Posts Tagged ‘disinformation’

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Source: here

“Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President Bush ‘veered terribly off course,’ was not ‘open and forthright on Iraq,’ and took a ‘permanent campaign approach’ to governing at the expense of candor and competence,” The Politico reports. (The story is also posted here.)

Politico adds that:

The eagerly awaited book, while recounting many fond memories of Bush and describing him as “authentic” and “sincere,” is harsher than reporters and White House officials had expected.

McClellan was one of the president’s earliest and most loyal political aides, and most of his friends had expected him to take a few swipes at his former colleague in order to sell books but also to paint a largely affectionate portrait.

Instead, McClellan’s tone is often harsh. He writes, for example, that after Hurricane Katrina, the White House “spent most of the first week in a state of denial,” and he blames Rove for suggesting the photo of the president comfortably observing the disaster during an Air Force One flyover. McClellan says he and counselor to the president Dan Bartlett had opposed the idea and thought it had been scrapped.

The New York Times adds that McClellan writes about Bush that the president “convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment,” and has engaged in “self-deception” to justify his political ends.

The Washington Post leads its story with this: “Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in What Happened that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated ‘political propaganda campaign’ led by President Bush and aimed at ‘manipulating sources of public opinion’ and ‘downplaying the major reason for going to war.’ ”

The White House would not comment on-the-record to the Post. On Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes last night, former White House political czar Karl Rove said that McClellan had been out of the loop on many matters and never expressed his concerns while working for the administration. Rove is one of two top White House aides who McClellan writes may have misled him about their roles in the “outing” of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

Update at 8:13 a.m. ET: A former Bush administration official tells CNN that McClellan’s claims are “self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional.”

“People need to understand that as an adviser to the president, I or Scott have an obligation, a responsibility, to voice concerns on policy issues,” Frances Fragos Townsend says. “Scott never did that on any of these issues, as best I can remember, and as best I know from my White House colleagues.”

Update at 8:20 a.m. ET: Rumors of cocaine use dogged Bush during the run-up to the 2000 election, prompting the Texas governor to tell a supporter that he couldn’t remember whether or not he had taken the illegal drug, according to McClellan’s book.

Update at 8:29 a.m. ET: Karl Rove, now working for Fox News, says his former colleague was “out of the loop.” Rove denies discussing the Plame matter with Scooter Libby.

Update at 10:19 a.m. ET: Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary, tells Fox News that the book is “heartbreaking.”

(File photo taken in 2004 by Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP.)

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Italy 6 months ago was in a critical situation: today Italy is totally in danger, its own political system of Democratic Republic is almost demolished.

From Beppe Grillo’s Blog, State Secrecy on Energy

Sites for the disposal of nuclear waste, new civil installations for energy production, nuclear power stations, “rigassificatori”, incinerators/ “termovalorizzatori” (different types of waste-to-energy technologies} could in the future be covered by State Secrecy. This is set out in a decree that came into effect on May 1st, thus under the Prodi Government.
The decree was published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale on 16 April 2008, number 90. It says that: “In the places covered by State Secrecy the control functions normally carried out by the local public health bodies and by the National Fire Service, are carried out by autonomous offices of control located at a central level in the relevant administration organisations that set them up with their own arrangements.”
”The administration organisations are not obliged to communicate with the local public health bodies and the National Fire Service but they can turn to them for help and consultation.”
Information, news, documents, official paperwork, activities, locations and things related to the matter being referred to can be covered by State Secrecy.”
Article 261 of the Penal Code says that anyone revealing a State Secret will have a sentence of not less than 5 years in prison.
If a mayor were to tell his citizens about the existence of a nuclear waste dump in his territory he would land up in prison. If a mayor does not tell his citizens he would be betraying his position in relation to them.
Our employees are treating us like vassals. If our wishes do not correspond with theirs, they change the laws, they impose State Secrecy on toxic waste, on nuclear power stations. The other countries have secrecy about national security, about military bases. We have State Secrecy about rubbish, about what is poisoning us, about their motivation, about their interests.
Nuclear power stations are not a solution for energy. The greatest world experts agree and through this blog I will collect their evidence. Incinerators are not a solution for the disposal of rubbish. The greatest world experts agree and through this blog I will collect their evidence.
The citizen has the right to be informed about the choices of their employees. Prodi signed the decree, Veltrusconi will use it, but citizens will not hand around watching. freedom of information in a free State.

We live in a totally different world. Our employees are busy isolating themselves from the rest of the Country. Their alibi is governability. There can never have be too much governability for their liking. It has become like a drug. Maximum governability equates to minimum democracy. Control of the media equates to regime.
They are busy stripping democracy like one strips an artichoke of its leaves. One leaf at a time. They have already eliminated direct election. They have eliminated any differences between the various parties’ election programmes: the only remaining difference between the PD and the PDL is the letter “L”. They have eliminated the smaller parties. They have eliminated the opposition. Now they are about to eliminate Parliament.
Fini, the newly elected President of the Chamber, called Kriptonite Di Pietro to order when he brought up the matter of Tar Head’s criminal record and his conflict of interests. “Honourable Di Pietro, you are well aware that it is natural for there to be interruptions, but this also depends on what is being said”. An item missing from the bundle.
Topo Gigio and Tar Head sniffed each other. They decided that they actually liked each other. They got married. The marriage was consummated yesterday on a sofa inside a political complex, far away from the prying eyes of the rest of the Country. Far from the eyes of all those Italians that voted for the Democratic Party in the hope that they would constitute an effective opposition in Parliament rather than be buddy-buddy.
The decisions regarding our future are being made behind closed doors. There will no longer be any discussions held in Parliament. Parliament will only be expected to ratify the wishes of two people sitting drinking tea in some or other lounge. The deputies and senators will not present any opposition whatsoever. They have been elected by the party secretaries after all, not by the citizens. They are nothing more than well-paid employees dependent on their masters.
What is going on is the creation of closed-door democracy. The latest political creation of the italic genius. Emergencies by which the Country will be governed. The squatters, the refuse, security. First they create these emergencies and then they use them in order to justify their own existence. But they are the real emergency. A democratic emergency. The citizen must never find out, the Parliament must never speak out and the television and the newspapers must never inform. We can expect certain serious decisions to be taken for the good of the Country, always and only for the good of the Country. They are busy preparing the ground.

Italy is under a dictatorial regime: manipulation of information and total disinformation are dealing the former “bel paese” toward the social and economic collapse. Political tensions come from everywhere, last news about a spanish deputy premier who criticized Italy government.

Poor Italy.

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The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) is an armed revolutionary group based in Chiapas, one of the poorest states of Mexico. Their social base is mostly indigenous but they have some supporters in urban areas as well as an international web of support. Their main spokesperson is Subcomandante Marcos (currently a.k.a. Delegate Zero in relation to the “Other Campaign“). Unlike other Zapatista comandantes, Subcomandante Marcos is not an indigenous Mayan.

The group takes its name from Emiliano Zapata, the anarchist commander of the Liberation Army of the South during the Mexican Revolution, whose forces were colloquially known as the Zapatistas. The EZLN see themselves as his ideological heirs.

In 1994, they declared war “against the Mexican state.”

Some consider the Zapatista movement the first “post-modern” revolution: an armed revolutionary group that has abstained from using their weapons since their 1994 uprising was countered by the overpowering military might of the Mexican Army. The Zapatistas quickly adopted a new strategy by trying to garner the support of Mexican and international civil society. They try to achieve this by making use of the Internet to disseminate their communiqués and to enlist the support of NGOs and solidarity groups. Outwardly, they portray themselves as part of the wider anti-globalization, anti-neoliberalism social movement while for their indigenous base the Zapatista struggle is all about control over their own resources, particularly the land on which they live.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, also Delegado Cero (Delegate Zero) in matters concerning the Other Campaign, describes himself as the spokesman for the Mexican rebel movement, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).

Subcomandante Marcos insurgente, Mexico, Chiapas

The nick-name “Marcos” is the name of a friend killed at a military road checkpoint. It is not, as presumed, a nominal acrostic of the communities where the EZLN first rose in arms: Las Margaritas, Amatenango del Valle, La Realidad, Comitán, Ocosingo, and San Cristóbal

The Mexican government alleges Marcos to be one Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente, of Tampico, Tamaulipas. Born in Mexico to Spanish immigrants, Guillén attended high school at Instituto Cultural Tampico, a Jesuit school in Tampico, where he presumably became acquainted with Liberation Theology. Guillén later moved to Mexico City where he graduated from the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), then received a masters’ degree in philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and began work as a professor at the UAM, after which he left. While Marcos has always denied being Rafael Guillén, Guillén’s family are unaware of what happened to him and they refuse to say if they think Marcos and Guillén are the same person or not. Guillén’s family is deeply involved in Tamaulipas politics. Guillén’s sister, Mercedes del Carmen Guillén Vicente, is the Attorney General of the State of Tamaulipas, and a very influential member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, the party that governed Mexico for more than 70 years. During the Great March to Mexico City in 2001, Marcos visited the UNAM and during his speech he made clear that he had at least been there before.

Like many of his generation, Guillén was radicalized by the events of 1968 and became a militant in a Maoist organization. However, the encounter with the outlook of the indigenous peasants of Chiapas transformed the Marcos’ ideology and he has embraced an approach to social revolution that has important parallels to the revisionist Marxist ideals of Antonio Gramsci, which were popular in Mexico during his time at the university.

When asked about his first days in Chiapas in the documentary A Place Called Chiapas, Marcos said:

Imagine a person who comes from an urban culture. One of the world’s biggest cities, with a university education, accustomed to city life. It’s like landing on another planet. The language, the surroundings are new. You’re seen as an alien from outer space. Everything tells you: “Leave. This is a mistake. You don’t belong in this place.” And it’s said in a foreign tongue. But they let you know, the people, the way they act; the weather, the way it rains; the sunshine; the earth, the way it turns to mud; the diseases; the insects; homesickness. You’re being told. “You don’t belong here.” If that’s not a nightmare, what is?

Also in this documentary by Nettie Wild, one is allowed to listen to the powerful rhetoric of the Zapatistas. This is conducted in Spanish, not the native Mayan tongues. With only his eyes and pipe being visible he addresses the film maker: “It is our day, day of the dead“. Marcos reveals the Zapatista belief that he is a dead-man and so are the Zapatistas,

In the mountains of Chiapas, death was a part of daily life. It was as common as rain or sunshine. People here coexist with death, death of their own, especially the little ones. Paradoxically, death begins to shed its tragic cloak, Death becomes a daily fact. It loses its sacredness. You see it as someone you sit down with at the table, like an old acquaintance. You don’t lose your fear of death, but you become familiar with it. It becomes your equal. Death, which is so close, so near, so possible, is less terrifying for us than for others. So, going out and fighting and perhaps meeting death is not as terrible as it seems. For us, at least. In fact, what surprises and amazes us is life itself. The hope of a better life. Going out to fight and to die finding out you’re not dead, but alive. And, unintentionally, you realize you are walking on the edge of the border between death and life. You’re walking on the edge of the border between them.

The Mayans speak of Marcos as “the man with pale skin [who] came to Chiapas twelve years ago”. A Mayan woman and matriarch featured in the documentary says of him,

We don’t see his face like we see ours. Ours we see clearly, but his stays covered. We can’t see him. Whatever the poor eat, he eats. When he’s here, is he going to eat better food? What we eat, he eats. We eat vegetables, he does too. We don’t believe he’s from the city. We can’t believe it.

The Mexican government has speculated that Marcos is a professor of philosophy and communications. Marcos’ response is that the Zapatista movement is more about ideas than bullets. In an interview he says to reporters about their struggle and faceless opponent,

The only way to get their attention is to kill or be killed. If you ask us what’s going to happen in the near future, we have no fucking idea. Sorry for using the word ‘idea.’ We are ready to go to war or move on to peace.

Much of his writings – articles, poems, speeches and letters – have been compiled into a book: Our Word is Our Weapon. In 2005 he wrote a novel called Muertos incómodos (The Uncomfortable Dead), in conjunction with crime writer Paco Ignacio Taibo I

This words and this videos are our tribute to the last of the eroes.

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