in the Machine
Zeroes in on the Internet
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
was warmly greeted at the recent meeting of the Council on Foreign
Relations. The CFR is the hand-picked assemblage of western elites
from big-energy, corporate media, high-finance and the weapons
industry. These are the 4,000 or so members of the American ruling
class who determine the shape of policy and ensure that the management
of the global economic system remains in the hands of U.S. bluebloods.
the Pentagon’s chief-coordinator, Rumsfeld enjoys a prominent
place among American mandarins. He is the caretaker of their most
prized possession; the high-tech, taxpayer-funded, laser-guided
war machine. The US Military is the crown-jewel of the American
empire; a fully-operational security apparatus for the protection
of pilfered resources and the ongoing subjugation of the developing
world. Rumsfeld’s speech alerted his audience to the threats facing
America in the new century.
opined: "We meet today in the 6th year in what promises to
be a long struggle against an enemy that in many ways is unlike
any our country has ever faced. And, in this war, some of the
most critical battles may not be in the mountains in Afghanistan
or in the streets of Iraq, but in newsrooms—in places like New
York, London, Cairo, and elsewhere."
enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today’s media
age, but for the most part our country has not."
Does Rummy mean those grainy, poorly-produced videos of Bin Laden
that the violent extremists have established ‘media relations
committees’—and have proven to be highly-successful at manipulating
opinion-elites. They plan to design their headline-grabbing attacks
using every means of communications to intimidate and break the
collective will of free people".
foolish to mention "intimidating and breaking the collective
will of free people" without entering Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo
and Falluja into the discussion. Rumsfeld is just griping about
the disgrace he’s heaped on America’s reputation by his refusal
to conform to even minimal standards of decency. Instead, he insists
that America’s declining stature in the world is the result of
a hostile media and "skillful enemies" – in other words,
anyone with a computer keyboard and a rudimentary sense of moral
enemies) "know that communications transcend borders…and
that a single news story , handled skillfully, can be as damaging
to our cause and as helpful to theirs, as any other method of
the Pentagon is really so worried about "bad press coverage,"
why not close down the torture-chambers and withdraw from Iraq?
Instead, Rumsfeld is making the case for a preemptive assault
on free speech.
growing number of media outlets in many parts of the world… too
often serve to inflame and distort, rather than explain and inform.
And while Al Qaida and extremist movements have utilized this
forum for many years, and have successfully poisoned the Muslim
public’s view of the West, we have barely even begun to compete
in reaching their audiences."
and distort? What distortion? Do cameras distort the photos of
abused prisoners, desperate people, or decimated cities?
analysis borders on the delusional. Al Qaida doesn’t have a well-oiled
propaganda mechanism that provides a steady stream of fabrications
to whip the public into a frenzy. That’s the American media’s
assignment. And, they haven’t "poisoned Muslim public opinion"
against us. That has been entirely the doing of the Pentagon warlords
and their White House compatriots.
standard US government public affairs operation was designed primarily
…to be reactive rather than proactive…Government, however, is
beginning to adapt"
news?" In other words, propaganda.
confirms his dedication to propaganda by defending the bogus stories
that were printed in Iraqi newspapers by Pentagon contractors.
(We) "sought non-traditional means to provide accurate information
to the Iraqi people in the face of an aggressive campaign of disinformation….This
has been deemed inappropriate—for examples the allegations of
‘buying news.’ "
brazen defense of intentionally planted lies; how low can we sink?
has had a "chilling effect for those who are asked to serve
in the military public affairs field."
it really that difficult to print the truth?
boasts of the vast changes in "communications planning"
taking place at the Pentagon.
"public affairs" strategy is at the heart of the new
paradigm, replete with "rapid response" teams to address
the nagging issues of bombed-out wedding parties, starving prisoners,
and devastated cities. No problem is so great that it can’t be
papered over by a public relations team trained in the black arts
of deception, obfuscation, and sleight-of-hand. Trickery now tops
the list of military priorities.
Central Command has launched an online communications effort that
includes electronic news updates and a links campaign that has
resulted in several hundred blogs receiving and publishing CENTCOM
military plans to develop the "institutional capability"
to respond to critical news coverage within the same news cycle
and to develop a comprehensive scheme for infiltrating the internet.
Pentagon’s strategy for taking over the internet and controlling
the free flow of information has already been chronicled in a
recently declassified report, "The Information Operations
Roadmap"; is a window into the minds of those who see free
speech as dangerous as an "enemy weapons-system."
Pentagon is aiming for "full spectrum dominance" of
the Internet. Their objective is to manipulate public perceptions,
quash competing points of view, and perpetuate a narrative of
American generosity and good will.
comments are intended to awaken his constituents to the massive
information war being waged to transform the internet into the
progeny of the MSM; a reliable partner for the dissemination of
Associated Press reported recently that the US government conducted
a massive simulated attack on the internet called "Cyber-Storm."
The wargame was designed, among other things, to "respond
to misinformation campaigns and activist calls by internet bloggers,
online diarists whose ‘Web logs’ include political rantings and
musings about current events."
Bush took office, "political rantings and musings about current
events" were protected under the 1st amendment. No more.
War Department is planning to insert itself into every area of
the internet from blogs to chat rooms, from leftist web sites
to editorial commentary. Their rapid response team will be on
hair-trigger alert to dispute any tidbit of information that challenges
the official storyline.
can expect to encounter, as the BBC notes, "psychological
operations [that] try to manipulate the thoughts and the beliefs
of the enemy [as well as] computer network specialists who seek
to destroy enemy networks."
enemy, of course, is anyone who refuses to accept their servile
role in the new world order or who disrupts the smooth operation
of the Bush police-state.
resolve to foreclose on free speech has never been greater.
for Rumsfeld’s devotees at the CFR, the problem of savaging civil
liberties is never seriously raised. After all, these are the
primary beneficiaries of Washington’s global resource-war; should
it matter that other people’s freedom is sacrificed to perpetuate
the fundamental institutions of class and privilege?
is right. The only way to prevail on the information-battlefield
is to "take no prisoners;" police the internet, uproot
the troublemakers and activists who provide the truth, and "catapult
the propaganda" (Bush) from every bullhorn and web site across
the virtual universe. Free speech is a luxury we cannot afford
if it threatens to undermine the basic platforms of western white
Rumsfeld said, "We are fighting a battle where the survival
of our free way of life is at stake."