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Fw: Rules of disinformation
Personnal note for Tim May:
I grabbed it on a firearms mailing list, but it does not discuss firearms
*at all* except if you know that Valin is the Chief Spin-Doctor for the
Canadian Firearms Center, which is absolutely irrelevant to the post.
From: Dave Hammond <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, February 02, 1999 9:49 PM
Subject: Rules of disinformation
> For those playing "Valin Watch Bingo" and just as general interest for
>those who enjoy watching your favorite lia....er...uh politician or
>(anti)lobbyist in action:
> THE RULES OF DISINFORMANTION--THE POLITICIAN'S CREDO
>The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are
>generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist
>to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the
>leadership, key players, or planning level of the organized crime syndicate
>we know as government.
>1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know,
>discuss it -- especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If
>it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the
>2. Become incredulous and indignant./ Avoid discussing key issues and
>instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being
>critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as
>the "How dare you!" gambit.
> 3. Create rumor mongers./ Avoid discussing issues by describing all
>regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other
>derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method
>works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public
>can learn of the facts are through such "arguable rumors". If you can
>associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a
>"wild rumor" which can have no basis in fact.
>4. Use a straw man./ Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's
>argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the
>opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists
>based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation,
>or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their
>significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the
>charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of
>the real issues.
>5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule./ This is also known
>as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as
>variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such
>"kooks", "right-wing", "liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists","conspiracy
>buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists", "religious fanatics", "sexual
>deviates", and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear
>of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
>6. Hit and Run./ In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent
>or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be
>fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet
>and letters-to -the-editor environments where a steady stream of new
>identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning
>-- simply make an
>accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering
>subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent's viewpoint.
> 7. Question motives./ Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to
>imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other
>bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the
>8. Invoke authority./ Claim for yourself or associate yourself with
>authority and present your argument with enough "jargon" and "minutiae" to
>illustrate you are "one who knows", and simply say it isn't so without
>discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
>9. Play Dumb./ No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered,
>discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense,
>provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a
>conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
>10. Associate opponent charges with old news./ A derivative of the straw
>usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make
>charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it
>can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it
>dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent
>regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be
>associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash
>without need to address current issues -- so much the better where the
>opponent is or was involved with the original source.
>11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions./ Using a minor matter or
>element of the facts, take the "high road" and "confess" with candor that
>some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have
>seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply
>criminalities which, "just isn't so." Others can reinforce this on your
>behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for
>"coming clean" and "owning up" to your mistakes without addressing more
>12. Enigmas have no solution./ Drawing upon the overall umbrella of
>surrounding the issue, and the multitude of players and events, paint the
>entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise
>the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to
>the actual issues.
>13. Alice in Wonderland Logic./ Avoid discussion of the issues by
>backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any
>14. Demand complete solutions./ Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to
>solve the problem at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items
>qualifying for rule 10.
>15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions./ This requires creative
>thinking unless the act was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
>16. Vanishing evidence./ If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you
>won't have to address the issue.
>17. Change the subject./ Usually in connection with one of the other ploys
>listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or
>controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more
>manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can
>over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid
>discussing more key issues.
>18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents./ If you can't do
>else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses
>which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and
>generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you
>avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their
>emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by
>then focusing on how "sensitive they are to criticism".
>19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs./ This is perhaps a
>variant of the "play dumb" rule. Regardless of what material may be
>presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant
>demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist,
>but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be
>safely destroyed or
>withheld, such as a shredded govt. study). In order to completely avoid
>discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of
>media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or
>deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any
>meaning or relevance.
>20. False evidence./ Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues
>designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful
>tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best
>when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the
>facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
>21. Call a parliamentary committee study, Supreme court test, or other
>empowered investigative body.// Subvert the (process) to your benefit and
>effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without true public input. Once
>convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be acceptable to the
>committee/court as evidence when properly handled, damaging evidence can be
>discarded. For instance, if you own the judicial/committee officials, it
>insure an official hearing hears no useful evidence and that the evidence
>sealed, refused or buried and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once
>a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the govt.
>innocent, but it can also be used to obtain authority when seeking to
>govt. powers) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
>22. Manufacture a new truth./ Create your own expert(s), group(s),
>leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via
>scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes
>favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so
>23. Create bigger distractions./ If the above does not seem to be working
>to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of
>unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat
>as such) to distract the multitudes.
>24. Silence critics./ If the above methods do not prevail, consider
>removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the
>need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their meeting
>with an accident, an arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of
>character by release of damaging information, or merely by proper
>intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
>25. Vanish or seek less contentious employment./ If you are a key holder
>of dirty secrets or otherwise overly operationally illuminated and you
>the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen. Find
>cozy non controversial plumb in the public or private sector (secured with
>your party loyalty) and evade the heat your policies have created. Or if
>really F****ED up a lot of people....vacate to a third world dictatorship
>that understands your brand of politics where your tax swollen bank account
>will allow you to live like a king.
>"Hunting is a barbaric practise that coannot be tolerated in a civilized
>(Federal DOJ policy advisor)