Friday, March 24, 2006


The Propaganda Network. From the Lincoln Group to Public Interest Watch

DemocracyNow had two good segments on how the public debate is being shaped. The first is about The Lincoln Group and its participation in PysOps: ANDREW BUNCOMBE: Well, if you look on their website, they list a number of groups and people and individuals who they say have been partners with them and have helped them over the years. A lot of those people have since pointed out that their partnership with Mr. [Christian Jozefowicz] Bailey and the Lincoln Group have been all but fleeting. They have since ceased and never really amounted to much. The one group that you mentioned [WCV3 Security], from memory, is a consulting firm out in northern Virginia. One of their senior executives was involved in the attempt during the last election – you’ll remember back in October -- sorry, the summer of 2004, I think it was August, -- the swift boat affair that was one of the things that severely damaged John Kerry's campaign. That was the group of veterans, which essentially portrayed a false picture of John Kerry's war record and questioned his claims about his service in Vietnam and the Cambodian border. That involved one of this group's chief executives, who took unpaid leave to go work on that project. AMY GOODMAN: And that project, of course, was Stolen Honor, the famous film that was aired around the country.... [shifting gears to the Iraq propaganda effort] AMY GOODMAN: We just have 30 seconds, but Colonel Sam Gardiner, you referred to a law, the Smith-Mundt Act, that prevents the propaganda – the government from putting it out in this country, but it can be done internationally. Now, with the global media, with the internet, would you venture to speculate, if some of this that they say is directed to the Iraqi population is actually the main point is to have it recycled back into the United States as a PsyOps operation right here at home? COL. SAM GARDINER: Well, the Secretary of Defense told us he wanted to do that, and he was going to do that, when he started out with the Strategic Influence Group. Now, that still exists, and it has been transferred down to this contracting unit that contracted with the Lincoln Group, which is the Special Operations Command. And they have worldwide responsibilities, and I -- yeah, I think it certainly exists, and it's part of what's been making up the story. But the Pentagon isn't the only major player in manufacturing alternate realities. This second piece shows how Exxon Mobil, with an economic footprint about as large as the Pentagon's (revenues of over $300B annually vs the Pentagon at about $500B), is also energetically falfifying reality: The Wall Street Journal revealed this week a little-known watchdog group was responsible for getting the IRS to audit the environmental organization Greenpeace. Two years ago, Public Interest Watch challenged Greenpeace's tax-exempt status and accused the group of money laundering and other crimes. According to the Journal, tax records show more than 95 percent of the funding of Public Interest Watch was provided by the oil giant ExxonMobil... AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to John Passacantando, head of Greenpeace USA, and read an excerpt of a piece that came out last year in Mother Jones magazine by Chris Mooney, called “Some Like It Hot." It's about some 40 public policy groups that have this in common: “They seek to undermine the scientific consensus that humans are causing the earth to overheat, and they all get money from ExxonMobil.” And Chris Mooney writes, "Mother Jones has tallied some 40 ExxonMobil-funded organizations that either have sought to undermine mainstream scientific findings on global climate change or have maintained affiliations with a small group of 'skeptic' scientists who continue to do so. Beyond think tanks, the count also includes quasi-journalistic outlets like (a website providing 'news, analysis, research, and commentary' that received $95,000 from ExxonMobil in 2003), a columnist, and even religious and civil rights groups. In total, [the groups] received more than $8 million between 2000 and 2003...ExxonMobil [chair] and CEO Lee Raymond serves as vice [chair] of the board of trustees for the AEI," -- that's American Enterprise Institute -- "which received $960,000 in funding from ExxonMobil. The AEI-Brookings Institution Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, which officially hosted [writer Michael] Crichton, received another $55,000. When asked about the event, the center’s executive director, Robert Hahn—who’s a fellow with the AEI—defended it, saying, ‘Climate science is a field in which reasonable experts can disagree.’ (By contrast, on the day of the event, the Brookings Institution posted a scathing critique of Crichton’s book, [State of Fear]).” There is no freedom when the truth cannot even get on her boots.
Ah, yes. TechCentralStation. The biggest set of jokers out there.

They were trying to be the next SlashDot, but real techies just laughed in their faces. Their primary audience is made up of bigots and Bush defenders, and actual tech talk of any sort is close to nonexistent.

I'm going to post this over at Gilliard's shop. He and Jen will get a good laugh out of it.

The thing about the right-wing efforts at PsyOps is that increasingly, many (if not most) of them are not only useless, but counterproductive: Their target audiences laugh at them. TechCentralStation is a shining example of this.

What these groups largely serve to do is to provide salaries for otherwise-unemployable right-wingers in sheltered workshops, where their ideas never have to suffer any sort of critical analysis. The coddling done in this hothouse environment invariably produces weaklings who crumple once they have to go out into the wider world, without the expensive conservative cocoon to shield them.

Another example of this hothouse coddling is Ben Domenich.

Domenich is the symptom and result of nearly three decades of increasing Republican control of our major institutions. Outside of college coursework (he never graduated, by the way) the little trustafarian homeschooler's work never was vetted by anyone who was either competent or unafraid of offending the Republican powers that were grooming this little GOP princeling for Great Things.

The WP gig was his first actual job outside of the Republican Cocoon, and it took less than a week for the folk in the reality-based community to expose his fatuity, his incompetence, his racism, and his criminality. It was the first actual test he had to face in his life, and he failed it.

But not to worry. His fellow inhabitants of the Republican Cocoon are welcoming him back to their unreality with open arms, and I'm sure the richer members thereof will soon line up a paying gig for him at a GOP cultist hatchery pretending to be a think tank.
I think the target of the PsyOps is the Republican base.

And the Democrats, who also don't seem to be bright enough to see through it.
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