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Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters. . .
March 29, 2010 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Leaked CIA Report: "Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters" (pdf / Scribed link here) outlines possible public relations / propaganda strategies to shore up public support in Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan.
posted by zarq (18 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
How do you think the CIA has continued to get funding for the last 50 years?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:01 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


[warning: salon.com / autoplaying video ads]
The war on WikiLeaks and why it matters by Glenn Greenwald
posted by finite at 1:05 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


tl;dr

what?
posted by gingerbeer at 1:22 PM on March 29, 2010


Nice to know the lessons you learn at home apply to the outside
posted by victors at 1:24 PM on March 29, 2010


Forgive my ignorance, but it says right there on the second page:

This memo was prepared by
the CIA Red Cell, which has
been charged by the Director
of Intelligence with taking a
pronounced "out-of-the-box"
approach that will provoke
thought and offer an
alternative viewpoint on the
full range of analytic issues.



Doesn't that mean that this is not an adopted strategy but rather that this group's task is to come up with radical approaches and recommendations?
posted by spicynuts at 1:24 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ok just read the whole thing. I think you intentionally framed what is a summary of a talk that had certain suggestions in a way to make it sound dictatorial or somehow more evil than it actually is. There are no prescriptions here, there are only 'mights' - possible scenarios.
posted by spicynuts at 1:29 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Spicynuts, to propose alternative ideas, yes. (I'm not so sure about "radical".)

That's why I included the qualifier "possible" in the post.
posted by zarq at 1:30 PM on March 29, 2010


This memo was prepared by the CIA Red Cell, which has been charged by the Director of Intelligence with taking a pronounced "out-of-the-box" approach that will provoke thought and offer an alternative viewpoint on the full range of analytic issues.

I would be so fucking good at this job.
posted by Think_Long at 1:32 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Spicynuts, then please point out exactly how this is framed as you suggest? I was careful not to imply in any way that this is defined CIA policy.

I think you're reading something into the post that isn't there.
posted by zarq at 1:33 PM on March 29, 2010


I thought the framing was neutral. It's just that topics like these are so frequently accompanied by emotive exclamations that simply stating something without attaching all sort of disclaimers and qualifications now seems slanted by default.

Oh, and yeah I do think that this is the sort of thing you operate an intelligence agency to do in the first place - assess how best to pursue the nation's declared strategic interests. It says nothing to me about what the average CIA employee actually thinks of the war; for all I know everyone in Langley holds the view that its unwinnable and those aims better pursued by other means than overt military ones, but that's not what they were asked to express an opinion about.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:16 PM on March 29, 2010


Is it just me or does it seem entirely reasonable? It's not exactly waterboarding kittens.
posted by Damienmce at 2:19 PM on March 29, 2010


News Item: People don't care about things they don't care about.

Film at 11.
posted by Aizkolari at 3:39 PM on March 29, 2010


Not to be pedantic, but shouldn't it be "Leaked possible CIA report...." While I haven't seen any attacks on the credibility of the report, it could be very well that evidence could surface that indicates that this is a hoax. (pokes at CIA)

Oh, and to be speculative, I would imagine we have contingency plans to waterboard kittens, but we have yet to determine the intelligence value of doing so (loud mews != explicate confessions).
posted by el io at 3:49 PM on March 29, 2010


Oh, like I care...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:51 PM on March 29, 2010


Wow, turns out apathetic people don't care. Who knew?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:13 PM on March 29, 2010


Yeah, this seems pretty par for the course.. I mean, if the CIA were advocating/running programmes designed to increase apathy in the public in order to further support for the Afghan war, that would be a notable thing.

Recognizing that an apathetic public exists and that that has knock-on effects politically is hardly shocking.

For the tl;dr crowd -- this isn't much of a leak.
posted by modernnomad at 5:38 PM on March 29, 2010



Spicynuts, then please point out exactly how this is framed as you suggest? I was careful not to imply in any way that this is defined CIA policy.


I felt that using the word 'propaganda' was an attempt to cast this as subversive to the Democratic/Parliamentary processes in these countries. Also, I felt that not putting quotes around the article title in your post title added to that. However, now that I've re-read it a day later, I think that you are correct. So I retract my objection.
posted by spicynuts at 6:45 AM on March 30, 2010


Okie doke. No problem.

FWIW, I did try to present this without any sort of editorial bias. But thanks, I will keep both of those elements in mind for the future. "Propaganda" is sort of a loaded word, and I should be careful with how I use it when I'm trying to sound impartial.
posted by zarq at 7:01 AM on March 30, 2010


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