AUGUST 2, 1999
Thought control
© 1999

A lot of time, effort, ink and air time has been devoted to both media malfeasance and the use of government resources to directly and indirectly control what is and is not reported to the American people. Propaganda, disinformation, and misinformation have become the rule rather than the exception. The litany of information manipulation has sparked entire boutique industries, including, but not limited to: "The Strange Death of Vince Foster," Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Oklahoma City bombing, TWA Flight 800, terrorist threats (real and imagined), nuclear, biological and chemical threats, civilian detention facilities, FEMA, and more.

The latest revelation, according to a former administration insider, was reported in July 29 edition of the Washington Times. Reportedly, "a new multi-agency plan to closely control the dissemination of public information abroad is really aimed at 'spinning the American public.'" And guess what campers? YOU get to pay for it.

Notwithstanding the consistent unrelenting flood of propaganda, "the U.S. public has refused to back President Clinton's foreign policy." Some of you might question, "What foreign policy?" The fact is the administration has its collective panties in a bunch in the wake of this apparent inability to sell the gospel according to Bill-Jeff.

Apparently, the Clintonistas are torqued that coverage of foreign news is "distorted" and they have become convinced that "they need to fight it at all costs." OK, how do they do that? They have already used the IRS as a political tool to attack critics. They have already established a database and a stash of FBI files that make Nixon's puny "enemies list" look like a penny compared to Bill Gates' net worth. They already have the mainstream media decision-makers staffed with sycophant quislings. What next?

Well, the latest abuse of power under the color of authority is "using resources that are aimed at spinning the news." Thanks to the wizardry of presidential decision directives, the president can (and does) create new policies and the agencies to implement his will. Congress impotently sits in the shadows alternately clucking and quivering.

Up jumps the International Public Information (IPI) system, created in April by Presidential Decision Directive 68. This potential disinformation tool isn't bad enough as a bureaucracy, so it is to be run by Morton Halperin, formerly "Senior Director for Democracy" at the National Security Council and now head of policy planning at the State Department -- an all around anti-constitutional wonk.

This IPI working group met for the first time last Wednesday. It is yet further evidence of the evil that unbridled ambition can wrought without sufficient checks and balances. The IPI charter, still classified top secret, reportedly synthesizes the functions of agencies like the old USIA and Radio Free Europe. Those agencies were supposed to be aimed overseas, to sell New Deal propaganda. The leaked text of the draft charter is written in typical bureaucratese-speak. However, if that fictional "reasonable person" reads between the lines of the form, the substance is clear. Under the purview of IPI overseas information (propaganda) will "be coordinated, integrated, de-conflicted and synchronized with the (IPI) to achieve a synergistic effect" at home. What the heck does that mean? Simply stated, we will have the dubious distinction of paying (with OUR tax dollars) for our own indoctrination. Cool ... and Machiavelli smiled.

The Washington Times got their hands on a copy of a draft charter which states the purpose of this outfit is "to prevent and mitigate crises and to influence foreign audiences in ways favorable to the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives." Anonymous insiders report that honchos from defense, intelligence, diplomatic and other assorted alphabet soup groups gathered at the State department to review the draft charter.

I have often said that "Knowledge is Power -- IF you take that knowledge and do something with it." However, if or when an abusive government is ever able to restrict, control, and manage that knowledge/information, they will have effectively neutered potential critical analysis.

According to Clintonista officials, "... news coverage is distorted at home and they need to fight it at all costs by using resources that are aimed at spinning the news,"

Presidential Decision Directive 68, which ordered the creation of the International Public Information was designed to make sure that all government agencies disseminating information abroad share a single message. Kind of an imperial mandate to get everyone on the same sheet of music. God forbid that some fact or statistic which contradicts the preconceived opinion or stated policy were ever to leak out into the space time continuum of consciousness.

One former senior official dared complain that this charter "did not distinguish what would be done overseas and what would be done at home. ... It talks about a news war." BINGO! The devil is always in the details. The IPI charter does not distinguish between overseas information and domestic information because the intention is to slap a tighter bridle on domestic critics.

The administration has reacted promptly to reject any accusations that IPI could or would ever be used in a partisan manner OR be used to influence public opinion. Sure. The administration would no more use this new propaganda scalpel than they would use the IRS, FBI, BATF, Treasury, CIA, FEMA or any other agency in a "political" way. In effect, the administration is saying "Trust us." However, we don't, can't, and should not trust them. Why should we?

This administration has routinely and consistently proved to be corrupt, disingenuous, duplicitous, untruthful, mean-spirited, and manipulative. The same president was just fined for having lied to a judge under oath. Lying has been proven to be the one life-long axiomatic consistent of the man.

Now it is revealed he ostensibly wants to codify lying with a new propaganda agency. The International Public Information (IPI) system may be the form of this latest abuse of power, but "International Propaganda Institute" is more accurate.