The War on The American Mind

One of the stranger aspects of 21st-century geopolitics has been the West’s denial that it has an adversary or enemy in Vladimir Putin.  –Peter Pomerantsev

A photo of a poster of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as seen in a photograph taken on a Moscow Street.
A Poster of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as seen in a photograph taken on a Moscow Street.

I once knew a physicist who said he worked for the military on
something called a clean bomb.

“It kills the people but there’s no radiation so we can go in and
take the land.”

I never spoke with him again but I never forgot the horror of his
Machiavellian disregard for human life.

That conversation comes to mind as read news of Russia’s Hack
of our 2016 Election.

Screenshot of thr cover page of the CIA report on hacking.
Given what we know of the Russian Hack of the election we need to understand information as a weapon.

I think of bombs so clean we don’t even know we’re at war.

Screenshot from a Legatum Institute essay on Russian Disinformation
from Winning the Information War

If you’re one of millions of people still think the United States created the AIDS virus in 1969 you can thank a successful Soviet Style disinformation campaign launched by the Soviet Union on July 17, 1983.

Image found on the internet of a fake document designed to prove that the United States invented the AIDS Virus
A Fake Document created by the former Soviet Union to ‘prove’ that the United States created the AIDS virus.

“A small pro-Soviet paper called the Patriot published a front-page article titled “AIDS may invade India: Mystery disease caused by US experiments.”

The story cited a letter from an anonymous but “well-known American scientist and anthropologist” that suggested AIDS, then still a mysterious and deadly new disease, had been created by the Pentagon in a bid to develop new biological weapons.

“Now that these menacing experiments seem to have gone out of control, plans are being hatched to hastily transfer them from the U.S. to other countries, primarily developing nations where governments are pliable to Washington’s pressure and persuasion,” the article read.

The Patriot’s article was subsequently used as a source for an October 1985 story in the Literaturnaya Gazeta, a Soviet weekly with considerable influence at the time.

The next year, it ran on the front page of a British tabloid. After that, it was picked up by an international news wire.

By April 1987 the story appeared in the major newspapers of more than 50 countries.

The problem? The story was a lie.

A variety of credible experts quickly came out to say that the idea that AIDS had been deliberately or inadvertently created in a laboratory was ridiculous; even the president of the Soviet Academy of Medical Sciences went on the record saying AIDS was of natural origin.

Yet even after the Cold War was over and the threat of AIDS became more widely understood, the idea that the disease was man-made persevered around the world.

The conspiracy theory even persisted in the United States: A 2005 study found almost half of African Americans believed that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was man-made.”

The Wall Street Journal November 26, 2016

According to the online New Eastern Europe,  the “weaponisation of information” is an essential tool of Russian foreign policy.

To study this “weaponisation of information” I reviewed an archive of
political ads produced by the RNC during the 2016 Elections.

To assess the ads as propaganda the ads must use one or more of the following propaganda techniques.

Whataboutism:  a logical fallacy that attempts to discredit the opponent’s position by asserting the opponent’s failure to act in accordance with that position in a similar situation without directly refuting or disproving the opponent’s initial argument.

The strategy is designed to turn the argument into a discussion of irrelevancies.

Example:

I tell you that Trump said on tape that he can grab women’s genitals because he’s famous and you reply what about Bill Clinton?

A screenshot of Trump meeting with women who accused Bill Clinton of Rape prior to his second debate with Hillary Clinton
What about Bill Clinton

The story or video uses of words, music, and images in a way that subvert one’s sense of reality and to disengage critical thinking.

Example:

Wikileaks BOMBSHELL Reveals that Hillary Clinton Sold Weapons to ISIS!
This Headline uses the Active Measure of working to discredit the CIA.

The story fabricates an all-powerful enemy with unverified accounts of outrageous behaviors and dishonest strategies.

September 21, Clinton's Body Double
September 21, Clinton’s Body Double

A Loud, crude and aggressive tone of voice.

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Trump absurdly links the Iranian execution of a scientist to Hilary Clinton’s hacked email.

Active measures Discredit credible media and authority while spreading unverified conspiracy theories and outright lies.

Screnshot of Sara Palin, Sean Hannity and Julian Assange as they work to discredit their government
Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Julian Assange ‘actively’ working to subvert our national security.

 

screenshot of Russian propagandist, Julian Assange, from a news report in which he critisises Presidernt Obama
Julian Assange criticizes Obama for leaking the facts

Now that we now know Russia used American media to subvert the U.S. elections we must inform ourselves with facts and use critical thought as we
sift through the news.

Below are three political ads released by the Republican National Committee or the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2016 U.S. elections.

They are classified as ‘political advertising but they look like Russian propaganda videos to me. Do you agree?

Hillary Clinton is a Living History of Scandal Lies and Spin

Disinformation Ad Released by the National Republican Senatorial Campaign

May  25, 2016

A fear mongering word salad of lies and debunked accusations that spiral into a series of insults that ends with Hillary Clinton as the living embodiment of everything people hate about politics.

The ad closes on the gender stereotype of a cackling witch who shouts, “I am a real person!’

Script:

Democrat Senate candidates need to ask themselves a question. Can they really support Hillary Clinton? She’s a living history of scandal, lies and spin. Defended an accused child rapist then laughed about his lenient sentence. Whitewater. Travelgate. Chinagate. Filegate. She politically attacked sexual harassment victims. Pretended she landed under sniper fire. Benghazi. The Clinton Foundation. FBI investigation. Ruthless. Fake accents, fake concerns and fake laughs. Hillary Clinton. She is the living embodiment of everything people hate about politics. Democrat senate candidates, she is your burden to bear. I am a real person. NRSC is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Caught Lying Again

This GOP ad takes up the question of Hillary Clinton’s email.

We hear a montage of out of context quotes from Hilary Clinton as she responds to questions about her use of a private server for classified
email against a musical backdrop of tinkling apocalypse.


The ad was released on August 25, 2016.

The FBI cleared Hillary Clinton of all charges regarding her email a month before, on July 05th, 2016.

People who’ve read the Wikileaks emails say they are remarkably dull.

Wikileaks was never about Hillary Clinton’s real email.

Wikileaks was always about those mythical lost emails and what they contained.

Wikileaks provided cover for a flood of outrageous and unsubstantiated lies.

Wikileaks BOMBSHELL Reveals that Hillary Clinton is Satanic!
Wikileaks BOMBSHELL Reveals that Hillary Clinton is Satanic!

 

A screenshot of a fake news outlet's claim that Wikileaks revealed information about Benghazi
The Headline is as fake as the News Outlet.

Putin and his operatives in the U.S. lied with impunity.

screenshot of Fox News Promoting fake news
Fox News promoting a Wikileaks based scandal.

The most bizarre political ad in the stash at the Internet Archives is this one:

It’s as if you’re saying….

Disinformation Video released by the Republican National Committee
February 25, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s historically accurate comment that Martin Luther King’s Dream began to be realized when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 becomes a racist slam against Martin Luther King.

As a reality check, here’s a photograph of the signing of the Civil Right’s Act of 1964.

Martin Luther King watches as Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Right's Act of 1964.
Martin Luther King watches as Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Right’s Act of 1964.

Martin Luther King is among the dignitaries at the signing.

The ad uses a collage of words and images that twists a factual statement into a racist slur.

Script

When we arrived in South Carolina yesterday, this was The State newspaper. Clinton camp hits Obama. Attacks painful for black voters. Many in state offended by criticism of Obama and remarks about Martin Luther King. Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It’s as if you are minimizing I Have A dream. It’s a nice sentiment, but it took a white President to get blacks to the mountain top

I understand why Americans don’t want to deal with the seriousness of this attack.

Taking a partisan stance is the easy way out and a possible path to our destruction.

What matters is that a foreign government attacked the people of the United States through our media to thwart our political process.

We must know how this attack happened, what the damage was, and what
we can do to protect ourselves.

We must unite against this attack.

Anything else is submission to a foreign power.

Putin Tells America to Lose with Dignity.
Putin Tells America to Lose with Dignity.

Rob Goldstein 2016

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7 thoughts on “The War on The American Mind

    1. The fact that the leader of another nation ordered a militarized psychological attack on the United States transcends our national politics. It is a hostile act that potentially violates international law. The fact that our media continues to cover this story as if it was a local problem implies that U.S. media compromised. Thank you for reading the post and leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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