As I watched the news reports of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Mike Pence's visits to border facilities it was immediately apparent that the vastly different accounts from each were more than mere inconsistencies at different facilities but were the result of a regime desperately struggling to protect its narrative.
In countries where dictators rule with an iron fist one of the most oppressive and controlled aspects of life is the media. State run media produces an "official" image and narrative about the country and all other reports are outlawed, censured and repressed. Propaganda is pervasive and includes censoring of media, art and even the choice of narratives to be included in the text books in government schools.
Controlling the narrative is paramount because truth is the door to revolution.
A look at the two visits on its very service is enough to see the contrast between Pence's attempt to construct a piece of propaganda and Ocasio-Cortez's attempt to expose the truth.
Pence was touring a processing facility, not a detention facility. Arguably conditions would be different in short term versus long term facilities. Over crowding would not be as bad and migrants just arriving for processing would be experiencing a short term relief from their journey whereas those in long term facilities are suffering the effects of longer term detention and the impact of a lack of supplies as well as separation from their children.
In Pence's carefully orchestrated tour cameras were in tow and he was of course permitted to speak to migrants. Any who were interviewed would be aware of who they are speaking to and wouldn't dare offer words of criticism. I mean think about it. You take a harrowing journey and make it to the US and the most anti immigrant Vice President in history interviews you about how you are being treated. Are you going to be honest?
And knowing the Vice President was on his way, I'm sure that the facility had ample time to prepare for camera worthy shots of clean well run facilities.
Meanwhile Ocasio-Cortez's visit, whose goal was to bring to light the reality of the facilities, had her cell phone confiscated. Think about that for a second. Isn't it always the cry of authoritarians that "If you aren't hiding anything then you shouldn't fear the government watching you?" So it is clear that the government is afraid of what Ocasio- Cortez would have recorded. The fact that she is a representative of our government and she is being given a tightly controlled "walk through" of the facility is shocking. She was not permitted to engage with migrants allegedly under the guise of protecting their privacy.
It is inconceivable that people could buy into Pence's carefully orchestrated piece of State-created propaganda while seeing the fear of exposure and the need to constrict Ocasio- Cortez's "walk through". It smacks of a regime whose dictator gives a tour to diplomats, avoiding hard labor camps and preventing the interviewing of political prisoners.
Then a week later, to add insult to injury, newly promoted Nora McDonald, is permitted to tour a processing facility with her cameras in tow and is even allowed to speak to a woman migrant with her child. Like Pence's visit, the migrant reported everything was very good at the facility. Saying she and her child were being treated well and were given hot meals and pampers.
McDonald, in an almost ridiculous way, asked, "So none of this was changed or 'cleaned up' for us before the visit?" And the processing plant employee of course says no. The fact that she needs to ask the question only serves to bring light to the obvious suspicion that her interview deserves. Of course the reassurances that this an honest and spontaneous visit which found 'everything is fine here' falls flat with any viewer who is the least bit skeptical.
I also found it interesting that McDonald asked the migrant she interviewed where she was from. The migrant said she was a journalist from Venezuela. Given the ongoing propaganda war going on against Venezuela I found this particularly curious.