Ideologues Don't Make Corrections
Ideology is the modern plague, because ideologues have all the answers already. Every event, every situation fits the mold of their beliefs, and contrary evidence is discarded in the service of bolstering said ideology. This is easily seen in the people one disagrees with on a regular basis, but nearly never acknowledged in one's own determinations.
I have been wrong (as has the NY Times), and have occasionally written based on assumptions rather than on cold hard analysis. That is the obvious danger of having partial information. I've also corrected these assertions and moved on. I have no problem being mistaken if I am proved wrong -- the key word being proved.
Many people simply do not understand the concept of unproved or unknown issues. This occurs when several competing explanations can hold true, but the actual truth is unknown, as in the case of classified state secrets, or hidden criminal conspiracies (often the same thing). The public simply cannot know based on available information. In that case multiple explanations may exist, but it is impossible to determine which -- if any -- is the correct one. What we have are ever growing bodies of evidence to analyze.
These are Donald Rumsfeld's "known unknowns." It is a perfectly valid analysis and probably more fitting much of the time than many of the snap rushed judgments of ideologues on the left, right and particularly the centrists, who are a breed unto themselves. Unknowns are unthinkable to the ideologue, quite literally; these cannot be thought of in that manner. Ideologues know, just like Tom Cruise "knows." They know. Their leaders know, and usually the factions fall in line without a second thought. A different reality would crush them, or would force them to think, rather than to place events into easily managed ideological boxes.
"Everybody's talkin' about Bagism, Shagism, dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism, This-ism, That-ism, ism, ism, ism."
-- John Lennon , Give Peace a Chance
This psychological reality motivates those with the power to classify events as secret. Withholding information from citizens is a very useful strategy indeed. If the truth cannot be determined, then the people will continue to scramble to make sense of the events, usually by contorting the few known facts into an acceptable ideological narrative. Secrecy prompts the common people to stay busy. By following false leads and misinformation people waste valuable time and resources attempting to comprehend the secret event and resolve the conflicting evidence. Even insider whistleblowers with partial knowledge of the actual event are sidelined, as they usually cannot explain the full extent of the hidden state secret, nor name the names, dates, contacts and all the related evidence required to fully expose the wrongdoing. This is the "compartmentalization" organizational model, which is the gold standard in covert operations, and is well known and employed by intelligence services. Whistleblowers are also routinely censored by the mainstream news, and most citizens simply never hear what they have to say.
The next option, if one's strategy is to distract the population, is disinformation. Deliberately false information, those "conspiracy theories" we hear so much about in the corporate media, are valuable to those seeking to keep secrets hidden. As more false leads are provided for people to pursue, less time and effort is spent pursuing the true leads. The more outlandish the disinformation, the better it can discredit those who choose to investigate it. By simply discrediting people and discouraging them from investigating secret events, those who create the secrets are empowered and shielded from public accounting. That is the game. How have you been playing it?
Needless to say, this has not been an academic discussion. These observations are the result of firsthand observations over many years. The events in question are easily named, but this paper concerns the strategies behind the flows of information. A strategy can apply to many events. A strategy is employed because it works. This strategy is proven, and it has a long track record.
Media censorship is a critical factor in keeping the population misinformed and distracted. This may sound counterintuitive to some, as the media, your TV news, newspapers and magazines, present themselves as the informers of public awareness, the leaders of investigation. But what aren't they telling you? What is not permitted to appear in these sources?
It's not hard to find that out, actually. Media censorship is a well-studied phenomenon in the United States. The Project Censored group is perhaps the best known clearinghouse of censored critical information here. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is also a notable media watchdog, as is PR Watch , Medialens and others. To understand what is not permissible on public airwaves is to understand the reality of our governing system. Washington, with its financiers from Wall Street, its Military-Industrial-Complex and its multinational corporate sector, rule through deception and not through honesty and full disclosure. Deception is the default position, not an anomaly.
Case in point, when the United States military drops bombs in one of its many war theaters, the initial story told by the military is almost always that the enemy was killed; those killed are described as "militants" or "terrorists" or "high value targets" or some other euphemism for bad guys. When independent sources investigate these incidents later the truth tends to come out. Children, innocent families, weddings, funerals, first responders, these are the actual victims of many US bombings. But the US public has already been told that they were "enemy combatants." The likelihood that the domestic public will ever hear about the correction from the US wall of media noise is very slim indeed. Thus a false overall impression of US military operations is maintained and believed by a large percentage of the population. This is a mechanism for promoting a global empire to the common people.