I have my own personal gauge of how well the Obama propaganda system is working. It consists of my social circle, almost all of whom are strong Obama supporters. They read newspapers, watch a lot of CNN and MSNBC, and despise Fox News. They see themselves as well-informed about current events and politics. So whenever there is an occasion when many of them are gathered together, I usually raise a current topic to see what their reaction is.
Last evening was one such occasion. I asked what they thought of the Snowden whistleblowing and the reactions suggested that the Obama propaganda system is working well, unfortunately. They said (and I paraphrase) that the government has no choice but to do all these things to protect us in the war on terror, that what the government did was legal because they got FISA court approval, and that they had informed Congress. These words could have come straight out of the mouth of Dick Cheney, someone whom they think of as the devil incarnate.
Of course, as anyone who followed the news beyond a superficial level knows, the Bush and Obama regimes have made a mockery of these safeguards with their ‘secret’ interpretations of laws and their selective release of information. But when I pointed this out, they accused me of living in an ideal world where people and nations obeyed the laws and the constitution and international treaties, whereas they were hardened realists. It was quite extraordinary how they were willing to casually ditch the Bill of Rights in their defense of Obama’s lawlessness.
The most revealing part was when they played the “Who does a young punk like Snowden think he is, to take it upon himself to reveal government secrets?” card. They said that he should have gone through the proper channels with his concerns. When I told them that that was precisely what senior NSA analysts like people like Thomas Drake and William Binney and others had tried to do and had been hounded for their efforts, and that Snowden had seen what had happened to them before taking his action, they said that they had never even heard of these people.
That is the key to the success of the propaganda system, in consigning unpleasant information that goes against the official narrative to purgatory, like the way that the BBC interviewer of Noam Chomsky had heard of Watergate but not of COINTELPRO.
So the Obama propaganda system is working well in keeping his people within his camp, just like the Republican propaganda system of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh is successful with theirs.
Perhaps we should start to call the Obama supporters dittoheads too.