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paper 2 - A Mislead War Frank Rich is a well-known critic...

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A Mislead War Frank Rich is a well-known critic and columnist on topics of culture and politics. In his book, The Greatest Story Ever Sold , Rich takes truths from President George W. Bush’s administration and shows how he manipulated the country. In this bestseller, we revisit 9/11 and the consequences that follow; but this time, we are let in on secrets being kept from us, the people of the United States of America. Throughout Bush’s presidency and the war on terrorism, the government used propaganda and public relations (PR) to influence American citizens’ knowledge and opinions. Propaganda is a deliberate attempt to change power and ideas, while PR is creating support for a group or cause, in a positive way. (Douglas) By using PR and propaganda, Bush was able to gain control over what information was given to the public, thus shaping the way they viewed the government. Exploiting and withholding important information are two tactics of propaganda. The White House wanted complete control of the media during the Afghan war, and they mostly got it. First, a routine Pentagon news briefing was cancelled in attempt to restrict information. Next, the media was asked to share only positive views on the war. With no connection to troops, the media reported solely on the handouts given by the government, no questions asked. The Bush administration went back-and-forth on the issue of censoring Osama bin Laden’s name in the media. (Rich, 30-1) They wanted the details of 9/11 to be censored for those who lots friends or family. However, a video of bin Laden was shown in an attempt to rally Americans in favor of the war. Bush claimed 1
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the tape showed, “a man who is so devious and so cold-hearted that he laughs about suicide…” (Rich, 45) Bush wanted our enemy to appear as appalling as possible to support his death and his objectives shut down. In opposition to holding back information, creating false information is a propaganda tactic as well. In order to establish a propaganda agency, the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), a secretive and short-lived organization, was created at the Pentagon. The OSI was created to plant helpful “news,” mostly fake, with foreign media to mislead America’s enemies. (Rich, 32) Donald Rumsfeld soon shut it down, but similar methods continued. Less than a year after 9/11, Vice President Cheney stated, “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There is not doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” (Rich, 58) Cheney claimed that one of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, traveled to Prague to obtain materials necessary for compiling these weapons. It is unsure where this information was coming from and how valid it was. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations investigated the claim. While they determined that, “there is no conclusive proof that Iraq has restarted its nuclear weapons program
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