[eDebate] hammond expands picture of soft coup
Thu Jun 25 15:05:00 CDT 2009
the full article is worth reading for the discussion of the national endowment for democracy, the office of iranian affairs, and US covert operations in iran.
this card which concludes the article smokes and couldn't make a guy with a hunch mo happier:
The New York Times also observed that ?Not only is it hard to be sure that what appears on Twitter is accurate, but some Twitterers may even be trying to trick you.? An example cited is that of fabricated posts purporting to be from ABC News reporter Jim Sciutto.In that case, Sciutto said, the Iranian government attempted ?to turn technology against the protesters. Officials have started a number of fake opposition pages on Twitter, which are tweeting propaganda and misleading information.?Sciutto offered no evidence that it was actually the Iranian government that was responsible for Twittering in his name, but then, of course, it is easy to accept that the Iranian government is using Twitter to spread misinformation simply as a matter of faith. And yet, despite the great amount of false or unsubstantiated claims made by apparent supporters of the opposition, there?s reluctance on the part of the mainstream media and bloggers to attribute to it the word ?propaganda?, much less to suggest that there might have been a coordinated effort by anti-regime groups or foreign intelligence services to spread misinformation or foment unrest.Evgeny Morozov, a blogger for Foreign Policy and a fellow at the Open Society Institute, questioned the ?Twitter revolution? in an op-ed for the Boston Globe. He pointed out that ?social media could do wonders when it comes to making many people aware of government?s abuse or the venue of a rally?, but ?organizing protests is quite different from publicizing them; the former requires absolute secrecy, that latter one strives for the opposite.??However tempting it might be to attribute the Iranian protests to the power of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media,? Morozov added, ?we should be extremely careful in our conclusions, especially given that the evidence we are working with is extremely sparse.?Morozov also told the Washington Post that it ?is not at all certain? that Twitter ?has helped to organize protests?, but ?in terms of involving the huge Iranian diaspora and everyone else with a grudge against Ahmadinejad, it has been very successful.?During a live discussion with readers, he observed that many posters had listed their location as Tehran in ?solidarity? and that the Iranian diaspora was highly active in using social media. He also pointed out that it isn?t known whether a person with an Iranian sounding name posting content Farsi about events in Tehran was actually ?in Tehran or, say, Los Angeles?.When Twitter Inc scheduled maintenance for the website, the U.S. asked the company to postpone the work so the service would not be interrupted as it was being used to rally people into the streets to protest the election. ?One of the areas where people are able to get out the word is through Twitter,? a senior State Department official told reporters. ?They announced they were going to shut down their system for maintenance and we asked them not to.?Iran shortly thereafter summoned the Swiss ambassador, who also represents U.S. interests in the country since the U.S. severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 revolution, to complain about American interference in Iranian affairs.One might be tempted to argue that the strategy for regime change implemented under the Bush administration that including funding for propaganda, support for Iranian dissident groups, and backing for anti-regime militants and terrorists has changed under the new administration of President Barack Obama. There is no evidence, many have pointed out, of U.S. meddling in the Iranian election.But then, neither is there any clear indication that Obama ever revoked the policy strategy implemented under Bush. The most likely scenario is that Obama has put the military option favored by some in the Bush administration on the back burner in favor of other means to carry out a change of regime in Iran.Whatever the case may be, given the record of U.S. interference in the state affairs of Iran and clear policy of regime change, it certainly seems possible, even likely, that the U.S. had a significant role to play in helping to bring about the recent turmoil in an effort to undermine the government of the Islamic Republic.
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