Useful Links

Parliamentary Library – Elections and electoral systems: a quick guide to key internet links.

ComLaw – Commonwealth Law, Australia

Download ‘Fracking the Future’ from the Australia Institute website. The purpose of this paper is to bust the gas industry’s myths about coal seam gas (CSG)

Guardian article from 2011 on The Goldman Report, which was a document produced from the UN inquiry into alleged war crimes during the 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone.

 Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (The Goldman Report)

Unfinished business

Dear Mr Abbott,

On this day in particular, when more than 85,000 Australians took to the streets to protest your government’s lack of fair representation and appropriate action on what matters to them, and which you appear to wish to ignore, I dream a dream that you will have an awakening of conscience, and think on it again.  When your government ministers come from such a narrow demographic, and field of experiences it’s impossible for them to be representative of, and take into consideration the interests of an entire nation.  Failure to have a representative body means the processes that beget our laws, and social programs are completely uninformed by the reality of a vast number of people’s lives.  Don’t tell me that a bunch of middle aged, elitist white guys hell bent on destroying vulnerable people’s mental health, sense of security, and the environment for profit represents the interests of the entire nation.

If you’ve never felt the anxiety of fearing for the financial, psychological, or physical security of your family it’s perfectly acceptable that you don’t ‘get it’.  It doesn’t excuse you from informing yourself on who these people are that do, how they got there, and what to do about it however.  You have a duty to do so if you wish to preserve even a pretence of continuing the work of building an Australia for all Australians.

The disinformation fed to us by the power brokers of Australia, mostly older white men that the loss of absolute power is falsely attributed as being akin to persecution, or ‘interference’ as the recent Liberal Party rhetoric presents it, has been the same attitude that has held back progress on issues of race, gender, social status, and sexual orientation based equality issues all over the world since time immemorial.  It’s not a hinderance to your freedom to have discrimination, and prejudice based demonisation and actions legislated against, and vulnerable people cared for.  It’s a reflection of a fair society where everyone has the right to the freedoms, education, access to wealth, employment, healthcare, and safety you take for granted every day.  It’s a reflection of a society where you don’t get to feel superior as your birthright, and you are forced to rely on the content of your character in order to feel secure, and worthy.

It would appear that you have missed the memo on equality, or need it re-explained to you. It is not, to paraphrase George Orwell, ‘all people are equal, but some people are more equal than others’.  The true purpose of subjugation lies in promoting unequal access to the benefits of civilised society in your favour, and is rooted in the belief that there isn’t enough to share.  It’s the big kid that divides the biscuit in two for himself and his little brother and takes ‘the big half’ because he feels a) entitled to more, and b) the innate security and narcissistic supply to his ego he garners from the inequality of strength means his brother isn’t big enough to fight him for a fair deal. c) the combination of a and b makes him feel powerful and secure.

That is why securing the rights, and freedoms of marginalised, and persecuted groups in our culture is so low on your list of priorities.  It’s an exercise in assuaging your fears by feeding your own power agenda. An agenda made necessary only because of your own insecure self image, and that is neither our problem, nor should it be our focus in creating, nurturing positive change in, and maintaining a society we can all be proud of.

It is maddening to hear you and your cronies bang on with unfounded, aggrandising references to your supposed ‘mandate’, or the completely misleading misinformation about achieving a sizable majority vote.  In fact the Liberal Party achieved victory through deliberate manipulation of preferences, and a coalition with other parties.  The Liberal Party actually received LESS votes than Labor when you look at the raw data.  The only mandate you have is to govern the nation in such a way that takes into account not just the fiscal bottom line, but the checks, balances, and vast ethical and spiritual debt incurred by this government with it’s policies designed to motivate by cruelty.  Our ethical account is in default, but not beyond redemption, and you’d better be prepared for any Australian with a heart, and a conscience to fight you for it.  We will not be ignored.

An Unbiased Source – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

page 1 copy

The United Nations can hardly be accused of partisanship or of “bleeding heart” “commy” politics, just two of the inflammatory, emotive terms I’ve seen levelled at the left in Australia in recent days.

It’s time to consider this issue from an outside perspective that doesn’t involve taking sides, or scoring points politically either left or right.

The following are direct quotes from THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES – Detention Guidelines – 2012

“AS SEEKING ASYLUM IS NOT AN UNLAWFUL ACT, any restrictions on liberty imposed on persons exercising this right need to be provided for in law, carefully circumscribed and subject to prompt review…”

“…Regardless of any such effect, DETENTION POLICIES AIMED AT DETERRENCE ARE GENERALLY UNLAWFUL UNDER INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW as they are not based on an individual assessment as to the necessity to detain. Apart from ensuring compliance with human rights standards, governments are encouraged to review their detention policies and practices in light of the latest research in relation to alternatives to detention (some of which is documented in these Guidelines). UNHCR stands ready to assist governments in devising alternative to detention programmes.”

Our government is acting cruelly, and illegally in aid of political point scoring. If the public were educated in the finer points of the economics of treating asylum seekers with dignity, and decency vs cruelty and abuse I wonder if they would reconsider their support of the latter? If welcoming refugees got the Liberals, or the ALP more votes they would make sure the Murdoch media gave these progressive ideas a vast amount of press time with positive spin, but the fact remains that demonisation, and oppositional policies differentiates them from the Greens, who they BOTH now view as a legitimate threat to their political domination.

And so, instead of creating a media sh*t storm opposing cruel practices condemned by the UN, they create one demonising theThe Australian Greens, and levelling hypocritical claims of fiscal ineptitude, and mental deficiency. All for the sake of cheap political ground at the expense of fostering the society of the ‘fair go’ we are rapidly losing in favour of a society where bigotry, and xenophobia are nurtured by our mainstream press.

We want our country back.

Few readers for the extreme right-wing’s disinformation.

devine clap trap

Miranda Devine’s hate speech, and obfuscation against Scott Ludlam signal the moment the extreme right-wing has finally lost it’s credibility for all time – Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (11:57pm).

We can see slithering greasily, and maliciously the reliance on the rules of disinformation is, as always, a malevolent journalistic force on par with the most distasteful in living memory; Miranda Devine.  An ironic force of fate begot her a surname reminiscent of the universal forces of good.  There is nothing that would suggest it in her venomous bile of an article that somehow passes for credible journalistic commentary for page 13 of The Daily Telegraph.

Her style mirrors the ham-fisted comments made by the right-winged trolls lurking in the comments beneath the video of Mr Ludlam’s speech on YouTube, whereby they attempt to shame the average observer, uneducated in the facts into compliance with their views via ridicule, personal attack, and negative spin against Mr Ludlam, and implying mental deficiency in those who disagree with them.  Not one shred of credible, verifiable evidence is offered in support.

A common tactic used by perpetrators of institutional, and domestic abuse is abuse by proxy.  The subject of the abuse (in this case Scott Ludlam) is excluded from utilising popular mediums of distribution of the facts (mainstream Murdoch media), and discredited with a deluge of half-truths, outright lies, and emotive associative arguments with no substance in that same medium by the person who has selected them as a target.  The audience for this discreditation is then unwittingly engaged as a force of proxy abuse when they repeat the misinformation ad nauseum, propelling it into popular sentiment.

Another common feature of abuse in the discreditation phase is using the ‘crazy’ label in a lame, lazy attempt to dismiss someone’s ideas without actually examining the facts, or their logic. It’s a common tactic of abusive people as it plays on peoples fears, and prejudices. Quite frankly it’s beneath contempt.

It is blatantly obvious to me, and to most people with an IQ over 100 that the strategic placement of Ms. Devine’s article adjacent to one regarding the abuse of an adopted child by his gay parents on page 13 of The Telegraph is meant to infer that homosexuals are predisposed to pedophilia, and that by association Scott Ludlam’s remarks regarding Mr Abbott’s homophobia are in fact an endorsement of a system that supposedly supports this.  It is a shameless attempt to manipulate the public perception of homosexuals, and this man alike, in the most degrading, disgusting way possible.

How this filth passes for journalism I cannot countenance.  How it passes for propaganda I most definitely can.

The fact remains, that although the bellowing cacophony of discreditation of the Greens is seemingly ceaselessly, and monotonously spewed forth in mainstream media Scott’s final speech to the federal Senate before the historic by-election bestowed upon Western Australians by misadventure and happenstance has hit a rich vein of public sentiment and support.  The fear of the right-wing made self evident by such hypocritical ventings has been noted.

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

ImagePhoto by Noelle Murata – http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiveinchpixie/ .  Used under non-commercial Creative Commons license.

I was prompted to research the best methods of spreading disinformation after my curiosity was engaged when reading trolling comments on a popular video of Australian senator Scott Ludlam of the Greens delivering an excoriating, blunt speech essentially inviting Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit the state whose interests he represents – Western Australia on 3rd March 2014.

I was curious as there seemed to be a predictable pattern of obfuscation,  disinformation, and personal slander, used by these trolls to defend ultra-conservative right-wing politics, and attack the Greens and left of centre politics, but not one reference to a reliable source of information that might give any credence to any claims they made.  I wondered if there was a readily available handbook these folk might draw upon, as it seemed to follow the same pattern of sensationalist psuedo-fact, half-truths, personal attack, and emotive side-tracking used by politicians to side-step the facts in their representations in parliament, and the media.

What I found was the following analysis in an article originally written by H. Michael Sweeney for WHALE and first published on April, 1st 2000 as “Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation“.


Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.  Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor,  etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen,  and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant.  Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus  on side issues which can be used show the topic  as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the  ‘How dare you!’ gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers.  Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public  can learn of the facts are through such ‘arguable rumors’. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a ‘wild rumor’ from a ‘bunch of kids on the Internet’ which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s   argument which you can easily knock down to make  yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges.  Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule.  This is also known as the primary ‘attack the messenger’  ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as ‘kooks’, ‘right-wing’, ‘liberal’, ‘left-wing’, ‘terrorists’, ‘conspiracy buffs’,  ‘radicals’, ‘militia’, ‘racists’, ‘religious fanatics’,  ‘sexual deviates’, and so forth. This makes others  shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet  and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism, reasoning — simply make an accusation or other  attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal  agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough ‘jargon’ and ‘minutia’ to illustrate you are ‘one who knows’, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man — usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with – a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent  is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions.  Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just isn’t so.’ Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly ‘call for an end to the nonsense’ because you have already ‘done the right thing.’ Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for ‘coming clean’ and ‘owning up’ to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution.  Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic
which forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.  This requires creative thinking unless the crime  was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanish evidence and witnesses.  If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys  listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can  ‘argue’ with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how ‘sensitive they are to criticism.’

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the ‘play dumb’ rule.  Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant  and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations — as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed
with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other  empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable  events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of theircharacter by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid  the issues, vacate the kitchen.

About the author

hmichaelsweeney_thumbnail.JPG

H. Michael Sweeney is an author, publisher, and consultant who has specialized in crimes of the intelligence community and personal privacy and security. Best known for his non fiction Professional Paranoid series of books on these topics, he has also published Fatal Rebirth, a four-volume fiction series which looks at ties between terrorism and the seemingly random domestic bumps-in-the-night of America’s political past. Michael Sweeney writes at Proparanoid.net

The original article contains a preamble which I’ve included below:

 

Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth:   The Rules of Disinformation  (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist)  

by H. Michael Sweeney
 copyright (c) 1997, 2000 All rights reserved
 (Revised April 2000) 

 Permission to reprint/distribute hereby  granted for any non commercial use  provided information reproduced in its entirety and with author information in tact. 


 Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation 

 Built upon Thirteen Techniques for Truth  Suppression by David Martin, the following may be useful to the initiate  in the world of dealing with veiled and half-truth, lies, and suppression of truth when serious crimes are studied in public forums. This, sadly, includes every day news media, one of the worst offenders with respect to being a source of disinformation. Where the crime involves a conspiracy, or a conspiracy to cover up the crime, there will invariably be a disinformation campaign launched against  those seeking to uncover and expose the truth and/or the conspiracy. There are specific tactics which disinfo artists tend to apply, as revealed here. Also included with this material are seven common traits of the disinfo artist which may also prove useful in identifying players and motives.

 The more a particular party fits the traits and is guilty of following the rules, the more likely they are a professional disinfo artist with a vested motive. People can be bought, threatened, or blackmailed into providing disinformation, so even “good guys” can be suspect in many cases. 

 A rational person participating as one interested in the truth will evaluate that chain of evidence and conclude either that the links are solid and conclusive, that  one or more links are weak and need further development before conclusion can be arrived at, or that one or more links can be broken, usually invalidating (but not necessarily so, if parallel links already exist or can be found, or if a particular link was merely supportive, but not in itself key to) the argument. The game is played by raising issues which either strengthen or weaken (preferably to the point  of breaking) these links. It is the job of a disinfo artist to interfere with these evaluations… to at least make people think the links are weak or broken when, in truth, they are not… or to propose alternative solutions leading away from the truth. Often, by simply impeding and slowing down the process through disinformation tactics, a level of victory  is assured because apathy increases with time and rhetoric. 

 It would seem true in almost every instance, that if one cannot break the chain of evidence for a given solution, revelation of truth has won out. If the chain is broken either a new link must be forged, or a whole new chain developed, or the solution is invalid and a new one must be found… but truth still wins out. There is no shame in being the creator or supporter of a failed solution, chain, or link, if done with honesty in search of the truth. This is the rational approach. While it is understandable that a person can become emotionally involved with a particular side of a given issue, it is  really unimportant who wins, as long as truth wins. But the disinfo artist will seek to emotionalize and chastise any failure (real or false claims thereof), and will seek by means of intimidation to prevent discussion  in general.

It is the disinfo artist and those who may pull their strings (those who stand to suffer should the crime be solved) MUST seek to prevent  rational and complete examination of any chain ofevidence which would hang them. Since fact and truth seldom fall on their own, they must be overcome with lies and deceit. Those who are professional in the art of lies and deceit, such as the intelligence community and the professional criminal (often the same people or at least working together), tend to apply fairly well defined and observable tools in this process.However, the public at large is not well armed against such weapons, and is often easily ledastray by these time-proven tactics. Remarkably, not even media and law enforcement have
NOT BEEN TRAINED to deal with these issues. For the most part, only the players themselves understand the rules of the game.

For such disinformationalists, the overall aim is to avoid discussing links in the chain of evidence which cannot be broken by truth, but at all times, to use clever deceptions or lies to make select links seem weaker than they are, create the illusion of a break, or better still, cause any who are considering the chain to be distracted in any number of ways, including the method of questioning the credentials of the presenter. Please understand that fact is fact, regardless of the source. Likewise, truth is truth, regardless of the source. This is why criminals are allowed to testify against other criminals. Where a motive to lie may truly exist, only actual evidence that the testimony itself  IS a lie renders it completely invalid. Were a known ‘liar’s’ testimony to stand on its own without supporting fact, it might certainly be of questionable value, but if the testimony (argument) is based on verifiable or otherwise demonstrable facts, it matters not who does the presenting or what their motives are, or if they have lied in the past or even if motivated to lie in this instance — the facts or links would and should stand or fall on their own merit and their part in the matter will merely be supportive. 

Moreover, particularly with respects to public forums such as newspaper letters to the editor, and Internet chat and news groups, the disinfo type has a very important role. In these forums, the principle topics of discussion are generally attempts by individuals to cause other persons to become interested in their own particular position, idea, or solution — very much in development at the time. People often use such mediums as a sounding board and in hopes of pollination to better form their ideas. Where such ideas are critical of government or powerful, vested groups (especially if their criminality is the topic), the disinfo artist has yet another role — the role of nipping it in the bud. They also seek to stage the concept, the presenter, and any supporters as less than credible should any possible future confrontation in more public forums result due to their early successes. You can often spot the disinfo types at work here by the unique application of “higher standards” of discussion than necessarily warranted. They will demand that those presenting arguments or concepts back everything up with the same level of expertise as a professor, researcher, or investigative writer. Anything less renders anydiscussion meaningless and unworthy in their opinion, and anyone who disagrees is obviously stupid — and they generally put it in exactly those terms. 

So, as you read any such discussions, particularly so in Internet news groups (NG), decide for yourself when a rational argument is being applied and when disinformation, psyops (psychological warfare operations) or trickery is the tool. Accuse those guilty of the latter freely. They (both those deliberately seeking to lead you astray, and those who are simply foolish or misguided thinkers) generally run  for cover when thus illuminated, or — put in other terms, they put up or shut up (a perfectly acceptable outcome either way, since truth is the goal.) Here are the twenty-five methods and seven traits, some of which don’t apply directly to NG application. Each contains a simple example in the form of actual (some paraphrased for simplicity) from NG comments on commonly known historical events, and a proper response.[examples & response- http://www.proparanoid.com/truth.html]

Accusations should not be overused — reserve for repeat offenders and those who use multiple tactics. Responses should avoid falling into emotional traps or informational sidetracks, unless it is feared that some observers will be easily dissuaded by the trickery. Consider quoting the complete rule rather than simply citing it, as others will not have reference. Offer to provide a complete copy of the rule set upon request   (see permissions statement at end): 

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up. 

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.  Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor,  etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen,  and you never have to deal with the issues. 
2. Become incredulous and indignant.  Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus  on side issues which can be used show the topic  as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the  ‘How dare you!’ gambit. 
3. Create rumor mongers.  Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public  can learn of the facts are through such ‘arguable rumors’. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a ‘wild rumor’ from a ‘bunch of kids on the Internet’ which can have no basis in fact. 
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s   argument which you can easily knock down to make  yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges.  Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues. 
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule.  This is also known as the primary ‘attack the messenger’  ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as ‘kooks’, ‘right-wing’, ‘liberal’, ‘left-wing’, ‘terrorists’, ‘conspiracy buffs’,  ‘radicals’, ‘militia’, ‘racists’, ‘religious fanatics’,  ‘sexual deviates’, and so forth. This makes others  shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues. 
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet  and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism, reasoning — simply make an accusation or other  attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint. 
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal  agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough ‘jargon’ and ‘minutia’ to illustrate you are ‘one who knows’, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources. 
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man — usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with – a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent  is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions.  Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just isn’t so.’ Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly ‘call for an end to the nonsense’ because you have already ‘done the right thing.’ Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for ‘coming clean’ and ‘owning up’ to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution.  Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues. 
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic 
which forbears any actual material fact. 
14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.  This requires creative thinking unless the crime  was planned with contingency conclusions in place. 
16. Vanish evidence and witnesses.  If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue. 
17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys  listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can  ‘argue’ with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues. 
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how ‘sensitive they are to criticism.’ 
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the ‘play dumb’ rule.  Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant  and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance. 
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations — as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed 
with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications. 
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other  empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively. 
23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable  events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes. 
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of theircharacter by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health. 
25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid  the issues, vacate the kitchen. .

Note: There are other ways to attack truth, but these listed are the most common, and others are likely derivatives of these. In the end, you can usually spot the professional disinfo players by one or more of seven (now 8) distinct traits: 

 

at the end of the world

Scott's Blog

i. cause

The rice paddy on the edge of Iitate village is 30km back from the coast, framed by steep forested hills, and we stop here briefly because the scene is so strangely heraldic.

At first glance, this looks like any other rural Japanese town in late summer, but it isn’t any more. The precise geometries of the fields are softened with neglect and waist-high weeds. Two empty police cars sit out front of the vacant community hall. Crickets hum in the mid-day humidity, in sleepy counterpoint to the rumble of diesel engines. A work team of several dozen men in white masks and overalls tend a slow assemblage of earthmoving equipment out in the field, but this is something other than agriculture.

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