11/26/2004

America's Ministry of Propaganda Exposed: 2002

I wonder how the "Blame CIA" congressional Investigation on WMD claims missed this report -- law

America's Ministry of Propaganda Exposed

The 56-page investigation was assembled by USAF Colonel (Ret.) Sam Gardiner. “Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II” identifies more than 50 stories about the Iraq war that were faked by government propaganda artists in a covert campaign to “market” the military invasion of Iraq.

Gardiner has credentials. He has taught at the National War College, the Air War College and the Naval Warfare College and was a visiting scholar at the Swedish Defense College.

According to Gardiner, “It was not bad intelligence” that lead to the quagmire in Iraq, “It was an orchestrated effort [that] began before the war” that was designed to mislead the public and the world. Gardiner’s research lead him to conclude that the US and Britain had conspired at the highest levels to plant “stories of strategic influence” that were known to be false.

The Times of London described the $200-million-plus US operation as a “meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress, and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein.”

The multimillion-dollar propaganda campaign run out of the White House and Defense Department was, in Gardiner’s final assessment “irresponsible in parts” and “might have been illegal.”

“Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to the right decisions,” Gardiner explains. Consequently, “Truth became a casualty. When truth is a casualty, democracy receives collateral damage.” For the first time in US history, “we allowed strategic psychological operations to become part of public affairs... [W]hat has happened is that information warfare, strategic influence, [and] strategic psychological operations pushed their way into the important process of informing the peoples of our two democracies.”

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced plans to create an Office of Strategic Influence early in 2002. At the same time British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Strategy Director Alastair Campbell was setting up an identical operation in London.

White House critics were quick to recognize that “strategic influence” was a euphemism for disinformation. Rumsfeld had proposed establishing the country’s first Ministry of Propaganda.

The criticism was so severe that the White House backed away from the plan. But on November 18, several months after the furor had died down, Rumsfeld arrogantly announced that he had not been deterred. “If you want to savage this thing, fine: I’ll give you the corpse. There’s the name. You can have the name, but I’m gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done — and I have.”

Gardiner’s dogged research identified a long list of stories that passed through Rumsfeld’s propaganda mill. According to Gardiner, “there were over 50 stories manufactured or at least engineered that distorted the picture of Gulf II for the American and British people.” Those stories include:

* The link between terrorism, Iraq and 9/11

* Iraqi agents meeting with 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta

* Iraq’s possession of chemical and biological weapons.

* Iraq’s purchase of nuclear materials from Niger.

* Saddam Hussein’s development of nuclear weapons.

* Aluminum tubes for nuclear weapons

* The existence of Iraqi drones, WMD cluster bombs and Scud missiles.

* Iraq’s threat to target the US with cyber warfare attacks.

* The rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch.

* The surrender of a 5,000-man Iraqi brigade.

* Iraq executing Coalition POWs.

* Iraqi soldiers dressing in US and UK uniforms to commit atrocities.

* The exact location of WMD facilities

* WMDs moved to Syria.

Every one of these stories received extensive publicity and helped form indelible public impressions of the “enemy” and the progress of the invasion. Every one of these stories was false.

“I know what I am suggesting is serious. I did not come to these conclusions lightly,” Gardiner admits. “I’m not going to address why they did it. That’s something I don’t understand even after all the research.” But the fact remained that “very bright and even well-intentioned officials found how to control the process of governance in ways never before possible.”

A Battle between Good and Evil

Gardiner notes that cocked-up stories about Saddam’s WMDs “was only a very small part of the strategic influence, information operations and marketing campaign conducted on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The “major thrust” of the campaign, Gardiner explains, was “to make a conflict with Iraq seem part of a struggle between good and evil. Terrorism is evil... we are the good guys.

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