How Can Government Mind Manipulation Be Bad?
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Over at Winds of Change, noted Internets savant Armed Liberal explains that people who dislike propaganda are great big sillyheads:
The usual suspects are going bonkers - bonkers! - over the notion that the Pentagon briefed a cadre of retired military men who served as 'expert commentators' in the media.
The thing is, you see, that we are involved in a "counterinsurgency" (against foes who include Hezbollah and the Palestinian Authority, as AL explains in his comments -- I did not know that) and that therefore the American government really should be relentlessly evangelizing and radicalizing the American people for the purposes of crushing the mighty forces of Islamofascism:
So here's my problem. If we're engaged in counterinsurgency, public diplomacy and information warfare - which the insurgent side are very good at, spends a lot of time doing, and where the mainstream media only recently grudgingly backed away from the most egregious, falsified examples of their work - is a critical component, according to pretty much everyone who has written on the subject.
But - our government can't play. Not only are there legal restrictions, but the simple fact that information was given to commentators, bloggers, or reporters by the government - in the hopes that it can shape the information battlespace - is illegitimate, and is itself a major meta-story.
I don't think it's wrong to be concerned about the government shaping the news. I think it's necessary to shape perception as a part of any successful counterinsurgency.
But those two principles seem to be in a midair collision, and as a consequence it's going to keep raining aluminum.