Counter-psyops 101: Words Matter & We Need More Snark

"The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US . . ." Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cooke (source)
We all know that Dick Cheney and George Bush lie, but the fact remains that they got away with lying for a long time. Many people have written about and analyzed these lies, and that is all well and good. Yet the problem is not the lying so much as the getting away with it. And it really isn't that hard to innoculate oneself, so here's a little case study.

Words have emotional content. They have literal meanings, and they have connotations. Some words have blurry edges and others have sharp edges. The problem really rests with the way psychopathic people use words. They slip them into our minds like date-rape drugs, and many people have a limited defense against this, especially when it happens on tv where the words pass by so quickly. It's one of the main reasons why tv remains such a powerful and dangerous tool used against the American people. In most cases, you're better off reading what they say than watching them say it.

So here's an easy one to deconstruct (via PressTV): Cheney Clueless about Bin Laden
It's easy because we all know how much Dick Cheney lies, but you can take this little display of arrogance and extrapolate it out into literally thousands upon thousands of interactions for public consumption. They all do it the same way: they use words which are loaded with connotation or else vague with meaning, and you fill in the rest with your mind. You don't even know it's happening. That's why they call it psychological operations (psyops). You are manipulated to believe something other than reality.
US Vice President Dick Cheney says he cannot verify that Osama Bin Laden, the notorious leader of al-Qaeda terror network, is still alive.
cannot verify: Sounds crisp. Military. Precise. Mr. Cheney "cannot verify" this information because he has such great respect for the facts, and he would not want to mislead people or get them excited and then have to disappoint them later. Suuuure. In reality, he "cannot verify" this information because that would blow an important component of the War of Terror.
Cheney told Fox News on Sunday that he did not know whether Bin Laden was alive but "I'm guessing he is," the vice president said.
guessing: Guessing is so squidgy. It has built in plausible deniability. Could Dick have guessed that Bin Ladin is dead? Yes, he could do that (especially since it's true as he knows), but again, that would blow an important component of the War of Terror, so he must guess in the direction that suits his purposes.
"We've had certain pieces of evidence become available from time to time, there'll be a photograph released or something that allows the intelligence community to judge that he is still alive," he added.
passive voice: Here Dick puts himself right in your shoes, standing on the outside, as if he has hardly any inside knowledge whatsoever. That's right. He's just an innocent bystander, just taking what comes along from those wily terrorists, while sadly lacking the ultimate intelligence to solve this problem once and for all. You can imagine his frustration, no?

Look at his sentence again. It is a marvel of lying.

How do the pieces of evidence become "available from time to time"? Why indeed! Since Al Qaeda was created by the CIA, the pieces of "evidence" are always available. They come right out of the CIA psyops shop whenever it seems appropriate, also known as "from time to time"!! A "photograph" or "something" that "allows" the intelligence community "to judge" [don't you love it!] that their nemesis, Bin Laden, is still alive. !!! It couldn't be easier.
In the aftermath of 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks, US President George W. Bush declared he wanted Osama Bin Laden “dead or alive.” He vowed to kill or capture the mastermind behind the suicide attacks that hit the heart of the United States and left nearly 3,000 people killed.
serious vows: It's very important to vow the most serious things that you know will never happen, like capturing the terrorists on your payroll.
Bush stepped up the manhunt for Bin Laden earlier in the year, hoping to capture or kill him before handing the presidency over to Barack Obama.
stepping up: Same thing. You step up efforts only for things that you know will never happen, like "capturing" and "killing" long-dead terrorists that were on your payroll. It looks good for the folks watching at home.
With a bounty of USD 25m on his head, the 51-year-old Bin Laden has so far eluded his Americans pursuers.
bounty: What a rich word, evoking the Wild West. [Never] Gonna git 'em! Heh heh. It's perfect for George. And there's that worthy opponent, Bin Laden, "eluding" his "American pursuers." So rich in meaning.
Earlier in December, CIA Director Mike Hayden told a group of reporters this month that finding bin Laden and blocking terror attacks, remained the agency's main goal.

"I can assure you, although there has been press speculation to the contrary . . . that the hunt for bin Laden is very much at the top of the CIA's priority list," he said.
technical guru in charge: Oh yes. We now have Mr. Hayden "assuring" us that the "speculation" is erroneous. The "hunt" for Bin Laden is a "top" priority. Well of course!! We can never stop this phony hunt because finding Osama bin Laden would blow an important component of the War of Terror.

OK. Back to the headline: Cheney Clueless about Bin Laden. This story is from Press TV, which is an Iranian media source. The headline uses the word clueless -- a clear put-down. And yet the article itself conveys the psyops of Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush and Mr. Hayden, essentially without pushback. In fact, that top sentence with the "cannot verify" almost legitimizes Dick's lies unless you read it as snark. The reader must understand. But do readers understand? Let us hope so. Because otherwise we have to ask ourselves why Press TV is putting out a story full of unchallenged psyops. And an interesting question too, that is, since people would never expect it from Press TV, the target of blacklist legislation this past summer. Well, that's the kind of thing that keeps it "fun" for those of us who give a shit.

Once you get the hang of this, it's mordant chuckles all day long. Now if we can just figure out how to get about 150 million people up to speed by next week, we should be all set.


Pete said...

It's an effective analogy, but I think the ultimate mind-fuck words at "freedom" and "terrorist". Accepting their use of either of these words is like choosing to lay there and not resist it.

A. Peasant said...

True true. A lot of time you can actually just 180 everything they say and arrive close to the truth.

Pete said...

Yep. The bigger lie is the easier one for them to sell, and so they do. Our instincts tell us, "no, they wouldn't lie about that." But they'd studied us for ages, and they exploit this weakness of ours. They get us to do things like convict muslim pizza delivery drivers of trying to blow up Fort Dix.

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