PHOTO ESSAY: propaganda and censorship.

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posted on Sep, 21 2004 @ 11:11 AM
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With the recent beheading footage comes a debate about whether or not the public should be exposed to the atrocities of war. There are those who advocate restricted media (censorship) and those who believe the media and the government is promoting propaganda.

I am writing this post to show what America has been exposed to via the media (even before the media was monopolized), both past and present. This is in order to demonstrate how and why the media does and does not show certain items, pointedly, videos and images of the atrocities of war.


PROPAGANDA AND CENSORSHIP



DEFINITIONS
propaganda: n. 1.The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the news and interests of those people advocating such a doctrine or cause.

propagation: n. 2. The process of spreading to a larger area or a greater number; dissemination.

censorship: n. 1. The act, process, or practice of censoring.

censor: tr. v. To examine and expurgate.

(SOURCE: The American Heritage Dictionary)

BRIEF HISTORY - propaganda:

World War I was a pioneer in the distribution of propaganda. They used means including balloons for leaflet dropping:




British balloon distribution of propaganda leaflets. Men of the Hampshire Regiment checking wind direction.
(source: www.psywar.net)

World War II is another example of the American propaganda machine at war, both on the homefront and abroad. This is due to the fact that most families in the United States owned a radio. Newspapers printed our success rates. War footage with commentary was shown before EVERY movie on the homefront theaters. Poster upon poster was printed for mainly female viewers, as most able-bodied men were fighting:



Growing "Victory Gardens" was a practice followed by Americans on the homefront:



The government projected a positive image of "our boys" fighting, and the civilians were told to do simple things to help them, but these simple things were for the benefit of the war, not for the benefit of the soldiers as individuals:



Meanwhile, the soldiers themselves were busy distributing propaganda to the enemy for the Allied Governments' benefit.

Not only were balloons used, but artillery shells as well:


Propaganda during wartime is divided into three groups: white, gray, and black.
white-defined as that issued by an acknowledged source, usually a government or an agency of a government.
gray-source is unknown, yet no attempt is made to conceal it
black-associated with covert psychological warfare operations. Claims to come from a source other than the true one.

During WWII, substantial amounts of black propaganda were distributed via leaflet bombs in Germany. They were in the form of postcards. It was unknown by the citizens who printed it, as experts in typography and printing were employed.

A pioneering method in psychological warfare emerged. An interesting, but not well-known, propaganda campaign was the "promotion of malingering and desertion." This campaign was used to try to get opposition troops to desert:
Delmer [Denis Sefton Delmer - Head of PWE Black Propaganda Section] wanted to appeal to the "inner Schweinhund" of the German mind..Delmer produced ingenious manuals with step-by-step instructions to fake a wide range of illnesses and ailments from a simple throat infection to a life-threatening disease such as Tuberculosis.
(source: Black Propaganda-Clandestine Psychological Warfare of World War II)

The Vietnam War

As the television became a fixture in American homes, so did footage of the soldiers in Vietnam. Little or no thought was given to the impact these images would have on both civilians and the men in the photographs. Photographers were constantly on the scene in combat, for at that time it was thought that the footage would increase patriotism and support for the war. Images such as these were featured in mainstream media constantly:



Vietnamese Air Force T-28 Skyraiders, flown by U.S. Air Force pilots, drop napalm on Viet Cong targets.
(Source: digitaljournalist.org...)


Vietnamese battalion commander Captain Thach Quyen interrogates a captured Viet Cong suspect.
(Source: digitaljournalist.org...)


Wearing a bloody bandage over the left side of his face, medic Thomas Cole of Richmond, Va., tends to a soldier of the First Cavalry Divison. This picture is from an unforgettable sequence of one man's dedication.
(Source: digitaljournalist.org...)


A young Viet Cong suspect cries after hearing a rifle shot. His captors, Chinese Nung tribesmen in the service of the U.S. Special Forces, pretended to shoot his father, a ruse designed to make the boy reveal information about Communist guerrillas.
(Source: digitaljournalist.org...)

And from Newsweek magazine, March 18, 1968:



With television and largely-funded magazines and newspapers, the war with Vietnam was brought into peoples' homes. Information of fatalities was censored, but the influx of images of casualties and wounded impacted American society in a way different from WWII. When the Vietnam War started, only a small percentage of the American population opposed the war. But as time progressed, instead of becoming more patriotic, mainstream media and the unedited images within it produced the opposite psycho-social reaction:



Waves of protesters, and scores of police to stop them. The protesters consisted of every demographic of the population, and the media footage of Vietnam fueled the fire. The elderly, veterans, students - all took to the streets in organized and disorganized protests. Veterans coming home from the war faced scorn from families and from strangers. The soldiers were never informed about America's changing viewpoint.

It was then that the government learned that showing continuous footage of war had a negative effect on group dynamics, patriotism, and the human psyche...and it was these factors that gave birth to mainstream media bias and censorship.

The Cold War

The United States and the Soviet Union both used propaganda extensively during the Cold War. Both sides used film, television and radio programming to influence their own citizens, each other and Third World nations. The United States Information Agency operated the Voice of America as an official government station. Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, in part supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, provided grey propaganda in news and entertainment programs to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union respectively. The Soviet Union's official government station, Radio Moscow, broadcast white propaganda, while Radio Peace and Freedom broadcast grey propaganda. Both sides also broadcast black propaganda programs in periods of special crises.
(source:wikipedia.org)


"The people and the army are one"


The War on Terror

The War on Terror has also used leaflets as a form of propaganda (now deemed "psyops"), but in the age of information technology The War on Terror brings with it a war of information. This is where censorship steps in. Information technology began with TV networks competing for ratings. They began to notice that better footage brings in more viewers, which brings in more money from the sponsors. There is a fine line the networks need to abide by, and this fine line exists because of their corporate sponsors. However, with the internet now at our hands, we are able to access what we can't access from the television:



This access brings stronger emotions in Americans, despite the lessons we learned from the images of Vietnam. We are compelled to seek the truth at any cost, no matter how gruesome it may become. As inhabitants of the information age, our gatherings have become larger:



our citizens better informed:



and the end of true censorship (no, that isn't me).

In summary, the point of these images and the captions is to show how propaganda (the coersion of ideas) and censorship (the prevention of ideas) has changed, and how the Information Age has severely declined all governments' abilities to produce and reduce propaganda and censorship, respectively. There are only a handful of governments in the world who have retained this ability, but in essence we are witnessing a war as it is being fought, minute by minute.

We are able to be on the front lines, we are able to see and hear the prisoners of war, we are to see fallen leaders at their worst. We are able to point and click our way through our troops' ordeals. This was not achieveable two decades ago. We should be thankful for this medium, and not shout "censorship" every time we read or see an image we don't agree with.

dot.

edited for editing



[edit on 21-9-2004 by dotgov101]




posted on Sep, 21 2004 @ 01:21 PM
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I think I wrote this in the wrong forum? Any advice from mods?

Dot.

[edit on 21-9-2004 by dotgov101]



posted on Sep, 21 2004 @ 02:24 PM
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Brilliant piece of work Dotgov!!!! I believe in freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. As I had stated in another post, If people want to see these things that are not covered by "Major" media, they have a right to, and there is a right to report on these things. Since the explosion of "Alternative" News sites on the web, and the use of message boards, alot more information is availible to those who seek it. There is a good majority of people who do not wish to view material like the "Beheading" Videos. That is also a right that they have. I do not think this type of info should be "Pounded" into anyone, but the Lack of time spent on these topics by "Major" Media outlets is sickening to me. I do not need to see Britney Spears' wedding as the top story, nor do I need to see an hour dedicated to this on TV. Meanwhile people are being Murdered, not just in Iraq, but all over the world, yet I'm sure more people would be able to tell me how many bridesmaids britney had and not the names of the people that were killed in Iraq Yesterday.



posted on Sep, 21 2004 @ 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by TrickmastertricK
Brilliant piece of work Dotgov!!!!

Thank you! I almost gave up halfway through, thinking that no one was going to read it, and that I should make it a week-long project. But the recent (and last one I can look at) video of Mr. Eugene Armstrong's death really affected me. I had a conversation with my s/o late last night after first viewing the footage, and he told me that I did not have to look at it. He then asked why I did, knowing that it would be uncomfortable at the very least, and I didn't have an answer as to why.

He wasn't scolding me, he simply avoids news regarding terrorism at all costs (both of us witnessed the immediate aftermath of the Pentagon attack). He just wondered what fueled the curiosity. His defense mechanism of the war is denial and ignorance. Sorry if it sounds cliche, but some individuals, especially those who have experienced attacks firsthand, deny any form of information pertaining to what happened. Such is the case with him.

What fueled my curiousity? The human instinct of pursuit of knowledge. I believe that such an instinct exists. Why else is this era coined "The Information Age?" Why else have we named our source of information "The World Wide Web?" There was no official naming ceremonies for the words that are so widely used today. Email. Land Line. World Wide Web. Internet. Intranet. Server. Scanner. Port., et. al...Just twenty years ago all of these words either never existed or had completely different meanings. Twenty years. We are developing a new language as we develop our quest for knowledge.



I believe in freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. As I had stated in another post, If people want to see these things that are not covered by "Major" media, they have a right to, and there is a right to report on these things.


As do I. It is just tragic that the press does not have more freedom, but I am willing to bet that many, many agents of the mainstream media "vent" their knowledge via forums such as this. The only setback of forums such as ATS is sorting through what is factual and what is perceived. I read both the facts and users' perceptions of these facts. I'm sure you do the same.


I do not think this type of info should be "Pounded" into anyone, but the Lack of time spent on these topics by "Major" Media outlets is sickening to me.


It's not that they won't..it's that they can't. The days of an actual editor-in-chief for "major" media outlets are gone. 9/11 played a huge role in censorship and propaganda. The day started with looped footage of the airliners hitting the towers, the rubble in PA, and the gaping hole in the Pentagon. The day ended with celebrities and entertainers in an empty studio with a plain backdrop singing about peace. It was on almost every prime-time network in the Washington DC metro area. How did all of these celebreties, who live in various parts of the world, happen to gather together in an undisclosed location in a safe manner? The government made it happen. It was used as a distraction and curfew tool to prevent chaos and panic. The days following 9/11, the tickers, the reporters, the experts, even the commercials featured the colours red, white, and blue. I counted 8 out every 10 commercials had its actors wearing variations of red, white, and blue.


I do not need to see Britney Spears' wedding as the top story, nor do I need to see an hour dedicated to this on TV. Meanwhile people are being Murdered, not just in Iraq, but all over the world, yet I'm sure more people would be able to tell me how many bridesmaids britney had and not the names of the people that were killed in Iraq Yesterday.


I can tell you without opening another browser window that Britney had her second marriage in a secret ceremony in Los Angeles. It occured in the home of the tuxedo maker(?). Her sister, Ashlee, dyed her hair brown as a suprise for Britney, and Britney's mother (Lynn, I believe?) was in attendance.

I'm ashamed I know this...

Dot.

p.s. thanks for looking.



posted on Sep, 21 2004 @ 10:55 PM
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Excellent propaganda primer there dotgov, handy to keep in mind as we are flooded with reports from all sources these days.



posted on Sep, 21 2004 @ 11:19 PM
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You should try and get this published, you will make some good money with a quality work like that.

Surf



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 05:15 AM
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Originally posted by surfup
You should try and get this published, you will make some good money with a quality work like that.

Surf


Thank you very much, Surf. This is going to sound so brown-nosing, but.. at this point of my life, I just like to write here. I love to write my views here, the gratification is more instant than with writing novels or theses. Last year I wrote a manuscript, but half of it got thrown out (writer's rage..) I was going to pay a professor in the English department at NDSU to edit it, but never made it to that point.

I've recently started brainstorming about a sci-fi novel called pod, which I may pursue.

I only read non-fiction and classic fiction, and only a few 20th century authors. I am currently trudging through the uncut version of Les Miserables.

Thank you very much for your compliment. It made my morning.

Dot.



[edit on 22-9-2004 by dotgov101]



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 05:21 AM
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Originally posted by Kano
Excellent propaganda primer there dotgov, handy to keep in mind as we are flooded with reports from all sources these days.


Very true. It has come to a point of needing visual proof, but then the visual proof proves to be too gruesome. There's a lot of data to sort through online, trying to find the answer to even the simplest request.

Going online is like going to Wal-Mart, you go in to get one item, and two hours later you come out with twenty others. >grin<

Thank you for reading and replying,
Dot.



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 05:17 PM
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Last year I wrote a manuscript, but half of it got thrown out (writer's rage..) I was going to pay a professor in the English department at NDSU to edit it, but never made it to that point.

I've recently started brainstorming about a sci-fi novel called pod, which I may pursue.


hat kind of manuscript? If you are doubtful about your work, you could post portions of it in ATS short story and let us see it and judge it, if you don't mind.



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 05:57 PM
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propagana in this day and age is far more sophisicated then "stay on the job until every mudering jap is wiped out!" we have layers upon layers of properly funded, motived, and supervised propaganda outlets. they merly more discreet. the military industrial complex pulls all of the strings. the flow of information is sanatized to the most minute detail. our government does a lot of crazy stuff we dont know about, and would be deemed unacceptable by the general public were it to appear on TV.

if you have limewire (one of the best p2p file-sharing programs) try to download : Banned Censored WAR AC130 Gunship In Operation Iraqi Freedom

crazy stuff i will put it in my share folder just for you guys


what excactly does the MIC have to gain from your ignorance?

everything



posted on Sep, 23 2004 @ 05:48 AM
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Originally posted by sturod84
propagana in this day and age is far more sophisicated then "stay on the job until every mudering jap is wiped out!"


Yes, this is very true. I'm compiling information to write another post regarding propaganda in the media and online.


The military industrial complex pulls all of the strings. the flow of information is sanatized to the most minute detail.


I don't believe the military is behind ALL of it. I will offer proof that corporate conglomerates and the government in general play a huge role in what we see on a daily basis.


our government does a lot of crazy stuff we dont know about, and would be deemed unacceptable by the general public were it to appear on TV.


Our government does crazy stuff that we do and don't know about. But at least it lets us speak and talk about these crazy things.


what excactly does the MIC have to gain from your ignorance?

everything


Ignorance can be prevented by exposing the truth. The government usually laughs off anything the citizens present as truth. Congressional hearings are for the wealthy and elite. But at least, deep down, our citizens are capable of exposing the truth. It's almost impossible, but possible nonetheless (think Watergate, Lewinsky, and even Bush's military record).

Dot.



posted on Sep, 23 2004 @ 01:51 PM
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Our government does crazy stuff that we do and don't know about. But at least it lets us speak and talk about these crazy things.


IMO

the gerneral media makes it their primary objective to shoot down any conspiracy related theories, and or subjects. try getting on bill oreilly to state your opinion. the guy will start foaming at the mouth, frekin phsyco. although i must admit c-span does a hellavu job letting the people voice come out, they are also masters of spouting pro-MIC rhetoric.





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