Date registered: Jan 2005
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Bush administration diversionary tactics
True propandists employ a number of tactics. One that the Bush administration is particularly good at is the use of diversion. Consider:
1) CBS does the story on the memo stating that Bush was derelict in his duties in the Air National Guard. Then, of course, the memo is revealed to be a fraud. But in the followup to the story, the secretary of the commanding officer, now dead, who was the alleged author of the memo, verifies that the gist of the memo was an accurate reflection of her late boss's view of young Mr. Bush. But the story becomes CBS's journalistic failings; meanwhile, the story of Bush's Air National Guard duty gets swept away as CBS becomes the story.
2) Newsweek recants its story of the Kuran getting flushed down toilets when its once reliable source changes his tune. The White House quickly blames Muslim violence on this one tiny story, even though U.S. military on the ground admit that the violence was the result of many things, certainly not this one lone story. Newsweek is made to apologize, and Newsweek becomes the story. In fact, many other sources, some from within the government and from within the U.S. military, corroborate that the Kuran has been abused by U.S. military personnel.
3) Senator Richard Durbin makes an analogy of U.S. personnel behavior at Guantanamo and in Iraq to Nazis, the Gulag, and Pol Pot. His point, in context, was that--were one to read an FBI report of torture of detainees in the custody of the U.S., and if one did not know that this report was about the U.S. military--one might think it came from one of the above named repressive regimes. He is immediately attacked by the White House, called all kinds of scandalous names, and the Democrats are so cowed they stand by, either silently or joining Republican calls for a full apology on the floor of the Senate. Durbin finally gives in and makes the apology. Lost, of course, is the issue of how we treat prisoners in our custody--and how our treatment of prisoners can effect the treatment of U.S. personnel when they are prisoners.
In all three cases, issues that would have a negative impact on the Bush administration are effectively diverted, and others are put out front to be vilified. The issues themselves become lost.