|Uncle Svengali Wants YOU!|
Among the lawmakers allegedly targeted were John McCain (who should know mind games when he sees them, but given his recent trajectory toward the right-wing cliff, that is debatable); his pal and mind-gamer par excellence Joe Lieberman, Democrats Al Franken ( an expert on lies and the lying liars who tell them), Carl Levin, and Jack Reed. Lieberman said he couldn't possibly have been brainwashed, because he has been pro-war all along. He deemed the psy-ops report "weird."
Which is so weird, because the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thomson once said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." And Lieberman is definitely weird, pro, and was probably born with a washed-out brain anyway.
One of the commenters on this blog recently asked if I thought President Obama could actually have been "psy-opped" by General David Petraeus into escalating the war. Since both men are Machiavellians, willing to manipulate others to achieve a desired end (re-election for one, duty/honor/country/legacy for the other) I suppose their hypothetical mutual hypnotic techniques may have cancelled each other out.
The real victims of psy-ops, of course, are us - the great unwashed hoi polloi, viewers of cable news, victims of the military industrial complex, of the plutocrats, kleptocrats, oligarchs and corporations.... the list is endless, but the techniques used are basically the same. Here is how "they" control us (these techniques are all found in the official military Psy-Ops manuals, readily available online - the examples, however, are mine):
Appeal to fear: example - when the House of Representatives recently failed to extend certain provisions of the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano immediately warned of an imminent terror attack from within our own borders and raised the alert level to red, smokin' hot!
Appeals to authority: cite prominent figures to justify courses of action. Example - all Republicans reference St. Ronald Reagan to justify austerity and attacks on social welfare programs.
Bandwagon approach: propaganda that fosters a sense of belonging to the same club. The Tea Party was born of a CNBC rant by Rick Santelli after the financial meltdown caused by Wall Street. Right- wing Christian fundamentalism, close cousin to the astroturfing Tea Party, fosters that same feeling of togetherness and ultimate salvation. Closely related is the "obtain disapproval" approach. To be fair, let's put the onus on Obama for this one. Calling his base "sanctimonious purists" for not going along with his Bush tax cut extensions distances them from the mainstream... and his own supreme self.
Glittering generalities: intensely, emotionally appealing words not matched by supporting information or reason. Take your pick - "Change We Can Believe In".... "Take back our freedoms"..."We fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here"...."Winning the Future"...."Fair and Balanced." Ad nauseum, ad absurdum. Repeat something often enough and it doesn't have to make sense. Rationalization and deliberate vagueness are also tried and true techniques.
Transfer: projecting positive or negative qualities on a specific group or person in order to discredit it. Example - the right-wing spawning of "Islamophobia," as well as the continuing march of the birthers. An estimated 50 percent of all self-described Republicans now believe Obama is a Muslim, despite all evidence to the contrary. Fox News repeats the myth, and "establishment" Republicans don't bother condemning it.
Oversimplification: easy answers to complex problems. Example - anything Sarah Palin tweets.
Common Man: Politicians use the "plain folks" speech in order to ingratiate themselves with average people. Example - Obama uses a genteel version of ebonics when addressing town halls, but a bland vanilla American accent when speaking to the press. Perhaps the most vile example of over-the-top folksiness is Mike Huckabee. But they are all guilty of this, every last phony one of them.
Testimonial: name-dropping to give credence to a position. Example - God. Republicans say the Lord tells them everything, presidents all say "God bless America" and the Pledge of Allegiance had "one nation under God" inserted sneakily into the text during the Cold War.
Scapegoating: Casting blame on those who don't deserve it to cover the identity of the real culprit. This is an easy one - public labor unions. Teachers, cops, firefighters, snow plow operators.... these people are all being blamed for the financial collapse, caused by the banksters and colluding public officials. And let's not forget to blame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for exposing embarrassing government secrets, and Michael Hastings for writing articles that don't heap praise on the military.
Virtue words: used by propagandists to produce a positive image when attached to an idea, person or action: Peace, security,freedom.... the Koch Brothers' "Americans for Prosperity", or child abuser Lloyd Dobsons "Focus on the Family."
Slogans: repetitive, self-perpetuating memes. "Winning the Future" - used by both Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama. "We bring good things to life" (G.E./Obama). "Job-killing Obamacare" (John Boehner).
I mentioned earlier that both Obama and Petraeus are Machiavellian advancers of their own self-interest. But the nihilistic Republicans are much, much worse. They are Svengalians - sadists who rejoice in the infliction of pain and the exercise of raw power, just because they can.