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Propaganda and Spin: The Manipulation of Mass Actions, Attitudes and Behaviors: Emerging Propaganda Spinternet

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Our Mother Tongue As Propaganda

Two sides of the same face: propaganda and spin

Two sides of the same face: propaganda and spin

Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda under Hitler:  He hid the truth in Plain view

Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda under Hitler: He hid the truth in Plain view

The media catches us by the tail and the head- They control our intake of information-they also control how we disseminate of make an output of that information- Garbage In-Garbage Out

The media catches us by the tail and the head- They control our intake of information-they also control how we disseminate of make an output of that information- Garbage In-Garbage Out

Media as an audio/visual conduit of propaganda

Media as an audio/visual conduit of propaganda

Nature deployed and exploited Symbols and their power to impress and rally the German Volk

Nature deployed and exploited Symbols and their power to impress and rally the German Volk

On Television, many things are reported in the [TV} news, but few are explained

On Television, many things are reported in the [TV} news, but few are explained

The Tube is always in our face; and we face it with a whole lot of belief and awe

The Tube is always in our face; and we face it with a whole lot of belief and awe

Newspapers have sold us propaganda and spin since their inception

Newspapers have sold us propaganda and spin since their inception

No question means no thinking and no freedom for any people anywhere in the world. Propaganda sometimes thrives through coercion and intimidation

No question means no thinking and no freedom for any people anywhere in the world. Propaganda sometimes thrives through coercion and intimidation

Caricaturing of Obama using an old and worn stereotype of African Americans

Caricaturing of Obama using an old and worn stereotype of African Americans

Just because Obama is President, now the  Tea bagger 'want their country back... as their signs depict..

Just because Obama is President, now the Tea bagger 'want their country back... as their signs depict..

The Tea Part's spin, ideology and harangue of Obama equates his policies to Socialism, and Obama is likened to Hitler

The Tea Part's spin, ideology and harangue of Obama equates his policies to Socialism, and Obama is likened to Hitler

The racist depiction of Obama as a feathered medicine of tribesman with horns sticking out of his nose and father and all over him with primitive tools to top it off

The racist depiction of Obama as a feathered medicine of tribesman with horns sticking out of his nose and father and all over him with primitive tools to top it off

Metaphor in picture and the raging debate of the gun violence now gripping the US. is astounding;  there are all sorts of spins pro and against the ban of military-style guns and regulation and tightening of Gun Laws, which the Gun lobby is resisting

Metaphor in picture and the raging debate of the gun violence now gripping the US. is astounding; there are all sorts of spins pro and against the ban of military-style guns and regulation and tightening of Gun Laws, which the Gun lobby is resisting

Truth, Lies, or Confusion: The Puppet Masters

Propaganda, Manipulation Of Consent And Influence - In Sharp Focus

[The] American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on. So what do you do? It's going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think.

There had been public relation specialists but there was never a public relations industry. There was a guy hired to make Rockefeller's image look prettier and that sort of thing. But this huge public relations industry, which is a US invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War. The leading figures were people in the Creel Commission. In fact, the main one, Edward Bernays, comes right out of the Creel Commission.

He has a book that came out right afterwards called Propaganda. The term "propaganda," incidentally, did not have negative connotations in those days. It was during the second World War that the term became taboo because it was connected with Germany, and all those bad things. But in this period, the term propaganda just meant information or something like that. So he wrote a book called Propaganda around 1925, and it starts off by saying he is applying the lessons of the first World War.

The propaganda system of the first World War and this commission that he was part of showed, he says, it is possible to "regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies." These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques.

This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala.

His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didn't smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniques—models and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual. (Noam Chomsky)

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ... We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

"Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly function society. ... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the strings which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world…"

"Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.

Bernays informs us thus"

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet. They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty-million—who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.

It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world. It is not usually realized how necessary these invisible governors are to the orderly functioning of our group life. In theory, every citizen may vote for whom he pleases. Our Constitution does not envisage political parties as part of the mechanism of government, and its framers seem not to have pictured to themselves the existence in our national politics of anything like the modern political machine.

But the American voters soon found that without organization and direction their individual votes, cast, perhaps, for dozens or hundreds of candidates, would produce nothing but confusion. Invisible government, in the shape of rudimentary political parties, arose almost overnight. Ever since then we have agreed, for the sake of simplicity and practicality, that party machines should narrow down the field of choice to two candidates, or at most three or four.
In theory, every citizen makes up his mind on public questions and matters of private conduct. In practice, if all men had to study for themselves the abstruse economic, political, and ethical data involved in every question, they would find it impossible to come to a conclusion about anything. We have voluntarily agreed to let an invisible government sift the data and high-spot the outstanding issues so that our field of choice shall be narrowed to practical proportions.

From our leaders and the media they use to reach the public, we accept the evidence and the demarcation of issues bearing upon public questions; from some ethical teacher, be it a minister, a favorite essayist, or merely prevailing opinion, we accept a standardized code of social conduct to which we conform most of the time. In theory, everybody buys the best and cheapest commodities offered him on the market. In practice, if every one went around pricing, and chemically testing before purchasing, the dozens of soaps or fabrics or brands of bread which are for sale, economic life would become hopelessly jammed.

To avoid such confusion, society consents to have its choice narrowed to ideas and objects brought to its attention through propaganda of all kinds. There is consequently a vast and continuous effort going on to capture our minds in the interest of some policy or commodity or idea. It might be better to have, instead of propaganda and special pleading, committees of wise men who would choose our rulers, dictate our conduct, private and public, and decide upon the best types of clothes for us to wear and the best kinds of food for us to eat. But we have chosen the opposite method, that of open competition.

We must find a way to make free competition function with reasonable smoothness. To achieve this society has consented to permit free competition to be organized by leadership and propaganda. Some of the phenomena of this process are criticized—the manipulation of news, the inflation of personality, and the general ballyhoo by which politicians and commercial products and social ideas are brought to the consciousness of the masses.

The instruments by which public opinion is organized and focused may be misused. But such organization and focusing are necessary to orderly life. As civilization has become more complex, and as the need for invisible government has been increasingly demonstrated, the technical means have been invented and developed by which opinion may be regimented.

With the printing press and the newspaper, the railroad, the telephone, telegraph, radio and airplanes, ideas can be spread rapidly and even instantaneously over the whole of America.

H. G. Wells senses the vast potentialities of these inventions when he writes in the New York Times:

"Modern means of communication—the power afforded by print, telephone, wireless and so forth, of rapidly putting through directive strategic or technical conceptions to a great number of cooperating centers, of getting quick replies and effective discussion—have opened up a new world of political processes. Ideas and phrases can now be given an effectiveness greater than the effectiveness of any personality and stronger than any sectional interest. The common design can be documented and sustained against perversion and betrayal. It can be elaborated and developed steadily and widely without personal, local and sectional misunderstanding."

A single factory, potentially capable of supplying a whole continent with its particular product, cannot afford to wait until the public asks for its product; it must maintain constant touch, through advertising and propaganda, with the vast public in order to assure itself the continuous demand which alone will make its costly plant profitable. If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.

"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.

Engineering Consent And Influence

Bernays defines "engineering consent" as the "art of manipulating people; specifically, the American public, who are described as 'fundamentally irrational people... who could not be trusted. It maintained that entire populations, which were undisciplined or lacking in intellectual or definite moral principles, were vulnerable to unconscious influence and thus susceptible to want things that they do not need. This was achieved by linking those products and ideas to their unconscious desires." Ernest Dichter, who is widely considered to be the "father of motivational research," referred to this as "the secret-self of the American consumer."

In other words, consumer psychologists have already made the choice for people before they buy a certain product. This is achieved by manipulating desires on an unconscious level.

The central idea behind the engineering of consent is that the public or people should not be aware of the manipulation taking place.

The Engineering of Consent also applies to the pioneered application of Freudian psychoanalytic concepts and techniques to business—in particular to the study of consumer behavior in the marketplace. Ideas established strongly influenced the practices of the advertising industry in the twentieth century.

The techniques applied developing the "consumer lifestyle" were also later applied to developing theories in cultural commodification; which has proven successful in the later 20 century (with diffusion of cultures throughout North America) to sell ethnic foods and style in popular mainstream culture by removing them from geography and ethnic histories and sanitizing them for a general public.

Ernest Dichter applied what he dubbed "the strategy of desire" for building a "stable society," by creating for the public a common identity through the products they consumed; again, much like with cultural commodification, where culture has no "identity," "meaning," or "history" inherited from previous generations, but rather, is created by the attitudes which are introduced by consumer behaviors and social patterns of the period. According to Dichter, "To understand a stable citizen, you have to know that modern man quite often tries to work off his frustrations by spending on self-sought gratification. Modern man is internally ready to fulfill his self-image, by purchasing products which compliment it."

"These examples are not given to create the impression that there is anything sinister about propaganda. They are set down rather to illustrate how conscious direction is given to events, and how the men behind these events influence public opinion. As such they are examples of modern propaganda. At this point we may attempt to define propaganda. Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group.

"This practice of creating circumstances and of creating pictures in the minds of millions of persons is very common. Virtually no important undertaking is now carried on without it, whether that enterprise be building a cathedral, endowing a university, marketing a moving picture, floating a large bond issue, or electing a president. Sometimes the effect on the public is created by a professional propagandist, sometimes by an amateur deputed for the job. The important thing is that it is universal and continuous; and in its sum total it is regimenting the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers.

"So vast are the numbers of minds which can be regimented, and so tenacious are they when regimented, that a group at times offers an irresistible pressure before which legislators, editors, and teachers are helpless. The group will cling to its stereotype, as Walter Lippmann calls it, making of those supposedly powerful beings, the leaders of public opinion, mere bits of driftwood in the surf." (Edward Bernays).

Spinning Propaganda

With these views in mind, we look now at how it is broken down and how we are made to understand and see it as it effects and affects individuals. Ellul states: "Modern Propaganda reaches individuals enclosed in the mass and as participants in that mass, yet it also aims at a crowd, but only as a body composed of individuals. Propaganda must be total. The propagandist must utilize all the technical means at his disposal-the press, radio TV, movies, posters, meetings, door to door canvassing, {Internet, e-mail, cell phones, texting Tweeters, Youtube, Internet Radio, TV, Newspapers, Magazine and so forth}-my addition.

Modern Propaganda must utilize all these Media. There is no propaganda as long as one makes use, in sporadic fashion and at random, of a newspaper article here, a poster or radio program there, organizes a few meetings and lectures, writes a few slogans on the wall. That is not propaganda. Propaganda is a matter of reaching and encircling the whole man and all men.

Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs, through his conscious and his unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public-life. It furnishes him with a complete system for explaining the world, and provides immediate incentives to action.

We are in the presence of an organized myth that tries to take hold of the entire person. Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one sided, and precluding any divergence. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude. Propaganda cannot be satisfied with partial success, for it does not tolerate discussion; by its very nature, it excludes contradiction and discussion.(Jacques Ellul)

I cited this long excerpt from Edward Bernays[in my opening] and Jacque Ellul to begin to flash-out and understand the going-ons in our society today. The use of media and the now miniaturized technological gadgets,are enabling those who are propagandists to have a field day.

Like Ellul says, "Propaganda, by its very nature excludes contradiction and discussion. Just by mulling over the issues read online or watched on TV, one feels inundated by a barrage of harangue, Mass Actions, attitudes, information, discourse bordering on racism and behaviors without a tinge of civility. What we are seeing is heightened and negative vitriol on both the net and TV. It is becoming belligerent and very negative, intolerant and very aggressive.

Every night now, the same cast of players, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Michelle Bachman, Congressman Joe Wilson and other others, work the waves, the net and all other media outlets, like radio, twitter and the rest to misinform, lie and confuse willing adherents. As Pointed above, these people are playing on the 'needs and will,... and assail him in his private and public life'.

It appears like we are now beginning to see what this brouhaha is about from reading Ellul's excerpt. The health care question, the Stimulus Package, and other proposals and efforts are being used to try and discredit the president and various other ways. There's an undercurrent feeling and bubbling race antagonisms about to percolate to the surface or society. The media, as we are using and consuming it, is propelling the negative discourses abound in its memes and within the media ecology, the data sphere and cyber world.

The Way of the Reich

One of the least talked about propagandist was Joseph Goebbels and in this part of the article, we will look at his modus operandi in short to get a sense of how he re-invented and applied the type of propaganda that used the emerging technologies of the day. They used radio, movies, organized rallies and speeches. They adapted their ideology to the Mass media to reach the entire German people.

During the second World War the Nationalist Socialist went about their way to justify and explain the war to the German people. Joseph Goebbels was the architect of this propaganda machinery, and he put into play mass media of the press and especially of the radio on as a tool acting upon the morale of the population engaged in war(Henri Michel)

Around 1944, the German propaganda apparatus and mass media were speaking as much to the Nazi elite as to the masses. It is amazing to note the words of Hitler and Goebbels appealed to normal men and women as a 'trumpet blast of freedom,' a 'beacon light of faith' in the words of some of the popular slogans.

That Goebbels and his operatives had managed to hoodwink the Germans to accept a losing war, says something about his adherents. Goebbels new that he might get some modicum of acceptance if he deluged the German people with great mass media.

He knew that there three type of people in Germany-The Nazis who accepted the message and made stronger form the Movies or rallies; then there were the average types , the non-party members or totally opportunistic" party comrades," those who grumbled about shortages, but did their war duty very well; the third type active and passive opponents of the Third Reich.

These people worried Goebbels greatly, and his propaganda was not directed at winning them over to nazism, but prevent them from spreading what he called 'poisonous attitudes' to the first and second groups mentioned above.

Goebbels went on and treated the jews like they were 'everywhere' and 'nowhere, and according to him, the jews were deadly and subversive, they are the tie which binds the demon like enemy coalition together. His wartime phrase was: "The Jews are to blame for everything". Anti-Jewish feeling permeated every level of the Nazi propaganda apparatus and mass media, even after the Jews were taken to the East.

Around 1943, he stated that the Jews were responsible for German misery and German defeats. Jews as scape-goats and used as excuses does ring familiar in talking about our present state of destabilization taking place today These Nazi architects had a combination of idealism and brutality, of optimism and pessimism, typified by a Nazi world view and propaganda.

They used their own confused yet comprehensible alienation to appeal through Nazi symbols to millions, yet they could still talk to one another as normal, logical, objective men. Joseph Goebbels viewed himself as on of the great propagandists in history. After he became Minister of Propaganda he observed: "In itself propaganda does not possess any set of fundamental methods. It has but one goal, and in politics this goal always revolves around one point: the conquest of the masses".

To him, as a Berlin propagandist, style was his substance: objectivity had nothing to with truth. Some of the objections that have been hurled around against the sitting President are not true, but are treated as true by those who trumpet them. The objective is not truth, but to conquer the masses and manipulate them to whatever end.

By exploring the propaganda principles as espoused by Goebels as described above, is not to make him a hero or good example as how to do propaganda of any kind. The ways and means he applied help us shed the light as to how the propagandist works today. His journalistic mouth-piece, Der Angriff, a short newspaper and an agitational pamphlet, in it we find out that Goebbels had a clear sense of the brilliance of placards and biting satirical cartoons, and he thought that the more outrageous, he thought, the better.

The way they use of the radio, TV, Internet, (rallying the adherents), rallies and demonstration, shed a light on how these are organized and applied as we are witnessing them. The scare tactics, intimidation and rising pulse of race, making Hitler of Obama on Placards, Having Obama as a tribal African decked with feathers and so on, Le Bon, a German elitist during the WWII era after studying crowd motivation wrote:

"The substitution of the unconscious action of the crowd for the conscious activity of individuals is one of the principal characteristics of the present age... Men are ruled by ideas, sentiments and customs... crowds display a singularity inferior mentality... The part played by the unconscious in all our acts is immense, and that played by reason very small."

On the section which will the sub-heading called "Propaganda and Spin" will go much more deeper into the ideas of Le Bon, and how these helped Goebbels to become the Master of Propaganda and Spin. Goebbels was a dangerous and sick, but smart individual in terms of how to manipulate the masses and put them into action.

It is this active manipulation that this article is interrogating in relation to mass media involved with mass action as we are witnessing today, that we are trying to understand and put into some perspective. Hopefully when we cover the section on Propaganda and spin below, we will enable the reader to get a much more deeper and serious understanding of how Spin and Propaganda evolved during the second World War, and how Goebbels the Spinner and Master Propagandist evolved and refined these ideas, mostly churned-out by Le Bon.

Mass Media, Mass target

The Media targets the individual and mass. The Technological gadgets today are for the masses and the individual in converging and connectivity. The memes runs viral in all technological machines and systems and in them, the propagandists morphs effortlessly and effectively. The packaged viral is coughed in terms that are easy and digestible to everyone.

The breakdown of old ways of receiving and sending information have evolved to the point of us being the information conduit and preserver. The nature of the messages in the system are providing the propagandist with mass outreach and connection never seen before in our young techno-life.

What this means is that propaganda thrives even more so in that it is not only local in its applications, but creates and duplicates itself in many context and denotation internationally. The information age has become the age of confusion and less information. Every bit of information has its counterpart, for or against it, or neither, which multiplies in even large scale information, that, in the end, the propagandist thrives amid an audience with limited , disjointed and sparse knowledge, talking points, that, whatever the propagandist says, becomes information, no matter how wrong, and incomplete or untrue.

The way of processing and disseminating of information has affected a lot of people and children, and our processing and applying the information has changed with the manner and rate at which it's coming at us.

We can look at various examples in our mass media world today. The masses use the Internet and TV to communicate and get information. So that, what happens when the mass of people, the whole globe get connected on the web, we have a melding of ideas, cultures and big business collide.

The availability of TV, Internet, Newspapers, Radio, movies, door to door campaigning, speeches, rallies, posters, TV talking heads, news documentaries, cell phones, texting , e-mails, twittering, reading,writing and responding to blogs on comments column, cyber surfing and chatting give the user and the masses an illusion of being technologically advanced, yet inundated with all types of information, that in the final analysis information looses its value, content and context; it becomes regular and tepid and confusing.

The glut of memes choking the web now requires the consumer of that information to sort and ferret if not vet the content and context to simplify and analyze. Within the Technological Empire, the feed and the reception have become one. Those who receive the information become the information bearers and disseminators of material that they either believe or reject, do not know of its origin or they do, but become carriers and imbibe it nonetheless responding, in the process to other meme stimuli and prodding, etc.. This has resulted in a very interesting time in the politics and society.

The mass media machinery has one interest, reaching the individual as an individual and part of the mass targeted, either manipulating or fleecing them. As Ellul says, it works on trying to reach each one of us in the 'realm of feeling and ideas'. The interest groups opportunistically push their agenda and disseminate their ideas, in the process excluding and contradiction through abuse and other unseemly conduct and behavior[shouting at the tea parties], out-talking and out-shouting opposition on TV or radio news programs, discussion on talk shows while business is cashing in.

There are many other programs which promote domestic terrorism, racist blogs and video-sites, religious, music sites and so forth. Propagandist operate on many levels and in many guises and covertly and overtly. By doing this, some magnify our fears and unsettle our feelings.

This is the climate within which media 'propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge,susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one sided, and precluding any divergence'. The Corporations pour in funds and support, promote,orchestrate and sow dissent and destabilization.

Jacques Ellul furthers this point above thus:

"We have just said that action exactly suited to its ends must be obtained.This leads us to state that if the classic but outmoded view of propaganda consists in defining it as an adherence of man to an orthodoxy , true modern propaganda seeks, on the contrary, to obtain orthopraxy- an action that in itself, and not because of the value judgements of the person, who is acting, leads directly to a goal, which for the individual is not a conscious and intentional objective to be attained, but which is considered such by the propagandist. The propagandist knows what objective should be sought and what action should be accomplished, and he maneuvers the instrument that will secure precisely this action".

Ellul further adds: "This is a particular example of a more general problem: the separation of thought and action in our society. We are living in a time when systematically-though without our wanting it so-action and thought are being separated. In our society, he who thinks can no longer act for himself; he must act through the agency of others, and in many cases he cannot act at all.

"He who acts cannot first think out his action, either because of lack of time and the burden of his personal problems, or because society's plan demands that he translate others' thoughts into action". It is instructive what Jacques is saying and we live in a time when the minds has been completely severed from our actions. A lot of people are not thinking or researching issues for themselves; they thrive on hear-say, innuendo and misinformation. Their action of what they do with that information has noting to do with what they thought, themselves. They become a well orchestrated, controlled and contained mass.

"They belong to the second groups that Goebbels, the opportunistic comrades who complain, but deep on going on and fighting for the wrong reasons. Their behavior,actions and attitudes are based on the lies and confusion that they are sold to by the Multi-Corporations, special interest groups, and other agitators and persons and organizations, that, as said, the glut of information become lessened in its value, content and context, they believe what they have been instructed to 'protest and rally against'. The propaganda is spun in way it puts people into action and motion.

The truth is not an issue, it is the confusion sown to sway men into actions, charge-up and change their attitudes and let them loose on questionable behaviors and raving rants, that do not make any sense nor stand or hold up when facts or truth are presented. This is precisely what is happening today in the ether, net and tube.

Propaganda has created an atmosphere filled with putrid racist talk, signs that depict ugly images of Obama as Hitler; graffiti on the walls giving orders to kill Obama; illegal immigrants under incessant attack, both physically or otherwise. The men in Congress talk like normal people, reasonable, amicable, but they got the ball rolling for this year by being the party of 'no', they want to see the President fail; saying that he is putting us in danger; his health care is dangerous; he apologizes too much to other world leaders and bows down to the Saudi's, he's a commie; he is an Arab; he is an illegal alien and other choice words that need not be furthered in this article. Others proclaimed that Obama is showing us as a weak President and anyway, they go on to 'claim' that he is not an American, but Kenyan and so forth.

Technology is used through applying and packaging their messages or memes into the bowels of the connected and converging technologies, which has put us nearer to a culture and race war. The Empire in a piecemeal way showing the war reluctantly to the masses, and this too, is the one straw that is adding to breaking the camel's back. We need to look deeper into the effects and affects of current technological Eco-systems and, their feed and feedback as they are utilized and arrayed against the masses who use them and imbibe their products,content and context, albeit confusing and inane.

The spin that is being added to the cyber-tube-radio melange, is creating lies, confusion, agitation and uncertainty-this is not good for democracy, stability and progress. The aim, as Goebbels observed, is to conquer the masses using a deluge off mass media apparatuses and outlets, and in our case, objectivity, too, has nothing to do with the truth.

Propaganda and Democracy

From the moment that propaganda is used to promulgate democratic ideas,it is good; if it is bad it is only because of its authoritarian content. Such a position is terribly idealistic and neglects the principal condition of the modern world; the primacy of means over ends. But one may say — and this is a matter worthy of reflection — that democracy itself is not a good "propaganda object."

Practically all propaganda efforts to promulgate democracy have failed. In fact, one would have to modify the entire concept of democracy considerably to make it a good propaganda object, which at present it is not.

From the moment that democracy uses this instruments (propaganda), propaganda becomes democratic. This thought is not often expressed quite so simply and aggressively, but it is an implicit notion found in most American writers. Nothing can touch democracy; on the contrary, it impresses its character on everything it touches. This prejudice is important for understanding the American democratic mythology and the tentative adoption of this principle by the popular democracies. (Ellul)

Some will say: "Freedom of expression is democracy; to prevent propaganda is to violate democracy. Certainly, but it must be remembered that the freedom of expression of one or two powerful companies that do not express the thoughts of the individual or small groups, but of the capitalist interests or an entire public, does not exactly correspond to what was called freedom of expression a century ago.

One must remember, further, that the freedom of expression of one who makes a speech to a limited audience is not the same as that of the speaker who has all the radio sets in the country at his disposal, all the more as the science of propaganda gives to these instruments a shock effect that the non-initiated cannot equal.'

Rivero demonstrates the immense difference between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in this respect:

"In the nineteenth century,the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the state and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of a freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual find himself outside the battle ... the debate is between the State and powerful groups. ... Freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate. ...

"What we have is a mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the whole of the technical media of opinion formation... the individual has no access to them ... he is no longer a participant in this battle for the free expression of ideas: he is the stake. What matters for him is which voice will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him..."

One has to ask then what freedom of expression still means in a democracy. Even if the state held all the instruments of propaganda and spin, what characterizes democracy is that it permits the expression of different propagandas. The other effect of democratic propaganda is that it is subject to certain values. It is not unfettered but fettered, and it is an instrument not of passion but reason.

Therefore, democratic propaganda must be essentially truthful. This can be observed in American propaganda: it is undeniable that American that American information and propaganda are truthful. But that does not seem to be necessarily characteristic of democracy in the American context of the word.

This becomes much more clearer when briefly look into the propaganda modus operandi of Hitler and his Nazis: In a recent anthology on film and propaganda, Grehard Jagschitz noted: "The ultimate question about the effect of National Socialist propaganda cannot yet be definitely answered, since the relevant research has not yet been done.

"Important work remains to be done on the Nazi use of heroic myth, history, and language, particularly in the context of the regime's remarkably successful manipulation of people through symbolic images of German traditions and language." Here we are about to enter w world which demanded self-abnegating heroism, a world which the voices of men like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels appealed to many normal men and women as a "trumpet blast of freedom, and a beacon light of faith," in the words of a popular slogan."

This was a world in which brutal determination appeared in the guise of martial music and pathos-laden salutes to the fallen heroes of both world wars. This was an epoch when music encouraged men to suffer and die, yet offered solace and made men tougher; there was music sand and heroic. "The Song of the Good Comrade," "raise the Banner," and famous old Prussian marches taken over by the Nazis because of their symbolic unity with a heroic past-the "Hohenfreidberger," the Petersburger," The March from the Time of Frederick the Great."

Goebbels mobilized this spirit, and the German propaganda apparatus and mass media used it to receptive millions as the authentic voice of German greatness, a link with the pre-Nazi German past and culture.In 1934, at Nurnberg, Hitler declared that, "Unlike for other Germans, for us mere proclamation of faith does not suffice, only the oath 'I fight!."(From the film Triumph of the Will 1935.

The propaganda which addressed party members and cadres demanded that they fight as well as believe, for belief was assumed. In the instance of the general population, propagandists felt that a constantly repeated faith in Hitler and Nazi ideology would serve to buttress a German willingness to take orders and do one's duty. People would have to see their fate and that of the Nazis were on and the same, that they too must believe in order to contribute to final victory. The apparatus could speak to Nazis directly and in ideological terms. In addressing the nation, greater caution was in order, but faith and belief were part of the media message, often skillfully disguised or sublimated.

If the Nazi propagandists were successful in inducing the population to wage an increasingly hopeless struggle, what does this say about Goebbels' audience? The Nazis knew their own people and could assume at least a minimal acceptance of the ideological propaganda which inundated the great mass media. The population consisted of three types of people. One type were Nazis who accepted the message and felt stronger when they emerged from a theater after seeing Jud Suss or Ohm Kruger.

These were men and women who were electrified when they heard Goebbels speak in 1943, or when they saw a poster a poster with an idealized portrait or Hitler over the caption"Adolf Hitler is Victory." There were the average types, the nonparty members or totally opportunistic "party comrades," the people who grumbled about shortages but did their duty in war, no matter who governed the nation. Keeping these people committed to victory was Goebbels' major task.

The third group consisted of active and passive opponents of the Third Reich. These people concerned Goebbels greatly, but the abstraction, since his propaganda was not directed toward winning them over to Nazism, but rather at preventing the spread of their poisonous attitudes to the first and second categories of citizens. Himmler, not Goebels, was in charge of dealing with dissidents: people in the Communist and Jewish underground, graffiti writers, composers of anonymous hate letters to Nazi leaders, and anti-regime activists.

The democratic propagandist or democratic State will often have a bad conscience about using propaganda. The old democratic conscience still gets in the way and burdens him; he has a vague feeling that he is engaged in something illegitimate. Thus, for the propagandist in a democracy to throw himself fully into his task it is necessary that he believes-i.e., that he formulates his own convictions when he makes propaganda.

In terms of what has been said above about democratic propaganda, it all adds up to ineffectual propaganda. Precisely to the extent that the propagandist retains his respect for the individual, he denies himself the very penetration that is the ultimate aim of all propaganda: that of provoking action without prior thought. To the extent that he remains partial, he fails to use the mystique. But that mystique is indispensable for well-made propaganda.

Ultimately, even if one tries to maintain confidence and communion between government and the governed, all propaganda and spin ends up as a means by which the prevailing powers manipulate the masses. This schism between the masses and the government is provoked and maintained by all techniques whose practitioners constitute a sort of aristocracy of technicians who make it their business to modify the structures of the state.

What the developments over the past several decades show is that the democracies will abandon their precaution, if they have not yet already done so, and their nuances and throw themselves wholeheartedly into effective propaganda action. But such actions will no longer have a special democratic character, but will be in the service of both propaganda and spin as we are witnessing it in today's technological society.

At this point we should really be looking closely at Public Relations people and their shenanigans. The most successful public relations campaigns aim to change public perception with our awareness of the campaign. They are regularly conducted by governments, institutions and countries that are endeavoring to hang their public image, restore their reputation or manipulate public opinion.When these firms have aided dictatorships, dishonest politicians and corrupt industries, the results have led to environmental catastrophes, human rights violations and war.

Public Relations (PR) is a communications strategy aiming to influence specific publics using writing, marketing,advertising, publicity, promotions, and special events. some public relations specialists work as full-time employees of companies, politicians, nonprofit organizations or governments; while others work for PR agencies that contract their services to clients (usually corporations, wealthy individuals or other special interests) who pay for the expertise at keeping them in or our of the spotlight, whichever is necessary. Corporations are increasingly manipulative in the way that they present information via Front Groups and information media. PRs have often engaged in deliberate deception on their clients' behalf and have developed a deeply unhealthy relationship with the 'free press.'

Furthermore, by giving vested interest the opportunity to deliberately obfuscate, deceive and derail public debate on key issues, the public relations industry reduces society's capacity to respond effectively to key social, environmental and political changes." They achieve all these means and efforts by utilizing i) focus groups; ii) Doublespeak; III)Front Groups; iV) Paid Experts; and, v) PR Consultants. In the final analysis they use 'memetics". To achieve all these feats, they use 'Memetics' , which is the study of how ideas pass from one person to another across culture.

This theory proposes that ideas were like viruses that can be transmitted from person to person and rapidly "infect" large populations. Memes can represent parts of ideas, languages, tunes, designs, moral and esthetic values, skills, and anything else that is commonly learned and passed on to others as a unit. The study of 'memes is called 'memetics'. (

Propagation of Propaganda

Funk and Wagnalls have sought to emphasize the neutrality of the term "propaganda by recalling its original meaning: 'Propaganda' in its proper meaning is a perfectly wholesome word, of honest parentage, and with an honorable history. The fact that it should to-day be carrying a sinister meaning merely shows how much of the child remains in the average adult child. New activities call for a new nomenclature.

The propagandist who specializes n interpreting enterprises and ideas to the public ... has come to be known by the name of 'public relations counsel'. The stage at which many suppose [the public relations counsel] starts his activities may actually be the stage at which he ends them. In other words, public relations enables propaganda without actually engaging it. (Bernays)

Insofar as common parlance today tends to equate public relations with spin and propaganda with lies, Bernays can be said to have won the battle over nomenclature. But Bernay's tortured distancing of himself from the term. Woolf's insight to changing norms of persuasion, and Orwell's sense of modern state's dependence on propaganda begin to get at the more complex understanding that emerges in the following decades, particularly in the work of Jacques Ellul (Wollaeger)

The reality of they type of propaganda we face emanates and is distilled by theories of Jacque Ellul on propaganda. Wollanger writes:

"Ellul's importance in propaganda studies derives from his focus on propaganda as a sociological phenomenon made necessary by the nature of modern society rather than as the political weapon of a particular regime or organization. He draws from Bernay's and his definition of propaganda of "social propaganda as the penetration of an ideology as a means of its sociological context, which echoes Bernay's account of 'the new propaganda,' which sees the individual not only as a cell in the social organism, but as a cell organized into the 'social unit.'

"The concept of sociological or 'integration' propaganda permits Ellul to set aside extreme solutions to problems of definition, namely, the notion that everything is propaganda because ideology permeates all spheres of existence and the rejection of the term altogether in favor of a yet broader term , such as 'persuasion.' Slower and more diffuse than political, economic, and cultural structures, and produces "a progressive adaptation to a certain order of things, a certain concept of human relations, which unconsciously molds individuals and makes them conform to society"(Ellul).

Integration propaganda thus includes not just the usual state-sponsored suspects-political broadcasting, censorship,atrocity stories, and the manipulation of also more diffusely constellated organizations and institutions, such as advertising, public relations, and popular films, whose interactions effectively reinforce official political propaganda without necessarily setting out to do so. Ellul is clearly open to the charge that insofar as nearly everything counts as propaganda, he empties the category of meaning.

But it is equally clear that it makes sense to use "propaganda" as a covering term to articulate the notion that in highly rationalized societies, diverse forms of modern communication function together to ensure the reproduction of the system.(Mark Sollanger)

For Ellul, technique is at the heart of modern society. By "Technique" Ellul means any standardized ensemble of means used to attain a given end, and he understands propaganda a necessary corollary of a society dominated by technique, Ellul argues that while technique began with machine, the progressive extension of technique into all domains of existence produces a civilization committed only to efficiency as an end in itself.

"Propaganda is necessary in such a world, for 'propaganda is called upon to solve problems created by technology, to play on maladjustments, and to integrate the individual into a technological world [Ellul]. Ellul understands modern propaganda as a species of mythopoesis that papers over contradictions opened up by the homologous forces of rationalization, technique and enlightenment.(Wollanger) We will clear-up this excerpt further below.

Propaganda Spinning

To understand the whole spin and the manipulation of the attitudes of men, one has to understand the nature of propaganda and how does it operate in achieving its ends. In this case then, we look into the mind of the Master propagandist, Joseph Goebbels's mind and how he formulated his ideas and applied propaganda. This will in fact give us a better picture of what Propaganda and spin is all about.

Le Bon argued that successful politicians possess "an instinctive and often very sure knowledge of the character of the crows, and it is their accurate knowledge of this character that has enabled them so easily to establish their mastery." Crowds make "normal" people capable of savage actions: Goebbels exploited this insight of Le Bon to the full. Yet crowds are also conducive to great acts of heroism. Goebbels understood this better than Le Bon, and his idealistic appeals to sacrifice and struggle had a tremendous impact upon the German nation up to 1945. Le Bon Stated, "A crowd thinks in images, and the image itself immediately calls up a series of other images, having no connection with the first. ...

A crowd scarcely distinguishes between the subjective and the objective. It accepts as real the images evoked in its mind, though they most often have only a very distant relation with the observed fact." Goebbels believed in these truths and acted upon them throughout his political career. The crowd or even the entire nation-which was just a vast crowd that could ow be reached through radio, the press, and film-would respond to symbols which evoked greatness of the past or hostile conspiracies in the present. As Hitler wrote in the "Mein Kampf" "All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to.

Consequently, the grater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be.... The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitude that sober reasoning determines their thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling. (Adolf Hitler-Mein Kampf) Hitler's dictates were the commands to which Goebbels worked on very well in a myriad ways.

When Goebbels manipulated the symbols of the Germans past, he appreciated the truth of Le Bon's great dictum: "It is not even necessary that heroes should e separated from us by centuries for their legend to be transformed by the imagination of the crowd. The transformation occasionally takes place within a few years." Goebbels helped create the myth of the Nazi Era of Struggle within ten years of the end of that period in German history.

The crowd was endlessly impressionable "like a woman," thought Le Bon, and he believed, "an orator wishing to move a crowd must make an abusive use of violent affirmation." Le Bon Brilliantly analyzed the conservatism of crowds, their fear of change. The uprooted disorientated German masses were putty in Goebbels hands. Crows could be best motivated by an appeal to their collective idealism. Le Bon Stated, Personal interest is very rarely a powerful motive force with crowds, wile it is almost the exclusive motive of the conduct of the isolated individual. Goebbels knew all this, but he possessed a quality which National Socialism rejected, at least in theory-the critical intellect.

This made him a master manipulator of crowds, since, according to Le Bon, show a "complete lack of theoretical spirit." Here, Goebbels' oratorical techniques differed in their effect from the speeches of Adolf Hitler. Hitler left his audiences in a frenzy, but a reading of his speeches confirms Le Bon's comment, "Astonishment is felt at time on reaching certain speeches at their weakness, and yet they had an enormous influence on the crowds which listened to them." Many of the speeches of Goebbels can still be read today with interest because of their intellectual content.

This is What Le Bon had to say about the masses: "...they turn instinctively, as the insect seeks the light, to the rhetoricians who accord them what they want.... Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim." Le Bon's racialism appealed to Goebbels, and he agreed with the French man's argument that "Every race carries in its mental constitution the law of its destiny ...

This was the reason why Goebbels used so many symbols, showing that he carried forth Le Bon's assumptions, of appealing to the German people's Era of Struggle myth during the last war years: honor, sacrifice , faith, readiness for combat, love of Fatherland. Le Bon states: "It is not by reason, but most often in spite of it, that are created those sentiments that are the mainspring of all civilization-sentiments such as honor, self-sacrifice, religious faith, patriotism, and the love of glory."

Le Bon also provided insights into the masters of crowds in the following manner: The leader has most often started as one of the led. He has himself been hypnotized by the idea whose apostle he has since become." The leaders "are especially recruited from the ranks of those morbidly nervous, excitable, half-deranged persons who are bordering on madness.... Contempt and persecution do not affect them, only serve to excite them more.... To endow a man with faith id to multiply his strength tenfold." When Goebbels read Le Bon, he saw Adolf Hitler, the Hitler who loved to state, "He who has faith in his heart, possess the greatest strength in the world."

Goebbels felt justified by his faith in Hitler after 1926, and he preached this faith to the German people. He was thus the herald of redemption, and in the process he deified Hitler, all the while praising his "human qualities". As he had learned from Le Bon, "The gods and men who have kept their prestige for long have never tolerated discussion. For the crowd to admire, it must be kept at a distance."

In a speech delivered in 1928, titled "Knowledge and Propaganda" Goebbels said: "The aim of propaganda was political success, not intellectual depth. The role of the propagandist was to express in words what his audience felt in their hearts. The propagandist must feel the totality of the National Socialist idea in every aspect of his perceptions. His desire is to transmit tis idea to his listeners.

"Party organization is necessary for the victory of an idea ...In politics power prevails, not moral claims of justice. Being in power give a party or an idea the right to use that power. Propaganda is a pragmatic art, the means to an end, the seizure of total power. Because methods and situations change, the propagandist must be an organizer and writer as well as a speaker. He must be able to appeal to the "broad masses of educated people, as well s to the little man.

"The propagandist of the totalitarian party bears an evangelical message to the masses. No one is willing to die for an eight hour day. But one can die so that Germany might belong to the German people. As long as propaganda did not lead to a Verbot by the jewish police presidium, it was false, because it was not dangerous. That [decree of dissolution] is the best proof that we are dangerous."

It is important to note that Goebbels learnt from Christ, Mohammed, Bhudda, Zarathustra, Robespierre, Danton, Mussolini, Lenin, Napoleon. Caesar and Alexander. They all had in common ability as speakers with a revolutionary idea and brilliant organizational talent. Goebbels was an organizer and speaker, but Hitler alone had created the Idea. He took it up on himself to advance Hitler's revolution, but he was unable to make one of is own.

Albert Krebs, who knew Goebbels during the Weimar era, put it this way: "Goebbels possessed and infinitely acute sense of these forces and an equally vast ability to appeal to them as conscious factors and set them in motion with words. But since he himself, in my estimation, was largely lacking in such vital elementary forces, he was not in a potion to establish courses and goals for himself. On the contrary, he needed the forces of others to be himself."(Krebs, page 205)

This is just a smattering of what Goebbels mind was like an all the forces that capitulated him to the highest echelons of Nazi Pecking order. We need to pay attention to how propaganda was used merging and melding the media and symbols to put the German into action-which precipitated into the second world War. Goebbels was able to spin his way into his wildest fantasies about propagating a course that had paltry existence in the historiography of man. The masses gullibility became The hunting ground for vultures like Goebbels and Hitler to spin their propagandistic yarn.

The Reich's Ideological War and Its Symbols

Ideological War, Words and Symbols in the 2012 American Elections

Despite his superiority, the enemy too is teaching the limits of his strength. This would not be the first time in history in which the stronger will triumphs over the greater battalions of he enemy. You can show your troops no other path than that which leads to victory or death. This was said to Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, November 3, 1942. The war did more than reinforce the basic tenets of Nationalist Socialist ideology. This era proved how an apparatus of totalitarian media control could affect public attitudes and morale during a global conflict. Begun in 1939 as an attempt to explain rapidly changing diplomatic or military situations, wartime Nazi Propaganda ended by projecting the final legacy of Nazi ideology.

These visions reflected Nazi assumptions about symbols to which the German public would respond with a renewed commitment to total victory. Vindictive in victory, filled with fear and loathing in defeat, Nazi ideologists loaded their modes of expression with symbols and words which they believed would appeal to the German public: "heroism," "sacrifice," Jewry," "capitalists," bolsheviks," Frederick the great," "Perfidious Albion," "mass murder," "hatred for Germany." Some symbols dated back to the eighteenth century; others emerged in the troubled years after the First World War.

They formed a structure of word and symbol which was an essential instrument of Nazi propagandists. An infamous campaign of resentment and its result, murder and hatred, could thereby be justified as self-defense in total confrontation with alien doctrines. Victory could appear to the pious as divine grace, defeat, the result of devilish conspiracy. The wartime media thus reflected the cynicism, torments, and faith of Joseph Goebbels. In the end, even Goebbels himself turned into a symbol. He ceased being an agent of control.

Henri Michel has commented with regard to waging total war: "No, in total strategy, there exist many non-military means which can influence decision ... I am thinking first of all of the part played by the mass media, of the press, but also and especially of the radio,which showed itself to be a powerful tool acting upon the morale of the populations engaged in the war… This is true, but in the case of the Reich, the role of the media contained a sequel, unique to the German situation."

If one were to understand the post above, and have been following the American realpolitick scene as it relates to the onslaught against Obama, one is tempted to say that his detractors took a page out of the Goebbels' Playbook One has seen the use of words such as Communist,", "other,' "not one of us," "has no birth certificate,' or was not born in America,' "Obama is a Muslim,'.

And to go with all this were the depiction of Obama as a "bush doctor adorned with feathers," as "Hitler and the mustache to go with it," as a "monkey with large ears-tarred all over," or "as shown as a 'black person with thick red lips and big ears.' Today in the media he is called a 'retard" by Ann Coulter; I cannot even all the names Rush Limbaugh called Obama.

The racial decibel has gone over the red-alert mark in the United States, wherein we see those who dislike Obama spin everything form accusing pollsters of conspiracy trying to put Romney down to praising a lousy performance by Romney on the last debate as being "presidential", as being "ahead in the polls"(even though he is not really leading), and they have some hope that this will in the end become the fact that if "you repeat a lie long enough, it will eventually become the truth(a la Goebbels and hItler propaganda theories)

In the case of the American over-heated political scene, spin is really designed to manipulate mass action, mass mind, attitudes and behavior and this we have see ample evidence for the past two years to date, with the emergence of the Tea Baggers and their minions who were elected into the House, and blocked everything Obama did, indeed vilifying and being racist against him.

It is strange to see this happening today in the United States, where voter purging has become the norm: this mens that all people of color are being dissuaded to vote through many nefarious and devious ways, a la Jim Crow era and the Pol Tax era. It's only a few weeks toward the election here in the United States, and propaganda and spin are at their height, and the propaganda machines are splurging the public with negative adds ad-infinitum.

This story still goes on whereby we will give a full evaluation of propaganda and spin in the United states and how the Germans executed and applied it — and what the similarities and differences(if there are any) , are. For us, this is made much more clearer by Noam Chomsky.

Manipulation of the Population Through The Media

Noam Chomsky has compiled a list of the ten most powerful and efficacious strategies used by "masters of the world" to establish a manipulation of the population through the Media. The strategies are so well-elaborated that even the countries with the educational systems, succumb to the power and terror of those mafias.

Many things are reported in the news but few are reported. The job of the media is not to inform, but to misinform: Divert public attention from important issues and changes decided by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood continuous flood of distraction and insignificant information.

Journalists who have access to highly placed government and corporate sources have to keep them on their side by not reporting anything adverse about them or their organizations. Otherwise they risk losing them as sources of information. In return for tis loyalty, their sources occasionally give them good stories, leaks and access to special interviews.

Unofficial information, or leaks, give the impression of investigative journalism, but are often strategic maneuvers on the part of those with position or power (Riccci - 1993)'It is a bitter irony of source journalism ... that the most esteemed journalists are precisely the most servile.For it is by making themselves useful to the powerful that they gain access to the "best sources" (Lee and Solomon - 1990)

Noam Chomsky gives us a list on the manipulative effects and affects of med today by listing for us these then following points:

The Top Ten Strategies:

  1. The strategy of distraction:-

The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding distractions and insignificant information. Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. "Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals" (quoted from text, "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars')

2. Create problems, then offer solutions:-

This method is also called "problem-reaction-solution." It creates a problem, a "situation" referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order the public is the applicant's security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Or, create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.

3. The gradual strategy:-

Acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how the radically new socioeconomic conditions (neoliberalism) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s:

  • the minimal state
  • privatization
  • precariousness
  • flexibility
  • massive unemployment
  • wages
  • do not guarantee a decent income

...So many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.

4. Strategy deferring:-

Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present is as "painful and necessary," gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter:

  • First, because the effort is not used immediately
  • Then, because the public, masses,has always the tendency to expect naively that "everything will be better tomorrow" and that the sacrifice required may be avoided.

This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.

5. Go to the public as a little child:-

Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children's intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient. The harder one tries to deceive the viewer look, the more it tend to adopt a tone of infantilizing. Why? "If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years of less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger." (See "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars")

6. Use emotional side more than the reflection:-

Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis, and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting of ideas, desires, fears and anxieties, compulsions, or induce behaviors ...

7. Keep the public [masses] in ignorance and mediocrity:-

Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control [them] and [for their] enslavement. "the quality of education given to the lower social classes must be poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes "(See "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars")

8. To encourage the public(masses) to be complacent with mediocrity

Promote [or convince] the public to believe that the fact it is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated...

9. Self-Blame Strengthen:-

To let individual blame[themselves] for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual auto-devaluate and find[themselves0 guilty, which creates a depression, one of whose affects is to inhibit its action. And, without action, there is no revolution!

10. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves:-

Over the past 50 years, advances of accelerated since has generated a growing gap between the public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the "system" has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.

It is important to pay attention to the ten point above because they give us a framework from which we can better understand the present-day media and its affects and effect on people; i.e., how these new technology work, operate and embed themselves in our psyches, consciousness, intelligence and our being gullible when it comes to the fast and furiously churned out technological gizmos and the emerging and converging media which is streaming on the web faster than the speed of life and light.

When we want to begin to understand spin and propaganda today, it is good to know how it originated in the past, and what it is like today, and how it thrills and trips and affect us as a collective critical mass media consuming people; and maybe, if we can configure these modern spin techniques and propaganda techniques, we might be able to wrap our heads around what is happening to us in our technological society and milieu, today and for the future.

Propaganda Peddlers And Media Puppet Masters

In our present social organization approval of the public is essential to any large undertaking. Hence a laudable movement may be lost unless it impresses itself on the public mind. Charity, as well as business, and politics and literature, for that matter, have had to adopt propaganda, for the public must be regimented into giving money just as it must be regimented into tuberculosis prophylaxis.

The Near East Relief, the Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor of New York, and all the rest, have to work on public opinion just as though they had tubes of toothpaste to sell. We are proud of our diminishing infant death rate—and that too is the work of propaganda.

Propaganda does exist on all sides of us, and it does change our mental pictures of the world. Even if this be unduly pessimistic—and that remains to be proved—the opinion reflects a tendency that is undoubtedly real. In fact, its use is growing as its efficiency in gaining public support is recognized. This then, evidently indicates the fact that any one with sufficient influence can lead sections of the public at least for a time and for a given purpose.

Formerly the rulers were the leaders. They laid out the course of history, by the simple process of doing what they wanted. And if nowadays the successors of the rulers, those whose position or ability gives them power, can no longer do what they want without the approval of the masses, they find in propaganda a tool which is increasingly powerful in gaining that approval. Therefore, propaganda is here to stay.

It was, of course, the astounding success of propaganda during the war that opened the eyes of the intelligent few in all departments of life to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind. The American government and numerous patriotic agencies developed a technique which, to most persons accustomed to bidding for public acceptance, was new. T

They not only appealed to the individual by means of every approach—visual, graphic, and auditory—to support the national endeavor, but they also secured the cooperation of the key men in every group —persons whose mere word carried authority to hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers.

They thus automatically gained the support of fraternal, religious, commercial, patriotic, social and local groups whose members took their opinions from their accustomed leaders and spokesmen, or from the periodical publications which they were accustomed to read and believe.

At the same time, the manipulators of patriotic opinion made use of the mental cliches and the emotional habits of the public to produce mass reactions against the alleged atrocities, the terror and the tyranny of the enemy. It was only natural, after the war ended, that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was not possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace.

As a matter of fact, the practice of propaganda since the war has assumed very different forms from those prevalent twenty years ago. This new technique may fairly be called the new propaganda.

It takes account not merely of the individual, nor even of the mass mind alone, but also and especially of the anatomy of society, with its interlocking group formations and loyalties. It sees the individual not only as a cell in the social organism but as a cell organized into the social unit. Touch a nerve at a sensitive spot and you get an automatic response from certain specific members of the organism.

Business offers graphic examples of the effect that may be produced upon the public by interested groups, such as textile manufacturers losing their markets. This problem arose, not long ago, when the velvet manufacturers were facing ruin because their product had long been out of fashion.

Analysis showed that it was impossible to revive a velvet fashion within America. Anatomical hunt for the vital spot! Paris! Obviously! But, 'yes' and 'no.' Paris is the home of fashion. Lyons is the home of silk. The attack had to be made at the source. It was determined to substitute purpose for chance and to utilize the regular sources for fashion distribution and to influence the public from these sources.

A velvet fashion service, openly supported by the manufacturers, was organized. Its first function was to establish contact with the Lyons manufactories and the Paris couturiers to discover what they were doing, to encourage them to act on behalf of velvet, and to help in the proper exploitation of their wares.

An intelligent Parisian was enlisted in the work. He visited Lanvin and Worth, Agnes and Patou, and others and induced them to use velvet in their gowns and hats. It was he who arranged for the distinguished Countess This or Duchess That to wear the hat or the gown. And as for the presentation of the idea to the public, the American buyer or the American woman of fashion was simply shown the velvet creations in the atelier of the dressmaker or the milliner. She bought the velvet because she liked it and because it was in fashion.

The editors of the American magazines and fashion reporters of the American newspapers, likewise subjected to the actual (although created) circumstance, reflected it in their news, which, in turn, subjected the buyer and the consumer here to the same influences. The result was that what was at first a trickle of velvet became a flood.

A demand was slowly, but deliberately, created in Paris and America. A big department store, aiming to be a style leader, advertised velvet gowns and hats on the authority of the French couturiers, and quoted original cables received from them. The echo of the new style note was heard from hundreds of department stores throughout the country which wanted to be style leaders too. Bulletins followed dispatches. The mail followed the cables. And the American woman traveler appeared before the ship news photographers in velvet gown and hat.

The created circumstances had their effect. "Fickle fashion has veered to velvet," was one newspaper comment. And the industry in the United States again kept thousands busy.
The new propaganda, having regard to the constitution of society as a whole, not infrequently serves to focus and realize the desires of the masses.

A desire for a specific reform, however widespread, cannot be translated into action until it is made articulate, and until it has exerted sufficient pressure upon the proper law-making bodies. Millions of housewives may feel that manufactured foods deleterious to health should be prohibited.

But there is little chance that their individual desires will be translated into effective legal form unless their half expressed demand can be organized, made vocal, and concentrated upon the state legislature or upon the Federal Congress in some mode which will produce the results they desire. Whether they realize it or not, they call upon propaganda to organize and effectuate their demand.

But clearly it is the intelligent minorities which need to make use of propaganda continuously and systematically. In the active proselytizing minorities in whom selfish interests and public interests coincide lie the progress and development of America. Only through the active energy of the intelligent few can the public at large become aware of and act upon new ideas.

Small groups of persons can, and do, make the rest of us think what they please about a given subject. But there are usually proponents and opponents of every propaganda, both of whom are equally eager to convince the majority.

The New Propagandists

Bernays Informs us about this new breed of Propaganda spinners:

"WHO are the men who, without our realizing it, give us our ideas, tell us whom to admire and whom to despise, what to believe about the ownership of public utilities, about the tariff, about the price of rubber, about the Dawes Plan, about immigration; who tell us how our houses should be designed, what furniture we should put into them, what menus we should serve on our table, what kind of shirts we must wear, what sports we should indulge in, what plays we should see, what charities we should support, what pictures we should admire, what slang we should affect, what jokes we should laugh at?

If we set out to make a list of the men and women who, because of their position in public life, might fairly be called the "molders" of public opinion, we could quickly arrive at an extended list of persons mentioned in "Who's Who." It would obviously include, the President of the United States and the members of his Cabinet; the Senators and Representatives in Congress; the Governors of our forty-eight states; the presidents of the chambers of commerce in our hundred largest cities.

Also, the chairmen of the boards of directors of our hundred or more largest industrial corporations, the president of many of the labor unions affiliated in the American Federation of Labor, the national president of each of the national professional and fraternal organizations, the president of each of the racial or language societies in the country.

The hundred leading newspaper and magazine editors, the fifty most popular authors, the presidents of the fifty leading charitable organizations, the twenty leading theatrical or cinema producers, the hundred recognized leaders of fashion, the most popular and influential clergymen in the hundred leading cities, the presidents of our colleges and universities and the foremost members of their faculties, the most powerful financiers in Wall Street, the most noted amateurs of sport, and so on.

Such a list would comprise several thousand persons. But it is well known that many of these leaders are themselves led, sometimes by persons whose names are known to few. Many a Congressman[Parliamentarian], in framing his platform, follows the suggestions of a district boss whom few persons outside the political machine have ever heard of. Eloquent divines may have great influence in their communities, but often take their doctrines from a higher ecclesiastical authority.

The presidents of chambers of commerce mold the thought of local business men concerning public issues, but the opinions which they promulgate are usually derived from some national authority. A presidential candidate may be "drafted" in response to "overwhelming popular demand," but it is well known that his name may be decided upon by half a dozen men sitting around a table in a hotel room.

In some instances the power of invisible wirepullers is flagrant. The power of the invisible cabinet which deliberated at the poker table in a certain little green house in Washington has become a national legend. There was a period in which the major policies of the national government were dictated by a single man, Mark Hanna. A Simmons may, for a few years, succeed in marshaling millions of men on a platform of intolerance and violence.

Such persons typify in the public mind the type of ruler associated with the phrase invisible government. But we do not often stop to think that there are dictators in other fields whose influence is just as decisive as that of the politicians I have mentioned. An Irene Castle can establish the fashion of short hair which dominates nine-tenths of the women who make any pretense to being fashionable.

Paris fashion leaders set the mode of the short skirt, for wearing which, twenty years ago, any woman would simply have been arrested and thrown into jail by the New York police, and the entire women's clothing industry, capitalized at hundreds of millions of dollars, must be reorganized to conform to their dictum.

There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes. Nor, what is still more important, the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by authorities.

In some departments of our daily life, in which we imagine ourselves free agents, we are ruled by dictators exercising great power. A man buying a suit of clothes imagines that he is choosing, according to his taste and his personality, the kind of garment which he prefers. In reality, he may be obeying the orders of an anonymous gentleman tailor in London. This personage is the silent partner in a modest tailoring establishment, which is patronized by gentlemen of fashion and princes of the blood.

He suggests to British noblemen and others a blue cloth instead of gray, two buttons instead of three, or sleeves a quarter of an inch narrower than last season. The distinguished customer approves of the idea. But how does this fact affect John Smith of Topeka?

The gentleman tailor is under contract with a certain large American firm, which manufactures men's suits, to send them instantly the designs of the suits chosen by the leaders of London fashion. Upon receiving the designs, with specifications as to color, weight and texture, the firm immediately places an order with the cloth makers for several hundred thousand dollars' worth of cloth. The suits made up according to the specifications are then advertised as the latest fashion. The fashionable men in New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia wear them. And the Topeka man, recognizing this leadership, does the same.

Women are just as subject to the commands of invisible government as are men. A silk manufacturer, seeking a new market for its product, suggested to a large manufacturer of shoes that women's shoes should be covered with silk to match their dresses. The idea was adopted and systematically propagandized. A popular actress was persuaded to wear the shoes. The fashion spread. The shoe firm was ready with the supply to meet the created demand. And the silk company was ready with the silk for more shoes.

The man who injected this idea into the shoe industry was ruling women in one department of their social lives. Different men rule us in the various departments of our lives. There may be one power behind the throne in politics, another in the manipulation of the Federal discount rate, and still another in the dictation of next season's dances. If there were a national invisible cabinet ruling our destinies (a thing which is not impossible to conceive of) it would work through certain group leaders on Tuesday for one purpose, and through an entirely different set on Wednesday for another.

The idea of invisible government is relative. There may be a handful of men who control the educational methods of the great majority of our schools. Yet from another standpoint, every parent is a group leader with authority over his or her children. The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses. To advertise on a scale which will reach fifty-million persons is expensive. To reach and persuade the group leaders who dictate the public's thoughts and actions is likewise expensive.

For this reason there is an increasing tendency to concentrate the functions of propaganda in the hands of the propaganda specialist. This specialist is more and more assuming a distinct place and function in our national life. New activities call for new nomenclature. The propagandist who specializes in interpreting enterprises and ideas to the public, and in interpreting the public to promulgators of new enterprises and ideas, has come to be known by the name of "public relations counsel."

The new profession of public relations has grown up because of the increasing complexity of modern life and the consequent necessity for making the actions of one part of the public understandable to other sectors of the public. It is due, too, to the increasing dependence of organized power of all sorts upon public opinion. Governments, whether they are monarchical, constitutional, democratic or communist, depend upon acquiescent public opinion for the success of their efforts and, in fact, government is only government by virtue of public acquiescence.

Industries, public utilities, educational movements, indeed all groups representing any concept or product, whether they are majority or minority ideas, succeed only because of approving public opinion. Public opinion is the unacknowledged partner in all broad efforts.

The public relations counsel, then, is the agent who, working with modern media of communication and the group formations of society, brings an idea to the consciousness of the public. But he is a great deal more than that. He is concerned with courses of action, doctrines, systems and opinions, and the securing of public support for them. He is also concerned with tangible things such as manufactured and raw products. He is concerned with public utilities, with large trade groups and associations representing entire industries.

He functions primarily as an adviser to his client, very much as a lawyer does. A lawyer concentrates on the legal aspects of his client's business. A counsel on public relations concentrates on the public contacts of his client's business. Every phase of his client's ideas, products or activities which may affect the public or in which the public may have an interest is part of his function.

For instance, in the specific problems of the manufacturer he examines the product, the markets, the way in which the public reacts to the product, the attitude of the employees to the public and towards the product, and the cooperation of the distribution agencies.

The counsel on public relations, after he has examined all these and other factors, endeavors to shape the actions of his client so that they will gain the interest, the approval and the acceptance of the public.

The means by which the public is apprised of the actions of his client are as varied as the means of communication themselves, such as conversation, letters, the stage, the motion picture, the radio, the lecture platform, the magazine, the daily newspaper. The counsel on public relations is not an advertising man but he advocates advertising where that is indicated. Very often he is called in by an advertising agency to supplement its work on behalf of a client. His work and that of the advertising agency do not conflict with or duplicate each other.

His first efforts are, naturally, devoted to analyzing his client's problems and making sure that what he has to offer the public is something which the public accepts or can be brought to accept. It is futile to attempt to sell an idea or to prepare the ground for a product that is basically unsound.

For example, an orphan asylum is worried by a falling off in contributions and a puzzling attitude of indifference or hostility on the part of the public. The counsel on public relations may discover upon analysis that the public, alive to modern sociological trends, subconsciously criticizes the institution because it is not organized on the new "cottage plan." He will advise modification of the client in this respect. Or a railroad may be urged to put on a fast train for the sake of the prestige which it will lend to the road's name, and hence to its stocks and bonds.

If the corset makers, for instance, wished to bring their product into fashion again, he would unquestionably advise that the plan was impossible, since women have definitely emancipated themselves from the old-style corset. Yet his fashion advisers might report that women might be persuaded to adopt a certain type of girdle which eliminated the unhealthful features of the corset.

His next effort is to analyze his public. He studies the groups which must be reached, and the leaders through whom he may approach these groups. Social groups, economic groups, geographical groups, age groups, doctrinal groups, language groups, cultural groups, all these represent the divisions through which, on behalf of his client, he may talk to the public.

Only after this double analysis has been made and the results collated, has the time come for the next step, the formulation of policies governing the general practice, procedure and habits of the client in all those aspects in which he comes in contact with the public. And only when these policies have been agreed upon is it time for the fourth step.

The first recognition of the distinct functions of the public relations counsel arose, perhaps, in the early years of the present century as a result of the insurance scandals coincident with the muck-raking of corporate finance in the popular magazines. The interests thus attacked suddenly realized that they were completely out of touch with the public they were professing to serve, and required expert advice to show them how they could understand the public and interpret themselves to it.

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, prompted by the most fundamental self-interest, initiated a conscious, directed effort to change the attitude of the public toward insurance companies in general, and toward itself in particular, to its profit and the public's benefit.

It tried to make a majority movement of itself by getting the public to buy its policies. It reached the public at every point of its corporate and separate existences. To communities it gave health surveys and expert counsel. To individuals it gave health creeds and advice. Even the building in which the corporation was located was made a picturesque landmark to see and remember, in other words to carry on the associative process. And so this company came to have a broad general acceptance. The number and amount of its policies grew constantly, as its broad contacts with society increased.

Within a decade, many large corporations were employing public relations counsel under one title or another, for they had come to recognize that they depended upon public good will for their continued prosperity. It was no longer true that it was "none of the public's business" how the affairs of a corporation were managed. They were obliged to convince the public that they were conforming to its demands as to honesty and fairness.

Thus a corporation might discover that its labor policy was causing public resentment, and might introduce a more enlightened policy solely for the sake of general good will. Or a department store, hunting for the cause of diminishing sales, might discover that its clerks had a reputation for bad manners, and initiate formal instruction in courtesy and tact.

The public relations expert may be known as public relations director or counsel. Often he is called secretary or vice-president or director. Sometimes he is known as cabinet officer or commissioner. By whatever title he may be called, his function is well defined and his advice has definite bearing on the conduct of the group or individual with whom he is working.

Many persons still believe that the public relations counsel is a propagandist and nothing else. But, on the contrary, the stage at which many suppose he starts his activities may actually be the stage at which he ends them. After the public and the client are thoroughly analyzed and policies have been formulated, his work may be finished. In other cases the work of the public relations counsel must be continuous to be effective.

For in many instances only by a careful system of constant, thorough and frank information will the public understand and appreciate the value of what a merchant, educator or statesman is doing. The counsel on public relations must maintain constant vigilance, because inadequate information, or false information from unknown sources, may have results of enormous importance.

A single false rumor at a critical moment may drive down the price of a corporation's stock, causing a loss of millions to stockholders. An air of secrecy or mystery about a corporation's financial dealings may breed a general suspicion capable of acting as an invisible drag on the company's whole dealings with the public.

The counsel on public relations must be in a position to deal effectively with rumors and suspicions, attempting to stop them at their source, counteracting them promptly with correct or more complete information through channels which will be most effective, or best of all establishing such relations of confidence in the concern's integrity that rumors and suspicions will have no opportunity to take root. His function may include the discovery of new markets, the existence of which had been unsuspected.

If we accept public relations as a profession, we must also expect it to have both ideals and ethics. The ideal of the profession is a pragmatic one. It is to make the producer, whether that producer be a legislature making laws or a manufacturer making a commercial product, understand what the public wants and to make the public understand the objectives of the producer.

In relation to industry, the ideal of the profession is to eliminate the waste and the friction that result when industry does things or makes things which its public does not want, or when the public does not understand what is being offered it.

For example, the telephone companies maintain extensive public relations departments to explain what they are doing, so that energy may not be burned up in the friction of misunderstanding. A detailed description, for example, of the immense and scientific care which the company takes to choose clearly understandable and distinguishable exchange names, helps the public to appreciate the effort that is being made to give good service, and stimulates it to cooperate by enunciating clearly. It aims to bring about an understanding between educators and educated, between government and people, between charitable institutions and contributors, between nation and nation.

The profession of public relations counsel is developing for itself an ethical code which compares favorably with that governing the legal and medical professions. In part, this code is forced upon the public relations counsel by the very conditions of his work. While recognizing, just as the lawyer does, that every one has the right to present his case in its best light, he nevertheless refuses a client whom he believes to be dishonest, a product which he believes to be fraudulent, or a cause which he believes to be antisocial.

One reason for this is that, even though a special pleader, he is not dissociated from the client in the public's mind. Another reason is that while he is pleading before the court—the court of public opinion—he is at the same time trying to affect that court's judgments and actions. In law, the judge and jury hold the deciding balance of power. In public opinion, the public relations counsel is judge and jury, because through his pleading of a case the public may accede to his opinion and judgment.

He does not accept a client whose interests conflict with those of another client. He does not accept a client whose case he believes to be hopeless or whose product he believes to be unmarketable. He should be candid in his dealings. It must be repeated that his business is not to fool or hoodwink the public.

If he were to get such a reputation, his usefulness in his profession would be at an end. When he is sending out propaganda material, it is clearly labeled as to source. The editor knows from whom it comes and what its purpose is, and accepts or rejects it on its merits as news." (Bernays)

So that, we have leant from Bernays that the modern propagandist studies systematically and objectively the material with which he is working in the spirit of the laboratory. If the matter in hand is a nation-wide sales campaign, he studies the field by means of a clipping service, or of a corps of scouts, or by personal study at a crucial spot.

He determines, for example, which features of a product are losing their public appeal, and in what new direction the public taste is veering. He will not fail to investigate to what extent it is the wife who has the final word in the choice of her husband's car, or of his suits and shirts.

Scientific accuracy of results is not to be expected, because many of the elements of the situation must always be beyond his control. He may know with a fair degree of certainty that under favorable circumstances an international flight will produce a spirit of good will, making possible even the consummation of political programs.

But he cannot be sure that some unexpected event will not overshadow this flight in the public interest, or that some other aviator may not do something more spectacular the day before. Even in his restricted field of public psychology, there must always be a wide margin of error. Propaganda, like economics and sociology, can never be an exact science for the reason that its subject-matter, like theirs, deals with human beings.

If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway. But men do not need to be actually gathered together in a public meeting or in a street riot, to be subject to the influences of mass psychology.

Because man is by nature gregarious he feels himself to be member of a herd, even when he is alone in his room with the curtains drawn. His mind retains the patterns which have been stamped on it by the group influences. A man sits in his office deciding what stocks to buy. He imagines, no doubt, that he is planning his purchases according to his own judgment. In actual fact his judgment is a melange of impressions stamped on his mind by outside influences which unconsciously control his thought.

Putting the Record Straight: spin and Truth Made Clear

Disinformation gone awry

Disinformation gone awry

A Deadly Mix In Benghazi

When one were to listen to those belligerent GOP members who were attacking Susan Wright for being wrong and protecting Hillary Clinton, and the not-so-correct McCain and all the rightwing zealots who are busy attacking Obama's rule, nominations and so forth, it is a wonder, that after the report below has been released, they still want to pursue their shenanigans against Obama and trying to pin Benghazi as one of the disastrous response that The Obama regime has ever tried and failed to execute properly.

I'd like to addd an update of the Benghazi scam. Senator McCarthy, who failed in his attempts to become speaker of the house, blathered out that they had formed a Special Committee Bengghazi to make sure that Hillary fails and falls in the polls. This is an important development because it sheds light into the fiasco that the Investigation of Hillary, fiction and a waste of Taxpayers monies.

So that, posting this update, gives the reader a chance to see what a farce this was, whilst undercurrent Committees were being formed, and information shedding better light to the Benghazi situation and what Hillary attempted to do, never came to light until now recently.

In this Hub, I would like to post what David Kirkpatrick had to say about Benghazi and setting the spin and record straight.

"A boyish-looking American Diplomat was meeting for the first time with the Islamist leaders of eastern Libya’s most formidable militias.

It was Sept. 9, 2012. Gathered on folding chairs in a banquet hall by the Mediterranean, the Libyans warned of rising threats against Americans from extremists in Benghazi. One militia leader, with a long beard and mismatched military fatigues, mentioned time in exile in Afghanistan. An American guard discreetly touched his gun.

“Since Benghazi isn’t safe, it is better for you to leave now,” Mohamed al-Gharabi, the leader of the Rafallah al-Sehati Brigade, later recalled telling the Americans. “I specifically told the Americans myself that we hoped that they would leave Benghazi as soon as possible.”

Yet as the militiamen snacked on Twinkie-style cakes with their American guests, they also gushed about their gratitude for President Obama’s support in their uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. They emphasized that they wanted to build a partnership with the United States, especially in the form of more investment. They specifically asked for Benghazi outlets of McDonald’s and KFC.

The diplomat, David McFarland, a former congressional aide who had never before met with a Libyan militia leader, left feeling agitated, according to colleagues. But the meeting did not shake his faith in the prospects for deeper involvement in Libya. Two days later, he summarized the meeting in a cable to Washington describing a mixed message from the militia leaders.

Despite “growing problems with security,” he wrote, the fighters wanted the United States to become more engaged “by ‘pressuring’ American businesses to invest in Benghazi.”

The cable, dated Sept. 11, 2012, was sent over the name of Mr. McFarland’s boss, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Later that day, Mr. Stevens was dead, killed with three other Americans in Benghazi in the most significant attack on United States property in 11 years, since Sept. 11, 2001.

The cable was a last token of months of American misunderstandings and misperceptions about Libya and especially Benghazi, many fostered by shadows of the earlier Sept. 11 attack. The United States waded deeply into post-Qaddafi Libya, hoping to build a beachhead against extremists, especially Al Qaeda. It believed it could draw a bright line between friends and enemies in Libya. But it ultimately lost its ambassador in an attack that involved both avowed opponents of the West and fighters belonging to militias that the Americans had taken for allies.

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

A fuller accounting of the attacks suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya. It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment. Both are challenges now hanging over the American involvement in Syria’s civil conflict.

The attack also suggests that, as the threats from local militants around the region have multiplied, an intensive focus on combating Al Qaeda may distract from safeguarding American interests.

In this case, a central figure in the attack was an eccentric, malcontent militia leader, Ahmed Abu Khattala, according to numerous Libyans present at the time. American officials briefed on the American criminal investigation into the killings call him a prime suspect. Mr. Abu Khattala declared openly and often that he placed the United States not far behind Colonel Qaddafi on his list of infidel enemies. But he had no known affiliations with terrorist groups, and he had escaped scrutiny from the 20-person CIA station in Benghazi that was set up to monitor the local situation.

Mr. Abu Khattala, who denies participating in the attack, was firmly embedded in the network of Benghazi militias before and afterward. Many other Islamist leaders consider him an erratic extremist. But he was never more than a step removed from the most influential commanders who dominated Benghazi and who befriended the Americans. They were his neighbors, his fellow inmates and his comrades on the front lines in the fight against Colonel Qaddafi.

To this day, some militia leaders offer alibis for Mr. Abu Khattala. All resist quiet American pressure to turn him over to face prosecution. Last spring, one of Libya’s most influential militia leaders sought to make him a kind of local judge.

Fifteen months after Mr. Stevens’s death, the question of responsibility remains a searing issue in Washington, framed by two contradictory story lines.

One has it that the video, which was posted on YouTube, inspired spontaneous street protests that got out of hand. This version, based on early intelligence reports, was initially offered publicly by Susan E. Rice, who is now Mr. Obama’s national security adviser.

The other, favored by Republicans, holds that Mr. Stevens died in a carefully planned assault by Al Qaeda to mark the anniversary of its strike on the United States 11 years before. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of covering up evidence of Al Qaeda’s role to avoid undermining the president’s claim that the group has been decimated, in part because of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The investigation by The Times shows that the reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those story lines suggests. Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.

Mr. Abu Khattala had become well known in Benghazi for his role in the killing of a rebel general, and then for declaring that his fellow Islamists were insufficiently committed to theocracy. He made no secret of his readiness to use violence against Western interests. One of his allies, the leader of Benghazi’s most overtly anti-Western militia, Ansar al-Shariah, boasted a few months before the attack that his fighters could “flatten” the American Mission. Surveillance of the American compound appears to have been underway at least 12 hours before the assault started.

The violence, though, also had spontaneous elements. Anger at the video motivated the initial attack. Dozens of people joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters. Looters and arsonists, without any sign of a plan, were the ones who ravaged the compound after the initial attack, according to more than a dozen Libyan witnesses as well as many American officials who have viewed the footage from security cameras.

The Benghazi-based CIA team had briefed Mr. McFarland and Mr. Stevens as recently as the day before the attack. But the American intelligence efforts in Libya concentrated on the agendas of the biggest militia leaders and the handful of Libyans with suspected ties to Al Qaeda, several officials who received the briefings said. Like virtually all briefings over that period, the one that day made no mention ofMr. Abu Khattala, Ansar al-Shariah or the video ridiculing Islam, even though Egyptian satellite television networks popular in Benghazi were already spewing outrage against it.

Members of the local militia groups that the Americans called on for help proved unreliable, even hostile. The fixation on Al Qaeda might have distracted experts from more imminent threats. Those now look like intelligence failures.

More broadly, Mr. Stevens, like his bosses in Washington, believed that the United States could turn a critical mass of the fighters it helped oust Colonel Qaddafi into reliable friends. He died trying.

The Ambassador

J. Christopher talking to journalists

J. Christopher talking to journalists

The Point of View From the Diplomats

Ambassador Stevens always saw the best in Libya. He had gladly accepted the role of American liaison to the rebels at the start of the uprising. And in April 2011 he chose to sail into Benghazi on a Greek cargo ship instead of taking the easier land route from Egypt, just to savor the romance of his arrival in a free Libya.

An experienced Arabist with previous postings in Libya, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, Mr. Stevens, then 52, was among the most influential voices in American policy toward Libya. He helped shape the Obama administration’s conviction that it could work with the rebels, even those previously hostile to the West, to build a friendly, democratic government.

The rebels, including the Islamists, were eager to befriend the American envoy. Colonel Qaddafi “was saying the West was supporting these ‘Al Qaeda’ terrorists,” said Ashraf Ben Ismail, a wealthy businessman, so he invited Mr. Stevens and several Islamist brigade leaders to a meeting in his spacious salon to dispel those fears. All attested to their support for building a modern, democratic Libya. (The more hard-line Islamist rebels declined to attend.)

Still, Mr. Stevens and other Americans also knew that Benghazi had a history of violence against Western diplomats. In 1967, a United States Consulate there was ransacked and burned by a mob angry about American support for Israel in the Arab-Israeli war. In 2006, a mob burned down the Italian Consulate because a cabinet minister in Rome had worn a T-shirt mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

By the summer of 2012, a new pattern of hit-and-run attacks against Western interests was emerging. There were three separate attacks in Benghazi involving small explosives that locals used for fishing, two on the American compound and a third near a United Nations convoy.

Mohammed Ali al-Zahawi, the leader of Ansar al-Shariah, told The Washington Post that he disapproved of attacking Western diplomats, but he added, “If it had been our attack on the U.S. Consulate, we would have flattened it.”

After a rocket-propelled grenade seriously wounded a guard in the British ambassador’s convoy, the British began limiting their presence in Benghazi to day trips, depositing their vehicles and weapons inside the American compound at night before flying back to Tripoli, the capital.

But the Americans remained optimistic. Taking stock of the deteriorating security situation on Aug. 8, 2012, a cable titled "The Guns of August" and signed by Mr. Stevens struck an understanding tone about the absence of effective policing.

It noted that Libyans were wary about the imposition of a strong security apparatus so soon after they expunged Colonel Qaddafi’s. “A diverse group of independent actors” — including criminals and “former regime elements” as well as “Islamist extremists” — was exploiting the vacuum, the cable said. But it found no signs of an organized campaign against the West.

“What we are going through — and what people here are resolved to get through — is a confluence rather than a conspiracy,” the cable concluded.

The Americans had another reason to feel secure: the team of at least 20 people from the Central Intelligence Agency operating out of an unmarked Benghazi compound known as “the Annex” that was about a half-mile southeast of the mission.

Some were highly skilled commandos. “I knew the backup guys at the Annex, who were quite heavily trained and equipped,” said an Obama administration official who visited in the months before the attack.

In addition to buying up weapons spilled out during the revolt, the team was assigned to gather intelligence about anti-Western terrorists and the big militia leaders. But there were hundreds of small brigades, affiliations were fluid and overlapping, and the agents often found themselves turning to Mr. Stevens for advice because he seemed to know the militia leaders better than any other American expert.

Despite his expertise and the CIA's presence, though, “There was little understanding of militias in Benghazi and the threat they posed to US interests,” a State Department investigation into the mission attack later concluded.

The CIA kept its closest watch on people who had known ties to terrorist networks abroad, especially those connected to Al Qaeda. Intelligence briefings for diplomats often mentioned Sufian bin Qumu, a former driver for a company run by Bin Laden.

Mr. Qumu had been apprehended in Pakistan in 2001 and detained for six years at Guantánamo Bay before returning home to Derna, a coastal city near Benghazi that was known for a high concentration of Islamist extremists.

But neither Mr. Qumu nor anyone else in Derna appears to have played a significant role in the attack on the American Mission, officials briefed on the investigation and the intelligence said.

“We heard a lot about Sufian bin Qumu,” said one American diplomat in Libya at the time. “I don’t know if we ever heard anything about Ansar al-Shariah.”

The more moderate leaders of the big militias developed close ties to the Westerners.

At least one Islamist militia leader liked to play basketball at the British compound. Mr. Bukatef of the February 17 Brigade was a fluent English speaker who visited the American compound in Benghazi so often that"

“It was like he was my best friend,” one diplomat joked. We thought we were sufficiently close to them,” said one Western diplomat who was in Benghazi not long before the attack. “We all thought that if anything threatening was happening, that they would tip us off.”

A State Department review later found “a tendency on the part of policy, security and other US government officials to rely heavily on the probability of warning intelligence.” It called the Benghazi attack “a stark reminder” of the dangers that entailed.

Geographic Perspective of the View of the Diplomatic Mission

Guards at the diplomatic mission see a man in a police uniform taking photographs with a cellphone from an unfinished building across the street.

Guards at the diplomatic mission see a man in a police uniform taking photographs with a cellphone from an unfinished building across the street.

A Fuse Is Lit

"Innocence of Muslims purported to be an online trailer for a film about the mistreatment of Christians in contemporary Egypt. But it included bawdy historical flashbacks that derided the Prophet Muhammad. Someone dubbed it into Arabic around the beginning of September 2012, and a Cairo newspaper embellished the news by reporting that a Florida pastor infamous for burning the Quran was planning to debut the film on the 11th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Then, on Sept. 8, a popular Islamist preacher lit the fuse by screening a clip of the video on the ultraconservative Egyptian satellite channel El Nas. American diplomats in Cairo raised the alarm in Washington about a growing backlash, including calls for a protest outside their embassy.

No one mentioned it to the American diplomats in Libya. But Islamists in Benghazi were watching. Egyptian satellite networks like El Nas and El Rahma were widely available in Benghazi. “It is Friday morning viewing,” popular on the day of prayer, said one young Benghazi Islamist who turned up at the compound during the attack, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

By Sept. 9, a popular eastern Libyan Facebook page had denounced the film. On the morning of Sept. 11, even some secular political activists were posting calls online for a protest that Friday, three days away.

Hussein Abu Hamida, the acting chief of Benghazi’s informal police force, saw the growing furor and feared new violence against Western interests. He conferred with Abdul Salam Bargathi of the Preventive Security Brigade, an Islamist militia with a grandiose name, each recalled separately, and they increased security outside a United Nations office. But they said nothing to the Americans.

Reports of the video were just beginning to spread on Sept. 9 when Mr. McFarland, then the officer normally in charge of politics and economics at the United States Embassy in Tripoli, had his meeting with the Benghazi militia leaders. Among them were some of the same men who had greeted Mr. Stevens when he arrived in Benghazi at the start of the revolt, including Mr. Gharabi, 39, a heavyset former Abu Salim inmate who ran a local sandwich truck before becoming the leader of the Rafallah al-Sehati. Another was Wissam bin Hamid, also 39, a slim and slightly hunched mechanic known for his skill with American cars who by then had become the leader of Libya Shield, considered one of the strongest militias in Libya.

(Agence France-Presse – Getty Images)

Egyptian protesters tearing down the United States flag at the American Embassy in Cairo on Sept.11, 2012, during a demonstration against “Innocence of Muslims,” a video offensive to Islam.

Egyptian protesters tearing down the United States flag at the American Embassy in Cairo on Sept.11, 2012, during a demonstration against “Innocence of Muslims,” a video offensive to Islam.

In an interview, Mr. Gharabi said that he had known about the building rage in Egypt over the video, but that, “We did not know if it was going to reach us here.”

Mr. McFarland seemed most concerned about the big militia leaders. “'How do the revolutionaries feel about having relationships with Western countries? What is your opinion about the United States?'” the Americans asked, according to Mr. Gharabi. It was “an interrogation,” he said.

“We told them that we hoped that the countries which helped us during the war would now help us in development,” he said. “And America was at the top of the pyramid.”

But Mr. Gharabi and two other Libyan militia leaders present said separately that they tried to warn Mr. McFarland. “We told them, ‘Weapons are everywhere, in every home, and there is no real control,' ” Mr. Bin Hamid of Libya Shield said.

Mr. McFarland struggled to make sense of their contradictory signals. “The message was, ‘Don’t come here because there is no security, but come right away because we need you,' ” Mr. McFarland later told colleagues.

The militia leaders seemed unable to get their stories straight, his colleagues said, and the vague warnings amounted to a reminder of what the diplomats already knew: Post-revolutionary Benghazi was a dangerous place.

Mappping the Attack

The five security agents originally in the mission leave the compound in an armored vehicle and come under attack. They manage to escape, but are followed to the Annex. Back at the main villa, Americans are attacked again. The team is unable to find

The five security agents originally in the mission leave the compound in an armored vehicle and come under attack. They manage to escape, but are followed to the Annex. Back at the main villa, Americans are attacked again. The team is unable to find


"Security vacuum," Ambassador Stevens wrote in his personal diary on Sept. 6 in Tripoli, in one of the few pages recovered from the Benghazi compound.

“Militias are power on the ground,” he wrote. “Dicey conditions, including car bombs, attacks on consulate,” he continued. “Islamist ‘hit list’ in Benghazi. Me targeted on a prominent website (no more off compound jogging).” A map of his Tripoli jogging route had appeared on the Internet, seemingly inviting attacks, diplomats said.

But when he arrived from Tripoli for a visit, he was glad to be back in Benghazi. “Much stronger emotional connection to this place,” he wrote in his diary on Sept. 10, “the people but also the smaller town feel and the moist air and green and spacious compound.”

By 7 a.m. on Sept. 11, guards at the American Mission had spotted a man taking photographs with a cellphone on the second floor of an unfinished building next to the Venezia Restaurant across the street, according to interviews with the compound’s Libyan guards as well as the State Department report.

When the guards approached, the photographer fled in a police car with two others, all in the uniforms of a quasi-official militia known as the Supreme Security Committee. Fawzi Wanis, a former commander of the group, said he suspected that the men were doing reconnaissance for someone else.

“We had all kinds in the Supreme Security Committee, from Islamist extremists to drunks,” Mr. Wanis said.

In his diary, Mr. Stevens wrote, “Never ending security threats…”

Around dusk, the Pan-Arab satellite networks began broadcasting footage of protesters breaching the walls of the American Embassy in Cairo, pulling down the American flag and running up the black banner of militant Islam. Young men around Benghazi began calling one another with the news, several said, and many learned of the video for the first time.

Mr. Stevens, who spent the day in the compound for security reasons because of the Sept. 11 anniversary, learned about the breach in a phone call from the American Embassy in Tripoli. Then a diplomatic security officer at the Benghazi mission called to tell the CIA team. But as late as 6:40 p.m., Mr. Stevens appeared cheerful when he welcomed the Turkish consul, Ali Akin, for a visit.

There was even less security at the compound than usual, Mr. Akin said. No armed American guards met him at the gate, only a few unarmed Libyans. “No security men, no diplomats, nobody,” he said. “There was no deterrence.”

At 8:30 p.m., British diplomats dropped off their vehicles and weapons before flying back to Tripoli. At 9:42 p.m., according to American officials who have viewed the security camera footage, a police vehicle stationed outside turned on its ignition and drove slowly away.

A moment later a solitary figure strolled by the main gate, kicking pebbles and looking around — a final once-over, according to the officials.

The attack began with just a few dozen fighters, according to those officials. The invaders fired their Kalashnikovs at the lights around the gate and broke through with ease.

The compound had a total of eight armed guards that night: five Americans and three Libyans affiliated with the February 17 militia. All of them fell back. The Americans raced to grab their weapons in the compound’s other buildings but then found a swarm of attackers blocking their way to the main villa.

Mr. Stevens and an information officer took refuge in the villa’s safe room while an armed security officer positioned himself to defend it.

Reports from the scene ricocheted around the city in frantic phone calls telling competing stories. Abu Baker Habib, a Libyan-American friend of Mr. Stevens, began calling for help from a handful of the most important militia leaders, like Mr. Bin Hamid and Mr. Gharabi. But a false report spread much wider and faster: that guards in the compound had shot and wounded Libyans who had come only to protest.

“They told each other that the Americans had killed a Libyan,” Mr. Gharabi said. “For that reason, everybody would go.”

Mr. Gharabi, who was at a friend’s wedding a hundred miles away, knew that some of his fighters would join the attack, so he sent a delegation of “wise men” to deter them, he said. Mr. Bukatef of the February 17 Brigade was in Tripoli that night but said in an interview that he also believed some of his men had participated.

Soon scores, if not hundreds, of others were racing to the scene. Some arrived with guns, some with cameras. The attackers had posted sentries at Venezia Road, adjacent to the compound, to guard their rear flank, but they let pass anyone trying to join the mayhem. Witnesses said young men rushing inside had left empty pickup trucks from Ansar al-Shariah, but also all the other big militias ostensibly allied with the government.

There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers. A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him. Other Libyan witnesses, too, said they received lectures from the attackers about the evil of the film and the virtue of defending the prophet.

Mr. Abu Khattala’swhereabouts on the day before the attack could not be determined, nor could his precise role in its planning. People who know him say he was at work as usual in the days leading up to it.

“His neighborhood is full of people like him,” said the leader of a major Islamist militia, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “So it is easy for him to pick up a phone and rally people around him.”

Witnesses at the scene of the attack identified many participants associated with Ansar al-Shariah. Mr. Abu Khattala’s presence and leadership were evident. He initially hung back, standing near the crowd at Venezia Road, several witnesses said. But a procession of fighters hurried to him out of the smoke and gunfire, addressed him as “sheikh” and then gave him reports or took his orders before plunging back into the compound.

A local Benghazi official named Anwar el-Dos arrived on the scene and identified Mr. Abu Khattala as directing the fighters, people present said. Then Mr. Dos approached Mr. Abu Khattala for help entering the compound.

The two drove into the mission in Mr. Abu Khattala’s pickup truck, the witnesses said. As he moved forward, the fighters parted to let them pass.

Mr. Abu Khattala, in an interview, recounted meeting Mr. Dos that night. Mr. Dos declined to comment. When the truck doors opened inside the compound, witnesses said, Mr. Dos dived to the ground to avoid gunfire that was ringing all around. But Mr. Abu Khattala strolled coolly through the chaos.

“He was just calm as could be,” a young Islamist who had joined the pillaging said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. Around 11:30 p.m., Mr. Abu Khattala showed up on internal security cameras, according to officials who have viewed the footage.

Witnesses described utter bedlam inside. Men looted suits of clothes and carried them out on their hangers. They lugged out televisions. Some emerged from buildings clutching food they had found, and one poured what appeared to be Hershey’s chocolate syrup into his mouth. Others squabbled over trophies as small as a coil of rope left on the ground.

A newly acquired and uninstalled generator sat near the main gate, with large cans of fuel beside it. Attackers stumbled upon it within 15 minutes of entering the compound, according to officials who have seen the video footage, and soon begun using the fuel to set fire to vehicles and buildings.

Libyan militia leaders who might have intervened to help the Americans washed their hands of the attack. At the militias’ so-called joint operations room inside the February 17 Brigade headquarters, the commander in charge was Mr. Bargathi of the militia called the Preventive Security Brigade. He had also been a friend and neighbor of Mr. Abu Khattala since childhood.

He said he immediately radioed the Libyan guards in the compound and told them not to resist the assault. “I told them: ‘Don’t shoot. Just run away from the place,' ” he said. “Because I knew that it was not wise to provoke. These are not like normal attackers, and it might enrage them more. They might kill everyone inside.”

He volunteered that the leaders of Ansar al-Shariah had joined him in the operations room shortly after the attack began — underscoring the permeability of the line between threat and protector among Benghazi militias.

Of all the major militias in the city, Libya Shield was the best positioned to intervene. It was arguably the most formidable in the country at the time, and its leader, Mr. Bin Hamidreceived an urgent call from the ambassador’s friend Mr. Habib asking for help. Mr. Bin Hamid arrived at the scene within 30 minutes after the attack began, he said in an interview.

“The situation wasn’t suitable for me to go inside the compound,” Mr. Bin Hamid said. “And when the shooting stopped, we thought the Americans had been evacuated.”

A group of about 20 young men who had been hanging around the headquarters of the February 17 Brigade did try to help the Americans. But they ran into the attackers’ sentries on Venezia Road.

“They pointed their guns at us and said, ‘This is none of your business, go back,' ” said Sherif Emrajee el-Sherif, 18, a petroleum engineering student who was among those who tried to help the Americans.

The militia fighters all followed an unstated code, the rescuers and other militiamen said. Never enter a public gunfight with other Libyans, for fear of setting off a cycle of retaliatory violence and demands for blood money. “It is normal,” Mr. Sherif explained. “Whatever happened, they were other Libyans.” (He and at least one other rescuer ultimately entered the compound with Americans from the CIA Annex, and Mr. Sherif was shot in the leg in gunfire inside.)

As the melee continued, Mr. Abu Khattala drove to the headquarters of Ansar al-Shariah and an affiliated militia, Othman Ibn Affan, witnesses said.

At one point, a fighter asked Mr. Abu Khattala what to do with the remains of the compound. “Flatten it,” he said.

Later, Mr. Abu Khattala appeared to prepare for another phase of the attack. One young fighter with him told another to “cleanse ourselves for another battle” — an apparent reference to a subsequent attack on the CIA Annex.

That phase appears to have been improvised that night. After the Americans fled from the mission to the CIA Annex, it, too, came under a sporadic, low-grade attack for the first time, suggesting that the assailants had just learned of it. Later, guards there observed people lingering in a nearby pasture, stirring fears that they were plotting coordinates for launching a mortar attack.

Back in Tripoli, American diplomats scrambled to make sense of the news out of Benghazi. Many learned of Ansar al-Shariah’s existence from social media during the attack. They sent seven security officers to Benghazi in a borrowed Libyan cargo jet.

Embassy officials had arranged for the team to be met by Fathi al-Obeidi, a trusted lieutenant of Mr. Bin Hamid of Libya Shield. But when the jet landed around 1 a.m., seemingly every commander in Benghazi was competing for the honor of escorting the Americans, even those who did nothing to stop the attack, including Mr. Bin Hamid himself.

A group from the Preventive Security Brigade, led that night by Mr. Abu Khattala’s old friend Mr. Bargathi, insisted on coming, and held the team up for hours on the tarmac, Mr. Obeidi said. And instead of the low-profile escort the Americans had sought, a parade of nearly a dozen pickup trucks ultimately joined them.

Shortly after the convoy arrived around 5 a.m., the CIA Annex came under a new attack: the mortar rounds the guards had feared. Within 90 seconds, five had landed, the last three hitting the roof of the main building.

Almost all of the Libyan fighters who had insisted on accompanying the Americans from the airport fled immediately.

Two American security guards, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty, were killed by the mortar shells. Mr. Stevens and Sean Smith, an information officer, suffocated in the burning of the main villa in the diplomatic compound.

Benghazi Map

Americans leave for the airport with support from a Libyan militia. One hour later, part of the staff leaves Benghazi on a chartered jet.

Americans leave for the airport with support from a Libyan militia. One hour later, part of the staff leaves Benghazi on a chartered jet.


After the attack,

Mr. Obama vowed retribution. “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act,” he said in a televised address from Washington on the morning of Sept. 12. “And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

But much of the debate about Benghazi in Washington has revolved around statements made four days later in television interviews by Ms. Rice, who was then ambassador to the United Nations.

“What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, prompted by the video.”

Republicans, pouncing on the misstatement, have argued that the Obama administration was trying to cover up Al Qaeda’s role. “It was very clear to the individuals on the ground that this was an Al Qaeda-led event,” Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said last month on Fox News.

“This was a preplanned, organized terrorist event,” he said, “not a video. That whole part was debunked time and time again.”

But the Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with Al Qaeda’s international terrorist network. The only intelligence connecting Al Qaeda to the attack was an intercepted phone call that night from a participant in the first wave of the attack to a friend in another African country who had ties to members of Al Qaeda, according to several officials briefed on the call. But when the friend heard the attacker’s boasts, he sounded astonished, the officials said, suggesting he had no prior knowledge of the assault.

Al Qaeda was having its own problems penetrating the Libyan chaos. Three weeks after the attack, on Oct. 3, 2012, leaders of the group’s regional affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, sent a letter to a lieutenant about efforts to crack the new territory. The leaders said they had sent four teams to try to establish footholds in Libya. But of the four, only two in the southern Sahara “were able to enter Libyan territory and lay the first practical bricks there,” the letter said.

The letter, left behind when the group’s leaders fled French troops in Mali, was later obtained and released by The Associated Press. It tallied up the “spectacular” acts of terrorism the group had accomplished around the region, but it made no mention of Benghazi or any other attacks in Libya.

More than a year later, the group appears more successful. People briefed on American intelligence say the regional affiliate has established a presence in Derna.

In the days after the Benghazi attack, meanwhile, Mr. Abu Khattala was still at work on construction sites and moving at ease around the city, even mocking the American political debate about the ambassador’s death. “It is always the same two teams, but all that changes is the ball,” he said in an interview. “They are just laughing at their own people.”

Sitting for an interview on a Benghazi hotel patio three weeks after the attack, Mr. Abu Khattala acknowledged being at the scene. But he said he had stopped near the mission that night only to break up a traffic jam. He then left, he said, and returned later to help rescue a Libyan guard he had heard was trapped inside.

But he scarcely hid his sympathy for the attackers. While almost everyone else in Benghazi mourned Mr. Stevens as a friend of the revolution, Mr. Abu Khattala was unmoved by his death. “I did not know him,” he said coolly.

And he suggested that the video insulting the Prophet Muhammad might well have justified the killing of four Americans. “From a religious point of view, it is hard to say whether it is good or bad,” he said.

But as American investigators focused on Mr. Abu Khattala in the following weeks, other militia leaders closed ranks with him.

Mr. Bargathi and Mr. Bin Hamid offered alibis for him, contradicting many witnesses. Mr. Bargathi said that he had received a call from Mr. Abu Khattala after the attack had begun and that Mr. Abu Khattala had seemed surprised by the news.

Told that Mr. Abu Khattala had given his name as a corroborating witness, Mr. Bin Hamid said they had stood together outside the compound because it seemed too dangerous to enter.

In an interview last spring, Mr. Bin Hamid said he had decided to make Mr. Abu Khattala a kind of local real estate judge, putting him in charge of settling disputes over property deeds.

“That made him happy,” Mr. Bin Hamid said. “He is good at this. He is a sincere person. People respect him.”

Other Benghazi Islamists insist, bizarrely and without evidence, that they suspect the CIA killed the ambassador.

The leaders of Ansar al-Shariah, the hard-line Islamist group allied with Mr. Abu Khattala, declared in a statement read on television the morning after the attack that they had not participated in it. But they lauded the assault as a just response to the video. They, too, insisted that a “peaceful protest” had “escalated as a result of shooting that came from the consulate, which led to the ambassador’s death by suffocation.”

As they did with Mr. Abu Khattala, other local militia leaders and even elected officials embraced Ansar al-Shariah more tightly after the attack. Yousef al-Mangoush, the chief of staff of the Libyan military, met with its leaders to confirm their warm ties. “Mangoush has a very good impression of them,” said Ibrahim Bargathi, the chief of the Preventive Security Brigade, who arranged the meeting.

Ansar al-Shariah focused on charitable missionary work, including an antidrug campaign with local corporate sponsors, picking up garbage during sanitation strikes and offering exorcisms for those troubled by evil spirits.

“They are like Boy Scouts,” Mr. Bargathi said. “Anything that promotes good, they support.”

By last summer, United States investigators had interviewed hundreds of witnesses and formally asked the Libyan government to arrest Mr. Abu Khattala, along with about a dozen others wanted for questioning. The United States military also prepared a plan to capture him on its own, pending presidential approval, officials said. But the administration held back, fearing that unilateral United States military action could set off a backlash that would undermine the fragile Libyan government.

In the meantime, violence among local groups has scattered the militia. This fall, Ansar al-Shariah fought a citywide gun battle with a defected military unit that left at least nine dead. Opponents burned down Ansar al-Shariah’s headquarters and bombed its clinic, and its fighters were driven into hiding.

The fighters are widely blamed for explosions that have destroyed seemingly every police station in the city, as well as car bombings and drive-by shootings targeting the defected unit.

Hearing rumors that a revenge-seeking mob was threatening to come after Mr. Abu Khattala this fall, dozens of his neighbors sprang to his defense in scenes reminiscent of Venezia Road on the night of the mission attack. Fighters raced to erect checkpoints on the roads around his house, and they pulled out Kalashnikovs, grenade launchers, truck-mounted artillery and even a tank. Some drove government-issued pickups.

Mr. Gharabi said that Libya’s prime minister, under pressure from the Americans, had asked a Benghazi army commander for help apprehending Mr. Abu Khattala.

Mr. Gharabi quoted the commander as replying, “You will be lucky if he does not apprehend you.”

Errors in Spin about Benghazi

"The truth is that we made a mistake," CBS News correspondent Lara Logan said Friday as she apologized for an Oct. 27 report on 60 Minutes in which a State Department security contractor claimed he had been on the scene of 9/11/'12. Although Davies t

"The truth is that we made a mistake," CBS News correspondent Lara Logan said Friday as she apologized for an Oct. 27 report on 60 Minutes in which a State Department security contractor claimed he had been on the scene of 9/11/'12. Although Davies t

Citing the whole article by Kirkpatrick is important because the GOP has been on Obama's case about Benghazi. It is also good to learn the lesson that this spin has wrought as confusion and disinformation. The schpill by the 60 Minutes documentary put the record straight. So, before I could use it to make my point, I found it prudent to use this article above to reveal the truth and to Un-spin the crooked spin that the GOP and its ultra-right elements have been employing to confuse the American people and the world about the truth of Benghazi.

The GOP had hoped that the lies that they were promulgating against Obama would stick and eventually become true. Like they were saying, it was an Al Qaida inspired and executed operation, and not a spontaneous attack in response to a video going viral on the Web about Islam, as rice had said. It is in these time times that we see how propaganda and spin is used in an incorrect way in order to achieve certain political goals.

'60 Minutes' returns to Benghazi

Control Of The Flow Of the Viral Stream And Soup

Eye and "I" On The Internet. The Truth Can Always Be Spun Around And Round

Eye and "I" On The Internet. The Truth Can Always Be Spun Around And Round

The Emergence of Apin On the Internet [SpinterNet}

We learn fro an article written by Evgeny Morozov that:

"This year’s report on 'enemies of the Internet' prepared by Reporters Without Borders, the international press advocacy group, paints a very gloomy picture for the freedom of expression on the Web. It finds that many governments have stepped up their attacks on the Internet, harassing bloggers and making it harder to express dissenting opinions online.

"These are very disturbing trends. But identifying “Internet enemies” only on the basis of censorship and intimidation, as Reporters Without Borders has done, obfuscates the fact that these are only two components of a more comprehensive and multi-pronged approach that authoritarian governments have developed to diffuse the subversive potential of online communications.

"Many of these governments have honed their Internet strategies beyond censorship and are employing more subtle [and harder to detect] ways of controlling dissent, often by planting their own messages on the Web and presenting them as independent opinion.

"Their actions are often informed by the art of online 'astroturfing,' a technique also popular with modern corporations and PR firms. While companies use it to engineer buzz around products and events, governments are using it to create the appearance of broad popular support for their ideology.

"Their ultimate ambition may be to transform the Internet into a 'spinternet,' the vast and mostly anonymous areas of cyberspace under indirect government jurisdiction. The spinternet strategy could be more effective than censorship — while there are a plenty of ways to access blocked Web sites, we do not yet have the means to distinguish spin from independent comment.

"In China, the spinternet is being built by the '50 cent party,” a loose online squad of tech-savvy operators loyal to the government who are paid to troll the Internet, find dissenting views and leave anonymous comments to steer all discussions in more “harmonious” directions. The “50 cents” in the name stands for their meager pay rates.

"Plenty of local technology companies are also eager to help the government with various data-mining programs that identify dissenting views early and dispatch '50 cent party” operators to steer the discussion away from an antigovernment direction.

"In Iran, the Revolutionary Guards recently announced their ambition to build their own spinternet by launching 10,000 blogs for the Basij, a paramilitary force under the Guards. This comes at a time when the Internet has become a major force in exposing corruption in the highest ranks of the Iranian leadership.

"The Russian government may have found an even more ingenious way of suppressing the Internet’s democratizing potential: cost. Many Internet users in Russia are still billed on the basis of the frequency and duration of their browsing sessions, and the state-owned All-Russia State Television and Radio Company has floated the idea of building a “social Internet,” where users would pay nothing for state-approved Web sites.

"Such an approach is already being tested in Belarus, where Internet users can browse the government’s favored mouthpiece, “Belarus Today,” for free — that is, without paying their ISPs for Internet traffic, as they must for the country’s few independent media outlets.

"The rise of the spinternet suggests that the threats that the Internet poses to authoritarian regimes are far from unambiguous; some of these governments have turned quite adept at exploiting it for their own purposes.

"So while it’s important to continue documenting the direct repression of online journalists and bloggers, as organizations like Reporters Without Borders are doing, it is important to remember that there are other ways to qualify as an 'enemy of the Internet.'

Douglas Rushkoff - Open Source Democracy

And Now... Spinternet


Evgeny Morozov: How the Internet strengthens dictatorships

Black Holes In The Viral Soup

The Evolution Of Revolution writes:

During the June 2009 uprising in Iran, following the re-election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I came across an article in the Washington Post which detailed the situation at hand in an interesting fashion.

The article explained that while the use of new media to stir up activism may appear groundbreaking, in actuality, throughout history “Protesters have often used new technologies to evade government attempts to stifle dissent.”

Further, the Washington Post noted that even when the Soviet Union appeared on the verge of collapse, “Dissenters used underground fax services to spread information.” Therefore, it is clear that new media technologies provide vital communication links. Clearly, exploiting such communication avenues, while evading governmental interference, is the key to raising awareness for a political cause. Undeniably, this is the reality of modern revolution.

Today, just as citizen journalism is hailed the rejuvenator of the digital public sphere, digital activism is championed as the revivalist of online democracy. Undoubtedly, however, there must be a dark side to this.

While activists should surely take advantage of their digital tool belt, at the same time, society must be leery of what Evgeny Morozov has dubbed the “spinternet”.

Evgeny Morozov on the Spinternet

Georgetown University fellow Evgeny Morozov hails from the former Soviet republic of Belarus. To but it simply, he is, what I would like to call, a “cyber realist”. For instance, Morozov is well known for debunking myths, established narratives, and prevailing assumptions about the impact of the Internet and mobile technologies on geopolitics and democratic society at large. In a field overrun with countless so-called cyber optimists, Morozov offers a fresh perspective on the issue of digital activism.

Today, according to Morozov, “What you can actually see is that sectarian governments have mastered the use of cyberspace for propaganda purposes.”

“They are building” what he calls, “the spinternet”.

What exactly is the “spinternet” you ask?

Morozov explained that the “spinternet” is “The combination of spin, on the one hand, and the Internet on the other.” Very simply, spin + internet = the “spinternet”.

According to Morozov, “Governments from Russia to China to Iran actually hiring, training and paying bloggers in order to leave ideological comments and create a lot of ideological blog posts to comment on sensitive political issues.”

Thus, one example of the “spinternet” would be authoritarian regimes, equally well versed in online technologies, who utilize social media to hunt down dissenters and spew their own propaganda. Therefore, while digital activism surely has its positives, due to the anonymity afforded by online media, one can never truly be certain of who is behind each and every digital campaign.

The next question we must ask is “why”?

Why do dictatorships feel the need to engage with cyberspace? Well, Morozov would attest that this is because “censorship actually is less effective than you think it is in many of those places.”

For instance, the moment a digital activist injects something critical into the blogosphere or Twitterverse, even if a dictatorship manages to smother it immediately, the dissenter’s message will still spread from blog-to-blog.

Contemporarily, Morozov said that it seems as though the more effort corrupt regimes put into stifling dissent online, “The more it influences people to actually avoid the censorship and thus, win in this cat-and-mouse game”.

Today, a new consciousness is emerging in the blogosphere and cyberspace. Further, contemporary social media is changing and influencing citizen engagement with politics and other social issues. As like-minded individuals are united via these networked technologies, digital activism can flourish. All of a sudden, seemingly niche groups have the power to affect global change.

At the same time, however, one must question whether social media is always promoting transparency. We must ask whether the accessibility and anonymity of citizen journalism is actually working to make the public increasingly vulnerable to the wrath of the “spinternet”. If this is the case, a collective solution must be devised.

Spun Talking Points


The Spinternet: Advantage State...

This is very important, the juxtaposition of the contemporary positive use of the Net, against the negative usages of this technologically enabling Viral, if it is safe for the users to indulge in, as I am taking from the last paragraph of the post I have cited above:

"Today, a new consciousness is emerging in the blogosphere and cyberspace. Further, contemporary social media is changing and influencing citizen engagement with politics and other social issues. As like-minded individuals are united via these networked technologies, digital activism can flourish. All of a sudden, seemingly niche groups have the power to affect global change.

"At the same time, however, one must question whether social media is always promoting transparency. We must ask whether the accessibility and anonymity of citizen journalism is actually working to make the public increasingly vulnerable to the wrath of the “Spinternet”. If this is the case, a collective solution must be devised."

In this case, one is apt to point out that in fact, the Spinternet is used effectively in a country like South Africa. The Internet in South Africa has been mangled and made to be some sort of privilege to the inhabitants of the country. What I am talking about is the way the present-day ruling Party, The ANC, is using the Internet to seriously infiltrate, as a means of censorship and is running amok on the Press and TV utilizing mega Dream Corporations PR Corporations inside South Africa's Media System.

The people talk about buying or getting Data, Bundles of Air Time, meaning, for them to be able to even do that, they must become involved in buying very expensive phones that can access the Internet, first, then talk about buying Time on the Air, in order to be Online. Given that so many people are unemployed and those employed, are paid a pittance. Also, people have to make some serious choices when it come to buying the minutes of buying, exorbitantly costing foods. This is the conundrum constantly facing and confronting the army of the poor and jobless masses who want to be online.

At the same time, the ANC government has been fighting very hard to pass the Secrecy Bill, for, through its censorship of the net and other media, it has ascertained that if they are to have full control of the media communications system(on the Web) they are going to have to past their Secret Bill, which is receiving a serious push-back from media and communications enclaves within South Africa. There are many things the ANC would like to hide, because when they infiltrate on the 'chatter' on the South African Social Media-dislike what they hear, and they would like to curb that.

In fact, many people have received visits from ANC goons for their posts critical are attacking the ANC leadership. ANC members are not encouraged to post inflammatory and negative rhetoric and or statements about the ANC, if they want to belong and stay in the movement. And those who do not comply, are visited by the spook and goons of the ANC and given a hiding, warning or some form of intimidation-that they should stop what they are doing: cease and desist - Which they do, promptly! This has a very serious and impactful and sound chilling effect on all and sundry This is then the case of a government using the Spinternet for its own propaganda and control/censorship needs.

Evgeny is spot on that dictatorship use and in fact master the Spinternet to oppress their people more, and they are very hip and adept in using the new and emerging technologies and their techniques.

We learn the following from Ellul:

"When, as a consequence of the circumstance we have studied, the State comes into contact with techniques elaborate by individuals, when it encounters a private sphere of action which techniques have transformed into a sphere of public interest, it reacts by taking over this sphere as well as the techniques which brought about the mutation.

"Sometimes the State enters the field of action fro very different reasons than the ones I have mentioned. The State will adopt techniques simply because it find them already functioning. However evident this fact may be, it is necessary to emphasize it; to neglect it is to occasion many misunderstandings.

"The State will not act otherwise than as individuals have already acted. Insurance companies have developed insurance techniques; when these companies are nationalized, the state retains the old mechanism. After all, there are only a limited number of ways of using actuaries or establishing a police force, When an automobile manufacturing enterprise passes under state control, the tempo of the operations and the assembly lines are not modified.

"This is particularly clear with regard to material techniques, because techniques seem to us the more constraining the more they are material. But in fact, immaterial techniques display exactly the same characteristics. The technical phenomenon is not modified when an organization passes under state control. When and if technical development has been intensive, then, whatever the nature of judicial conditions, profits, unearned income and even political regime, there has been improvement in consumer purchasing power

"This is the essential source of the social progress brought about by the las century and a half. This amounts to saying that technical progress breaks down all barriers and technique imposes its structures and social progress. This forward motion of technique is constant, whatever the variables of the question may be.

"... Insofar as the state continues to exist, nothing prevents it from calling itself socialist, but in reality, nothing has changed. It is only a sleight-of-hand trick to say that the same institution with the same rules, applied in the same way and having the same results, is socialist when it is at the service of the people and capitalist, when it is at the service of capitalist institutions.

"... The State, by taking possession of all technical spheres and instrumentalities, becomes of necessity a capitalist State, substituting itself for private capitalists. And when it has come to understand its real interest, it adds nothing and modifies nothing that, technically speaking, pre-existed. When the State realizes the use it can make of techniques, when it understand the usefulness of techniques in all spheres, it moves deliberately to appropriate them

"In the past [and to a certain degree, today] circumstance led the state to appropriate a given technique. The fortuitous development of some political trend, the encounter of technique with the State - these led the State, a bit haphazardly, to adopt a technique. But instances of premeditated action on the part of the State in this direction are beginning to be discernible; for example, the exploitation of propaganda(Spinternet, for instance) and some atomic research. We must expect this movement to gain greater and greater amplitude, for when the State has once undertaken some action, it generally goes on to the end."

We are learning a lot about the state and it's taking charge of already established technology and technique, that our discussion about the ANC become very relevant here. The ANC took over from the Apartheid regime, at the dawning of the Internet, and today are using the 20+ years of learning to be suave about censorship, infiltration and propaganda, though, I still think that the ANC are amateurs, they are nonetheless carrying out their control and dumbing-down the poor as much as they can.

The new ways of propaganda given the merging, submerging and emerging gizmos and their enabling techniques are what the ANC are making use of, meaning, that the poor can ill-afford to be online without incurring huge chunks of their paltry earning, that in the final analysis. our African people remain ignorant and left out of the Web in ever larger number, because the ANC has outsourced the Providers, who are fleecing and gauging the poor Africans on the cell-phones, as indicated above.

ANC's Newly Proposed Apaartheid Era Censorship Of The Internet Today

The South African Film and Publications Board must scrap their draft regulations that would give broad powers to police everything published on the Internet.

The South African Film and Publications Board must scrap their draft regulations that would give broad powers to police everything published on the Internet.

Apartheid Censorships Redux Under The Present ANC Government In South Africa

The ANC government in South African is working had to control the Internet. It proposes to do this by making the users of the Internet and the post on the social media, be paid for and then vetted for pre-publication of content from organizations to individuals to pay a fee. One the fee has been paid, then the content will be severely subjected to being approved which will take time to do, thus affecting the immediacy that is that nature of the Internet.

This is a form of censorship akin to the Apartheid era censorship, and in the case of the ANC, they are trying to control and regulate the flow of the media and the timely posting of the content, and the slowing down of the internet and instant communication that is the nature of the Web content. The ANC hopes, by doing so, to be able to obfuscate and hide the shenanigans of state officials and other interest groups in bed with the government.

This is in violation of the Bill Rights Section 16 (1b) which states:

Freedom Of Expression Section 16(1b)

16(1b) -

b) Freedom to receive or impart information or ideas.

In fact, if one were to look at the whole section under the Freedom of Speech, the proposed new rules of censorship violate the whole Bill of Rights, namely:

Freedom of expression

16. (1)


Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes—

  1. (a) freedom of the press and other media;
  2. (b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;
  3. (c) freedom of artistic creativity; and
  4. (d) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research

This means that the government of South Africa under the ANC wants to violate the consistency and Bill Of Rights section posted above, under the guise that it is protecting the children against pornography and other such abuses. This is important, and the article below points out to this reality, but also shows the falsehoods behind such excuses. Since the ANC is now the Lackey of Chinese Soft Power", they are really trying to be 'like' China, as China has been doing with the Internet, but do the same censorship in South Africa

The article I am about to post below explains this draconian measure much more clearly:

Stop the Film and Publications Board’s attempt to censor the Internet!

Internet Censorship, Media Freedom|March 10, 2015

"The Right2Know Campaign calls on the public to reject the Film and Publications Board’s [FPB] proposals to censor the internet in South Africa. The FPB wants broadly defined powers to police everything published on the Internet – including blogs, personal websites and Facebook pages.

"The Right2Know Campaign demands that the Film and Publications Board to scrap the Draft Online Regulation Policy document gazetted on Wednesday 4 March 2015. The FPB must desist from any attempt to exercise pre-publication censorship of Internet content.

"The document, in its vague language and open-ended statements, would leave authorities with far too much room to infringe on the public’s right to freely receive and impart information as enshrined in chapter two of the Constitution.

"The document states that: “Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18(1) of the [1996 Films and Publications] Act by applying, in the prescribed manner, for registration as film or game and publications distributor.”

"It is clear from this statement that the new regulations apply to an absurdly broad range of content that is not limited to that which is published online. It also suggests that the target of this regulation is not just major distributors but also individuals. In terms of the wording of the document, everything published on the Internet – including blogs, personal websites and Facebook pages — could be subjected to classification from the FPB.

"According to the document, anyone wishing to publish or distribute content will have to first apply for a digital publisher’s online distribution agreement with the FPB, which will require a subscription fee. Once paid, the publisher would have to submit the content to the FPB for classification prior to publishing. This effectively is a specific form of pre-publication censorship, which is not acceptable.

"Moreover, the time spent on the pre-classification of content would undermine one of the most valuable traits of the internet — its immediacy. There is also a very real threat that in the future, organizations lacking in resources and unable to afford costly subscription fees, such as community-oriented news outlets and civil society groups, will be severely hampered by the unnecessarily bureaucratic regulations envisioned by the FPB. These online media outlets provide a valuable contribution to the diversity of the South African media landscape. The FPB draft regulations will disable this diversity.

"Worryingly, the regulations would allow the FPB to 'dispatch classifiers to the distributors’ premises for the purposes of classifying digital content.” Distributors would have to “ensure that the work of classifiers takes place unhindered and without interference.” The vague wording of the regulations would allow for ‘classifiers’ to visit, for example, the homes of citizen journalists and ordinary internet users.

"Such sweeping powers reek of apartheid-era censorship, whose advocates similarly relied on the guise of moralizing arguments. In this case, the FPB argues that the new measures are a necessary response to protect children from harmful or disturbing material. While there is clearly a need to protect children from those who produce or distribute child pornography, the law already provides for that by criminalizing those who do so. The response to the threat of child pornography cannot be at odds with the rights guaranteed by the constitution. There are various less stifling measures to protect children from harm.

"The FPB’s plan to police the internet is totally impracticable. New content is posted online via various platforms every second, which the FPB cannot practically prevent. It is likely that the majority of online users will not apply to the FPB for pre-classification of content, nor pay the subscription fee prior to publication, but under these regulations online users stand to be criminalized for doing something as simple as posting content online.

"This is at odds with Section 16 [1b] in the Bill of Rights. It also reveals a massive ignorance on the part of the FPB on how the internet actually works. And contrary to the arguments of the FPB, these regulations cannot practically prevent the distribution of content that is harmful to children.

"Although it is not possible to practically classify all online content prior to publication, the vague language of the draft regulations, however, could be used selectively to target specific users and online media outlets who have published content even when it is not harmful to children [i.e.. ANY content], thus amounting to post-publication censorship. The censoring power FPB is a hangover from apartheid and it has no place in a digital converged future.

"It is also apparent that the FPB is overstepping its legal boundaries. The Films and Publications Act of 1996 only gives the FPB the ability to issue guidelines, not to legislate. Additionally the Act gives the FPB jurisdiction over films and games, but not over all published content. The FPB has failed to adequately consult with relevant stakeholders before drafting the document.

"Only industry stakeholders were invited to participate behind closed doors, while civil society was excluded from the process despite the fact that the regulations could have profound consequences for ordinary members of the public. The Right2Know Campaign condemns this latest attempt to broaden the power of authorities to censor and restrict publishable content — the sort of action characteristic of an increasingly overbearing, paranoid and insecure state.

Censroing And Regulating The Internet By The ANC Government

A new set of regulations threatens the very essence of our internet freedom. They want to police and crack down on our digital democracy. If the Film and Publication Board’s new internet regulations are implemented, they’d have the right to review an

A new set of regulations threatens the very essence of our internet freedom. They want to police and crack down on our digital democracy. If the Film and Publication Board’s new internet regulations are implemented, they’d have the right to review an

Draconina Measures And Contravetnitoion Of the Freedom Of Speech By The ANC Wnshrined In the Bill Of Rights

These are the proposed Safeguards as espoused by the FPB:

9. Checks And Safeguards

9.1 Allowing industry to classify its own content may raise concerns in certain sectors of South African society about achieving an acceptable balance between content providers' commercial interests and community needs and concerns

9.2 Accordingly, the Board shall retain the power to monitor industry classification decision-making and to penalize serious breaches

9.3 In the even that an online distributor is found to have manipulated or provided false information to the Board of any other person with the sole object of achieving classification decision that advances its own commercial interest, the Board may withdraw the online distributor from the co-regulation regime, and direct that all media content belonging to the distributor to be submitted to the Board for classification by the Board

9.4 Under this policy, all industry classifiers, whether they classify for television networks, film distributors, or other content providers, are subject to the Boards regulatory oversight.

Now, here's the kicker and the teeth and 'Power' the Board is about to be given:

13. Audits Of Industry Classification Decisions

13.1 As part of the quality assurance process and monitoring of industry classification decision-making, the Board shall have the 'power' to undertake post-classification audits of media content that must be classified and of media content that must be restricted to adults.

13.2 In conducting audits, the Board may draw on the classification experience of its classifiers as independent benchmark decision-maker.

13.3 The Board shall use the audits as the primary mechanism by which the Board proactively manages industry classification activities, to maintain a high standard of decision-making.

13.4 Further,the Board shall use the audits as the means for advising content providers and/or individual classifiers about any issues identified with the classification decision-making process, and may initiate remedial action to assist classifiers to improve their job performance. Tis might involve liaising with the online distributor or content provider and suggesting additional training or supervision. In some cases, audits outcomes might require content providers to revisit decisions as appropriate.

13.5 The Board will also use audits as an evidence base of serious and repeated misconduct, in which case he Board will have the power to impose 'sanctions.'

14. Sanctions Regime For Industry Classifiers

14.1 Sanctions are another means of protecting consumers and of ensuring that the integrity of the entire classification scheme is maintained. Sanctions are intended to be a 'last resort' to prevent industry classifiers from continuing to make classification decision that re repeatedly misleading,incorrect, or grossly inadequate.

14.2 In keeping with the above principle, all content provider or online distributors authorized to distribute online content in the Republic of South Africa are subject to the penalty of the Board in terms of the Act, this policy, and any other directive that the Board may issue from time to time.

14.3 The Board shall have the 'power' to 'impose' fines and/or withdraw the authorization of any content provider or online distributor who repeatedly makes decisions that are misleading, incorrect, or grossly inadequate

Incarcerated Web Censorship and Regulation

R2K wants the FPB to scrap the the Draft Online Regulation Policy document gazetted earlier this month. The coalition  says the FPB must desist from any attempt to exercise pre-publication censorship of internet content, adding that: “The document, i

R2K wants the FPB to scrap the the Draft Online Regulation Policy document gazetted earlier this month. The coalition says the FPB must desist from any attempt to exercise pre-publication censorship of internet content, adding that: “The document, i

Internet Draconinan Censorship In south Africa Today

The new ANC government has not originality it can claim in its rule of South Africa, And when it come to silencing the Freedom of speech, they have taken to using the Aparhtiedized versions of Censorship, and they are about to give carte blanche power over the Internet to their minions and goons who are not really media savvy. Wo what we have here, as has been averred by many critics, are draconian rules that are aimed at curbing the press under the guise that they will be eliminating 'sex' from the Internet,

If one were to really follow and look at the various social media in proliferation in the South African Facebook environs, many have been and are at present posting scathing critique against the ANC rule, and the corrupt government officials have a thin skin when it comes to that sort of criticism, so they are doing all they can with the Secrecy Press and the regulation of the Internet and its attendant Social media enclaves, so's to mute dissent and devastating criticism of their rule

Below, I will use post a recent article on the purposes and aims of the new proposed Internet censorship now threateningly looming over the Web in South Africa penned by Jeremy Malcom"

Africa's Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could Be Coming To South Africa

Only once in a while does an Internet censorship law or regulation come along that is so audacious in its scope, so misguided in its premises, and so poorly thought out in its execution, that you have to check your calendar to make sure April 1 hasn't come around again. The DraftOnline Regulation Policy recently issued by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) of South Africa is such a regulation. It's as if the fabled prude Mrs. Grundy had been brought forward from the 18 century, stumbled across on her first excursion online, and promptly cobbled together a law to shut the Internet down. Yes, it's that bad.

But don't just take our word for it—read some of its provisions for yourself. First, the regulation applies, in the first instance, to films and games (regardless of subject matter), as well as to publications containing certain loosely described forms of sex, violence and hate speech. As to these types of content:

5.1.1 Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18(1) of the Act by applying, in the prescribed manner, for registration as film or game and publications distributor.

5.1.2 In the event that such film, game or publication is in a digital form or format intended for distribution online using the internet or other mobile platforms, the distributor may bring an application to the Board for the conclusion of an online distribution agreement, in terms of which the distributor, upon payment of the fee prescribed from time to time by the Minister of DOC as the Executive Authority, may classify its online content on behalf of the Board, using the Board's classification Guidelines and the Act …

If you are a video blogger creating films from your basement, the prospect of FPB officers knocking on your door to classify your videos probably isn't that appealing. So, being the forward-thinkers that they are, without actually providing an exception for user-generated content (or a sensible definition of it), the FPB provides an alternative system which places the burden of classifying such content onto Internet intermediaries:

7.5 In the event that such content is a video clip on YouTube or any other global digital media platform, the Board may have its own accord refer such video clip to the Classification Committee of the Board for classification.

7.7 Upon classification, the Board shall dispatch a copy of the classification decision and an invoice payable by the online distributor within 30 days, in respect of the classification of the content in question.

A few definitions are in order here: an “online distributor” could be a South African ISP, which might have no connection with the “global digital media platform” that actually hosts the content. Nonetheless, the ISP is assumed to have the capacity to take down the original video, and to upload a new, classified, version containing the FPB's logo:

7.10 The online distributor shall, from the date of being notified by the Board in writing of the classification decision, take down the unclassified video clip, substitute the same with the one that has been classified by the Board, and display the Film and Publication Board Logo and classification decision as illustrated in clause 5.1.6.

Oh, but it gets worse. Since classification rules already apply to offline films, games and proscribed publications, the regulation purports to be doing nothing more than to be extending the classification scheme to online versions of those materials, so that anyone distributing them over the Internet also has to obtain a license to do so. But then there's this:

7.4 With regard to any other content distributed online, the Board shall have the power to order an administrator of any online platform to take down any content that the Board may deem to be potentially harmful and disturbing to children of certain ages.

That's right, any online platform can be ordered to take down any content distributed online that the Board may deem to be potentially harmful and disturbing. Traditional publishers are subject to no such sweeping, extrajudicial censorship power.

What kind of content might we be talking about here? Much of the preamble of the document talks about sex. Indeed, sex sells, and it sells censorship legislation as well as it sells cigarettes and soft drinks. However the regulation, even on its face, goes much further. Its background section gives an example of non-sexual videos that, even under the current law, were issued a classification by the FPB—videos depicting a Pretorian pastor “ordering members of his congregation, some of whom were minors, to graze like cattle and drink petrol to prove that humans can eat anything provided by God”. Under the new proposed regulation, the FPB could simply order such videos—which are obviously newsworthy—to be removed from the Internet.

“Draconian” is a word that we use quite often on Deeplinks, but by any standard of draconian, this proposed regulation is it. It bears all the hallmarks of being the response to a wish-list from a single, puritanical special interest group, without taking the other broader free speech rights of the public into account.

Thankfully, section 195 of the South African Constitution does direct the public administration that, “People's needs must be responded to, and the public must be encouraged to participate in policy-making," and in accordance with this directive, the proposed Draft Online Regulation Policy has been opened for public comment, which remains open until June 15. Local groups like Right to Know have already been mobilizing against the proposal, and are collecting supporters for a petition and social media campaign, which EFF heartily endorses.

South Africa is one of Africa's largest and fastest growing economies, and for it to adopt such an extreme preemptive Internet censorship regulation would be a serious setback for South Africa's burgeoning online industry, as well as, needless to say, a serious blow to human rights. If you are South African, or have any friends or colleagues who are, please take action by signing the Right to Know petition, and spreading the word about this looming threat.

Se Nothing, Hear Nothing And Say Nothing: Censorhip In south Africa In Digital Age


Spinternet And The New Internet Gulag In South Africa

Lola writes:

The FPB's online regulation policy is every South African's problem

Imagine living in a country where the government controls what you publish on the Internet. That could include Facebook, Blogs, YouTube and websites. Imagine going through draconian procedures every time you want to publish news or share an opinion. Imagine censorship regulations so invasive that government officials have the right to enter your home or workplace any time they want.

The Films and Publication's Board wants to make that future a reality for South African Internet users. The implications are so far-reaching that it will affect not just Internet users, but every South African resident.

Update:Last week many local Internet websites shared their concern about the FPB's intention to police South Africa's Internet. Every article also urged South Africans to sign the Right2Know petition. Even though the FPB's Online Regulations Policy will drastically affect South Africans, most seem to think it's either something that will never be implemented, or perhaps that it won't affect them. Or is it that we have no faith in the usefulness of petitions? At the time of writing the petition has a meager 516 supporters. Right2Know also took a stand against the secrecy bill and warned that media freedom would be next in line. They were right.

I am not a great believer in the power of petitions, but this is one worth fighting for. Why are you not signing up?

On Wednesday 4 March 2015, the FPB gazetted The Draft Online Regulations Policy, which states that:

“Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18(1) of the [1996 Films and Publications] Act…"

Don't be fooled by thinking the Act will only apply to organizations in the entertainment industry. The words "any person" and "certain publication" should have you very concerned. To put it bluntly, should the Act pass, the government will be able to regulate what almost every South African resident can post on the Internet.

It's a blatant violation of privacy and freedom of speech, and we need to take a stand against it.

To comply with the Act news organizations, bloggers, YouTubers, and who knows who else, will have to follow an absurd set of rules:

Apply for a digital publisher’s online distribution agreement with the FPB

Pay a subscription fee

Submit all content to the FPB prior to publishing
Give the FPB the legal right to dispatch "classifiers" to your premises
Give the "classifiers" complete and unhindered freedom to investigate
What about Internet organizations that don't have the budget to pay the fee? What about those that run on charity? It could mean the end for personal blogs and Facebook groups. Will it impact Twitter?

I've worked in the local video games industry for a few years, and I can tell you, no one has the budget for this. Let's say we do, how will we be able to bring you news every day? One of the most important advantages of being an online publication is that we can push out news as fast as it comes.

If the government takes away our ability to publish news as it breaks, then we won't have a purpose. If we have to go trough a time consuming process to get articles approved we will lose relevancy. It means people will lose their jobs, the economy will suffer, it means entire households will be thrown into turmoil.

The government wants to enforce pre-publication censorship. I wonder why? They want to silence or control the voice of media, stifle creativity and protect themselves against negative publicity. It will be like living in a digital police state.

SA YouTubers will be one of the sectors that will probably die out as YouTube will definitively not waste their time to moderate which channels complies with the Act. I caught up with one of our local gaming YouTubers, ReefTV for his thoughts on the matter.

"As someone that runs a South African based Youtube channel and blog as mostly a hobby, if these regulations come into working, I'll be left with two options, it's not financially viable to 'subscribe' to the FBP so they can take their time to go through all my content and classify it. I currently have around 800 videos published on Youtube and I will lose out on ad revenue while I wait for them to classify my content.

"So either I don't subscribe and run the risk of the FBP censoring my content to one of my bigger markets, that being South African viewers, or I block South African viewers on all my content and focus on making content aimed at international viewers. Which would mean no more Skyrim in Afrikaans and the like. Honestly though Ideally I wouldn't want to be forced to choose either option."

Reef TV: YouTube | Blog

I also called on someone whose opinion I value very highly, Graeme Selvan. He was the PR for Xbox South Africa and is currently the PR Manager for Megarom Games. Here's what he believes will happen should the government regulate the Internet.

"Before we get into this I just want to make it clear that this is my own opinion it does not represent that of the company I work for.

I think the major worry for me in general is that firstly you can’t control the internet. YouTube in South Africa is growing fairly slowly, all this kind of act does is make things incredibly difficult for people to produce content. Personally controlling YouTube content is a war that they won’t win and a monster that they will never be able to control.

I fear that if they continue down this path it will be easier for YouTube to block access to all South Africans. The amount of content YouTube gets on a daily basis is immeasurable, our market in the big scheme of things is incredibly tiny, for YouTube to monitor what content is rated and what is not is not possible.

Controlling digital content distribution like games is something I feel is something they are not equipped to do. While they handle all physical based content in South Africa a lot of the smaller studios overseas are not willing to jump through the incredibly painful procedures to get their titles rated in our market. We all remember the local Xbox 360 store? Well, that is a direct result of the lack of FPB digital content ratings. This creates a massive impact for gamers that want to play the plethora of amazing digital-only titles

Personally I think this act is a little backward, as a country we should be moving forward, this is a few steps in the wrong direction. Instead of finding ways to obtain more money from taxpayers they should wait for the economy to get to a level where consumers have more money to spend on entertainment and luxury items. The FPB really comes across to me as a greedy money monster that are willing to ruin things for everyone as the sake of more!

What can we do?

You can support the Right2Know petition. They've made a brilliant argument against the Act, which you can read here. You can cast your vote in the petition here. You can use the power of the Internet; retweet, comment, Facebook, use whatever social media platform you have. Remember to use the hashtag#HandOffOurInternet What you should not do is be blasé about it. If we ever needed to pull together, then this is our moment.

Draconinan Censorhip Laws Of The Internet Deemed Unconstitutional In South Africa Today


Sex and censorship: The FPB and its ‘internetphobic’ draft policy

The ghosts of Apartheid’s censors must be looking favorably on the work of their successors at the Film and Publications Board . Its existential crisis in understanding the internet has lead to the drafting of an (unworkable) draft policy on regulating online content. Micah Reddy reports:

Founded under the Film and Publications Act of 1996, the Film and Publications Board (FPB) is the body responsible for slapping age restrictions and content warnings on movies and TV programs, and much of its work is fairly everyday, uncontroversial stuff. But lately the Board has got carried away with an overzealous attempt to protect us from the unsettling realities that the internet has brought.

As the web extends its reach across South Africa and digital platforms converge, the FPB has been left dazzled, unsure of its role in a digital age where it is powerless to determine what audiences can and can’t see. Its response to its own existential crisis has been nothing short of ‘internetphobia’.

In early March, the FPB released its draft policy for regulating online content. The policy envisions a ‘co-regulatory’ system in which distributors will classify their own content in line with the Board’s specific guidelines, subject to penalties imposed by the Board for non-compliance. But it is unclear where the policy’s boundaries end and who exactly falls under the policy’s jurisdiction.

The draft policy stipulates that the regulations apply to “any person who distributes or exhibits online any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa”. But save for a throwaway line that the policy will generally not apply to persons uploading content for non-commercial use, there is nothing to suggest that ordinary users of, say, social media pages, blogs and personal websites will not be affected in some arbitrary way. Indeed there are more than enough provisions in the policy to allow the Board to restrict user-generated content. That means Facebook. That means Twitter. That means everything.

Pre-publication classification

Beyond the vague and often contradictory language of the draft regulations, the entire process of classification should give us real cause for concern. Distributors would have to classify their own material prior to publication, in accordance with strict guidelines issued top-down from the Board.

The very idea of pre-publication classification reeks of censorship and is totally at odds with the constitutionally enshrined right to freedom of expression. Of course, freedom of expression is never absolute and must be weighed up against other rights, but any limitation of such a fundamental human right as freedom of expression must be practiced with extreme caution.

No democratic society can tolerate the collective penalization of all legitimate expression for the crimes of a few. It is a view that, mercifully, was made explicit by theConstitutional Court in a landmark ruling in 2012, when the Court struck down large sections of the Film and Publications Act as unconstitutional. And at the heart of the matter was the prior restraint of publication.

The Court took the view of Lord Scarman that prior restraint, “Though occasionally necessary in serious cases, is a drastic interference with freedom of speech and should only be ordered where there is a substantial risk of grave injustice”. In line with democratic standards in international jurisprudence, the court concluded “the mainstay of the law is to encourage lawful conduct rather than to seek to guarantee lawfulness by restricting conduct altogether," and thus prior classification should only be used in exceptional circumstances by means of court interdicts, where the burden of proof rests with the party attempting to restrain the right to expression.

The FPB’s draft policy suggests that the Board has completely ignored the Court’s 2012 ruling. The ostensible “co-regulation” leaves little input for publishers, who are expected to simply implement the Board’s classification rules. And should they fail to comply, the Board is trying to give itself sweeping powers to punish and enforce. Troublesome online distributors could have their distribution permits revoked, be barred from the co-regulation regime, and forced to submit all content to the Board for prior classification.

Under the proposed policy, the Board, where and when it deems necessary, can dispatch classifiers to the premises of distributors. This allows, for example, for a group of ‘classifiers’ to arbitrarily show up at your home and rummage through any of your material, should you wish to post something on your own website. This is the reincarnation of apartheid-era censorship.

It is also plain to see how the regulations would trample over press freedom. One of the great benefits of the internet is its immediacy, and with that the ability to deliver breaking news to global audiences within seconds. The volume of online information, and the speed with which it is shared, has democratized the production and consumption of news and made the conversation between audience and newsroom more dynamic, and more important, than ever. But the Board’s regulations would act as a break on all of this.

Editorial prerogative and editors’ ability to make quick and informed decisions in the public interest would be sidelined in favor of a cumbersome administrative process. And at time when print media is in decline, and newsrooms are hemorrhaging staff and struggling to find sustainable ways of adjusting online, few media outlets could afford the costs of employing trained staff to classify all their material.

Internet nanny

The Film and Publications Board has already given us good reason why it should not be trusted with any more power to police what we watch. Two years back the Board provoked widespread controversy when it effectively banned local film Of Good Report democratized, scheduled to be the opening feature at the Durban International Film Festival. The film is about a male teacher’s exploitative relationship with a schoolgirl — a very real, prevalent issue in South Africa.

But a sex scene, acted out by two clothed adults, one of whom was depicted as being under 18 year old, was enough to get the classifiers squirming in their seats and crying wolf. Less than half an hour into the film, the classifiers determined that it contained child pornography and was therefore not suitable for screening, and that anyone attempting to screen it would face tough consequences.

The classifiers failed to recognize that the offending scene was not intended to arouse at all. They paid no attention to the artistic merit of a film that dealt with a serious topic in a serious way. The Board, though, has never really cared much for the aesthetic value of art, as it made clear in its hysterical reaction to Brett Murray’s famous artwork The Spear, which is slapped with an age restriction of 16.

According to the Board, anyone wishing to exhibit the painting or publish an image of it would need to put in place measures to prevent anyone under 16 from seeing it. One wonders what the Board would make of a nude by Titian or Manet.

The Board claims that combating child pornography and the exposure of children to harmful content are what make the draft regulations so urgent. But in its mission to clamp down on child pornography it has been know to keep dubious allies, among them a group of stodgy, undersexed and overbearing Christian fundamentalists who call themselves the Family Policy Institution.

The FPI’s leading crusader, Errol Naidoo spends his days panicking about “radical anti-family feminists” and the “gay agenda” and who has an unhealthy obsession with other people’s sex lives. Unfortunately, Naidoo and his ilk seem to have rubbed off on the Board, which is intent on appointing itself guardian of morality.

Noble though the intention to combat child pornography is — if indeed that is what motivates the Board – it cannot come at the expense of legitimate expression, especially when there are various pieces of legislation in place that explicitly criminalize the production, possession and distribution of child pornography. It is best left to the police and welfare agents to deal with child pornography, not an out of touch bunch of bureaucrats who are way overstepping their boundaries, and who see the internet first and foremost as a threat.

Any regulations governing those who publish content online should start from the assumption that the least worst example to draw on is the way the press is regulated: self-regulation based on codes of ethics, public recourse to independent regulators like the Press Council, and post-publication consequences for those who publish illegal material.

Regulation should not confer greater powers on the state to infringe on civil liberties, and as the public we should be ever wary of state overreach under whatever moralistic guise or security imperative. We have seen state institutions undermined by political interference and worrying threats to freedom of expression and press freedom.

We do not know what the political landscape will look like years down the line, but there is a very real chance that, should the FPB’s regulations ever see fruition, they will be one more tool in the hands of an increasingly paranoid state to monitor and control expression.

Although we can at least take some comfort in the fact that the FPB’s draft policy is not only unconstitutional but also unworkable. It boggles the mind to think how the Board would even begin to apply its Orwellian grand plan to millions upon millions of website pages and blogs in a truly global medium.

Twain's Musings...


Apartheid Retread... Ruling And Censoring Like The Apartheidizers

The ANC has been experiment and dabbling with the Internet censorship for some time now, and now they are moving on in on the censorship of the Internet. They have been censoring the mobile jamming devices, committing audio from parliamentary proceedings, making sure some stuff on the Web is not allowed to be cut and pasted, infusing useless and dull programming in both TV, Radio, and newspapers subjected to yellow journalism.

Now they are moving in on jamming, and blocking posted content on the Web under the ruse that they are preventing sex and pornography that is now reaching a millions of children, and they, the children, have access to Facebook and other such social media to act out the porno and sex that they imbibe on the Social media and the Internet. Many adults at work use their company's Internet to view porno(especially men) instead of doing their jobs; sex permeates the media gadgets and environs that everyone on the Web, globally, has access to.

The ANC government want to control, regulate and censor that type of content, and then some. Any criticism, which is what most content is about on the social media like the FB, are harsh critiques of the malgovernance and corruption that is endemic and rife in south Africa. The ANC has not been able to justify tier crooked ways, so that, they are shutting down the Web, and resulting also delaying internet posts, thus ,in essence, drying up the criticism, They want people to pay for such internet access, that is, when one wants to post anything, they have to pay for it, and also wait for the approvable of the Board for the posts on the Web and on the Social Media.

In fact, they're curtailing and blocking the people's right to know; they shut of the Internet Signal in the parliamentary chambers and the journalists end up hollering for the bringing back of the signal so that they can work; the cell phone reception of journalists has been blocked numerous times during parliamentary sessions; the government has effectively immobilized whistleblowers in any sector: Stop Our Media Being Gagged & Bound informs us:

World ‪#‎PressFreedom‬ Day: HARASSMENT OF JOURNALISTS ~ The incidence of ILLEGAL ARRESTS and PHYSICAL ATTACKS on journalists by the police has increased dramatically over the past 3 years. These journalists face this harassment for doing their jobs, which is to bring stories of community protests, police brutality, corruption and mismanagement to the people. In 2014 freelance photojournalist, Michael Tshele, was murdered by the police in Mothutlung while he was photographing a protest in that community. We demand justice for Michael Tshele, and we demand from the State the protection of journalists against the illegitimate use of force and violence. [Right2Know Campaign & SOS Coalition press release extract, Johannesburg, South Africa.]

What we have here is Apartheid rules and laws revamped. The ANC has found it convenient to redress and implement the laws of Apartheid in many instances as pointed out above, and it suits them for they cannot think further from their nose-bridges. These lazy marabouts are only happy to find the use of laws by our former detractors attractive enough to ensure their rule by any means necessary.

In this case, they have given life to the laws and rules that they had professed to fight against in the Sechaba and News Briefings magazines whilst in Exile. They used the Radio Freedom broadcast to castigate the Apartheid rulers for instituting such draconian rules, that today, they find it easy and very convenient to use to pro-up their own illicit and unconstitutional rule. What goes around, has come around through the ANC government in South Africa today. The ANC is now involved in the most crass and crude form of Spinternet.

Hitlerian Drumpf(Trump)


The Return Of Drumpf(Trump) -Hitler And His Brown Shirted Goons

The Return Of Drumpf(Trump)/Hitler And His Brown-shirted Goons And Cabals...
As a media Ecologist, I have been keeping tabs on how the American voting system has been evolving during the past 2 years, and in this ecology, throw in the burgeoning Viral stream with its attached social media, one gets to see see how the people have been propagandized thoroughly. I have written about the Twitterers, and Facebook on these Blogs, and in this piece, I want to make a quick review of the now supposed-normal communication environs in the social Media, and how this has been used and is affecting its users and people.

As the Twitter and the Facebook mediums have grown to date in September 2016, they are the new ways and means of global communication, and many people literary live in the mediums and through their technological gizmos. This can seen clearly when one surveys the present-day media ecologies of Twitter and Facebook, primarily. This is the environment we are all existing and proliferating in. The case of Donald Drumpf(Trump) come to mind.

Since his run for the presidency, Drumpf has been using the Twitter social media as his propaganda vehicle. He also exploits Local American TV to offer his oft repeated lies, which he has hoped, like had happened for Goebbels and Hitler, that a lie repeated often enough will become the truth in the end.

Classic propaganda tactic used by Drumpf to put his hordes of followers as cannon-fodder for his quest towards fascist and authoritative rule, plus stealing government money. And, to many of those untutored masses who are blindly following Drumpf, they are no different from the indifferent Germans during Hitler's World War II Propaganda using the radio, newspapers and rallies to gain power.

Even though we are living in the technological age and era, it is amazing how many people are guidable to the effects and affects of the new emerging and merging/converging technologies and their techniques are determining their lived lives.

Many people are so lame in their acceptance of these new technological gadgets and too many are oblivious as to how these technology determine our existence and being in ever so much and consistently imprisoning ways by taking over our cognition and intellectual facilities and capabilities that we have had for so many millions of years-making us depended entirely on technology.

But what you see, is that, people, especially those who still believe in racism as a tour de force-are ecstatic about Drumpf; for them, Drumpf is the end all of everything else, and many are heater-skelter running into the fake and false bigotry and racism as espoused and spit by Drumpf, because they claim, "he is speaking to me and for me', simply put, he is as racist as I am.

Drumpf's racist harangue and propaganda has choked the oxygen out of the the 2016 presidential elections in the US, and for his opening salvo, in his announcing his candidacy, was choc-full of racist drivel and bigoted intent and meaning.

Many want to legitimize Drumpf as a person who is saying what's in his mind, and telling it like it is. This leader of theirs, and what he calls a movement(a racist movement, I might add), want us to believe that this self-styled millionaire(doubtful if he is a Billionaire-he still has to show us his Taxes), by the way-he has recalcitrantly and obdurately refused to do-is a supposedly legitimate{residential contender. What we are witnessing is the rise of fascism, authoritarianism and virulent racism as projected by the Drumpf campaign.

Drumpf hates Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, Chinese, Arabs, Africans in Africa, Hispanic people, and uses his Twitter account to magnetize and hold spell bound, both the media and his hapless follower of racists. These followers of Drumpf have been beating up and intimidating also refusing to listen to the illogical hate and racism, because he represents their feeling and hopes for a separate and unequal America; and they also want to ship out up to 12 million out of America.

This is what we are dealing with here. Drumpf''s use of propaganda through TV and the Media to freeze and immobilize his followers into following and acting up his racist rant and tirade with glee and dogmatic fervor.

I have posted a very critical article about Drumpf here in my Blogs and Facebook, and one of the things I pointed out to was the fact that Drumpf wants to lay his 'small' and greedy hands on the money in government, through making his Company linked to him and his children, were he to become President, and in that way, siphon the wealth of this country into his already existing questionable accounts and contacts, both locally and globally.

Yes, I have written a piece in response to a 'friend' on FaceBook about my impressions about Drumpf in the following manner:

"I would like to add that Trump was not only 'unprepared', but for real, he is an ignoramus Dummy. Drumpf is a vain narcissist preoccupied with his hair, his bear-like looking suits, and an egg-head/airhead mindset. The term, 'substance,' is as foreign to him, as he, with his billions, eats burgers junk food and or Pizza with a fork and knife!

It is important we give Drumpf his due: He's "Ignant"(Ignorant)! What they call his winning the first twenty-five minutes on the economy, was his bullying-ego trying to intimidate and not allow Clinton to even speak.. That is what he is being credited with, from the lowly pundits on Cable. Even that deplorable Chris Matthews said that Hillary won 5-0, and that Trump was mo match for Clinton.

What one saw was that the Drumpf went into the Spin-room personally to manage the Press. What I really think happened here, was us seeing the Dumbed-out loosing Drumpf, that even his scare-crow looking-like spokes-persons[surrogates], were at loss what to say, just as they trailed behind him into and throughout the Spin-room.

I think we have a TV media which really saw a man, they built, being thoroughly whipped and humiliated, and many of them are still in denial that he was not up to par, that even the lowly bar set for him, was too high and difficult for him to scramble and clamber over.

I am non-plussed by the talking heads trying to maintain some false media balance, crediting him with 20 minutes, but had to really give HC the rest of the time. As to HC's performance, that as cool as they come, munching Trumps crappy shit, with smiles and calm and coolness of some someone who kept on delivering earth shattering facts and blow, that Drumpf went for the water so many times, licked his parched and dry lips, frowning, pouting, sniffling, interrupting, and acting up like a spoilt Drumpf that he is. His performance last night was an affront and embarrassment of the intelligence of the Americans and Humanity.

Even if he tries to ape Hitler, he is the most dumb and boring piece of small hands and underdeveloped fucked-up racist psyche. I have never had a sense that Drumpf is Smart.. Crook, Yes.. Opportunist and Racist.. Nor argument here.. The disgruntled and grudge-filled Drumpf, like many of us have seen, it's just that the Media is really pumping this sleaze, and he appears as media savvy which is he is not-was a shame and sham.

As for Roger Ailes[bankupt and devoid of new ideas, and accused of abusing women], his advice is tired, since he is touted as a media-guru, leaves no doubt that this has become a farce.. Drumpf's TV Comportment was amateurish, at Best, and very untutored and unrefined, at worst. What was Roger teaching him about TV and one's face on camera?

They were both sitting down, instead of practicing and preparing, talking about their bye-gone years, and their shriveled tired faces and pot-bellies comforting the dread Drumpf felt and knew he was going to be pulverized debating HC. Adrenalin was in charge albeit for twenty minutes, within Drumpf's beleaguered amorphous torso, then he begun to look like ashes, ashen, aged, grey-face, water-drinking louse, sniffling and hemming and hawing that was what this has raised some serious question about drug abuse.

If ever there's an everlasting picture, image and the best that America has had to offer the American people and the World, 'tis Obama. Contrasting Obama with Drumpf, is when we are really becoming sacrilegious and Dumb, for there will never be any way anyone can compare what we saw, last night, Drumpf the looney rich and spoilt white old man, will never be simply Obama trotting up or down the stairs of a stage of Presidential plane, and so forth. I do not even want to talk about Obama smarts and intellect, for there is nothing to say here that Drumpf would match.

HC exposed a silly white old man, broke-assed and crooked, and ignorant and vain, White racist that in the end, I still think he must be pondering what the next two rounds would be like. Like a pugilist sitting in a chair of each round, Drumpf is wondering and pondering if he will be able to withstand, cope and manage to take the punch form HC any further. The Golden Egg-yellow-hair toupe Drumpf, is not entertaining with any glee on meeting HC.

In a word, he came through, last night, as a know-nothing, ignorant and Egg-head yellow air head who cannot even string a coherent sentence, let alone construct presidential ideas or policy. No matter what hope many of those who hope he wins, it is true that last night, Drumpf, with his small hands, was just as small-minded and Dumb as I have ever seen anyone-he will never any encounter or debate with HC. What does one expect from a man who is able to poorly construct sentences and thoughts in a 140 character Twitter line... So much for such lowly and scandalous mediocrity... His Temperament is garbage..."

Even in my response above, about Drumpf being 'ignorant'(ignorant), I do not mean to say that he is that stupid, but as to knowing important political matters, he still needs to go and take up Political Science 101, plus he is lazy, does not read, sits on the Twitter in the unholy wee-hours of the morning, responding to being needled, and tweeting atrocious drivel and insults, that when he was heading towards the Debate with HC, it was speculated by the TV talking heads and conspiracy pros that Drumpf is unpredictable, 'let Drumpf be Drumpf',' HC has never debated a chaffed looney character of this magnitude'-yadi-yadi-yadi, yada.

What happened during the debate, Drumpf was ashes, looking drained, jowls dropped, mouth pursuing like a pig, drinking lots of water, breath hard and sniffling a lot(Some say he had sniffed large amounts of Cocaine-never know, right?) Maybe I am wrong, but I am ready to point out that Drumpfs intelligence is great amongst Beauty constants, and cheating and robbing the poor and hard working folks, and abusing women, and being racist and incorrigibly bigoted and mean spirited, and this is what his followers say they like about him.

His followers do not give a rat's ass as to what bigoted and racist and mean spirited things he has said about women, the handicapped, those who fought in America's Wars, nasty stuff about Africans in America, vile racist garbage about Mexicans and atrocious things about Muslims and the Chinese along with the Japanese(of which he does business with, go figure).

Even if they say Drumpf is running his campaign in a past Primary mode, he still is thinking and behaving like the crooked business man he was in his private life, running for the presidential elections This means that, his followers are being hoodwinked through a business tinged ideology and his racist beliefs, which perfectly matches those of his followers. There is no secret here, the propaganda means and ways, the racist sites and Drumpf's racist charge, all are in tandem with each other...

If the so-called debate, rather than it being dubbed an 'encounter' between Drumpf and Clinton, Drumpf was exposed as an empty can that has been making a lot of noise; he behaves like a 4 year spoilt brat, and even when he loses, he talks and acts like he has won.. Lying all the time.

Drumpf lies with every sentence he utters; he changes his thoughts mid-sentence and contradicts himself greatly by the end of his tired and racist speeches. The media was enamored with his nasty racist rhetoric and carrying ing on, and they crowned him master and 'genius' of using both the Twitter and the TV cable channels's talking heads.

The Media was looking out for its ratings and earnings, and Drumpf has been their draw-card, but, as the months now are nearing for voting, they are scurrying and scuttling trying to fact check him, of which his followers do not care one bit, and the polls are showing a tightened race, and there is a great national consternation and divide about whether to choose him of HC.

The amount of propaganda now embracing and choking all the targeted people is taking toll, and many White people say that they want their country-shorthand for we want all non-Whites should be out of our country, as Drumpf glibly says, we need to Make America Great... Yeah, right...

And, as I have once written in my article, here on Facebook, what he is saying is akin to what Hitler said: "Deutschland Umber Alles"(Germany Above All".. What is not different is that the many who follow and listen to and believe what Drumpf chortles, is what they have always held bottled in their hearts: America is a White man's country-the rest are foreigners! And yet, America is the Country of the Red Man(So-called Indians), and anyone else living there, not a Red Man, is a foreigner.

Drumpf has dumbed and numbed-out many in America, and he is very dangerous for all people, all over the World and in America. The way he has been using Twitter and TV, it is up to us, all those able to and interested in doing, to begin to understand the media, and pay attention that the message is in the media through its mediums. What goes and bandies as propaganda in this Day and age, is age-old Racism, bigotry and racial division and hatred.

Both Candidates should be Drug-tested.. I have a Feeling that Drumpf is a Coke-Head... that's my take, from his sniffling a lot during the encoounter, which he replied to as having no cold or flu... Hmmm?! The American elections in 2016 feels like the ushering of Grand Apartheid on Social and Communications Media on Steroids...


ixwa (author) on May 02, 2012:

Faried De Bruyns: Welcome to the Hub above and thank you for making your comments. I will have to seriously deal with your assertions above in the context of what's the theme of the hub above and other additives that will somehow enlighten you about the word "Propaganda" and the 'total' role it grips and plays itself in any part of human endeavor.First of all I will explain to you What is meant by 'Propaganda".

"Propaganda", by whatever name we may call it, has become a very general phenomenon in the modern world, and differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self awareness. In the world, there are three great propaganda blocs: Russia (Formerly the USSR) China and the United States. These are the most important 'propaganda' systems in terms of scope, depth and coherence. Incidentally, they represent three entirely different types of 'propaganda'. Then there are various countries or systems in with their conception of 'propaganda in various stages of development and effectiveness- I will not go into naming all these different countries for now, but will go straight into defining for you what 'Propaganda' is and is not.

Propaganda is made, first of all, because of a will to action, for the purpose of effectively arming policy and irresistible power to it's decisions. Whoever handles this instrument can be concerned solely with effectiveness. This is the supreme law, which must never be forgotten when the phenomenon of propaganda is analyzed. Ineffective propaganda is no propaganda. This instrument belongs to the technological universe, shares its characteristics, and is indissolubly linked to it. Not only is 'propaganda' itself a technique, it is also an indispensable condition for the development of technical progress and the establishment of a technological civilization. And, as with all techniques, propaganda is subject to the law of efficiency.

From the outset, it is obvious that there is great uncertainty about the phenomenon itself, arising first of all from a priori moral or political concepts. Propaganda is usually regarded as an 'evil'; this in itself makes a study difficult.To study anything properly, one must put aside ethical judgements. Perhaps an objective study will lead us back to them, but only later, and with full cognizance of the fact. I do not know if I will get that far(of which I could), but it will really take some lengthy explaining and analysis that I might as well write a Hub on your concerns or assertions in the comment box above.

A second source of confusion is the general conviction, derived from past experience, that 'propaganda consists mainly of "Tall Stories," disseminated by means of lies. To adopt this view is to prevent oneself from understanding anything about the actual phenomenon, which is very different from what it was in the past. At this juncture we can simply discard simplistic definitions that "Propaganda is an effort to change the opinion/beliefs and attitudes .. The propagandist is anyone who communicates his ideas with the intent of influencing his listener. Such a definition would include the teacher, the priest, indeed any person conversing with another on any topic. Such a broad definition clearly does not help us to understand the specific character of propaganda. Propaganda is a manipulation of psychological symbols having goals of which the listener is not conscious. Here's another view, although it is now outdated: "the secret character of the sources and goals of propaganda: the intention to modify opinions; the dissemination of conclusions of doubtful validity; the notion inculcating ideas rather than explaining them. The intention of the propagandist's aim is to indoctrinate-particularly in regard to political, economical and social matters- and this has been regarded as the hallmark of propaganda. The Institute For Propaganda analysis which was inspired by Harold Lasswell goes something like this: "Propaganda is the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined end and through psychological manipulations.

To study propaganda we must turn to the propagandist. We must examine the whole nation subjected to real and effective propaganda. In the final analysis, we must take the term "Propaganda" in its broadest sense, so that it embraces the following areas: Psychological actions wherein the propagandist seeks to modify opinions by purely psychological means; "Psychological Warfare: This is where where the propagandist is dealing with foreign adversary whose morale he seeks to destroy; Re-education and brainwashing: Complex methods of turning an adversary into an ally- used mainly on prisoners; Public and human relations where the technique is to seek to adapt the individual to a society, living standard, to an activity.This one and all the ones just listed serve the individual to conform, which is the aim of all propaganda.

In the narrow sense it is characterized by an institutional quality. And churches or religious organizations are social institutions so that they are not immune to propaganda. In Propaganda we find techniques of psychological influence combined with techniques of organization and the envelopment of people with the intention of sparking action. To this then, I will, if I wanted to, in a manner of spaking, be the broad field of my inquiry.

So you see Faried, you can hide your head in the sand like an Ostrich and believe that since you are only reading the Bible, whatever denomination you belong to that what I have mentioned above as the role of spin and propaganda does not affect you. That is a uninformed view and you need to really understand what you really talking about when you are talking about Propaganda and it is role in human endeavors. This is just a smattering of what I can really gather for now to make you understand and show you that your understanding of propaganda and its role in the churches is none-existent and flawed. Yes, in a wishful world, that might have a kernel of truth, but not in the real world wherein you seem not to have an understanding as to what Propaganda is and am willing to even elaborate further what I am onto. But this should suffice because you still have to wrap your had what I have just told you above and if need be, I can even go deeper into matter os religion, faith and the Bible. But, this is not the Hub that deals with all that, but was trying to make you aware that the Hub above deals with Propaganda, and I have tried to give you a researched and objective view of what "propaganda" and "spin" is. You response is much appreciated, but your ideas are not enough to support your assertions and you need to really re-read what I have written above, and you will understand what I have delineated here in this comment box for you about Propaganda. You did well to respond, but you 'really' need to re-read the Hub and please, do not believe for one moment that since you go pray, read the Koran or Bible you are not affected by Propaganda and Spin... You will have to think differently about that, and I have not really gone into your 'assertions, but maybe I will another time and place. Thanks for the response and visiting My Hub above-- By the way, this is not spin nor propaganda, but an explanation of what you really do not understand as to what "propaganda" is and what also it is about, and how it really affects your very existence and being....

Faried De Bruyns on May 02, 2012:

For those who still got Mosque regularly on Fridays, or Church on Sundays or Synagogue on The Sabbath or attend other religious functions, they not altogether subjected to this propaganda.

And for who read their age old religious scriptures regularly, and try to conform to or find hope in those norms, through prayer, their faith counters the propaganda of the time, which changes all the time.

ixwa (author) on December 08, 2010:

justmesuzanne: Welcome to the Hub above and am glad you made some sound comments . It is true what you just said, "We should never forget" what the Nazis did, who they were and their deadly intentions to the global community. I am impressed with your astute observations regarding the propaganda that was spread by the Nazis to the German people, the Japanese and Italian nations. We are presently experiencing the "Tea Baggers" trying their level best to turn this 'real' history on its head, and in the process attempting to confuse the electorate, with the hope that the historical memory and reality that was WWII was actually what they purport it to be. Whatever happened from 1939-1945 should never happen again, and should not be allowed to be distorted and or embellished by would-be-Nazis. People are scared stiff because those, to cite you, "..who disagree with them(Tea Baggers), make it very difficult for people who actually know what they are talking about to be heard", thus, I add, reducing the whole country(U.S.) into the 'silent Germans'(Or Americans), as the newly morphed "Nazis" romp, roll and rumble all over the Americans, in essence, scaring them into silence and complicity with their 21st homespun, (but still the same Hitler brand) poorly copied Nazi ideology). The Tea Baggers are pseudo-Hitlerian followers who are still refining their propaganda techniques as Hitler himself stated:

"The better the propaganda has worked, the smaller the organization can be; and the larger number of supporters, the more modest the number of members can be; and vice versa. The poorer the propaganda is, the larger the organization must be, and the smaller the host of followers of a movement remains, the more extensive the number of its members must be, if it still hopes to count on any success at all." (Hitler, Mein Kampf). Who the Tea Baggers believe in, follow and adore, has so clearly given us a total picture of the Tea Baggers and their fate. In today's modern media and techniques, one can see that the latter statement of Hitler was spot on. I think they ought to read the Mein Kampf more carefully, then we wont have all these people running around branding anyone and everyone who disagrees with them, a NAZI! Thank you for the comments and I have checked out your Hub of "The Architecture of Doom" and will rate it for you. Thanks again for everything you have done for this Hub, and also liking the Hub above. Dankie!/Thanks!!.

justmesuzanne from Texas on December 08, 2010:

Thank you for this. It is good to see someone treat this subject so completely. The parallels between Nazi propaganda and the scared tactics happening today are very clear and real. People like Glenn Beck, making a show of seeing Nazis around every corner, and lunatics like the Tea Party calling everyone who disagrees with them "Nazis" make it very difficult for people who actually know what they are talking about to be heard.

We must never forget!

I have linked your HUB to my:

The Architecture of Doom

Rated it up, ranked it and LIKED it!

Thanks again! :)

ixwa (author) on September 16, 2010:

Glenn Reynolds: Thank you for commenting on the hub above and positing your observations. In order to pierce through the thin veil of secret manipulations in this case you are alluding to, it is important to recall Jacques Ellul's observation when he says: "The second obvious characteristic of the technical phenomenon is artificiality. Technique is opposed to nature. Art, artifice, artificial: technique as art is the creation of an artificial system. This is not a matter of opinion. The means man has at his disposal as a function of technique are artificial means. the world that is being created by the accumulation of technical means is an artificial world and hence radically different from the natural world." the real world in which all of us live is dominated by Technopoly. The weavers and spinners of the technique of reportage or whatever are creating artificial reality,Lies? through the use of emerging and converging technologies and their new technique, in order to influence our diet and consumption of news. All then becomes artificial whatever they attempt to do, because they are using artificial technical technique and know how to try and dissuade, fool or lead us. The case of the lady you are talking about is, as you point, an attempt to catch her an magnify her gullibility, and our penchant need for technical consumption of the TV, Social Media, Internet and so forth, to affect 'their' desired results (By their, I mean the media and all its organs and all its technical formation.)" Anther thing, once you enter into public life of politics, you should be ray for the shenanigans that will be thrown your way. Politics, it seems nowadays, is art of the possible...

Glenn Reynolds on September 16, 2010:

Im watching the cituation with Cristeen McDonnel and cant help but note that the main-streem media is exploiting her in order to make her come out with some sort of statement they can condemn,I dont blame her for not going on O|Riley or anyone else. Im from Farmington Mo. {fly over country] What do I know?? Glenn

ixwa (author) on September 21, 2009:

Thank you Amanda Seven for a very thoughtful and insightful comment on the article above. I will make sure I go and read the hub you mentioned and also read the comments you received. You are correct, that people like to think that 'they are thinkers and the ideas they espouse are their own'. As you are observing, 'that's far from the truth' especially for the people who are aware to the power the media wields and the manipulative characteristics of technological gadgets and people who have the power to control them. If we sharpen our abilities to decode propaganda, we stand a chance to configure 'the message coded in the sub-ext.' So true! Thank you for the wonderful response.

ixwa (author) on September 21, 2009:

Thank you for the response, Things Considered. It is true, by being aware of the media and its operatives and ways of controlling us, we are already fighting. It means we are putting ourselves in a position to 'use reason and truth', as you say to push back. I agree that this is "still America and not Nazi Germany," and as you have noted very well, "we still have our freedom of speech". I only wonder if the 'bullies will scare us stiff and take all our freedoms? I still believe in America and its freedom and guarding them jealously. I know, from knowing something, we stand a better chance than groping in the dark. I appreciate your response and it is a very encouraging one. Thank you very much, and I hope to be hearing from you. Thanks!

Amanda Severn from UK on September 21, 2009:

People generally have little conception of the true power of the media, and how it can be used to warp and distort the way we see things. A while ago I wrote a hub about Original Thinking and it received a lot of traffic and lots of comments. People certainly like to believe they are original thinkers, and that their ideas are their own, but for the vast majority of us, that is far from the truth. Nazi propoganda convinced a nation to turn upon a sizeable minority and to permit that minority to suffer and perish in the most horrific of circumstances. We need to be alert to the insidious drip drip drip of propoganda, and seek out the message coded in the sub-text.

Great hub, and very timely.

Things Considered from North Georgia Foothills on September 20, 2009:

Good hub. We need to stand firm and fight the propaganda with reason and truth. Because they are frightened and because their emotions have been played with in order to motivate them, the believers of the propaganda are quite fanatical.

That makes them a dangerous and unpleasant force that most of us would rather not deal with. But when we turn away and let them alone, we all lose. This is still America, and not nazi Germany. We still have freedom of speech and we need to use it. If the bullies think they can scare us into submission, they will. Every inch we give them, they take two.

We need to stand firm and fight back while there's still something worth fighting for.

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