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Disinformation as Policy
Rummy’s Quagmire of Lies
by MIKE WHITNEY

"Destroying cities and torturing prisoners are things you do when you are losing the real war, the war your enemies are fighting. They are signals of moral bankruptcy. They destroy the confidence and respect of your friends, and reinforce the credibility of the enemy".

William Pfaff

The Pentagon issued a statement saying an attack that killed 22 people at a camp near Mosul was likely carried out by a suicide bomber who may have had inside information.

Wrong.

At the Pentagon Wednesday, Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a suicide bomber had apparently strapped an explosive device to his body and entered the dining hall where the blast occurred.

Wrong.

Military officials in Iraq said Wednesday that shrapnel from the explosion included small ball bearings, which are often used in suicide bombings but are not usually part of shrapnel from rockets or mortars.

Wrong.

Let me give you five reasons why the 22 deaths and 72 wounded were not the result of a "suicide bomber" as the Pentagon alleges. 1

WMD 2

Jessica Lynch 3

Statue of Saddam being toppled in Fidros Square. 4

The death of Pat Tillman in a Taliban firefight 5

Abu Musab al Zarqawi conducting his terrorist operations from Falluja

Just look at this dismal record of intentional lying and decide whether or not the Pentagon can be trusted. Their statement means nothing.

Prove. Corroborate. Verify.

Nothing that the War dept. says can be trusted. But don’t take my word for it. Consider the well-publicized debate going on within the Pentagon itself. Recent reports in newspapers across the country confirm that an argument is raging within the military about the extent to which the use of misleading information serves their overall objectives. On one side, we have the conventional approach, which believes that it is permissible to disseminate false information in the foreign and domestic media to ensure force protection and battlefield secrecy. The military has always done this and always will. At the other extreme, we have Rumsfeld and Co. who believe that information is simply a tool that should be used to conform to their narrow political goals. Rumsfeld’s development of Office of Strategic Intelligence (OSI) was intended as a spy agency (to collect every bit of information on Americans; including banking, medical, library records etc.) as well as a facility for formulating bogus information that would be planted into the media. It’s part of a greater scheme to use psy-ops (psychological operations) on the public wherever they may create a political advantage. The culture of lies that Rumsfeld has developed in the Dept of Defense reflects his belief that the people should be left in the dark when it comes to matters of state. (Choreographed incidents, like the Jessica Lynch story or the toppling of Saddam’s statue in Fidros Square, fall under the psy-ops rubric)

It’s not difficult to find proof that the Pentagon is intentionally lying to the public. An article by Mark Mazzetti of the LA Times states that, "the decision by commanders in Iraq in mid-September to combine public affairs, psychological operations and information operations into a "strategic communications" office."

Psy-ops and information operations? In other words, the military has integrated public affairs (PA) which includes the daily briefings from Iraq, with information operations (IO)

Oooops! Sounds like someone’s lying in the war dept.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has been concerned about the credibility problems related to this new union of PA and information operations IO issued a letter which said,

"Although both PA and IO conduct planning, message development and media analysis, the efforts differ with respect to audience, scope and intent, and must remain separate. While organizations may be inclined to create physically integrated PA/IO offices, such organizational constructs have the potential to compromise the commander’s credibility with the media and the public."

What gibberish. All Meyers needs to say is that he’s worried that the public will find out that the military is LYING AS A MATTER OF POLICY.

I have some news for Meyers: The war dept has no credibility to begin with. The architects of Falluja and Abu Ghraib are as dissolute and immoral as any who’ve ever held office in our 200 year history. Anyone who expects more than lies from the Bush claque is either blinded by religious zealotry or a dolt.

Information as a Weapon

It’s clear that Rumsfeld and Co. would like to persuade the public that the 22 deaths were the result of a terrorist bomb. What else could they say; that Americans were killed needlessly by a national liberation movement trying to expel US forces from Iraq? The Bush administration’s last vestige of credibility depends on their ability to convince the public that Iraq is the heart of a nebulous war on terror. It’s not, but we can expect that the military will continue to create a narrative that supports that theory.

We can also expect to see terrorists appear wherever policy objectives need to be met. In this case, the Bush team needs a shadowy fundamentalist group as a scapegoat, so "Presto", the radical Muslim group Ansar al-Sunna, is dredged up from Rummy’s Rolodex and put to work. How convenient. Next, a statement from the Pentagon is issued to the press, and in mere hours every media outlet in the nation is broadcasting uncorroborated nonsense about "suicide bombers" and "martyrdom operations". (no questions asked)

General Myers said at a news conference that the attack was "the responsibility of the insurgents, the same insurgents who attacked on 9/11. The way you prevent this is to win the war on extremism."

9-11? Are you kidding me?

Meyers, statement was followed by U.S. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who commands the multinational force in Iraq, opined, "We will not allow terrorist violence to stop progress toward elections."

Terror, terror, terror. You get the idea.

Needless to say, neither Meyers nor Casey provided any evidence to substantiate their claim. They also failed to mention that the mess tent where the bombing took place was well within the reach of insurgents and has been HIT MORE THAN 30 TIMES THIS YEAR (according to the UK Guardian) More than likely; the attack was just routine fire that hit a densely populated area.

The fact of the matter is (as this recent attack illustrates) we are losing the war in Iraq, and it’s creating a growing sense of desperation at the Pentagon. The military brass is spinning as hard as they can, but the litany of lies only adds to their credibility gap. As distrust grows, the support for the war will erode as well. That’s the real cost of Rumsfeld’s "culture of lies".

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com