Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Saturday, February 16, 2008

  Five Myths about the White House's Failure to give our Media Professionals the Propaganda they need to give the public the Run Around effectively

I've been writing for years about how the Bush administration has turned governmental web-pages, especially the White House website, into organs of propaganda. But even by the normally bizarre standards of the Bush gang, this page is quite striking. It is part of the White House's attempt to stampede Congressional Democrats into passing an updated FISA bill that gives amnesty to the telecom corporations that assisted Bush in his illegal, warrantless surveillance. Bush has gone so far recently in his campaign to overawe Congress as to threaten to veto any bill that does not contain blanket amnesty, or even to veto a further extension of the (appallingly permissive) temporary FISA bill - the ironically-named Protect America Act.

But this current installment of Bush & Co. propaganda really takes the cake in terms of sheer audacity. It lists Five Myths about the FISA reform debate, each followed by Facts (with Quotes) intended to rebut them. The problems arise chiefly from three things: (A) The Myths are actually true. (B) The Facts are false. and (C) The quoted Authorities are lying administration shills.

For your amusement, I've assembled the Five Myths into one neat package, without the Facts or the Quotes:

1. MYTH: The future security of our country does not depend on whether Congress provides liability protection for companies being sued for billions of dollars only because they are believed to have assisted the Government in defending America after the 9/11 attacks.

2. MYTH: Even if the critical tools provided by the Protect America Act expire, the authorizations already in place to monitor terrorist communications will leave the Intelligence Community with all the tools it needs to continue current surveillance and begin new surveillance on any terrorist threat.

3. MYTH: If any new surveillance needs to begin, the FISA court can approve a request within minutes. In the case of an emergency, surveillance can begin immediately and FISA approval can be obtained later.

4. MYTH: Accepting another temporary extension of the Protect America Act would not endanger our Nation's security.

5. MYTH: The House already passed a carefully crafted bill to modernize FISA, and efforts to bridge the gap between the Senate, White House, and the House and pass this legislation are ongoing.

I'll bet that, even after reading the first four Myths, you were a bit surprised to see the fifth. How in the world, you might wonder, could even this White House manage to deny the plain truth the fifth Myth? Well, you'll have to go explore the WH page to get that answer. This really is a perfect introduction to the WH propaganda machinery that I've been railing about. There's a delicious irony that the White House uses the heading "In Focus" to describe their series of Fun-House-Mirror images of the political debate in Washington.

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