provide simple answers to complex social, political, economic, or military problems.
Illustration by Rev. Branford Clarke from Heroes of the Fiery Cross by Bishop Alma White published by the Pillar of Fire Church 1928 in Zarephath, NJ
Pensée unique
Enforced reduction of discussion by use of overly simplistic phrases or arguments (e.g., "There is no alternative to war.")
Quotes out of Context
Selective editing of quotes that can change meanings. Political documentaries designed to discredit an opponent or an opposing political viewpoint often use this technique.
Individuals or groups may use favorable generalities to rationalize questionable acts or beliefs. Vague and pleasant phrases are often used to justify such actions or beliefs.
Red herring
Presenting data or issues that, while compelling, are irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then claiming that it validates the argument.[5]
This is the repeating of a certain symbol or slogan so that the audience remembers it. This could be in the form of a jingle or an image placed on nearly everything in the picture/scene. This also includes using subliminal phrases, images or other content in a piece of propaganda.[5]
Assigning blame to an individual or group, thus alleviating feelings of guilt from responsible parties and/or distracting attention from the need to fix the problem for which blame is being assigned.
Nationalist slogan "Brazil, love it or leave it", often used during the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964–1985)
A slogan is a brief, striking phrase that may include labeling and stereotyping. Although slogans may be enlisted to support reasoned ideas, in practice they tend to act only as emotional appeals. Opponents of the US's invasion and occupation of Iraq use the slogan "blood for oil" to suggest that the invasion and its human losses was done to access Iraq's oil riches. On the other hand, supporters who argue that the US should continue to fight in Iraq use the slogan "cut and run" to suggest withdrawal is cowardly or weak. Similarly, the names of the military campaigns, such as "enduring freedom" or "just cause" can also be considered slogans, devised to influence people.
Stereotyping or Name Calling or Labeling
This technique attempts to arouse prejudices in an audience by labeling the object of the propaganda campaign as something the target audience fears, hates, loathes, or finds undesirable. For instance, reporting on a foreign country or social group may focus on the stereotypical traits that the reader expects, even though they are far from being representative of the whole country or group; such reporting often focuses on the anecdotal. In graphic propaganda, including war posters, this might include portraying enemies with stereotyped racial features.
Straw man
A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.
Testimonials are quotations, in or out of context, especially cited to support or reject a given policy, action, program, or personality. The reputation or the role (expert, respected public figure, etc.) of the individual giving the statement is exploited. The testimonial places the official sanction of a respected person or authority on a propaganda message. This is done in an effort to cause the target audience to identify itself with the authority or to accept the authority's opinions and beliefs as its own. See also, damaging quotation
"The Bulgarian Martyresses", 1877 painting by the Russian painter Konstantin Makovsky depicting the rape of Bulgarian women by Ottoman troops during the suppression of the April Uprising a year earlier, served to mobilize public support for the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) waged with the proclaimed aim of liberating the Bulgarians.
Third party technique
Works on the principle that people are more willing to accept an argument from a seemingly independent source of information than from someone with a stake in the outcome. It is a marketing strategy commonly employed by Public Relations (PR) firms, that involves placing a premeditated message in the "mouth of the media." Third party technique can take many forms, ranging from the hiring of journalists to report the organization in a favorable light, to using scientists within the organization to present their perhaps prejudicial findings to the public. Frequently astroturf groups or front groups are used to deliver the message. See: Soft Power.
Thought-terminating cliché
A commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance.
Also known as Association, this is a technique of projecting positive or negative qualities (praise or blame) of a person, entity, object, or value onto another to make the second more acceptable or to discredit it. It evokes an emotional response, which stimulates the target to identify with recognized authorities. Often highly visual, this technique often utilizes symbols (for example, the swastikas used in Nazi Germany, originally a symbol for health and prosperity) superimposed over other visual images.
Unstated assumption
This technique is used when the propaganda concept would seem less credible if explicitly stated. The concept is instead repeatedly assumed or implied.
Virtue words
These are words in the value system of the target audience that produce a positive image when attached to a person or issue. Peace, hope, happiness, security, wise leadership, freedom, "The Truth", etc. are virtue words. Many see religiosity as a virtue, making associations to this quality effectively beneficial. See ""Transfer"".

Manifactureing of history

Propaganda and Disinformation How the CIA Manufactures History

Propaganda and Disinformation:
How the CIA Manufactures History

By Victor Marchetti

In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it. The vast clandestine apparatus we built up to prove our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that vast army of clandestine personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences for them and us.

-- Malcom Muggeridge, May 1966

That, in a nutshell, sums up what the CIA has accomplished over the years through its various clandestine propaganda and disinformation programs. It has unwittingly and, often, deliberately decieved itself -- and the American taxpayer. The CIA is a master at distorting history -- even creating its own version of history to suit its institutional and operational purposes. It can do this largely because of two great advantages it possesses. One is the excessively secret environment in which it operates, and the other is that it is essentially a private instrument of the presidency.

The real reason for the official secrecy, in most instances, is not to keep the opposition (the CIA's euphemistic term for the enemy) from knowing what is going on; the enemy usually does know. The basic reason for governmental secrecy is to keep you, the American public, from knowing -- for you, too, are considered the opposition, or enemy -- so that you cannot interfere. When the public does not know what the government or the CIA is doing, it cannot voice its approval or disapproval of their actions. In fact, they can even lie to your about what they are doing or have done, and you will not know it.

As for the second advantage, despite frequent suggestion that the CIA is a rogue elephant, the truth is that the agency functions at the direction of and in response to the office of the president. All of its major clandestine operations are carried out with the direct approval of or on direct orders from the White House. The CIA is a secret tool of the president -- every president. And every president since Truman has lied to the American people in order to protect the agency. When lies have failed, it has been the duty of the CIA to take the blame for the president, thus protecting him. This is known in the business as "plausible denial."

The CIA, functioning as a secret instrument of the U.S. government and the presidency, has long misused and abused history and continues to do so. I first became concerned about this historical distortion in 1957, when I was a young officer in the Clandestine Services of the CIA.

One night, after work, I was walking down Constitution Avenue with a fellow officer, who previously had been a reporter for United Press.

"How are they ever going to know," he asked.

"Who? How is 'who' ever going to know what?" I asked.

"How are the American people ever going to know what the truth is? How are they going to know what the truth is about what we are doing and have done over the years?" he said. "We operate in secrecy, we deal in deception and disinformation, and then we burn our files. How will the historians ever be able to learn the complete truth about what we've done in these various operations, these operations that have had such a major impact on so many important events in history?"

I couldn't answer him, then. And I can't answer him now. I don't know how the American people will ever really know the truth about the many things that the CIA has been involved in. Or how they will ever know the truth about the great historical events of our times. The government is continually writing and rewriting history -- often with the CIA's help -- to suit its own purposes. Here is a current example.

Just last month in Moscow, there was a meeting, a very strange meeting. Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara met with former Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko and a member of the Cuban Politburo. These three men, along with lesser former officials of their governments, has all been involved in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, and they had gathered intheSoviet capital to discuss what has really occurred in that monumental crisis, which almost led to World War III.

Since I, too, had been personally involved in that crisis, I took some interest in the news reports coming out of Moscow concerning the doings of this rather odd gathering of former officials. Much to my surprise, I learned that Robert McNamara was saying that neither he nor the U.S. intelligence community realized there actually had been some 40,000 Soviet troops in Cuba in the autumn of 1962. The former defense chief of the Kennedy administration was also saying that he and the U.S. government did not realize that the few dozen medium and intermediate range missiles the Soviets had tried to sneak into Cuba were actually armed with nuclear warheads and ready to be fired at targets in the U.S.

Furthermore, he was claiming that the U.S. did not understand that this huge military build-up by the Soviets had been carried out to protect Cuba and to prevent the U.S. from attacking the island's Communist regime. He added, for good measure, that he was surprised to learn from the talks in Moscow that the Soviets and Cubans thought the U.S. had plans to bring down the government of Fidel Castro through the use of force. According to McNamara, the entire Cuban missile crisis was a dangerous misunderstanding that came about because of the lack of communication among the governments involved in the near catastrophe.

Well, when I heard what McNamara and the band were playing in Moscow, I said to myself, "Either McNamara is getting a little dotty in his old age and doesn't remember what really happened during the Cuban missile crisis -- or there's some other reason for this." Well, it soon became apparent that McNamara was not senile. What, then, is the reason for these curious -and false -- "admissions" in Moscow? The reason is that the United States and the Soviet Union have decided to become friends again, and Washington wants to set the stage for rapprochement with Castro's Cuba.

It has evidently been decided by the powers that be in the U.S. to have a little meeting in Moscow and tell the world that we were all mixed up about Cuba and we didn't know what was going on there in 1962, because we weren't communicating well with the Soviets at the time. Thus, the American people would see how close to war we had come, how we should communicate more with the Soviets, and how they weren't really very bad guys after all. For that matter neither were Fidel and his gang. Therefore, it would follow that we should in a few months from now get on with disarmament and whatever else is necessary to bring about the new internationalism that is forming between east and west. At the same time, we should begin rebuilding the bridge to Cuba, too.

But to create the proper atmosphere for the coming rapproachement with Moscow and, later, Cuba, it was necessary to scare the American public and the world into thinking that the crisis of October 1962 was worse than it really was. To do that, McNamara, Gromyko, et al. were playing a little game -- their own distorted brand of historical revisionism. They were rewriting history to suit the present purposes of their governments.

Now, I thought, what if I were a reporter. Would I be able to see through this little charade that was going on in Moscow? Probably not. I began studying the "knowlegeable" syndicated colunmists. They were writing things like, "... My God, we never did understand what the Soviets were up to in Cuba. Yes, we better do something about this." What McNamara and friends were saying in Moscow was now becoming fact. It's becoming fact that we, the U.S. government, did not really know what was going on during the missile crisis. That is a lie.

If there was ever a time when the CIA in the United States intelligence community and the United States Armed Forces really cooperated and coordinated their efforts with each other, it was during the Cuban missile crisis. The Cuban missile crisis is probably one of the few examples -- perhaps the only one -- of when intelligence really worked the way it was supposed to work in a crisis situation.

I was there at the time, and I was deeply involved in this historical event. A colleague and friend of mine, Tack, my assistant at the time, and I were the original "crate-ologists"-which was an arcane little intelligence art that we had developed. We had learned through a variety of tricks of the trade, and some of our own making, to be able to distinguish what was in certain crates on Soviet merchant ships as they went into Cuba, into Indonesia into Egypt, Syria,and other places.We could tell if a crate contained a MIG-21,or an IL-28, or a SAM-2 missile.

We did this in such an amateurish way that we dared not tell anyone our methods. While the National Photographic and Interpretation Center employed 1,200 people in its office in downtown Washington, using state-of-the-art equipment to analyze aerial and satellite photography, Tack and I would sit in our office, feet up on the desk, using a beat-up old ruler to measure photos taken from U.S. submarines. I'd measure a crate on the deck of the Soviet freighter, say about three quarters of an inch in the photograph.

"Tack, do you think they could fit a Mig-21 in there?" He'd thumb through an old Air Force manual and say, "Mig-21, fuselage length 25 feet." "Well?" "Take the tail off, and we can fit it in." "Okay, let's call it a Mig-21."

We were pretty good at this. We had other aids to identification of course. We were able to learn when the Soviets were preparing shipments and from which ports they were sailing. We knew which personnel were involved, and the ships' destinations. Thus we could alert the navy, which sometimes conducted overflights, sometimes tracked them with a submarine.

We had an attaché in Istanbul row out in the middle of the night with a Turk whom he'd hired, looking for three things in a Soviet freighter: its deck cargo, how high it was riding in the water, and its name.

By these and other sensitive we were able to learn, in the summer of 1962, that the Soviets were carrying out an unprecendented arms build-up in Cuba. While some of the other agencies, namely the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, did'nt agree with us, CIA director John McCone was able to get president John Kennedy to authorize more intelligence overflights. The overflights revealed that the Soviets were building

SAM (Surface-to-Air Missiles) launching sites to protect the build-up. Further overflights revealed the construction of launching sites for Soviet MRBMs (Medium Range Ballistic Missiles) capable of carrying nuclear warheads to most cities in the United States.

We know exactly how many there were. where they were, and that they had not yet been armed, because the warheads hadn't arrived yet.

Thus McNamara is lying when he claims that the Soviet missiles in Cuba were armed and ready for launch against the United States. On the contrary, we were watching the ships which caried the warheads; American ships enforcing the blockade which President Kennedy had ordered boarded a Romanian ship (which we knew carried no arms), and the Russian ships bringing the nuclear warheads turned around in mid-ocean and went home.

It is also quite untrue that there were forty thousand Soviet troops in Cuba. We knew that there were only ten thousand of them, because we had developed a simple but effective way of counting them.

The Soviets had sent their troops over on passenger liners to disguise the military buildup. Some genius back in Moscow must have then said: "But these guys need to wear civilian clothes; let's put sport shirts on them." But someone at the department store said: We've only got two kinds." So half the troops wore one kind, half of them the other. They weren't very hard to spot.

Then, too, Soviet soldiers are a lot like our own. As soon as the first group got established, the colonel sent them out to paint some rocks white and then paint the name of the unit, 44th Field Artillery Battalion or whatever, on the rocks. All we had to do was take a picture of it from one of our U-2s. So it was easy to establish a Soviet troop strength of far below 40,000. Thus, McNamara is agreeing to a second lie.

The big lie, however, is that the Soviet Union came into Cuba to protect the Cubans. That was a secondary, or bonus, consideration. The primary reason for the build-up was that the Soviets at the time were so far behind us in nuclear strike capability that Khruschev figured he could make a quantum leap by suddenly putting in 48 missiles that could strike every city in America except Seattle, Washington.

Nor did we come as close to war as many think, because Khruschev knew he was caught. His missiles weren't armed, and he hadn't the troops to protect them. Kennedy knew this, so he was able to say: "take them out." And Khruschev had to say yes.

I must admit that at the time I was a little concerned, and so was my buddy Tack. We were manning the war room around the clock, catching four hours of sleep and then going back on duty. My wife had the station wagon loaded with blankets and provisions, and Tack's wife was standing by on alert. If either of them got a phone call with a certain word in it, they were to take our children and drive to my home town in the anthracite region of northeastern Pennsylvania. We figured they'd be safe there: if you've ever seen the coal region with its strip mines you would think it had already been bombed and we were hoping the Soviets would look at it that way too.

Last month's conference in Moscow is an example of how history is being rewritten. Any historian who relies on what he reads in the newspapers, on the statements from McNamara and the Russians and the Cubans will not be learning the truth. The CIA has manufactured history in a number of ways over the years not only through its propaganda and disinformation but through the cover stories it uses for their operations, and the cover-ups when an operation falls through Then there is "plausible deniability," which protects the president.

All these techniques have one thing in common, and depend on one thing: secrecy. Secrecy is maintained not to keep the opposition - the CIA's euphemistic term for the enemy -- from knowing what's going on, because the enemy usually does know. Secrecy exists to keep you, the American public, from knowing what is going on, because in many ways you are the real enemy.

If the public were aware of what the CIA is doing, it might say: "We don't like what you're doing -- stop it!," or You're not doing a good job -- stop it!" The public might ask for an accounting for the money being spent and the risks being taken.

Thus secrecy is absolutely vital to the CIA. Secrecy covers not only operations in progress, but continues after the operations, particularly if the operations have been botched. Then they have to be covered up with more lies, which the public, of course, can't recognize as lies, allowing the CIA to tell the public whatever it wishes.

Presidents love this. Every president, no matter what he has said before getting into office, has been delighted to learn that the CIA is his own private tool. The presidents have leapt at the opportunity to keep Congress and the public in the dark about their employment of the agency.

This is what was at the basis of my book, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. I had come to the conclusion, as a member of the CIA, that many of our policies and practices were not in the best interests of the United States. but were in fact counterproductive, and that if the American people were aware of this they would not tolerate it.

I resigned from the CIA in 1969, at a time when we were deeply involved in Vietnam. And how did we get into Vietnam on a large scale? How did President Lyndon Johnson get a blank check from Congress? It was through the Gulf of Tonkin incident The American people were told by President Johnson that North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats had come after two American destroyers on the night of August 4, 1964. This was confirmed by the intelligence community.

The fact of the matter is that while torpedo boats came out and looked at the U.S. destroyers, which were well out in international waters, they never fired on them. They made threatening maneuvers, they snarled a bit, but they never fired. It was dark and getting darker. Our sailors thought they might have seen something, but there were no hits, no reports of anything whizzing by.

That was the way it was reported back: a bit of a scrape, but no weapons fire and no attempt to fire. Our ships had not been in danger. But with the help of the intelligence community President Johnson took that report and announced that we had been attacked. He went to Congress and asked for and received his blank check, and Congress went along. Everyone knows the rest of the story: we got into Vietnam up to our eyeballs.

Every president prizes secrecy and fights for it. And so did President Nixon, in my case. When I came to the conclusion that the American people needed to know more about the CIA and what it was up to, I decided to go to Capitol Hill and talk to the senators on the intelligence oversight subcommittee. I found out that Senator John Stennis, at that time head of the subcommittee, hadn't conducted a meeting in over a year, so the other senators were completely ignorant as to what the CIA was doing. Senators William Fulbright and Stuart Symington would tell Stennis, "Let's have a meeting," but he was ignoring them. The other senators wrote Stennis a letter urging him to at least hear what I had to say in a secret executive session, but he continued to ignore them.

Then I would meet Fulbright -- at the barber shop. He was afraid to met me in his office. I would meet with Symington at his home. I would meet with senators at cocktail parties, as if by chance. But still they couldn't get Stennis to convene the intelligence subcommittee.

Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania told me he had learned more about the workings of the intelligence community in one afternoon of conversation with me than in six years of work on the intelligence subcommittee. That didn't surprise me, because I, several years before, had done the budget for CIA director Richard Helms. It was feared that the Senate appropriations subcommittee might have some hard questions about the growing cost of technical espionage programs. Director Helms had evidently been through this before, however.

As Helms put it, he and the CIA's head of science and technology, Albert (Bud) Wheelon, staged a "magic lantern show" for the committee, complete with color slides and demonstrations of the CIA's most advance spy gadgets: a camera hidden in a tobacco pouch, a radio transmitter concealed in some false teeth, a tape recorder in a cigarette case, and so on. One or two hard questions were deflected by Senator Russell of Georgia, who chaired the committee and was a strong supporter of the agency. There were, of course, no slides or hi-tech hardware to exhibit the programs the CIA wanted to conceal from Congress, and the budget sailed through the subcommittee intact.

What I learned in my dealings with Congressmen, in the CIA and after leaving, was that the men who wanted to change the situation didn't have the power, while those who had the power didn't want any change. With Congress a hopeless case, and the White House already in the know and well satisfied to let the CIA continue to operate in secrecy, I decided to talk to the press. I gave my first interview to U.S. News and World Report, and that started the ball rolling. Soon I was in touch with publishers in New York, talking about doing a book.

I soon got a telephone call from Admiral Rufus Taylor, who had been my boss in the agency, but by that time had retired. He told me to meet him at a motel in the Virginia suburbs, across the Potomac from Washington. My suspicions aroused by the remoteness of the room from the office, I was greeted by Admiral Taylor, who had thoughtfully brought along a large supply of liquor: a bottle of scotch, a bottle of bourbon, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of gin ... "I couldn't remember what you liked," he told me, "so I brought one of everything."

I began to make noise: flushing the toilet, washing my hands, turning on the television. Admiral Taylor was right behind me, turning everything off. I kept making noise, jingling the ice in my glass and so on, until the admiral sat down. There was a table with a lamp on it between the admiral's chair and the one which he now told me to sit down on. He looked at me with a little twinkle in his eye: the lamp was bugged, of course.

We talked, and Admiral Taylor told me the CIA was worried about what I might write in my book. He proposed a deal: I was to give no more interviews, write no more articles, and to stay away from Capitol Hill. I could write my book, and then let him and other retired senior officers look it over, and they would advise me and the agency. After that the CIA and I could resolve our differences. I told him, "Fair enough." We had a drink on it, and went out to dinner. That was our deal

What I didn't know was that a few nights later John Erlichman and Richard Nixon would be sitting in the White House discussing my book. There is a tape of their discussion, "President Nixon, John Ehrlichman, 45 minutes, subject Victor Marchetti," which is still sealed: I can't get it. Ehrlichman told me through contacts that if I listened to the tape I would learn exactly what happened to me and why.

Whatever the details of their conversation were, the president of the United States had decided I should not publish my book. I was to be the first writer in American history to be served with an official censorship order served by a court of the United States, because President Nixon did not want to be embarrassed, nor did he want the CIA to be investigated and reformed: that would have hampered his ability to use it for his own purposes. A few days later, on April 18, 1972, I received a federal injunction restraining me from revealing any "intelligence information." After more than a year of court battles, CIA and the Cult of Intelligence was published. The courts allowed the CIA to censor it in advance, and as a result the book appeared with more than a hundred holes for CIA-ordered deletions. Later editions show previously deleted words and lines, which the court ordered the CIA to restore in boldface or italics. The book is therefore difficult to read, indeed something of a curiosity piece. And of course all the information which was ordered cut out ended up leaking to the public anyway.

All this was done to help the CIA suppress and distort history, and to enable presidents to do the same. Presidents like Harry Truman, who claimed falsely that "I never had any thought when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations," but who willingly employed the agency to carry out clandestine espionage and covert intervention in the affairs of other countries. Or Dwight Eisenhower, who denied that we were attempting to overthrow Sukarno in Indonesia, when we were, and was embarrassed when he tried to deny the CIA's U-2 overflights and was shown up by Khruschev at Paris in 1960. John F. Kennedy, as everyone knows by now, employed the CIA in several attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. We used everyone from Mafia hoods to Castro's mistress, Marita Lorenz (who was supposed to poison the dictator with pills concealed in her cold cream -- the pills melted). I have no doubt that if we could have killed Castro, the U.S. would have gone in.

There was a fairly widespread belief that one reason Kennedy was assassinated was because he was going to get us out of Vietnam. Don't you believe it He was the CIA's kind of president, rough, tough, and gung-ho. Under Kennedy we became involved in Vietnam in a serious way, not so much militarily as through covert action. It is a fact that the United States engineered the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem, South Vietnam's premier, and Ngo Dinh Nhu, his powerful brother. A cable was sent out to the ambassador which said, "If Lou Conein goofs up [Lucien Conein was a key CIA operative in Saigon], it's his responsibility." So when E. Howard Hunt faked these memos and cables when he was working for the "plumbers" on behalf of President Nixon (and against the Democrats), he knew what he was doing. That was his defense, that he wasn't really forging or inventing anything. "Stuff like that really existed, but I couldn't find it," he said. Of course Hunt couldn't find it by that time the original documents were gone. But Hunt knew what he was doing.

President Nixon's obsession with secrecy led to the end of his presidency, of course. As indicated earlier, Nixon was determined to suppress my book. On several occasions after his resignation, Nixon has been asked what he meant when he said that the CIA would help him cover up the Watergate tapes, because "they owed him one." He has responded, "I was talking about Marchetti," in other words the efforts (still secret) to prevent The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence from being published.

Another instance of the Nixon administrations' attempts to suppress history is the ongoing attempt to cover up the details of the administration's "tilt" toward Pakistan in its conflict with India in the early 1970's. Although the basic facts soon emerged, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's account of the affair in his unflattering book on Henry Kissinger revealed that Morarji Desai, an important Indian political leader who later became Prime Minister, was a CIA agent. Kissinger spurred Desai to sue Hersh, and the case is still dragging on today, seven years later. I know what the truth is; Hersh knows as well, but as a conscientious journalist refused to reveal his sources. Here historical truth is caught between official secrecy and Hersh's loyalty to his informants; nevertheless, I have a great deal of admiration for Hersh for his firm stand.

It is a fact that a good many foreign leaders, including those often seen as "neutral" or even hostile to the United States, have been secretly on the CIA's payroll. For instance, when Jimmy Carter came into office, he claimed he was going to reform the CIA. No sooner than was he in the White House, they decided to test him: the news that Jordan's King Hussein had been paid by the CIA was leaked. President Carter was outraged, because now it was his CIA. His efforts to deny the relationship were defeated by Hussein's nonchalant frankness. He told the press, "Yes, I took the money. I used it for my intelligence service. And that's all I'm going to say on that subject."

There were a lot of other national leaders in Hussein's category. As I revealed for the first time in my book, Joseph Mobutu, a corporal in the Belgian forces in the Congo before its independence, went on the CIA payroll. That is why he rules Zaire today. The CIA paid the late Jomo Kenyatta, ruler of Kenya, fifty or a hundred thousand dollars a year, which he'd spend on drink and women. Therefore we ended up paying Kenyatta twice as much, telling him: "This is for you and this is for your party."

The CIA has funded individuals and movements across the political spectrum in West Germany. A prime example is Willy Brandt, former chancellor of the Federal Republic, who received much CIA support when he was mayor of West Berlin. Axel Springer, the Christian Democratic-minded press and publishing magnate, who pointed the finger at Brandt for working with CIA, was also a CIA asset, who used his publications to spread CIA propaganda and disinformation. It was a case of the pot calling the kettle black: I knew his case officer quite welL

This is the way the CIA sees its mission, the job it was created to do. The CIA is supposed to be involved with everyone, not merely the Christian Democrats or the Social Democrats. The agency is supposed to have its fingers in every pie, including the Communist one, so that they can all be manipulated in whichever way the U.S. government desires.

An obvious area of disinformation and deception exists in our relationship with a nation often represented as our closest ally, Israel. I have often been asked about the relationship between the CIA and its Israeli counterpart, the Mossad. The CIA maintains some kind of liaison with virtually every foreign intelligence agency, including the KGB. These relationships vary from case to case, but our relationship with the Mossad was always a peculiar one.

When I was in the agency, the Mossad was generally not trusted. There was an unwritten rule that no Jews could work on Israeli or near Eastern matters; it was felt that they could not be totally objective.. There was a split in the agency, however, and Israel was not included in the normal area division, the Near Eastern Division. Instead it was handled as a special account in counterintelligence. The man who handled that account, James Jesus Angleton, was extremely close to the Israelis. I believe that through Angleton the Israelis learned a lot more than they should have and exercised a lot more influence on our activities than they should have.

For his trouble, James Angleton, who died last year, was honored by the Israelis, in the way that the Israelis customarily honor their Gentile helpers. They decided to plant a whole forest for Angleton in the Judean hills, and they put up a handsome plaque in several languages, lionizing Angleton as a great friend of Israel, on a nearby rock. Israeli's intelligence chiefs, past and present, attended the dedication ceremony. Later on, a television reporter of my acquaintance sought out Angleton's memorial during an assignment in Israel. After some difficulty, he was able to locate it, but something seemed odd about it. On closer inspection, Angleton's plaque turned out to be made, not of bronze, but of cardboard. Nor was the setting particularly flattering to Israel's late benefactor: the trees and plaque were at the edge of a garbage dump. My friend's British cameraman put it best "This guy sold out his country for the bloody Israelis, and this is the way they pay him back!"

The CIA has distorted history in other ways than by outright coverups and suppression of the truth. One method was to produce its own books. For instance, one of its top agents in the Soviet Union was Colonel Oleg Penkovsky. Penkovsky was eventually captured and executed. But the CIA was unwilling to let it go at that The agency decided to write a book, which it published in 1965, called The Penkovsky Papers. This was purported to be drawn from a diary that Penkovsky had kept, a diary in which Penkovsky revealed numerous espionage coups calculated to embarrass the Soviets and build up the CIA.

Spies do not keep diaries, of course, and the Soviets were not likely to believe the exaggerated claims made for Penkovsky and the CIA in The Penkovsky Papers. Who was taken in? The American public, of course. More than once people have come up to me after a lecture and shown me the book as if it were gospel. I've told them, "I know the man who wrote it." "You knew Penkovsky?" they invariably ask, and I tell them, "No, I didn't know Penkovsky. But I know the man who wrote the book."

Not just ordinary citizens were taken in by the Penkovsky deception, either. Senator Milton Young of North Dakota, who served on the CIA oversight subcommittee, said in a 1971 Senate debate on cutting the inteligence budget:

And if you want to read something very interesting and authoritative where intelligence is concerned, read The Penkovsky Papers ... this is a very interesting story, on why the intelligence we had in Cuba was so important to us, and on what the Russians were thinking and just how far they would go.

Perhaps the most startling example ot the ClA's manipulation of the publishing world is the case of Khrushchev Remembers. Khrushchev is still widely believed to have been the author. He is supposed to have dashed it off one summer and then said to himself, "Where will I get this published? Ah! Time-Life!" The tapes reached Time-Life, we all read it, and we told ourselves, "Isn't that interesting."

A little thought should be sufficient to dispel the notion that the KGB would allow Khrushchev to sit in his dacha dictating tape after tape with no interference. He certainly dictated tapes, but the tapes were censored and edited by the KGB, and then a deal was struck between the U.S. and the USSR, after it was decided, at the highest level, that such a book would be mutually beneficial. Brezhnev could use against some of the resistance he was encountering from Stalinist hardliners, and Nixon could use it to increase support for detente.

The CIA and the KGB cooperated in carrying out the operation. The tapes were given to the Time bureau in Moscow. Strobe Talbot, who appears on television frequently today and is Time's bureau chief in Washington, brought the tapes back with him. I was present in an apartment in which he hid them for a couple of days. The tapes were then translated and a manuscript developed. During this period Time refused to let people who had known Khrushchev personally, including White House staff members, listen to the tapes.

Knowledgeable people began to tell me. "I don't believe this." "There's something mighty fishy here." When they read what Khrushchev was supposedly saying, they were even more incredulous. But the book came out, Khrushchev Remembers, accompanied by a massive publicity campaign. It was a great propaganda accomplishment for the CIA and the KGB.

I touched on Khrushchev Remembers in my book. I did not go into any great detail, merely devoting several tentative paragraphs to the affair. Just before my book was published Time was considering doing a two-page spread on me until they learned of my expressed reservations on the trustworthiness of Khrushchev Remembers. I began to get phone calls from Talbot and Jerry Schaechter, then Time's bureau chief in Washington, telling me I should take out the offending passages.

I had written, correctly, that before publication Strobe Talbot had taken the bound transcripts of the Khruschhev tapes back to Moscow, via Helsinki, so that the KGB could make one final review of them. I told Schaechter and Talbot that if they came to me, looked me in the eye, and told me I had the facts wrong, I would take out the section on Khruschhev Remembers. Neither of them ever came by, the paragraphs stayed in my book, and in any event Time went ahead with the two-page spread anyway.

As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy. By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past. As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1989 (Vol. 9, No. 3), pages 305- 320.
This paper was first presented at the Ninth IHR Conference, Feb. 1989, in Huntington Beach, California.

About the Author

For 14 years Victor Marchetti worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, where he rose to be executive assistant to the deputy director.

He joined the CIA in 1955, working as a specialist on the USSR. He soon became a leading CIA expert on Third World aid, with a focus on USSR military supplies to Cuba. In 1966 Marchetti was promoted to the office of special assistant to the Chief of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting.

After becoming disillusioned with the CIA's policies and practices, Marchetti resigned in 1969. He wrote a novel, The Rope Dancer (1971, that was critical of the CIA. He is also the author – with John D. Marks – of the book The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, published in 1973. Before its publication, the CIA demanded the removal of 399 passages, but Marchetti stood firm and only 168 passages were censored. This was the first book the US federal government ever tried to censor before publication through court action. The publisher (Alfred A. Knopf) chose to issue it with blanks for censored passages and with boldface type for passages that were challenged but later uncensored.

Top Visited
Past week
Past month


Old News ;-)

[Sep 14, 2015] mainly macro Media myths by Simon Wren-Lewis

Sep 11, 2015 |
At first sight the research reported here is something that only political science researchers should worry about. In trying to explain election results, it is better to use 'real time' data rather than 'revised, final or vintage' data. But as the authors point out, it has wider implications. Voters do not seem to respond to how the economy actually is (which is best measured by the final revised data), but how it is reported to be. (This does not just matter for elections: here is a discussion of some other research which suggests how the way recessions are reported can influence economic decisions.)

Just one more indication that the media really matters. I would not bother to report such things, if this point was generally accepted as an obvious truth. That it is not, in the UK at least, reflects various different tendencies. Those on the right know that the print media is heavily biased their way, and that this has a big impact on television, so they have an interest in denying that this matters (while funding think tanks whose job is in part to harass the BBC about its alleged left wing bias). Those on the centre left often react negatively to a few of those further left who discount all awkward facts by blaming the media. And the media itself is very reluctant to concede its own power.

As an example, here is Rafael Behr in the Guardian talking disapprovingly about Labour supporters:

"I heard constant complaints about failure to "challenge myths" about the economy, benefits, immigration and other areas where Labour is deemed unfit to govern by the people who choose governments. The voters are wrong, and what is required is a louder exposition of their wrongness."

What is really revealing about this paragraph is what is not there. We go straight from myths to voters, as if no one else is involved. I doubt very much that many who voice the 'constant complaints' Behr is talking about think that voters created and sustained these myths all by themselves.

The discussion of issues involving the economy, the welfare system and immigration among most of the 'political class' is often so removed from reality that it deserves the label myth. In the case of the economy, I provided chapter and verse in my 'mediamacro myth' series before the election. It was not just the myth that Labour profligacy was responsible for austerity, but also the myth about the 'strong recovery' when the recovery was the weakest for at least a century, and that this recovery had 'vindicated' austerity. Given the importance that voters attach to economic credibility, I do not believe I was exaggerating in suggesting that the mediamacro myth was in good part responsible for the Conservatives winning the election.

The media is vital in allowing myths to be sustained or dispelled. That does not mean that the media itself creates myths out of thin air. These myths on the economy were created by the Conservative party and their supporters, and sustained by the media's reliance on City economists. They get support from half truths: pre-crisis deficits were a little too large, GDP growth rates for the UK did sometimes exceed all other major economies.

Myths on welfare do come from real concerns: there is benefit fraud, and it is deeply resented by most voters. But who can deny that much of the media (including the makers of certain television programmes) have stoked that resentment? When the public think that £24 out of every £100 spent on benefits is claimed fraudulently, compared with official estimates of £0.70 per £100, that means that the public is wrong, and we have a myth. (An excellent source for an objective view of the UK's welfare system is John Hills' book, which has myth in its subtitle) As I noted in that post, when people are asked questions where they have much more direct experience, they tend to give (on average of course) much more accurate answers. Its when they source the media that things can go wrong. It is well known that fears about immigration tend to be greatest where there is least immigration.

Of course reluctance to acknowledge myths may not be denial but fatalism. Fatalism in believing that voters will always believe that migrants want to come to the UK because of our generous benefit system because it suits their prejudices. Encouraging those beliefs will be in the interests of what will always be a right wing dominated press. Some argue that myths can only be changed from a position of power. But myths are not the preserve of governments to initiate. According to this, over 60% of Trump supporters think their president is a Muslim who was born overseas. [1]

Myths need to be confronted, not tolerated. The initial UK media coverage of the European migrant crisis played to a mythical narrative that migrants were a threat to our standard of living and social infrastructure (to quote the UK's Foreign Secretary!). This reporting was not grounded in facts, as Patrick Kingsley shows. That changed when reporters saw who migrants really were and why they had made the perilous journey north. It changed when Germany started welcoming them rather than trying to build bigger fences. These facts did not fit the mythical narrative.

The UK government was clearly rattled when it realised that many people were not happy with their narrative and policies. Myths can be challenged, but it is not easy. Policy has been changed somewhat, but attempts are also being made to repair the narrative: to take some of those who have made it to the EU will only encourage more (a variant of the previous European policy of reducing the number of rescue boats), and a long term solution is to drop more bombs. Such idiotic claims need to be treated with contempt, before they become a new myth that the opposition feels it is too dangerous to challenge. Challenging these myths does not imply pretending real voter anxieties about migration do not exist, but grounding discussion and policy around the causes of those anxieties rather than the myths they have spawned.

Yes, the non-partisan media needs to recognise the responsibility they have, and use objective measures and academic analysis to judge whether they are meeting that responsibility. But more generally myths are real and have to be confronted. The biggest myth of all is that there are no myths.

[May 17, 2015] Andre Vltchek How to Fight Western Propaganda Information Clearing House - ICH By Andre Vltchek

May 15, 2015 "Information Clearing House"

- First they manufacture monstrous lies, and then they tell us that we should be objective!

Is love objective; is it passion? Are dreams defendable, logically and philosophically?

When a house is attacked by brigands, when a village is overran by gangsters, when smoke, fire and cries for help are coming from every corner, should we award ourselves with the luxury of time to calculate, analyze and aim at complete logical, ethical, holistic and objective solutions?

I strongly believe no! We are obliged to fight those who are burning our dwellings, to hit with full force those who are attempting to rape our women, and to confront fire with fire when innocent beings are slaughtered.

When the most powerful and the most destructive force on earth employs all its persuasive might, utilizing everything from the mainstream media to educational facilities, in order to justify its crimes, when it spreads its poisonous propaganda and lies in order to oppress the world and suppress hope, do we step back and begin endless and detailed work on precise and objective narratives? Or do we confront lies and propaganda with our own narrative, supported by our intuition, passion and dreams for a better world?


The Empire lies continuously. It lies in the morning, during the day, in the evening, even at night, when most of the people are sound asleep. It has been doing it for decades and centuries. For grand deceits it relies on countless numbers of propagandists who pose as academics, teaches, journalists and "public intellectuals". Perfection in the art of disinformation has been reached. Western advertising (so much admired and used by the German Nazis) has some common roots with propaganda, although propaganda is much older and "complete".

It appears that even some leaders of the Empire now believe in most of their fabrications, and most of the citizens certainly do. Otherwise, how could they sleep at night?

The western propaganda apparatus is enormously efficient and effective. It is also brilliant in how it ensures that its inventions get channeled, distributed, and accepted in all corners of the world. The system through which disinformation spreads, is incredibly complex. Servile local media and academia on all continents work hard to guarantee that only one narrative is allowed to penetrate the brains of billions.

The results are: intellectual cowardice and ignorance, all over the world, but especially in the West and in its client states.


What are we, who oppose the regime, supposed to do?

First of all, things are not as hopeless as they used to be.

This is not the morbid unipolar world that we experienced in the early 90's. Now Venezuela, Russia, China, and Iran support large media outlets that are opposed to the Empire. Powerful television stations emerged: RT, Press TV, TeleSUR and CCTV. Huge English language Internet-based magazines and sites in the United States, Canada and Russia are also exposing the lies of the official Western propagandists: Counterpunch, Information Clearing House, Global Research, Veterans News, Strategic Culture, New Eastern Outlook quickly come to mind. And there are hundreds of important sites doing the same in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese and French languages.

The fight is on: the fight for an intellectually multi-polar world. It is a tough, mortal fight! It is a crucial battle, simply because the metastases of the Western propaganda cancer have spread everywhere, contaminated all continents, and even some of the most courageous countries and brains that are earnestly fighting against the Western imperialism and fascism! No one is immune. To be frank, all of us are contaminated.

Unless we win this battle, by first clearly identifying and proving "their narrative" as fraudulent, and later by offering humanist and compassionate perceptions, we cannot even dream about the revolution, or about any significant changes in arrangement of the world.


How do we achieve victory? How do we convince the masses, those billions of people? How do we open their eyes and make them see that the Western regime is dishonest, toxic, poisonous and destructive? Most of humanity is hooked on the Empire's propaganda; that propaganda which is not only spread by mainstream media outlets, but also by pop music, soap operas, social media, advertisement, consumerism, 'fashion trends' and by many other covert means; cultural, religious and media junk that leads to total emotional and intellectual stupor and is administered like some highly addictive narcotic, regularly and persistently.

Do we counter the tactics and strategy of the destructive and ruthless Empire with our honesty, with research, with telling and writing meticulously investigated facts?

The Empire perverts facts. It repeats lies through its loudspeakers and tubes. It shouts them thousands and thousands of times, until they sink into the sub conscious of people, penetrate the skin, spread all through their brains.

Good will, naive honesty, "speaking truth to power", could this change the world and the power itself? I highly doubt it.

The Empire and its power are illegitimate, and they are criminal. Is there any point of speaking truth to a gangster? Hardly! Truth should be spoken to people, to masses, not to those who are terrorizing the world.

By talking to villains, by begging them to stop torturing others, we are legitimizing their crimes, and we are acknowledging their power. By trying to appease gangsters, people are putting themselves at their mercy.

I absolutely refuse to be in such position!


To win over billions of people, we have to inspire them, to fire them up. We have to outrage them, embrace them, shame them, make them laugh and make them cry. We have to make sure that they get goose bumps when they see our films, read our books and essays, listen to our speeches.

We have to detox them, make them feel again, wake up natural instincts in them.

Simple truth as a detox agent will not work. The poison of our adversaries has sunk too deeply. Most of the people are too lethargic and too immune to simple, quietly stated truths!

We have tried, and others have tried as well. My acquaintance (but definitely not my comrade) John Perkins, former US apparatchik educated by the State Department, wrote a detailed account of his horrid deeds in Ecuador, Indonesia and elsewhere – "Confession of An Economic Hitman". It is a meticulous, detailed account of how the West destabilizes poor countries, using corruption, money, alcohol, and sex. The book sold millions of copies, worldwide. And yet, nothing changed! It did not trigger a popular revolution in the United States. There were no protests, no demands for regime change in Washington.

In the recent past, I wrote and published two academic, or at least semi-academic books, packed with great details, quotes and tons of footnotes: one on Indonesia, a country used by the West as a model horror scenario for the rest of the world, after the 1965-US-sponsored military coup. The coup killed 2-3 million people, murdered all intellectualism, and lobotomized the 4th most populous country on earth. The book is called "Indonesia – Archipelago of Fear". The second book, unique because it covers an enormous part of the world – Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia ("Oceania – Neocolonialism, Nukes and Bones"), showed how the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and France, literally divided and destroyed the great South Pacific island cultures and the people. Now classes are being taught using my books, but only a very limited number of people are influenced by the facts exposed in them. The elites in both Indonesia and Oceania made sure that the books are not widely read by the people.

I have spent years and years compiling facts, researching, investigating. The revolutionary effectiveness of my academic work is – I have to admit – nearly zero.

It is easy to see the contrast: when I write an essay, a powerfully crafted, emotional essay, demanding justice, accusing the Empire of murder and theft, I get millions of readers on all continents, as well as translations to dozens of languages!

Why do I write this; why do I share this with my readers? Because we should all be realistic. We have to see, to understand, what people want – what they demand. The people are unhappy and scared. Most of them don't know why. They hate the system, they are lonely, frustrated, they know that they are lied to and exploited. But they cannot define those lies. And academic books, exposing the lies are too complex for them to read since the masses have no time to read thousands of indigestible pages or the necessary education to allow them to understand what they are reading.

It is our duty to address those people, the majority, otherwise what kind of revolutionaries are we? After all, we are supposed to create for our brothers and sisters, not for a few researchers at the universities, especially when we realize that most of the universities are serving the Empire by regurgitating official nomenclature and supporting demagogues.


The Empire speaks, writes and then repeats some outrageous lies, about its benevolence, and exceptionality of its rule, or about the "evils" of the Soviet Union, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea or Cuba. This is done daily. In fact it is designed so that almost every human being gets his or her dose of the toxin at least several times a day.

We feel we have to react – we begin spending years of our lives, meticulously proving, step by step, that the Empire's propaganda is either one big fat lie, or exaggeration, or both. After we compile our arguments, we publish the results in some small publishing house, most likely in the form of a slender book, but almost nobody reads it because of its tiny circulation, and because the findings are usually too complex, too hard to digest, and simply because the facts do not shock anybody, anymore. One million more innocent people were murdered somewhere in Africa, in the Middle East, in Asia; what else is new?

Researching and trying to tell the truth, fully and honestly, we feel that we are doing great, professional, scientific work. All the while the propagandists of the Empire are dying of laughter watching us! We are representing little danger to them. They are winning effortlessly!

Why is that? Doesn't the detailed truth matter?

It does – from the point of higher principles it matters. Ethically it matters. Morally it matters. Philosophically it matters.

But strategically, when one is engaged in an ideological war, it does not matter that much! The truth yes, always; the truth matters! But simplified, digestible truth, presented powerfully and emotionally!

When immorality is ravishing the world, when it is charging mercilessly, when innocent millions are dying, what matters is to stop the slaughter, first by identifying the murderous force, then by containing it.

Language has to be strong, emotions raw.

When facing murderous hordes, poetry, emotionally charged songs, and patriotic odes have always been more effective than deep academic studies. And so were political novels and films, passionate documentaries, even explicit cartoons and posters.

Some would ask: "Just because they are lying, should we lie as well?" No! We should try to be as truthful as we can. But our message should be often "abridged", so the billions, not just those selected few, could understand it.

It does not mean that the quality of our work should suffer. Simplicity is often more difficult to achieve than encyclopedic works with thousands of footnotes.

Sun Tzu's "Art of War" is short, just a pamphlet, straight to the point. And so is the "Communist Manifesto", and 'J'accuse!"

Our revolutionary work does not have to be necessarily brief, but it has to be presented in a way that could be understood by many. I am constantly experimenting with the form, while never compromising on substance. My recent book, "Exposing Lies of the Empire" has more than 800 pages, but I made sure that it is packed with fascinating stories, with testimonies of people from all corners of the globe, with colorful description of both victims and tyrants. I don't want my books to collect dust in university libraries. I want them to mobilize people.


I truly believe that there is not much time for "objectivity" in any battle, including those ideological ones, especially when these are battles for the survival of humanity!

The lies of the enemy have to be confronted. They are toxic, monstrous lies!

Once the destruction stops, millions of innocent men, women and children will cease being sacrificed, and we can return to our complex philosophical concepts, to details and to nuances.

But before we win our final battles against imperialism, nihilism, fascism, exceptionalism, selfishness and greed, we have to fully and effectively utilize our most powerful weapons: our visions of a better world, our love for humanity, our passion for justice. Our determination and our beliefs have to be presented in a loud, potent, even "dogmatic" manner, our voice should be creative, artistic, powerful!

The house is on fire, comrades! The entire town is turning to ashes. The entire planet is plundered, devastated, lobotomized.

We cannot confront bigots with nukes and battleships. But our talents, our muses, and our hearts are here, with us, ready to join the battle.

Let us outsmart our enemies; let us make sure that the world begins laughing at them! Have you seen them, those pathetic losers, the buffoons – the CEO's? Have you listened to those Prime Ministers and Presidents, those servants of the "market"? Let us convince the masses that their tyrants –the imperialists, the neo-colonialists and all their dogmatic preachers – are nothing more than pitiful, greedy, poisonous fools! Let us discredit them! Let us ridicule them.

They are robbing and murdering millions. Let us begin by at least pissing on them!

Let us fight Western propaganda by first exposing those who are really behind it. Let's get personal.

Let's turn this revolution into something creative, hilarious, truly fun!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire" and "Fighting Against Western Imperialism".Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: "Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear". Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

Par K · 1 day ago

I have been reading Andre Vltchek's essays and commentaries for a longtime. His honesty,integrity, depth of thought, and articulation id beyond any doubt. Courageous and bold writing like this one need to reach as many people as possible - more exposure - that is what is needed:

- A compiler of 'Independent News and Editorials:
The News Scouter:

What we need is to bring awareness to masses. We need to promote the truth - the knowledge - let the Information reach the maximum number of people. It is all about knowing the facts.

The key to bringing in the change - the real change, is to remain informed - well informed. To make the right decision we need all the relevant information, news, and analysis. Be it the economy & finance, politics, or wars, information is the key. But, as we all know, searching out for the needed information is a time consuming task.

Now, more than ever, in this fast changing world, we need "information" - Fast & Quick - at a single point.

Here is a source that we have stumbled upon - A new comer that is already gaining momentum and recognition among both the readers and writers alike at a lightening speed:
The News Scouter.

"All the 'Must-Read' News Stories, Information and Editorials from around the world - Everything from Global Affairs & Finance to Science & Technology - Updated Regularly - Sorted and Categorized - All in one place."

Here is the Link to The News Scouter:

maninhavana · 1 day ago

The only decent journalists working in the media today are working for Telesur, RT and those mentioned in the article or as independents who get carried by this indispensible website ICH. The rest are just presstitutes .

Sarah Rainsford of the BBC is a supreme example and John Simpson one time head of the BBC world service admits to admiring John Pilger and Martha Gelhorn who would most likely despise his lickspittle sellout journalistic efforts. If you read this article and havent sent a donation to ICH what are you thinking?

Andy Perry · 1 day ago

If Vltchek wants to build an oppositioin to the self-styled 'West' he should avoid making major concessions to his opponent right from the start.

What is the term 'West' supposed to mean?
It is relative, abstract and meaningless and it is intended to be so.

The 'West' is a BRAND NAME. Its purpose is to control the way you perceive the BRAND.
If you strip the packaging and the marketing away, the 'West' is the Anglo Saxon Axis- a collection of Germanic countries (under NATO) led by Anglo Saxon America.

You should consider the fact that Vltchek hasn't been smart enough to figure this simple truth out before you listen to anything further he has to say on the matter...

Cultural Constituencies: The Anglo Saxon Maidan.

RubyRenae · 19 hours ago

What is this author Vltchek trying to do? Mobilize the people of the Police States of AmeriKKKa? To...overthrow the regime? How, when the populace is acculturated with God, Guns, and Grocery Stores with fully-stocked shelves? Those facts will beat any kind of moral suasion in this wretched nation. The Police State propagandists themselves present the answer: the AmeriKKKans must be defeated in a war to bring peace to the world. AmeriKKKa must be forced into recognition that the Police States has lost legitimacy by a more powerful state (or states). This is all that can be done, if you read their literature on the British Empire.

Dick · 10 hours ago

The seven Principles of Propaganda P{art 1 as follows:

Avoid abstract ideas - appeal to the emotions.

When we think emotionally, we are more prone to be irrational and less critical in our thinking. I can remember several instances where this has been employed by the US to prepare the public with a justification of their actions. Here are three examples:

The Invasion of Grenada during the Reagan administration was said to be necessary to rescue American students being held hostage by Grenadian authorities after a coup that overthrew the government and return the previous government. I had a friend in the 82nd airborne division that participated in the rescue. He told me the students said they were hiding in the school to avoid the fighting by the US military, and had never been threatened by any Grenadian authority. Film of the actual rescue broadcast on the mainstream media was faked; the students were never in danger.

The invasion of Panama in the late 80's was supposedly to capture the dictator Manual Noriega for international crimes related to drugs and weapons. I remember a headline covered by all the media where a Navy lieutenant and his wife were detained by the police. His wife was sexually assaulted while in custody, according to the story. Unfortunately, it never happened. It was intended to get the public emotionally involved to support the action.

The invasion of Iraq in the early 90's was preceded by a speech in congress by a girl describing the Iraqi army throwing babies out of incubators so the equipment could be transferred to Iraq. It turns out the girl was the daughter of one of the Kuwait's ruling sheiks and the event never occurred. However, it served its purpose by getting the American public involved emotionally supporting the war. It is the most blatant use of propaganda, since it used the US congress to present the story as true. Whom do we trust?

The greatest emotion in us is fear and fear is used extensively to make us think irrationally. I remember growing up during the cold war having the fear of nuclear war or 'The Russians are coming!' After the cold war without an obvious enemy, it was Al Qaeda even before 911, so we had 'Al Qaeda is coming!' Now we have 'ISIS is coming!' with media blasting us with terrorist fears. Whenever I hear a government promoting an emotional issue or fear mongering, I ignore them knowing there is a hidden Truth behind the issue.

Constantly repeat just a few ideas. Use stereotyped phrases.

This could be stated more plainly as 'Keep it simple, stupid!' The most notorious use of this technique recently was the Bush administration. Everyone can remember 'We must fight them over there rather than over here' or my favourite 'They hate us for our freedoms'. Neither of these phrases made any rational sense despite 911. The last thing Muslims in the Middle East care about is American's freedoms, maybe it was all the bombs the US was dropping on them.

Give only one side of the argument and obscure history.

Watching mainstream media in the US, you can see all the news is biased to the American view as an example. This is prevalent within Australian commercial media and newspapers giving only a western view, but fortunately, we have the SBS and the ABC that are very good, certainly not perfect, at providing both sides of a story. In addition, any historical perspective is ignored keeping the citizenry focused on the here and now. Can any of you remember any news organisation giving an in depth history of Ukraine or Palestine? I cannot.

Demonize the enemy or pick out one special "enemy" for special vilification.

This is obvious in politics where politicians continuously criticise their opponents. Of course, demonization is more productively applied to international figures or nations such as Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Gaddafi in Libya, Assad in Syria, the Taliban and just recently Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine and Crimea. It establishes a negative emotional view of either a nation (i.e. Iran) or a known figure making us again think emotionally, thus irrationally. Certainly some of these groups or individuals were less than benign, but not necessarily demons as depicted in the west.

Appear humanitarian in work and motivations.

The US has used this technique often to validate foreign interventions or ongoing conflicts where the term 'Right to Protect' is used for justification. Everyone should remember the many stories about the abuse of women in Afghanistan or Saddam Hussein's supposed brutality to his people. One thing that always amazes me is when the US sends humanitarian aid to a country it is accompanied by the US military. In Haiti some years back the US sent troops with no other country doing so. The recent Ebola outbreak in Africa saw US troops sent to the area. How are troops going to fight a medical outbreak? No doubt, they are there for other reasons.

Obscure one's economic interests.

Who among you believes the invasion of Iraq was for weapons of mass destruction? Or the constant threats against Iran are for their nuclear program? Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and no one has presented firm evidence Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons. The West has been interfering in the Middle East since the British in the late 19th century. It is all about oil and the control over the resources. In fact, if one researches the cause of wars over the last hundred years, you will always find economics was a major component driving the rush to war for most of them.

Monopolize the flow of information.

This mainly entails setting the narrative by which all subsequent events can be based upon or interpreted in such a way as to reinforce the narrative. The narrative does not need to be true; in fact, it can be anything that suits the monopoliser as long as it is based loosely on some event. It is critical to have at least majority control of media and the ability to control the message so the flow of information is consistent with the narrative. In the last few months, I have seen this played out on mainstream media concerning the Ukrainian conflict. One of the most interesting examples of this principle was in the lead up to the Iraqi war in 2003. John Howard, Prime Minister at the time, gave a speech in the Australian parliament justifying the intervention in Iraq on March 18, 2003. Two days later on March 20 Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, gave the same speech word for word to the Canadian parliament. Either Harper is lazy or there was an attempt to control the message in countries supporting the war. What I would like to know is who wrote the speech in the first place. I cannot see two Prime Ministers giving an identical speech to their respective parliaments as a coincidence.


Who have ever been in a war don't wish to go back to such. US media always shows the bombing in the distance. If the American people could see up close the carnage, they would kill every congressman who have voted for any war.

Again that is the reason to have massive poverty so the poor provide the soldiers with a promise of a free college education as long as you are able to go to school in the evening after duty, but if you are at a relentless illegal war forget about your free education.

[Jan 08, 2015] Excerpts from the book Information War American Propaganda, Free Speech and Opinion Control since 9-11 by Nancy Snow

Walter Lippmann

"The public must be put in its that each of us can live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd."

1960s anti-war poster

"War is good for business. Invest your son."

In a controlled society, propaganda is obvious and reluctantly tolerated for fear of the negative consequences. In an open society, such as the United States, the hidden and integrated nature of the propaganda best convinces people that they are not being manipulated.

"Un-American" is a favorite name-calling device to stain the reputation of someone who disagrees with official policies and positions. It conjures up old red-baiting techniques that stifle free speech and dissent on public issues. It creates a chilling effect on people to stop testing the waters of our democratic right to question the motives of our government.

As long as we continue to allow the media to function as a manipulative mind manager without fear or disfavor, we'll continue to see the brain-numbing effects of a society underexposed to real information and analysis, rendered incapable of critical judgment and social resistance.

The public's dilemma is to know how to consume the news with an ability to extract opinion from the simple facts and evidence... The best solution to the fact/opinion dilemma is to acquire more diverse information across the ideological and geological divide. If you find yourself relying on one source of information for the news, whether right or left, you are likely to be exposed to more opinion that reinforces rather than challenges your own.

Walter Lippmann, considered the father of modern American journalism, was also a writer of propaganda leaflets during World War I. He saw how easily people could fall for lies small and big, particularly captured prisoners of war who were easily manipulated by their captors. Lippmann became so disillusioned by the public's inability to analyze policy that he wrote The Phantom Public, in which he basically claimed that the public had no role to play in addressing important questions of state because the media system created a pseudoreality of stereotypes and emotional impressions along with facts. The public is easily manipulated, not because we're necessarily dumb, but because we're ignorant. We don't have the necessary tools to counter propaganda.

Much of our media now are so image-rich and content-poor that they just serve to capture the eye, manipulate our emotions, and short-circuit our impulses. The propaganda and advertising industries therefore function increasingly like adult obedience industries. They instruct their audiences in how to feel and what to think, and increasing numbers of people seem to accept and follow the cues without question.

Censorship ends the free flow of information so essential for democracy and makes dissent less likely. Propaganda injects false or misleading information into the media in order to influence the behavior of populations here and abroad... News organizations often willingly collude with efforts to censor because media owners are members of the political elite themselves and therefore share the goals and outcomes of government leaders.

Since World War I, the United States has borrowed and adapted many of the methods of British political intelligence that were first developed by the English aristocracy to manage its global empire. Most of our secrecy classification system in the United States is based on the British model. Britain has also long been a master of propaganda and deception. The British authors Phillip Knightly and Philip Taylor have shown in their work how the British propaganda machine of World War I inspired later efforts by the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Interestingly, Britain, with its Official Secrets Act, has never shared the American traditional ideals about the freedom of the press and the public's right to know. Nevertheless, the steady erosion of these ideals in the United States can be traced in part to the special relationship and mutual admiration between the United States and Great Britain.

... propaganda can be more easily injected into news from the inside than from the outside. Using CIA documents, the American reporter Carl Bernstein was able to identify more than 400 American journalists who secretly carried out CIA assignments over a twenty-five-year period between 1945 and 1970. Among media executives who cooperated with the CIA were the president of CBS, William Paley, Henry Luce of Time, Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. The most valued CIA assets were the New York Times, CBS, and Time, Inc. The New York Times alone provided cover to the CIA for at least ten operatives between 1950 and 1966. Bernstein found that those journalists who played along with the CIA by signing secrecy agreements were most likely to succeed in their careers because the CIA connection gave them access to the best stories. The journalists and their CIA handlers often shared the same educational background and the same ideal that both were serving the national-security interests of the United States. Included in the many examples of the intelligence community/media revolving door are: (1) the former CIA director Richard Helms (mid-1960s to early 1970s) was once a UPI wire service correspondent. (2) William Casey, the CIA director under Ronald Reagan was once chief counsel and a board member at CapCities, which absorbed ABC News in Reagan's second term. (3) Two prominent journalists, Edward R. Murrow and Carl Rowan, served as directors of the U.S. Information Agency under Kennedy, while the NBC Nightly News reporter John Chancellor was director of the government international propaganda radio service, Voice of America, under L. B. Johnson. (4) The first deputy director of the NSA, Joseph H. Ream, had previously worked as executive vice president of CBS, and after NSA, he returned to CBS without disclosing his association with the supersecretive agency. (5} Perhaps best known is the World War I propaganda apparatus known as the Committee on Public Information chaired by the progressive journalist George Creel with the assistance of Lord Northcliffe, owner of the Times of London and the Daily Mail, and a central figure in the massive British propaganda effort of World War I.

The point to be made is that the intelligence and media communities are and have been closely affiliated with each other. What such collusion leads to is censorship, such as when Arthur Sulzberger prevented his reporter Sydney Gruson from covering the United States-backed overthrow of the Guatemalan government in 1954 at the direct request of Sulzberger's good friend Allen Dulles.

Norman Solomon and Martin Lee wrote about Reagan-era propaganda strategies:

The pattern was set early in his administration: leak a scare story about foreign enemies, grab the headlines. If, much later, reporters poke holes in the cover story, so what? The truth will receive far less attention than the original lie, and by then another round of falsehoods will be dominating the headlines.

A more sinister version of domestic propaganda insertion is CIA sponsorship of global media, including Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty (Cuba), Radio Free Asia, and numerous print publications, such as Prevves (France), Der Monat (Germany), El Mundo Nuevo (Latin America), Quiet and Thought (India), Argumenten (Sweden), and La Prensa (Nicaragua).

The Tyndall Report by the media analyst Andrew Tyndall analyzed 414 stories on Iraq from the Major Three (ABC, CBS, and NBC) between September 2002 and February 2003 and found that all but 34 stories originated at three government agencies-The White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.

... According to the Tyndall Report, of 574 stories about Iraq on the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news aired between Bush's address to the United Nations on September 12, 2002, and March 7, 2003, just 12 stories dealt with the aftermath of the war with Iraq.

The American newsroom ... lacks diversity not only in ethnic, racial, and gender categories, but perhaps more important, a lack of diversity in upbringing and outlook... This attitude creates a bias born of class, race, and socioeconomic heritage.

James Carey, a scholar at Columbia University and author of Television and the Press

"There is a bit of a reformer in anyone who enters journalism. And reformers are always going to make conservatives uncomfortable ... because conservatives, by and large, want to preserve the status quo."

In the federal government, the largest public-relations division is inside the Pentagon, where government public-relations specialists provide M-F feeds to the national media.

It was 1917. Creel, an American journalist and editor and, more importantly, an F.O.W. (Friend of Woodrow), convinced President Wilson that what the country needed was not a Committee on Censorship to control the mind of the overwhelmingly pacifistic and apathetic American public's entry into World War I. No indeed, George Creel had the clever idea then to create a Committee on Public Information "for the production and dissemination as widely as possible of the truth about America's participation in the war." The CPI was an ad hoc committee whose membership included the leading persuasion and propaganda experts of the day, the avowed dean of American journalism, Walter Lippmann, and Edward Bernays, the grandfather of American public relations. But it was George Creel, that early George, who commanded the spotlight and knew that to win the Great War, he had to convince the American people, like George number 43 does in the first war of the twenty-first century, that this war was a fight over ideas and values more than a fight over land, people, and resources. Controlling public opinion was a major force during World War I as it was to become in World War II and now in the War on Terror. The issues of the day would be fought in the media and mental mindfields of men and women as well as on the minefields of battle. Creel wrote of his mission:

In no degree was the Committee an agency of censorship, a machinery of concealment or repression. Its emphasis throughout was on the open and the positive. At no point did it seek or exercise authorities under those war laws that limited the freedom of speech and press. In all things, from first to last, without halt or change, it was a plain publicity proposition, a vast enterprise in salesmanship, the world's greatest adventures in advertising...We did not call it propaganda, for that word, in German hands, had come to be associated with deceit and corruption. Our effort was educational and informative throughout, for we had such confidence in our case as to feel that no other argument was needed than the simple, straightforward presentation of the facts.

What does George Creel teach us now about the War on Terrorism? In order to win the information war then, the administration, through Creel's Committee, had to convince the population that the Great War was not the war of the Wilson administration, but rather a war of one hundred million people: "What we had to have was no mere surface unity, but a passionate belief in the justice of America's cause that moulds the people of the United States into one white-hot mass instinct of fraternity, devotion, courage, and deathless determination. The war-will, the will-to-win, of a democracy depends upon the degree to which each one of all the people of that democracy can concentrate and consecrate body and soul and spirit in the supreme effort of service and sacrifice. What had to be driven home was that all business was the nation's business, and every task a common task for a single purpose."

To George Creel, the peace and labor movements of the early twentieth century created unacceptable conditions for generating a mass warmaking mindset. To turn a pacifist and neutral populace into one white-hot mass instinct, Creel made the Committee a totally integrative enterprise, with "no part of the Great War machinery that we did not touch, no medium of appeal that we did not employ." This included print, radio, motion pictures, telegraph, and cable messages and worldwide circulation of President Wilson's official addresses from Teheran to Tokyo, posters, and signboards, along with a volunteer service corps of 75,000 speakers known as the Four-Minute Men, who worked in 5,200 communities and made a total of 755,190 speeches, with "every one having the carry of shrapnel."

The Committee on Public Information was in the business of mobilizing world public opinion in support of American participation in the war. By the time of World War II, the United States government and military institutions were fully engaged in an all-out information war that built upon the efforts put forth by the ambitious George Creel.

The Bush administration's war on terror is in the same business of mobilizing mass public opinion both here and abroad.

In the early months of the October 2001 ground offensive in Afghanistan, the propaganda war began to heat up and the truth about war was, in fact, becoming its first casualty. The public diplomacy section of the U.S. State Department, under the leadership of Charlotte Beers, was beginning its global task of reshaping the image of America through international diplomatic efforts. Beers, a former Madison Avenue advertising executive, was assigned the most ambitious branding assignment of her life-repackaging America's image so to "sell" the war against terrorism to the Islamic world.

The information war on opinion and free speech intensified with the creation of several post-9/11 nonprofit organizations. These included Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT), whose intention is to "take their task to those groups and individuals who fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the war we are facing." Among those targeted by AVOT were Congressman Dennis Kucinich, chair of the Progressive Caucus and his cochair, Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's magazine; and Robert Kuttner, editor of The American Prospect. AVOT's work followed from the work of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), which issued a November 2001 report, "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities are Failing America," that condemned dissident anti-war language propagated by liberal professors on American college campuses. The co-founder of Empower America, one of the wealthiest of the right-wing Washington, D.C., think tanks and former Secretary of Education under President George Bush, Sr. (George 41) William Bennett, has said, "We do not wish to silence people, " and added that AVOT plans to hold teach-ins and public education events, particularly on college campuses. Both organizations are united in their belief that the United States must retain its superpower empire for global goodness and redemption, keep military ethics and power the primary focus of the United States response to 9/11, and shout down the "morally coward liberals" on American university campuses and in Europe.

Propaganda is defined as any organized or concerted group effort or movement to spread a particular doctrine or a system of doctrines or principles.

Three important characteristics of propaganda are that ( l ) it is intentional and purposeful, designed to incite a particular reaction or action in the target audience; (2) it is advantageous to the propagandist or sender which is why advertising, public relations, and political campaigns are considered forms of propaganda; and (3) it is usually one-way and informational (as in a mass media campaign), as opposed to two-way and interactive communication.

President George W. Bush became an effective commander-in-chief of propaganda because of his ability to frame the war on terrorism in vivid and simplistic either/or terms. "The propagandist strives for simplicity and vividness, coupled with speed and broad impact. He stimulates popular emotional so doing, he must for the most part bypass factual discussion and debate of any sort." [Alfred McClung Lee, How to Understand Propaganda, 1952]

The message to the American public is to simply define the problem as an attack on freedom, to present a simplified, readily understood case that "terrorist parasites" want to destroy freedom and democracy. To support the case, an effective propagandist wants to make sure that the case includes plenty of omnibus phrases and symbols-American flags, U.S. Armed Forces, and experts who can lead us, like the avuncular Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as well as a suddenly popular wartime President. Omnibus words such as "freedom" and "liberty" are the shorthand symbols of the propagandists-they carry vague general meanings that arouse
emotions (fear or hate of our enemy, pride in one's own leadership, in our armed forces). These symbols provide a shorthand dictionary for the conflict. So when you are asked why we fight, you can answer quickly and with a moral imperative: "We fight to defend freedom."

... the 9/11 attacks were packaged as our generation's Pearl Harbor and the United States invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq as Operations Defending Democracy, Liberty, and Freedom-all of which evokes positive emotional reactions in majorities of people. This leaves little wiggle room for someone to be against the war, because what does being against the war then mean? You don't support freedom, liberty, or democracy? President Bush quickly succeeded in defining the parameters of our national dialogue in the war on terrorism when he said, "Either you are against us or you are with us." He wasn't talking just to the terrorist "parasites" but also to the American people ...

"I think this conflict is going to require a suspension of freedom and rights unlike anything we have seen, at least since World War II, " said Marlin Fitzwater, the press secretary to Bush, Sr., in the New York Times of October 7, 2001.

Walter Lippmann, The Phantom Public
[The public is] "a mere phantom. It is an abstraction. The public must be put in its place so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of a bewildered herd.''

Bill Bennett is the Director of Empower America, one of the wealthiest of the right-wing Washington, D.C. think tanks, whose motto is "ensuring that government actions foster growth, economic well-being, freedom and individual responsibility." Empower America is not your typical inside-the Beltway think tank that issues annual reports or occasional policy statements known as white papers that go unread on some Congress member's staff assistant's desk. Empower America is a full-frontal assault organization involved in changing national policy through active engagement of public opinion... Empower America's board of directors includes former Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen, Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and Reagan's ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick. But Bill Bennett serves as Empower America's omnipresent spokesman. Empower America favors a foreign policy that rejects "shortsighted isolationism and imprudent multilateralism," which could be redefined as advocating international intervention whenever the United States unilateral interests are at stake. Bennett, who served as Ronald Reagan's education secretary and George Bush Sr.'s "drug czar ... joined forces with former CIA director James Woolsey in the spring of 2002 to found Americans for Victory over Terrorism f (AVOT) as a sort of public relations arm of the Bush war on terrorism. A full-page ($128,000 1 AVOT advertisement in the March 10, 2002 Sunday edition of the New York Times attacked the radical Islam of the twenty-first century as an enemy "no less dangerous and no less determined than the twin menaces of fascism and communism we faced in the 20th century." But AVOT went further by blasting domestic enemies "who are attempting to use this opportunity to promulgate their agenda of 'blame America first."' In that second flank attack, AVOT aligned with Lynne Cheney (wife of Vice President Dick Cheney), who helped to organize the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), whose fall 2001 report, "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities are Failing America, " citing blame-America-itis and anti-war bias among hundreds of American professors. The report included 117 critical quotes from university students and professors in the early days after 9/11 to show proof that American universities were the "weak link" in the war on terror.


University professors remain easy targets for allegedly causing their students to hate the United States by raising questions about the motives and policies of the government. To Bennett [Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism] declarations of war seem to imply cessation of critical thinking, especially on college campuses:

In short, many in the "peace party" who cloak their ~ arguments in moral objections to war are really expressing their hostility to America, and it does the cause of clarity no good to pretend otherwise. That hostility-in more than a few cases, hatred is a more accurate word-is many-sided and has a long history ... But where armed conflict is concerned, the arguments of today's "peace party" are basically rooted in the period of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. It was then that the critique of the United States as an imperialist or 'colonialist' power, wreaking its evil will on the hapless peoples of the third world, became a kind of slogan on the Left. This same critique would, in due course, find a home in certain precincts of the Democratic party, and in more diluted form, would inform the policy preferences of the Carter and Clinton administrations, and it is with us still. It is especially prevalent in our institutions of higher learning.

If you follow Bennett's logic, then America as a country worth fighting for must include a fight that is absolutist in language, thought, and action. If you don't absolutely defend your country, right or wrong, the logical fallacy goes, then you give aid and comfort to the enemy.

"In retrospect and in balance, the remarkable control of American consciousness during and after the war [Gulf War I] must be regarded as a signal achievement of mind management, perhaps even more impressive than the rapid military victory." Herbert I. Schiller wrote these words in May 1991 for the French newspaper, Le Monde Diplomatique, to explain the first Bush administration's great success in controlling information about the war and American press acquiescence in withholding information that the public needed in order to make a sound decision about critical issues of war and peace. It wasn't until after the Persian Gulf War that the press claimed any complicity in its reportage, as when Tom Wicker of the New York Times reported "the real and dangerous point is that the Bush administration and the military were so successful in controlling information about the war [Gulf War I] they were able to tell the public just about what they wanted the public to know. Perhaps worse, press and public, largely acquiesced in the disclosure of only selected information." That public acquiescence followed from the American people's habits of media consumption. As Michael Deaver, spin doctor to President Reagan, gloated in the New York Times, "Television is where 80% of the people get their "information, " and what was done to control that information in the six weeks of war "couldn't [have] been better."

A March-April 1991 Columbia Journalism Review (March-April 1991) survey of Gulf War coverage noted how much information about domestic dissent against the war was kept off those television screens. As pointed out by the consumer advocate and subsequent Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader in the article, the January 26, 1991, peace march in Washington, D.C. was "probably the biggest citizen demonstration winter," but CBS gave it a four-second mention. Similarly, a senior House Democrat, Henry Gonzales of Texas, who chaired the House Banking Committee, sponsored a resolution to impeach President Bush on the war in Iraq, but this action went unreported in the broadcast media. Bob Sipschen, Newsweek correspondent in the Gulf, wrote in the Los Angeles Times March 1991 that "Desert Storm was really two wars: The Allies against the Iraqis and the military against the press. I had more guns pointed at me by Americans and Saudis who were into controlling the press than in all my years of actual combat."

The United States media were as utterly unconcerned with Iraqi casualties in 1991 as they would later be unconcerned with Afghan citizen casualties in fall 2001 and again with Iraqi casualties in 2003. When asked in March 1991 about the number of Iraqi dead from United States air and land operations, then General Colin Powell stated, "It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in."

In the case of Iraq, slogans and facile statements of freedom over tyranny from the President seem to satisfy the appetite of the press, while opposing thought from the grassroots requires evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Is the lesson of September 11 as simple as this President would have us believe? Why do we as a nation continue to acquiesce in support of an administration that gets away with simplifying very complex situations of life and death? In part, the situation is due to instant bestsellers like Woodward's Bush at War that promote individual personality over the social context. He could have written America at War, a sort of people's history of life after 9/11, but that would have required more than a two-hour one-on-one with the President at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. More important, Jacques Ellul writes in Propaganda, there can be no unanimity of thought without the steady propaganda of a political chief, "in whom everyone finds himself, in whom everyone hopes and projects himself, and for whom everything is possible and permissible."

The President's pet slogan, "war on terrorism" remains a convenient state tactic to control public opinion, expand the ' climate of fear, and shut down opposition to war in Iraq and elsewhere.

Lt. General William Odom (Ret.) U.S. Army said on C-SPAN's Washington Journal

"Terrorism is not an enemy. It cannot be defeated. It's a tactic. It's about as sensible to say we declare war on night attacks and expect we're going to win that war. We're not going to win the war on terrorism...

The purpose of such propaganda phrases as "war on terrorism" and attacking "those who hate freedom" is to paralyze individual thought as well as to condition people to act as one mass, as when President Bush attempted to end debate on Iraq by claiming that the American people were of one voice. The modern war president removes the individual nature of those who live in it by forcing us into a uniform state where the complexities of those we fight are erased. The enemy-terrorism, Iraq, Bin Laden, Hussein-becomes one threatening category, something to be defeated and destroyed, so that the public response will be one of reaction to fear and threat rather than creatively and independently thinking for oneself. Our best hope for overcoming perpetual thinking about war and perpetual fear about both real and imagined threats is to question our leaders and their use of empty slogans that offer little rationale, explanation or historical context.

The triumph of absolutist rhetoric like terror and freedom or good and evil impedes our ability to distinguish real threats, which must be combatted and controlled, from self-serving threats that reinforce state power and control over public freedom. Nevertheless, we cannot blame President Bush or the press for our own lack of initiative in organizing ongoing resistance to such power and control. Democracy demands constant vigilance.

Secretary of State [Colin] Powell promised, "I'm going to be bringing people into the public diplomacy function of the department who are going to change from just selling us in the old USIA way to really branding foreign policy, branding the department, marketing the department, marketing American values to the world and not just putting out pamphlets."

The question remains of whether it is necessary to rebrand the United States. To many throughout the world, America, already a brand, a multitrillion-dollar brand of mass consumerism, cultural and military dominance, led by such worldwide symbols as Marlboro, McDonald's, Boeing, CocaCola, and General Electric. The selling of America, even in a new format or packaging, may add to the global perception that continues to plague the United States. America, Inc. is presented in glittering generalities of good freedom and democracy fighting evil tyranny and fanaticism the world over, but our global audience knows that the reality of America is quite different from the rhetoric. Despite all the branding, to many the United States is seen as a violent international aggressor with a military doctrine of open preemptive strike, the world's leader in arms trafficking and economic globalization, an aggressive opponent of the International Criminal Court and anti-global warming treaties, and a staunch supporter of Israel throughout its brutal military occupation and collective punishment of Palestinians. For these reasons, and as long as United States international interventions favors military solutions over humanitarian assistance, many parts of the world will continue to be receptive to the kind of anti-United States sentiment and rhetoric of groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

... the United States cares most about market share and least about sharing.

Before the start of World War II, the Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) was established in the United States by Edward Filene of Filene's Basement, who, along with other prominent businesspeople and academics of the day, was frustrated with media manipulations. IPA was founded in October 1937 "to conduct objective, nonpartisan studies in the field of propaganda and public seeks to help the intelligent citizen to detect and to analyze propaganda, by revealing the agencies, techniques, and devices used by the propagandist." IPA disseminated its research through monthly bulletins, special reports, adult-education programs, and curricula for high schools and colleges. IPA disbanded after the United States entered World War II but left behind many publications that continue to inform what we know now about how propaganda influences our thoughts and actions. The organization is most famous for identifying the seven key propaganda devices most commonly practiced: (1) Name Calling: associating an idea with a bad label; (2) Card Stacking: literally "to stack the cards" for or against an idea by selective use of facts or logic; (3) Bandwagon: to give the impression that the idea is supported by everyone; (4) Testimonial: associating a person of some respected authority (doctor) or visibility (celebrity) with the idea; (5) Plain Folks: associating an idea's merit with its being "of the people"; (6) Transfer: carrying the prestige or disapproval of something over to something else such as displaying the American flag as an emotional transfer device to represent one's patriotism; (7) Glittering Generality: associating something with a virtue word; opposite of name-calling (freedom, democracy); often used to make us accept a concept without thoroughly examining its application.

[Jan 08, 2015] Links for 12-29-14

December 28, 2014 |


December 28, 2014

The Victory of 'Perception Management'

In the 1980s, the Reagan administration pioneered "perception management" to get the American people to "kick the Vietnam Syndrome" and accept more U.S. interventionism, but that propaganda structure continues to this day getting the public to buy in to endless war.
By Robert Parry

To understand how the American people find themselves trapped in today's Orwellian dystopia of endless warfare against an ever-shifting collection of "evil" enemies, you have to think back to the Vietnam War and the shock to the ruling elite caused by an unprecedented popular uprising against that war.

While on the surface Official Washington pretended that the mass protests didn't change policy, a panicky reality existed behind the scenes, a recognition that a major investment in domestic propaganda would be needed to ensure that future imperial adventures would have the public's eager support or at least its confused acquiescence.

This commitment to what the insiders called "perception management" began in earnest with the Reagan administration in the 1980s but it would come to be the accepted practice of all subsequent administrations, including the present one of President Barack Obama.

In that sense, propaganda in pursuit of foreign policy goals would trump the democratic ideal of an informed electorate. The point would be not to honestly inform the American people about events around the world but to manage their perceptions by ramping up fear in some cases and defusing outrage in others – depending on the U.S. government's needs.

Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia's supposed "aggression" in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by U.S. neocons who helped create today's humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yet, many of these same U.S. foreign policy operatives – outraged over Russia's limited intervention to protect ethic Russians in eastern Ukraine – are demanding that President Obama launch an air war against the Syrian military as a "humanitarian" intervention there.

In other words, if the Russians act to shield ethnic Russians on their border who are being bombarded by a coup regime in Kiev that was installed with U.S. support, the Russians are the villains blamed for the thousands of civilian deaths, even though the vast majority of the casualties have been inflicted by the Kiev regime from indiscriminate bombing and from dispatching neo-Nazi militias to do the street fighting.

In Ukraine, the exigent circumstances don't matter, including the violent overthrow of the constitutionally elected president last February. It's all about white hats for the current Kiev regime and black hats for the ethnic Russians and especially for Putin.

But an entirely different set of standards has applied to Syria where a U.S.-backed rebellion, which included violent Sunni jihadists from the start, wore the white hats and the relatively secular Syrian government, which has responded with excessive violence of its own, wears the black hats. But a problem to that neat dichotomy arose when one of the major Sunni rebel forces, the Islamic State, started seizing Iraqi territory and beheading Westerners.

Faced with those grisly scenes, President Obama authorized bombing the Islamic State forces in both Iraq and Syria, but neocons and other U.S. hardliners have been hectoring Obama to go after their preferred target, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, despite the risk that destroying the Syrian military could open the gates of Damascus to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda's Nusra Front.

Lost on the Dark Side

You might think that the American public would begin to rebel against these messy entangling alliances with the 1984-like demonizing of one new "enemy" after another. Not only have these endless wars drained trillions of dollars from the U.S. taxpayers, they have led to the deaths of thousands of U.S. troops and to the tarnishing of America's image from the attendant evils of war, including a lengthy detour into the "dark side" of torture, assassinations and "collateral" killings of children and other innocents.

But that is where the history of "perception management" comes in, the need to keep the American people compliant and confused. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration was determined to "kick the Vietnam Syndrome," the revulsion that many Americans felt for warfare after all those years in the blood-soaked jungles of Vietnam and all the lies that clumsily justified the war.

So, the challenge for the U.S. government became: how to present the actions of "enemies" always in the darkest light while bathing the behavior of the U.S. "side" in a rosy glow. You also had to stage this propaganda theater in an ostensibly "free country" with a supposedly "independent press."

From documents declassified or leaked over the past several decades, including an unpublished draft chapter of the congressional Iran-Contra investigation, we now know a great deal about how this remarkable project was undertaken and who the key players were.

Perhaps not surprisingly much of the initiative came from the Central Intelligence Agency, which housed the expertise for manipulating target populations through propaganda and disinformation. The only difference this time would be that the American people would be the target population.

For this project, Ronald Reagan's CIA Director William J. Casey sent his top propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. to the National Security Council staff to manage the inter-agency task forces that would brainstorm and coordinate this "public diplomacy" strategy.

Many of the old intelligence operatives, including Casey and Raymond, are now dead, but other influential Washington figures who were deeply involved by these strategies remain, such as neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, whose first major job in Washington was as chief of Reagan's State Department Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America.

Now a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist at the Washington Post, Kagan remains an expert in presenting foreign policy initiatives within the "good guy/bad guy" frames that he learned in the 1980s. He is also the husband of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the overthrow of Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February amid a very effective U.S. propaganda strategy.

During the Reagan years, Kagan worked closely on propaganda schemes with Elliott Abrams, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. After getting convicted and then pardoned in the Iran-Contra scandal, Abrams reemerged on President George W. Bush's National Security Council handling Middle East issues, including the Iraq War, and later "global democracy strategy." Abrams is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

These and other neocons were among the most diligent students learning the art of "perception management" from the likes of Raymond and Casey, but those propaganda skills have spread much more widely as "public diplomacy" and "information warfare" have now become an integral part of every U.S. foreign policy initiative.

A Propaganda Bureaucracy

Declassified documents now reveal how extensive Reagan's propaganda project became with inter-agency task forces assigned to develop "themes" that would push American "hot buttons." Scores of documents came out during the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987 and hundreds more are now available at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

What the documents reveal is that at the start of the Reagan administration, CIA Director Casey faced a daunting challenge in trying to rally public opinion behind aggressive U.S. interventions, especially in Central America. Bitter memories of the Vietnam War were still fresh and many Americans were horrified at the brutality of right-wing regimes in Guatemala and El Salvador, where Salvadoran soldiers raped and murdered four American churchwomen in December 1980.

The new leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua also was not viewed with much alarm. After all, Nicaragua was an impoverished country of only about three million people who had just cast off the brutal dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.

So, Reagan's initial strategy of bolstering the Salvadoran and Guatemalan armies required defusing the negative publicity about them and somehow rallying the American people into supporting a covert CIA intervention inside Nicaragua via a counterrevolutionary force known as the Contras led by Somoza's ex-National Guard officers.

Reagan's task was made tougher by the fact that the Cold War's anti-communist arguments had so recently been discredited in Vietnam. As deputy assistant secretary to the Air Force, J. Michael Kelly, put it, "the most critical special operations mission we have … is to persuade the American people that the communists are out to get us."

At the same time, the White House worked to weed out American reporters who uncovered facts that undercut the desired public images. As part of that effort, the administration attacked New York Times correspondent Raymond Bonner for disclosing the Salvadoran regime's massacre of about 800 men, women and children in the village of El Mozote in northeast El Salvador in December 1981. Accuracy in Media and conservative news organizations, such as The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, joined in pummeling Bonner, who was soon ousted from his job.

But these were largely ad hoc efforts. A more comprehensive "public diplomacy" operation took shape beginning in 1982 when Raymond, a 30-year veteran of CIA clandestine services, was transferred to the NSC.

A slight, soft-spoken New Yorker who reminded some of a character from a John le Carré spy novel, Raymond was an intelligence officer who "easily fades into the woodwork," according to one acquaintance. But Raymond would become the sparkplug for this high-powered propaganda network, according to a draft chapter of the Iran-Contra report.

Though the draft chapter didn't use Raymond's name in its opening pages, apparently because some of the information came from classified depositions, Raymond's name was used later in the chapter and the earlier citations matched Raymond's known role. According to the draft report, the CIA officer who was recruited for the NSC job had served as Director of the Covert Action Staff at the CIA from 1978 to 1982 and was a "specialist in propaganda and disinformation."

"The CIA official [Raymond] discussed the transfer with [CIA Director] Casey and NSC Advisor William Clark that he be assigned to the NSC as [Donald] Gregg's successor [as coordinator of intelligence operations in June 1982] and received approval for his involvement in setting up the public diplomacy program along with his intelligence responsibilities," the chapter said.

"In the early part of 1983, documents obtained by the Select [Iran-Contra] Committees indicate that the Director of the Intelligence Staff of the NSC [Raymond] successfully recommended the establishment of an inter-governmental network to promote and manage a public diplomacy plan designed to create support for Reagan Administration policies at home and abroad."

During his Iran-Contra deposition, Raymond explained the need for this propaganda structure, saying: "We were not configured effectively to deal with the war of ideas."

One reason for this shortcoming was that federal law forbade taxpayers' money from being spent on domestic propaganda or grassroots lobbying to pressure congressional representatives. Of course, every president and his team had vast resources to make their case in public, but by tradition and law, they were restricted to speeches, testimony and one-on-one persuasion of lawmakers.

But things were about to change. In a Jan. 13, 1983, memo, NSC Advisor Clark foresaw the need for non-governmental money to advance this cause. "We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding," Clark wrote.

As administration officials began reaching out to wealthy supporters, lines against domestic propaganda soon were crossed as the operation took aim not only at foreign audiences but at U.S. public opinion, the press and congressional Democrats who opposed funding the Nicaraguan Contras.

At the time, the Contras were earning a gruesome reputation as human rights violators and terrorists. To change this negative perception of the Contras as well as of the U.S.-backed regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, the Reagan administration created a full-blown, clandestine propaganda network.

In January 1983, President Reagan took the first formal step to create this unprecedented peacetime propaganda bureaucracy by signing National Security Decision Directive 77, entitled "Management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security." Reagan deemed it "necessary to strengthen the organization, planning and coordination of the various aspects of public diplomacy of the United States Government. "

Reagan ordered the creation of a special planning group within the National Security Council to direct these "public diplomacy" campaigns. The planning group would be headed by the CIA's Walter Raymond Jr. and one of its principal arms would be a new Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America, housed at the State Department but under the control of the NSC....

Patterns of Propaganda

Because children are exposed to highly professional sales pitches on television and because the old material produced by the Institute of Propaganda Analysis is outdated and in error, a new tool for the analysis of propaganda and persuasion is called for.

Such a tool is the intensify/downplay pattern analysis chart, which includes the basic intensify/downplay pattern and paragraphs discussing propaganda, persuasion, and advertising. The chart has received considerable favorable comment from scholars and from respondents outside the academic community, including the National Council of Teachers of English Committee on Public Doublespeak.

As a simplified tool for analyzing any human communication (verbal, nonverbal, and symbolic), it has the virtue of making clear not only what has been emphasized in a particular pitch but also what has been deemphasized. It can be used by children as well as by such groups as Nader's Raiders and Congressional committees. (A copy of the pattern accompanies the paper.) (TJ)

14 Propaganda Techniques Fox 'News' Uses to Brainwash Americans Alternet

The good news is that the more conscious you are of these techniques, the less likely they are to work on you.


July 2, 2011 |

There is nothing more sacred to the maintenance of democracy than a free press. Access to comprehensive, accurate and quality information is essential to the manifestation of Socratic citizenship - the society characterized by a civically engaged, well-informed and socially invested populace. Thus, to the degree that access to quality information is willfully or unintentionally obstructed, democracy itself is degraded.

It is ironic that in the era of 24-hour cable news networks and "reality" programming, the news-to-fluff ratio and overall veracity of information has declined precipitously. Take the fact Americans now spend on average about 50 hours a week using various forms of media, while at the same time cultural literacy levels hover just above the gutter. Not only does mainstream media now tolerate gross misrepresentations of fact and history by public figures (highlighted most recently by Sarah Palin's ludicrous depiction of Paul Revere's ride), but many media actually legitimize these displays. Pause for a moment and ask yourself what it means that the world's largest, most profitable and most popular news channel passes off as fact every whim, impulse and outrageously incompetent analysis of its so-called reporters. How did we get here? Take the enormous amount of misinformation that is taken for truth by Fox audiences: the belief that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that he was in on 9/11, the belief that climate change isn't real and/or man-made, the belief that Barack Obama is Muslim and wasn't born in the United States, the insistence that all Arabs are Muslim and all Muslims are terrorists, the inexplicable perceptions that immigrants are both too lazy to work and are about to steal your job. All of these claims are demonstrably false, yet Fox News viewers will maintain their veracity with incredible zeal. Why? Is it simply that we have lost our respect for knowledge?

My curiosity about this question compelled me to sit down and document the most oft-used methods by which willful ignorance has been turned into dogma by Fox News and other propagandists disguised as media. The techniques I identify here also help to explain the simultaneously powerful identification the Fox media audience has with the network, as well as their ardent, reflexive defenses of it.

The good news is that the more conscious you are of these techniques, the less likely they are to work on you. The bad news is that those reading this article are probably the least in need in of it.

1. Panic Mongering. This goes one step beyond simple fear mongering. With panic mongering, there is never a break from the fear. The idea is to terrify and terrorize the audience during every waking moment. From Muslims to swine flu to recession to homosexuals to immigrants to the rapture itself, the belief over at Fox seems to be that if your fight-or-flight reflexes aren't activated, you aren't alive. This of course raises the question: why terrorize your own audience? Because it is the fastest way to bypasses the rational brain. In other words, when people are afraid, they don't think rationally. And when they can't think rationally, they'll believe anything.

2. Character Assassination/Ad Hominem. Fox does not like to waste time debating the idea. Instead, they prefer a quicker route to dispensing with their opponents: go after the person's credibility, motives, intelligence, character, or, if necessary, sanity. No category of character assassination is off the table and no offense is beneath them. Fox and like-minded media figures also use ad hominem attacks not just against individuals, but entire categories of people in an effort to discredit the ideas of every person who is seen to fall into that category, e.g. "liberals," "hippies," "progressives" etc. This form of argument - if it can be called that - leaves no room for genuine debate over ideas, so by definition, it is undemocratic. Not to mention just plain crass.

3. Projection/Flipping. This one is frustrating for the viewer who is trying to actually follow the argument. It involves taking whatever underhanded tactic you're using and then accusing your opponent of doing it to you first. We see this frequently in the immigration discussion, where anti-racists are accused of racism, or in the climate change debate, where those who argue for human causes of the phenomenon are accused of not having science or facts on their side. It's often called upon when the media host finds themselves on the ropes in the debate.

4. Rewriting History. This is another way of saying that propagandists make the facts fit their worldview. The Downing Street Memos on the Iraq war were a classic example of this on a massive scale, but it happens daily and over smaller issues as well. A recent case in point is Palin's mangling of the Paul Revere ride, which Fox reporters have bent over backward to validate. Why lie about the historical facts, even when they can be demonstrated to be false? Well, because dogmatic minds actually find it easier to reject reality than to update their viewpoints. They will literally rewrite history if it serves their interests. And they'll often speak with such authority that the casual viewer will be tempted to question what they knew as fact.

5. Scapegoating/Othering. This works best when people feel insecure or scared. It's technically a form of both fear mongering and diversion, but it is so pervasive that it deserves its own category. The simple idea is that if you can find a group to blame for social or economic problems, you can then go on to a) justify violence/dehumanization of them, and b) subvert responsibility for any harm that may befall them as a result.

6. Conflating Violence With Power and Opposition to Violence With Weakness. This is more of what I'd call a "meta-frame" (a deeply held belief) than a media technique, but it is manifested in the ways news is reported constantly. For example, terms like "show of strength" are often used to describe acts of repression, such as those by the Iranian regime against the protesters in the summer of 2009. There are several concerning consequences of this form of conflation. First, it has the potential to make people feel falsely emboldened by shows of force - it can turn wars into sporting events. Secondly, especially in the context of American politics, displays of violence - whether manifested in war or debates about the Second Amendment - are seen as noble and (in an especially surreal irony) moral. Violence become synonymous with power, patriotism and piety.

7. Bullying. This is a favorite technique of several Fox commentators. That it continues to be employed demonstrates that it seems to have some efficacy. Bullying and yelling works best on people who come to the conversation with a lack of confidence, either in themselves or their grasp of the subject being discussed. The bully exploits this lack of confidence by berating the guest into submission or compliance. Often, less self-possessed people will feel shame and anxiety when being berated and the quickest way to end the immediate discomfort is to cede authority to the bully. The bully is then able to interpret that as a "win."

8. Confusion. As with the preceding technique, this one works best on an audience that is less confident and self-possessed. The idea is to deliberately confuse the argument, but insist that the logic is airtight and imply that anyone who disagrees is either too dumb or too fanatical to follow along. Less independent minds will interpret the confusion technique as a form of sophisticated thinking, thereby giving the user's claims veracity in the viewer's mind.

9. Populism. This is especially popular in election years. The speakers identifies themselves as one of "the people" and the target of their ire as an enemy of the people. The opponent is always "elitist" or a "bureaucrat" or a "government insider" or some other category that is not the people. The idea is to make the opponent harder to relate to and harder to empathize with. It often goes hand in hand with scapegoating. A common logical fallacy with populism bias when used by the right is that accused "elitists" are almost always liberals - a category of political actors who, by definition, advocate for non-elite groups.

10. Invoking the Christian God. This is similar to othering and populism. With morality politics, the idea is to declare yourself and your allies as patriots, Christians and "real Americans" (those are inseparable categories in this line of thinking) and anyone who challenges them as not. Basically, God loves Fox and Republicans and America. And hates taxes and anyone who doesn't love those other three things. Because the speaker has been benedicted by God to speak on behalf of all Americans, any challenge is perceived as immoral. It's a cheap and easy technique used by all totalitarian entities from states to cults.

11. Saturation. There are three components to effective saturation: being repetitive, being ubiquitous and being consistent. The message must be repeated cover and over, it must be everywhere and it must be shared across commentators: e.g. "Saddam has WMD." Veracity and hard data have no relationship to the efficacy of saturation. There is a psychological effect of being exposed to the same message over and over, regardless of whether it's true or if it even makes sense, e.g., "Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States." If something is said enough times, by enough people, many will come to accept it as truth. Another example is Fox's own slogan of "Fair and Balanced."

12. Disparaging Education. There is an emerging and disturbing lack of reverence for education and intellectualism in many mainstream media discourses. In fact, in some circles (e.g. Fox), higher education is often disparaged as elitist. Having a university credential is perceived by these folks as not a sign of credibility, but of a lack of it. In fact, among some commentators, evidence of intellectual prowess is treated snidely and as anti-American. The disdain for education and other evidence of being trained in critical thinking are direct threats to a hive-mind mentality, which is why they are so viscerally demeaned.

13. Guilt by Association. This is a favorite of Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart, both of whom have used it to decimate the careers and lives of many good people. Here's how it works: if your cousin's college roommate's uncle's ex-wife attended a dinner party back in 1984 with Gorbachev's niece's ex-boyfriend's sister, then you, by extension are a communist set on destroying America. Period.

14. Diversion. This is where, when on the ropes, the media commentator suddenly takes the debate in a weird but predictable direction to avoid accountability. This is the point in the discussion where most Fox anchors start comparing the opponent to Saul Alinsky or invoking ACORN or Media Matters, in a desperate attempt to win through guilt by association. Or they'll talk about wanting to focus on "moving forward," as though by analyzing the current state of things or God forbid, how we got to this state of things, you have no regard for the future. Any attempt to bring the discussion back to the issue at hand will likely be called deflection, an ironic use of the technique of projection/flipping.

In debating some of these tactics with colleagues and friends, I have also noticed that the Fox viewership seems to be marked by a sort of collective personality disorder whereby the viewer feels almost as though they've been let into a secret society. Something about their affiliation with the network makes them feel privileged and this affinity is likely what drives the viewers to defend the network so vehemently. They seem to identify with it at a core level, because it tells them they are special and privy to something the rest of us don't have. It's akin to the loyalty one feels by being let into a private club or a gang. That effect is also likely to make the propaganda more powerful, because it goes mostly unquestioned.

In considering these tactics and their possible effects on American public discourse, it is important to note that historically, those who've genuinely accessed truth have never berated those who did not. You don't get honored by history when you beat up your opponent: look at Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln. These men did not find the need to engage in othering, ad homeinum attacks, guilt by association or bullying. This is because when a person has accessed a truth, they are not threatened by the opposing views of others. This reality reveals the righteous indignation of people like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity as a symptom of untruth. These individuals are hostile and angry precisely because they don't feel confident in their own veracity. And in general, the more someone is losing their temper in a debate and the more intolerant they are of listening to others, the more you can be certain they do not know what they're talking about.

One final observation. Fox audiences, birthers and Tea Partiers often defend their arguments by pointing to the fact that a lot of people share the same perceptions. This is a reasonable point to the extent that Murdoch's News Corporation reaches a far larger audience than any other single media outlet. But, the fact that a lot of people believe something is not necessarily a sign that it's true; it's just a sign that it's been effectively marketed.

As honest, fair and truly intellectual debate degrades before the eyes of the global media audience, the quality of American democracy degrades along with it.

Dr. Cynthia Boaz is assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State University. She is also vice president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and on the board of Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation. Dr. Boaz is also a contributing writer and adviser to and associate editor of Peace and Change Journal.


bandwagon (definition)

most people have this or are doing this so you should too(definition)

loaded words (definition)

using words that have strong emotions: examples: peace war patriotism freedom hope(definition)

testimonials (definition)

using an expert or celebrity to sell or support(definition)

name calling (definition)

saying bad things about your competitor(definition)

plain folk (definition)

using ordinary people or trying to sound ordinary to sell something or persuade you to vote or support an idea(definition)

glittering generalities (definition)

employ vague, sweeping statements (often slogans or simple catchphrases) using language associated with values and beliefs deeply held by the audience without providing supporting information or reason. They appeal to such notions as honor, glory, love of country, desire for peace, freedom, and family values.(definition)

transfer (definition)

a technique used to carry over the authority and approval of something we respect and revere to something the propagandist would have us accept. Propagandists often employ symbols (e.g., waving the flag) to stir our emotions and win our approval.(definition)

loaded words (example)

Love is a very special feeling, and people who care deeply should send Fare-Thee-Well greeting cards.

plain folks (example)

Gem Star Toy Company's challenging game, Vacation Generation, is the board game designed for families just like yours.

band wagon (example)

Buy two tickets to the annual Father and Daughter Dance, and join the hundreds of fathers who have already brightened their daughters' lives.

glittering generalities (example)

Family Feelings is the most powerful and moving book ever written about family relationships.

testimonials (example)

Film star Alan Day says that when it comes to buying birthday gifts for his children, he always chooses books from Ladbroke Publishers catalog of fine publications.

name calling (example)

People who oppose the funding for a new family recreation center are simply stubborn and narrow minded.

transfer (example)

Joseph Goebbels - Propaganda Principles

Based upon Goebbels' Principles of Propaganda by Leonard W. Doob, published in Public Opinion and Propaganda; A Book of Readings edited for The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

1. Propagandist must have access to intelligence concerning events and public opinion.
2. Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority.

a. It must issue all the propaganda directives.

b. It must explain propaganda directives to important officials and maintain their morale.

c. It must oversee other agencies' activities which have propaganda consequences

3. The propaganda consequences of an action must be considered in planning that action.
4. Propaganda must affect the enemy's policy and action.

a. By suppressing propagandistically desirable material which can provide the enemy with useful intelligence

b. By openly disseminating propaganda whose content or tone causes the enemy to draw the desired conclusions

c. By goading the enemy into revealing vital information about himself

d. By making no reference to a desired enemy activity when any reference would discredit that activity

5. Declassified, operational information must be available to implement a propaganda campaign
6. To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.
7. Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.
8. The purpose, content and effectiveness of enemy propaganda; the strength and effects of an expose; and the nature of current propaganda campaigns determine whether enemy propaganda should be ignored or refuted.
9. Credibility, intelligence, and the possible effects of communicating determine whether propaganda materials should be censored.
10. Material from enemy propaganda may be utilized in operations when it helps diminish that enemy's prestige or lends support to the propagandist's own objective.
11. Black rather than white propaganda may be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.
12. Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.
13. Propaganda must be carefully timed.

a. The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.

b. A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment

c. A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.

a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses

b. They must be capable of being easily learned

c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations

d. They must be boomerang-proof

15. Propaganda to the home front must prevent the raising of false hopes which can be blasted by future events.
16. Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.

a. Propaganda must reinforce anxiety concerning the consequences of defeat

b. Propaganda must diminish anxiety (other than concerning the consequences of defeat) which is too high and which cannot be reduced by people themselves

17. Propaganda to the home front must diminish the impact of frustration.

a. Inevitable frustrations must be anticipated

b. Inevitable frustrations must be placed in perspective

18. Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.
19. Propaganda cannot immediately affect strong counter-tendencies; instead it must offer some form of action or diversion, or both.

[Jan 08, 2015] Happy 100th birthday, information warfare by John Maxwell Hamilton

"Those engaged in a propaganda may genuinely believe that success will be an advantage to those whom they address, but the stimulus to their action is their own cause."
August 1, 2014 | The Washington Post

One hundred years ago this Monday, after German troops marched into Belgium, Britain declared war and scarcely an hour later it sent its cable ship Alert into the English Channel. By dawn, amid heavy rain and wind, the crew had severed Germany's five most important Atlantic cables. For the duration of the war, Berlin's ability to communicate abroad, even with many of its embassies, was impaired.

Today we take for granted that information warfare - whether the disruption of other nations' computer systems, the monitoring of citizens' telephone calls to detect terrorist threats or the use of social media to shape foreign attitudes - is a key tool of national security. These measures, and the debates about their proper limits in a democracy, seem unprecedented because they are driven by new technologies. But virtually all our concerns about such tactics find their roots in the Great War, particularly in its first hours, when the Alert's hatchet-wielding crew began its work.

The notion of winning the "hearts and minds" of local populations, so common to discussions of war today, played out not only abroad but at home a century ago. The unprecedented scale of World War I required mass domestic mobilization. Governments had to persuade their citizens to serve in the military or, if they stayed at home, to conserve precious resources, pay higher taxes, buy war bonds and patriotically stick with the war as it dragged bloodily along.

While the British sprinted ahead in disrupting communications, all belligerents quickly sought the high ground in the battle of propaganda. The same day the Germans invaded Belgium, they issued a "White Book" justifying their actions to the world. Similar reports, known by the rainbow of colors on their covers, followed: a British "Blue Book" on Aug. 6, a Russian "Orange Book" on Aug. 16 and so forth until the French, who were especially egregious in omitting and falsifying facts, issued a "Yellow Book" on Dec. 1.

The warring nations understood that propaganda is a function of both what is said and what is not said. The first German government press directive included in its list of prohibited subjects any mention of censorship itself. The French banned references to a former finance minister who favored diplomatic solutions to disagreements with Germany. Despite its long democratic tradition, the British government kept secret the existence of the propaganda agency it created at Wellington House.

The United States was a key propaganda target. The Germans wanted it to stay out of the war and hoped the American government would press the British to relax their naval blockade. The British wanted all the material support possible and a free hand to tighten the noose around Germany. The blockade, plus control of transatlantic cables, allowed the British to intercept American communications, including consular mail, which they did shamelessly. This was a major source of irritation to Washington, much as the Germans took umbrage at U.S. tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone .

The Germans aggressively courted German Americans and the legislators who represented them. To reach mass audiences, they bought U.S. newspapers, at one point even considering the purchase of The Washington Post. But the Germans were clumsy. Their chief propagandist in the United States was so intemperate in his remarks, most notably with an over-the-top defense of Germany's sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania, that he had to return home. Two German military attaches, who had the odd dual responsibilities of propaganda and the sabotage of American plants supplying the Allies, were expelled when documents revealed their plans to foment labor strikes and contained unflattering comments about President Woodrow Wilson.

In contrast was Britain's Sir Gilbert Parker, whose work seems like a precursor to social media. Married to an American and well known to U.S. readers, the novelist headed a secret program in which he and other leading British figures urged the Allied viewpoint in seemingly innocent letters to American influentials. In one of his reports, which survive in the British archives, Parker noted, "In the eyes of the American people the quiet and subterranean nature of our work has the appearance of a purely private patriotism and enterprise."

Americans came late to the war. But within a week of entering in April 1917, President Wilson launched the nation's first effort to systematically shape public attitudes, the Committee on Public Information. The CPI was headquartered in a brick rowhouse still standing on Lafayette Square. Its director, the aggressive journalist George Creel, frequently walked the short distance to the White House. He was considered one of the half-dozen most influential political figures in Washington during the war.

The CPI's influence at home was manifested in articles, cartoons and advertisements in newspapers and magazines; in public school lessons, university textbooks and Sunday sermons; in talks at movie theaters, Indian reservations and anywhere else the CPI's 75,000 Four Minute Men (volunteers charged with delivering short speeches on the war effort) found an audience; in feature films and in ads on theater curtains; in posters plastered on buildings and on storefronts; in pamphlets distributed by the millions.

Abroad, Creel's staff set up reading rooms, tested techniques for dropping leaflets in enemy territory by air, established a cable news service and distributed movies with propaganda value. To a degree never seen before for a president's pronouncements, the CPI promoted Wilson's idealistic rhetoric overseas.

The men and women of the CPI were muckrakers, suffragists, municipal reformers and leading progressive educators. Their legacy includes the public affairs officers in our embassies, who explain American values abroad, and the Federal Register, which evolved from a CPI publication created to bring the daily actions of government to light. Yet in making the world "safe for democracy," the CPI could not resist using its considerable powers to set anti-democratic precedents.

Creel headed off official news censorship domestically, but the CPI suppressed and sanitized news - and views. "News itself must be given a new definition," he said. The committee extolled transparency but supplied the news media with stories that were not identified as CPI-written, and created front organizations to work with immigrant groups and labor. The CPI foreswore emotional propaganda, but with other domestic propaganda groups pushing it along, the committee contributed to hate propaganda against Germany and German Americans. One war poster, referring to Germany, declared: "Such a civilization is not fit to live."

Overseas the CPI subsidized publications and bribed editors. Zealousness and naivete led it to publicize bogus documents aimed at undermining the Bolshevik revolution, an act that contributed to deteriorating ties with the new Russian government. In its efforts to stifle dissent, the CPI became an accomplice to the trampling of civil liberties under such laws as the 1917 Espionage Act.

That act is a legal basis for the current administration's prosecution of journalists and leakers . And that is just one ominous echo. When National Security Agency officials resist explaining the extent to which they burrow into our lives, we can hear Creel arguing for squelching public discussion of postal censorship. When the Obama administration discourages journalists' access to government officials, we hear Wilson's secretary of state insisting that none of his subordinates speak to the press. For his part, Wilson advocated "pitiless publicity" of government actions but suspended presidential news conferences for the duration of the war on the grounds that he was too busy.

Before the Great War, the authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica had no entry for "propaganda." The subject was not deemed significant. In the edition published shortly after the war, an entry on propaganda ran nearly 10 pages of small, dense type. Its pithy definition hinted at the odious connotation the word had acquired: "Those engaged in a propaganda may genuinely believe that success will be an advantage to those whom they address, but the stimulus to their action is their own cause."

The CPI was a catalyst for government opinion-molding, which has become so pervasive it is impossible to identify all the people who engage in it during all or part of their workday. It also is a lesson in a fundamental threat to democracy - the too-easy morphing of wholesome government information that the public needs to reach sound opinions into the distortion and suppression of information inconvenient to a leader's objectives.

The most profound legacy of the information war of a century ago is the doubt it planted about the integrity of government. "This whole discussion about the ways and means of controlling public opinion testifies to the collapse of the traditional species of democratic romanticism," a leading scholar in the new field of propaganda, Harold Lasswell, wrote in 1927. ". . . That credulous utopianism, which fed upon the mighty words which exploited the hopes of the mass in war, has in many minds given way to cynicism and disenchantment."

John Maxwell Hamilton is the Hopkins P. Breazeale professor of journalism at Louisiana State University and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is working on a history of the Committee on Public Information.

Wollaeger, M. Modernism, Media, and Propaganda British Narrative from 1900 to 1945. (eBook and Paperback)

Though often defined as having opposite aims, means, and effects, modernism and modern propaganda developed at the same time and influenced each other in surprising ways. The professional propagandist emerged as one kind of information specialist, the modernist writer as another. Britain was particularly important to this double history. By secretly hiring well-known writers and intellectuals to write for the government and by exploiting their control of new global information systems, the British in World War I invented a new template for the manipulation of information that remains with us to this day. Making a persuasive case for the importance of understanding modernism in the context of the history of modern propaganda, Modernism, Media, and Propaganda also helps explain the origins of today's highly propagandized world.

Modernism, Media, and Propaganda integrates new archival research with fresh interpretations of British fiction and film to provide a comprehensive cultural history of the relationship between modernism and propaganda in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. From works by Joseph Conrad to propaganda films by Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, Mark Wollaeger traces the transition from literary to cinematic propaganda while offering compelling close readings of major fiction by Virginia Woolf, Ford Madox Ford, and James Joyce.

Recommended Links

Google matched content

Softpanorama Recommended

Top articles


Notes and references

  1. Leading Journalists Expose Major Media Manipulations. Retrieved May 2009.
  2. May 17, 2006. Media Manipulation. Author: Anup Shah. Global Retrieved May 2009.
  3. [1] New York Times article
  4. [2] Operation Infinite Reach
  5. [3] Daily Telegraph, "Clinton strikes terrorist bases", Friday 21 August 1998
  6. [4], "Thousands stage anti-U.S. protest in Sudan", August 22, 1998
  7. [5] SF Chronicle: "Anti-War Forces Get New Recruit"
  8. [6] NH Insider: "Gravel dismisses CNN ... statement"



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

Copyright © 1996-2021 by Softpanorama Society. was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site


The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the Softpanorama society. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose. The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Last modified: May, 28, 2020