Shortly after the downing of MH-17, Kiev “KNEW” the Evil Terrorist Rebels had done it. No investigation needed!
Shortly after the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Israel “KNEW” Evil Terrorist Hamas had done it. IDF troops turned the West Bank inside out “looking for” the boys. But evidence suggests that right from the start, Netanyahu knew the boys were dead, murdered by rogue individuals who were not sanctioned by Hamas.
Shortly after the Marathon bombing, Agent DesLauriers “KNEW” who had done it. His equally clever wife “KNEW” (at 1 a.m.!) that the bombers had killed Sean Collier.
Why waste time waiting for the facts?
Lately the media has been dutifully repeating the government mantras: “It’s all Putin’s fault” and “Israel has to defend itself.” That same media has assured us that “Tsarnaev is a guilty monster.”
Propaganda is used “to change people’s understanding by deception and confusion rather than persuasion.” (Wikipedia) Standard propaganda tools include:
Red herrings. “presenting data that, while compelling, is irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then claiming that it validates the argument.” If I’m a juror, here’s what I need to know: Where was the suspect; where was the bomb; was the bomb in his bag; is there reliable witness or photographic evidence? I DO NOT need to know about his smiles, frowns, or “smirks”, hair length, exercise regimen, drug use, finances, grades, friends, love life, or religion.
Quotes out of context. “don’t go saying it’s me.” Do we “KNOW” this refers to the bombing? Didn’t these friends have a life unrelated to the BMB?
“those people are cooked.” “Those people” are the wacko “cooked” Westboro Baptists, not the bombing victims. TV “journalists” didn’t bother to research this; they simply leaped on the phrase as evidence of The Bomber’s callousness.
Join the crowd. “Only conspiracy nuts and fangirls question Tsarnaev’s guilt. No sane person thinks that way. Better join the crowd!”
Leaks from un-named sources, aka “gray propaganda.” New leaks and dramatic new arrests serve to keep the case fresh in the public mind. They also distract people from the FBI’s two big lies: “We didn’t know who the Tsarnaevs were” and “The agent who killed Ibragim Todashev had to defend himself.”
The latest leakee is accused drug dealer Stephen Silva. His possession of a handgun has been unofficially linked to Dzhokhar. According to the un-named source, Silva blames his drug use on his friendship with The Bomber.
Disinformation. “They made the bombs with fireworks.” (Impossible.) “They hung around to smirk at the carnage they had created; crowd photos prove it.” (Those photos were taken before the bombing.) “They held up a 7-11.” (Oops, no.) “Tsarnaev had an automatic weapon in the boat.” (He was unarmed.) Even when disproved, this stuff sticks in the public’s memory.
“Using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response.” At the World Cup, Brazilian Jews carrying signs, and a plane trailing a banner, proclaimed: “Bring back our boys.” Very moving, but – if Israel already knew the boys were dead – also very manipulative.
Many people mistakenly believe they have seen a photo of Dzhokhar putting a bomb down next to Martin Richard. In fact, they have seen three circles drawn around three unrelated images, with the notion of “Tsarnaev as child-killer” reinforced by DesLauriers’ crocodile tears on 60 Minutes. The Richard family’s tragedy is worth getting emotional about. But should it be cynically used as propaganda?
Demonizing. Internet commenters foam at the mouth with hatred, and fantasize ways to torture Dzhokhar to death. Ignorant Islamophobic rhetoric is everywhere. Are propagandists planting this poison on HuffPo and like sites?
At first, cable news quoted the glowing character references offered by Dzhokhar’s friends and acquaintances. But someone apparently instructed them to stop arousing sympathy for that monster.
CNN’s Sunday media show asked: “Has our coverage of The Bomber been too sympathetic?” (They decided it had.) On indictment-day, Ashleigh Banfield sternly ordered her viewers to have “NO SYMPATHY for him.” And remember the Rolling Stone hysteria? “Pay no attention to those Bambi eyes; the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.”
In rebuttal of the defense’s change-of-venue motion, Ortiz wrote: “Far from demonizing Tsarnaev, the local press has largely humanized him.” She failed to note the Boston Globe’s assumption of guilt, its red-herring trashing of the Tsarnaev family, and its portrayal of Dzhokhar as a charming con artist with a pathological illusion of invulnerability.
During anniversary week, FBI agents sidestepped Justice Department rules by talking about the case on TV. (The prosecutor shrugged this off by saying that the agents had retired.) On 60 Minutes, DesLauriers followed up his “tears” for Martin Richard with “indignation” over Dzhokhar’s “smirking,” and expressed hope that he will be put to death.
Other than Judge O’Toole’s meaningless wrist-slap for the anniversary shenanigans, there have been no judicial remedies to stop the leaks, the rumors, or the demonizing.
Governments use propaganda to justify wars. Why would prosecutors use it to convict an accused felon? Perhaps their case is not quite the slam-dunk they claim it to be?
Why is it so very important to convict Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whether he is guilty or not? Is there a political agenda here? We are free to speculate.