Real Wealth Society

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I’ve been thinking about leaks By Fred Cederholm

Column for on/after Apr 23rd

I’ve been thinking about leaks. Actually I’ve been thinking about similarities between the 1970’s and 20XX’s, politicos and dogs, spinmeisters and whistleblowers, propaganda and truth, and campaigns and fireplugs. Leaks fall into two varieties/categories. Originally, leaks were only of the fluid variety where some liquid materialized as if out of the blue “to” a place where it wasn’t expected. Now, leaks come in the form of words/information as if out of the blue “from” a place where it wasn’t expected. In both cases, leaks are meant as a warning.

You see some thirty years ago this nation was stuck in a far off conflict – a war that was never officially declared. Things were not going as planned/predicted; the outcome looked evermore bleak. Financial costs ballooned and the casualties rose week after week after week. There was no exit strategy and no end in sight. The more the public learned; the more the dissent grew and the more Americans demanded an end to the conflict. Opinion polls headed “south” regarding both the conflict itself and the politicians/interests who supported it. There were leaks, there were lots of leaks. Reality had become more bizarre than fiction.

Factions and clandestine organizations within our Government did things to plug/stop the leaking. Many of these actions violated the principles guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our sacred laws/protections/liberties were broken and ignored. Events occurred that went against the very core of America’s traditional values. Public outrage continued to grow. We came to the brink of a Constitutional crisis; a President resigned and his administration was terminated. Does anyone see any similarities developing here?

Politicians and their operatives are a lot like dogs. They are very territorial, they are very protective of their turf, and they have an innate sense of loyalty to their masters. When they feel that their world/spheres are threatened, they use whatever methods are at their disposal to re-establish their boundaries and to re-claim their turf. At the onset… the end justifies the means for them all. When the smoke clears and the dust finally settles, it will become apparent to the American people that the means were but a justification for the ends. And… the end was not at all what we had been lead to expect or to believe.

Leaking information is done by both spinmeisters and whistleblowers. Spinmeisters do it for both damage control and to create damage. They cherry-pick the facts (or create them) to further their side’s agenda and to discredit the opponents of their bosses. Whistleblowers do it because they have an axe to grind. They may feel personally threatened, they may feel their agency/employer is getting a bum rap (or is doing something illegal), and/or they may believe the public is being kept in the dark – that the facts are being withheld.

The first rule of politics is to get elected- to get into power and to keep it. The second rule of politics is to never forget the first rule. All has become fair game in politics, love, and war. It is said that truth is the first casualty of war. Leaks - regardless of their source, subject, or objective - must contain the appearance of some elements of truth. Effective leaks only require a certain level of initial credibility even if they are later proven to be false, erroneous, or out-and-out lies. It is the temporal propaganda value that really counts. Once the damage is done to the reputation of a candidate, a journalist, a private citizen, or our nation as a whole; does it really matter if the leaked information was true, or illusory?

The November elections are over six months away, but We the People… are already experiencing a deluge of leaks. As the election campaigns rev up over the Summer and Fall, and support for continued (or expanded) military actions abroad continues to decline; there will be much more leaking going on - coming from BOTH major political parties. I can guarantee THAT with 100% certainty. This column was supposed to be about the leaking of words/ information, but for some growing reason - I (as a US citizen and a registered voter) am feeling more and more like a fireplug. I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright 2006 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved.


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