11/20/2005: Another GEM of the WEEK...
"...When government officials or campaign operatives go off the record to a reporter in order to smear someone, spread disinformation, lie about an opponent, stab someone in the back while wearing the cloak of anonymity, kindle a propanganda brush fire, slander critics, psych out enemies, and throw red herrings in an investigator's path, they are engaging in the dark arts of psy ops.
From Caligula to Machiavelli, from the Congo to the Gulag, deception has always been a handmaiden to power. But in our First Amendment democracy, where journalists protect sources, political liars have figured out how to game the system. Lee Atwater not only knew how to assassinate; he knew that reporters would dutifully wipe his fingerprints off the weapon. Cheney, Chalabi, Rove, Libby et al are his heirs. They're so good at it that a Bob Woodward can think a lie is a casually tossed-off piece of gossip, rather than an Oscar-worthy performance in a government-wide defamation campaign. Leaker-liars know how to work the media food chain, using Fleet Street tabloids and wingnut blogs to start contagions that infect more credible sources, which use the meta-guise of covering the rumor, the "phenomenon," rather than truth-squadding the underlying charge. They know how to orchestrate multiple and equally duplicitous confirming sources. They know they can cause true whistle-blowers horrendous damage -- ruinous legal fees, destroyed reputations, jail time -- while secure in the knowledge that their reporter-enablers will nobly decline to blow the whistle on them.
These officials aren't leaking to reporters. They're pissing on the public..."
-- Marty Kaplan A Piss Is Not a Leak
Karen on 11.20.05 @ 01:23 PM CST