Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   5 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

How the White House and the CIA Are Marketing a War in the YouTube Era

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 5   Well Said 4   Valuable 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/9/13

Become a Fan
  (108 fans)
- Advertisement -
Source: Huffington Post


Governments have always used fear and manipulation of emotion to get the public to support wars. The Bush administration did it in 2002 in Iraq and it is happening again in Obama's push for war in Syria.

In possibly the biggest development yet in the story, we learned this weekend that the CIA has now been enlisted to sell this new war with unproven evidence. On Saturday, U.S. intelligence officials claimed they "authenticated" 13 videos that show the horrific aftermath of a chemical attack in Syria in August. What exactly did they "authenticate"?

Why are these videos suddenly news when they have been publicly circulating the web for weeks? Here's why: The videos are meant to market the war, not to "prove" who committed the atrocities. (CBS News and others have reported that the White House case for war has been described as "largely circumstantial.")

We've seen this movie before and it doesn't end well. A decade after the Bush administration used the CIA's "yellow cake" tale and other faulty evidence, the government is yet again relying on the CIA to lead a domestic propaganda effort for military action abroad. If these videos can sway American public opinion, as they're intended to do, and influence Congress to vote to attack Syria, this could become the first YouTube war.

No American could look at these horrifying videos of people suffering and dying and not be moved. But that doesn't mean a military strike is the only way to respond to the humanitarian tragedy happening in Syria. So bald-faced is the rush to war that the White House could not restrain its anticipation that the videos could be successfully employed to market the war. As the Washington Post reported, "Administration officials and their congressional allies believe the horrific scenes depicted in the videos could help sway public opinion." But CNN, which broadcast portions of the grim videos this weekend, added the qualification that they could not independently authenticate them.

The release of these graphic videos is a cynical maneuver by the White House because the rest of the case for war remains unproven, with open questions about transcripts, satellite imagery and signal intelligence under the shield of classified information. What does it mean when the government's case for war relies more on emotion than on evidence? Welcome to war marketing in the YouTube era.

- Advertisement -

Just as the White House would have us believe that others created the "red line," the administration has just shifted responsibility for the war onto the CIA, which is famous for the use of emotional and psychological warfare. To point to just one example, in the 1960s the Agency's "Operation CHAOS" spied on American anti-war activists to try to disrupt and discredit opposition to the Vietnam War in order to sway public opinion against the anti-war movement.

This is the way intelligence seems to work lately: a classified sales pitch within a broader marketing plan. In an interview this weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough acknowledged the administration's case wasn't 100%: "Do we have a picture or do we have irrefutable, beyond a reasonable doubt evidence? ... This is not a court of law. And intelligence does not work that way," he said.

Actually there are laws against aggressive war and faked intelligence.

I personally witnessed this game in advance of the Iraq War. As a member of Congress, I sat in classified sessions where maps were ceremoniously produced, conjecture elevated, scenarios spun and "evidence" concocted, leading me to conclude that there was no legitimate case to attack Iraq, as I argued five months before the Iraq invasion.

The marketing of a war using the manipulation of the public's emotion is wrong. Here are immediate remedies:

  • We must insist that all information presented behind closed doors to advance a war be immediately declassified and released.

  • Congress must demand that the CIA desist in promoting the war and investigate its role in this domestic propaganda campaign: Who demanded the CIA "authentication" and when? Which division of the CIA supplied it?

  • Congress must recall for additional testimony from James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, who oversees the CIA.

  • Congressional investigators need to demand the underlying intelligence supporting the "classified" briefings.

  • There must be no war based on secret information.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Dennis Kucinich is former US Congressman and two-time presidential candidate from Ohio who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Visit his website at  KucinichAction

Follow him on Twitter at @Dennis_Kucinich

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Kucinich: "Passing a weak bill today gives us weak environmental policy tomorrow"-

Kucinich: Why I Voted NO

Must Read!!! Kucinich Commencement Speech: Power of Now

A New Movement: Health Care as a Civil Right

The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria

Kucinich Opposes Bailout, asks, "Is this the US Congress or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs?"

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
5 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

How about the Vietnamese girl running naked from a... by x_Warrior on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 8:38:00 AM
To add to the atrocities in Iraq, I happen to reme... by zephyr on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 10:51:39 AM
those wanting military action should be the front ... by laurie steele on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 2:08:25 PM
What if he could declare war on his own? What if h... by Lance Ciepiela on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 2:27:58 PM
At a Town Hall meeting a Syrian woman who lost a m... by Ethan Hollow on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 2:38:29 PM