White House Report: Shifty Saddam Continues 'Apparatus of Lies'
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2003 A White House report, "Apparatus of Lies," outlines the propaganda gambits and other techniques of deceit Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein employs to stymie U.N. weapons inspectors and maintain his grasp on power.
The report can be read and downloaded from the White House Web site at www.whitehouse.gov. It discusses four techniques Iraq has used to promote its propaganda and disinformation" from the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War to the present day.
Hussein and his minions are masters of deception, the report notes, and adept at crafting tragedy, exploiting suffering, exploiting Islam and corrupting the public record for the benefit of the regime.
The report notes the Iraqis craft tragedy by placing innocent civilians close to legitimate wartime targets such as military equipment, installations and troops. They also used human shields to protect facilities during the Gulf War. The Iraqis have also placed military ordnance near religious buildings and historical structures.
This Iraqi gambit is simple: If civilians are killed in air raids, Hussein's regime can attempt to solicit world sympathy by accusing its attackers of violating the rules of war.
The report notes Hussein creates food and medicine shortages and then exploits his people's suffering by blaming U.N. sanctions and the United States. Sick and malnourished Iraqi children are specially selected by Saddam's propaganda experts and paraded before television cameras to influence and deceive international opinion makers.
Saddam Hussein, who isn't very religious himself, based on third-person accounts, uses Islam to maintain his power and hold over the Iraqi people, the report says. To cultivate and exploit the good will of pious Iraqis, Hussein's picture is plastered all over the country depicting the dictator in devout prayer.
This activity in the name of Islam is especially distasteful, the report suggests, because Hussein's henchmen extort money from devout Iraqis who want to make a pilgrimage to religious shrines in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia. Saddam also portrays his refusal to disarm in the face of U.N. resolutions as noble defiance against the non-Muslim world's attempt to corral Islam, more false propaganda, the report states.
The Hussein regime corrupts the public record by planting falsehoods -- the more bogus the story, the better, the report says. "Apparatus" notes Iraqi officials' efforts include forging documents, creating false atrocity scenes for television viewers, and planting disinformation in newspapers and periodicals.
And, the report points out, Hussein's propaganda machine to this day maintains he won the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War.
The White House's "Apparatus of Lies" report and other documents and remarks on Iraq can be viewed at www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq.