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CIA Propaganda in Europe


Wikileaks just released a classified CIA "special memorandum" from 11 March 2010 [you can read it online here, or download the PDF] that outlines short-term propaganda strategies for shaping public opinion in France and Germany in order to ensure continued European support for the war in Afghanistan. 


The report warns that public "apathy might not be enough" to sustain military support if civilian or military casualities rise this spring and summer, since this would make troop escalations and extended deployments potentially more difficult for Sarkozy and Merkel. Those prospects, along with the rather unhelpful fact that large majorities in each country believe that the war is "not our problem," (80% of citizens are against troop increases) are seen as meriting extensive propaganda campaigns intended to "reverse opposition" to the war by "leverag[ing] guilt" and promoting fear. For example, manipulation of "acute French concern for civilians and refugees" into pro-war sentiment and "dramatiz[ing] the consequences" of a NATO defeat for Germany by emphasizing "exposure to terrorism, opium, and refugees." The report also speculates that the French government "would probably support" the propagation of fears of a "refugee crisis" coming out of a NATO defeat. The employment of Afghan women to do the communicating for the CIA in European media is encouraged. 

 

For more information, see Glenn Greenwald’s excellent, "The war on Wikileaks and why it matters."

 

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