10 December 2007

Article: Information Warfare, CNN & Hillary

Information Warfare, CNN & Hillary
The Fifth Column Lance Fairchok, Featured Writer December 5, 2007

“It is a free press...There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.” – Mark Twain

One of the fundamental objectives of information warfare is to gain dominance of the information environment, to shape it in such a way that you control the messages your target audience sees. It also means pushing messages that undercut an opponent’s advantage wherever and whenever possible. Getting the message out is often the most difficult task. Using the press and the media, both print and broadcast are the most efficient and effective. Our military stresses that the truth is the best message. In Iraq, this means showing the Iraqis that Al Qaeda is their enemy; that democracy will bring prosperity and security, and of course pointing out the true nature of Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism. In domestic American politics, it is not that simple.

The latest GOP debates, hosted by CNN, revealed an insidious brand of political information warfare, one where the press and a political party conspire to deceive the American people. CNN denies wrongdoing of course, excusing a blatant setup as an oversight. Do not believe it. At every step, at every level, there was collusion and coordination with Democrat Party strategists to diminish the impact of the Republican candidates, to paint Republicans as fringe and to obscure their message. The Democrats will react with outrage and indignation at this accusation. The louder and more strident the denial, the more likely it will silence the accuser, and the more obvious it becomes that the denial is just another tactic.

CNN portrayed Democrat party operatives as undecided voters, average Americans with honest questions. They were in fact Democrat activists, advocates and sympathizers; their questions designed to reinforce negative stereotypes about conservatives: “Do you take the Bible literally?” “Should women who have abortions be jailed?” “Why aren’t gays in the military?” “Why do Black people dislike Republicans?” “Do you support water-boarding?”

The questions were not about issues that concern most Americans; they are not the issues that are at stake in this election. They are the sidelines, the liberal and far left focus of MoveOn.org and Code Pink, chosen precisely because they blocked valid inquiry from concerned citizens and prevented any conservative issue from snowballing, especially an issue the polls tell Democrats they cannot control. It was a Democrat information warfare triumph, made possible by its allies in CNN and the naiveté of the Republican Party.

The manipulation we witnessed during the Republican debates should convince every American that the peoples’ business is not what motivates the Democrats, nor is it service to the nation or an honest battle of ideas. The citizen’s participation in the political process is inconvenient and unpredictable. The citizen is at best a tool, an electoral simpleton to be used by elites smarter than they are, to elect “progressive” leaders more capable than the electorates’ choices would be. The voice of the citizen has been replaced by ideologues and activists with pre-scripted monologues, our perceptions are something to cleverly manipulate, our national debates merely an opportunity for deceit.

The information war we see today began long ago, at a time when we were complacent, confident our institutions and ideals would endure, respected and obeyed. Those days are gone. Indeed, all this would be clear if the left would receive honest scrutiny, if the media spotlight focused on them with half the intensity it does on conservatives. Let me list a few issues we know far too little about, issues the press will not pursue, issues the Democrats actively suppress, issues that should have enormous impact, or would be if the public were informed.

▪ Campaign finance corruption and money laundering conducted by Democrat fundraisers Norman Hsu, Sant Chatwal, Rehman Jinnah, Vinod Gupta, Samuel Rivera, Charlie Trie, Jimmy Chung and Aaron Tonken. These gentlemen facilitated the contribution of many millions of dollars to democrat campaigns and Hillary Clinton, several are the subject of ongoing investigations, some have been indicted, some have been convicted of campaign finance fraud, yet there is little curiosity in the press, no expose, no special reports.

▪ In New York, Chinese cooks, dishwashers, waiters and street merchants donated $1,000 and $2,000 each to the Clinton campaign, hundreds of thousands of dollars from workers who live in tenements and labor for low wages. Some have said they were instructed to contribute and would be paid back. Most cannot be located. Where are the intrepid investigators of the fourth estate?

▪ The Clinton propaganda machines MoveOn.org and Media Matters are funded in large part by infamous America hater George Soros. MoveOn.org is a political action committee that funnels propaganda and disinformation supporting Democrat causes. Claiming to be “A non-profit progressive research and information center,” Media Matters is the media spin machine for the information war. They spend millions supporting the Clinton campaign while claiming to be a non-profit media organization. These sites are full of misrepresentations, smears and slander. Why haven’t the press investigated the connections to the Clinton campaign, their funding and their relationship with George Soros?

▪ Code Pink appears at every high profile Senate hearing, disrupting the proceedings. Claiming to be “citizens that want to be heard,” they conduct political intimidation. How do they so consistently gain access? Why are they permitted to shout down and insult those giving testimony? After they have finished their theatrics, a command from an equally theatrical Democrat has them removed. The manipulation is so blatant it is astounding. In fact, Code Pink’s antics are encouraged by the Democrat leadership, sometimes even choreographed by them to embarrass and demean the administration while maintaining the appearance of propriety. It is another tactic in the information war. The ever-curious press gives this national embarrassment a pass.

▪ The Clintons regularly intimidate newspaper editors, TV commentators and publishers when unfavorable information might be forthcoming. Bill Clinton pressured ABC to alter its 6 hour docudrama "The Path To 9/11" and Hillary mounted a successful campaign to discredit and suppress Edward Klein's biography "The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It and How Far She'll Go to Become President." Television appearances by the author received intense Clinton pressure resulting in cancellations on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and CNN's “Paula Zahn Show.” Shows that were interested such as ABC's "Good Morning America," NBC's "Today" show, and CNN's "Aaron Brown" quietly withdrew. For the Clintons to have such power over the media is frightening. Where is the defense of freedom of speech?

▪ The Clinton campaign has been caught feeding softball questions to audiences for town hall meetings and campaign events. Staffers even have books with questions for specific demographics such as student, housewife, male or female, etc. Staffers then stand by the primed questioner so Hillary knows whom to call on. To appear sincere, engaged, and concerned she has to stage the public interaction. That speaks volumes as to what kind of President she would be. I would think this kind of obvious manipulation would warrant an editorial or two or a few press conference questions.

The possibility that a scheme like the one CNN orchestrated could be perpetrated by Republicans against Democrats is laughable for two reasons. The first is that it is glaringly dishonest and thus repugnant to most Republicans, and the second is that the press would crucify them, something about which the Democrats, for obvious reasons, seem unconcerned.

Let me be clear, we are not talking about simple political advertising; we are not talking about a politician pandering for votes. We are talking about the active organized manipulation of public perceptions, the cynical twisting of the truth and the creation of falsehoods. We are talking about focused misrepresentation, timed sensationalism, purposeful dishonesty and the worst kind of gutter political tactics. CNN has shown us that truth has become a malleable political commodity, irrelevant in the national debate. It is not the battle of ideas, the weighing of one position against the other; it is stagecraft and propaganda.

For Democrats, achieving power justifies every dishonest tactic, tactics which the press ignores or actively supports. Democratic Party politics means taking every opportunity to manipulate the public with planted questions, softball interviews, contrived issues, and fabrications. It means smearing our military heroes with false accusations in a time of war. It means enabling Code Pink activists to disrupt Senate hearings. It means limiting their top candidate’s availability to the press because hard questions answered poorly don’t poll well. It means counting on media sound bites, editorial smears, the omission of context and the public’s short memories. How can the average citizen now measure the worth of a candidate or party? If the press actively works to deceive us, how can we debate the great issues that confront our nation? The answer is that we cannot, and the Democrats want it that way.
Lance Fairchok is a Featured Writer for The New Media Journal. He is a retired Air Force Intelligence professional with many years of service in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. His travels left him fascinated by the wide differences in human cultural perceptions and how ideas spread in diverse populations. He writes and does research on a variety of subjects to include totalitarian ideologies, radical Islam and press accuracy. He currently teaches and writes on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

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