Sunday, June 8, 2008

Another Prime Example of the Distortion

From David Weigel's blog, Reason: An excellent example of a domestic application of the Goering Treatment, featuring Larry Johson as Goebbels, the same role as played by Daniel Pipes in his attempt to change a high-school principal into a female jihadist (A Prime Example of the Distortion)

Last week, with a completely bogus claim, Larry Johnson and his colleagues attempted to transmogrify Michelle Obama into Louis Farrakhan. It went like this:
  1. Say something outrageous, but plausible, against an opponent
  2. Claim some truthy details, like a place or a date
  3. Have a co-conspirator claim an echo as "new credence"
  4. Blatantly blow your own cover by contradicting claims made in Step 2.
  5. When called out as a liar, tell the caller to "fuck off."
E.g., for Step 3: "Gleefully, a NoQuarter blogger completes the Mobius strip and claims Stone has given Johnson 'new credence.'"

(h/t to Ken Silverstein's Washington Babylon)

UPDATE: Step 3 has a Name: "Circular Reporting"

"The questions is: is information from Ledeen and Ghorbanifar still going to the vice president's office, and is it affecting them?" a former senior CIA offiicial said. "It's a logical assumption. That is what is known in the intelligence business as circular reporting: the same information, coming through the same source, peddled through different channels, slightly altered to make it look like it's coming from multiple sources. And it's one of the biggest dangers in the intelligence business. That is what Iraq Niger was all about."

From The Cocktail Napkin Plan for Regime Change in Iran, by Dave Wagner and Laura Rozen in Mother Jones

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