Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Have Feith but Verify

I watched with great interest the Jon Stewart interview of Doug Feith last night. (Part 1 and part 2). I am now firmly convinced that this administration, more than any other, uses the withholding of information to shape the public mind.

The technique is commonly used by dictatorships that want to convince the population of their general benevolence. The Commies come to mind right off the bat. There was a consistent effort throughout the post-WWII history of the USSR to paint the US and its allies as-for lack of a better word-bad. To pull this off, they had to hide the truth. Travel restrictions to western countries, control of the media, no privacy to communicate with relatives in western countries, etc.

Particularly relevant today, in times of emergencies, the Commies shunned western aid. The population could not get wind of the better technologies, foodstuff, etc. enjoyed by the rest of the world. For example in 1988, following a devastating earthquake in Armenia, aid from the US and other western countries did not reach the earthquake zone for days. Planes full of aid sat on the tarmacs of the Moscow airports, restricted from flying to Armenia. I think the same thing is now happening in Myanmar and may happen in China following the quake there. Stories about the junta stamping their names on UN aid shipments bolster my theory. They don't want the population to realize a) how incompetent the generals are, and b) how much better off the people would be if only they modernized. And we know what happened to the USSR as more and more people gained exposure to the west. No more lines for TP damn it!!!

Which brings us back to Feith's interview. Rather than hiding the good found in other societies, this administration is hiding its own dirty laundry. How can someone claim that there was no deception leading up to Iraq when White House e-mails from the invasion time period are mysteriously missing? When the Pentagon hired goons to repeat its propaganda on national television? When none of the assertions have panned out? His book, I fear, is one of several attempts to rewrite the story of this administration. More than anything, I hope the next administration sets the record straight by releasing all relevant documents to the public. Only a fool would trust Doug Feith's take on it. And what's that expression about fooling?


Blogger rain_rain said...

Damn Commies.

5/13/2008 11:02 AM  
Blogger Earl Warren said...

What's interesting is how the conservative line on pre-war intelligence manipulation has pretty much become indistinguishable from Scalia's admonishment about Bush v. Gore: "Just get over it." Pleading with the country to "move on" seems like the last refuge of the intellectually indefensible.

5/13/2008 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That fool expression was best expressed by the fool in chief: "Fool me once, shame on ... shame you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again."

5/14/2008 6:25 PM  

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