mparent7777: Bush Administration Psychological Warfare Against the U.S.?
"Sam Gardiner has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College, Air War College and Naval War College. He was recently a visiting scholar at the Swedish Defence College. During Gulf II he was a regular on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer as well as on BBC radio and television, and National Public Radio. He authored “The Enemy is Us” an article describing how the Bush Administration used disinformation and psychological warfare – weapons usually used against the 'enemy' – against the American public in order to support the war in Iraq. He has done an extensive analysis of the media coverage before the war, during the war and during the occupation as well as of the statements of Administration officials. His conclusions are startling and of great concern. He has put his findings in a report entitled: “Truth from These Podia.”
Zeese: Can you give some examples of false or exaggerated stories put out by the Bush administration in the build-up to the war?
Gardiner: In the summer of 2003, we know from the Downing Street Memo that the Administration was talking about justifying a war by arguing that Iraq was the nexus of terrorism and WMD.
The terrorism argument was what propaganda literature would refer to as the big lie. The Administration’s objective was to make enough arguments connecting Iraq to terrorism and Bin Laden that the American people would believe Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks. They used a technique called the excluded middle. Iraq supports terrorists. The attacks were by terrorists. Iraq must been behind the 9/11 attacks.
We the WMD story fairly well. We know the story of the uranium from Niger. We know about the aluminum tubes that were not for uranium enrichment. We know the biological labs Powell showed to the UN did not exist.
Beyond these there are many exaggerations that have gotten very little notice. Let me mention just a few.
A New York Times reporter was told by the Administration that Iraq was buying excess quantities of atropine to get ready for chemical warfare. It turns out the quantities were consistent with the Iraq use of the substance for routine medical purposes.
The President told us in a speech in Ohio that Iraq had drone aircraft that could possible deliver chemical weapons into the United States. When that facility was found, the officers reported that it looked more like a school project than a serious military program.
The Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told the Council on Foreign Relations that Iraq had the capability to attack US computers. They did not.
We were lead to believe a Navy pilot shot down during the first Gulf War was alive and being held in Baghdad. He was not.
We were told on the State Department web sit that Iraq was forming units of children to fight the United States. Iraq did not do that.
We were told the French were supplying air defense missiles to Iraq. That was not ture
There were many more.
Zeese: How about information during the war? Did the embedded journalists help give the U.S. a more accurate or less accurate perspective? How did the Pentagon control information?
Gardiner: A number of democratic institutions failed us during the war. Certainly, the press was among those. I attended a conference in London in July 2003 at which one of the PR firms that advised the Pentagon talked about lessons learned from the effort. They were pleased that they were able to dominate the story. That was their objective. The embedded notion had been tested in Afghanistan, and it proved to be effective. The product was lots of coverage with personal stories of soldiers. That was the Pentagon objective. Keep their story on television. Keep people talking about Meals Ready to Eat, and they won't criticize the war.
The only reason that the administration was able to get away with this was America's bought and paid for Mainstream Media... Etienne