Monday, May 08, 2006

Positive Iraq War Spin Instructed To Be Added To USDA Speeches

The administration seems to believe that bullshittery repeated ad nauseum will convince the American people of its veracity.

However, such a tactic is unlikely to work when applied to farmers--the usual constituency of the Agriculture Department.

Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" -- saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" -- in every speech they give for the department.

"The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began.

The administration cannot possibly expect farmers--whose shrewdness in dealing with all sorts of calamities, swindlers, and other grim facts of life is what keeps them in business--to succumb to such obvious manipulation.

The e-mail provided language "being used by Secretary [Michael O.] Johanns and deputy secretary [Charles F.] Conner in all of their remarks and is being sent to you for inclusion in your speeches."

Another attachment "contains specific examples of GWOT messages within agriculture speeches. Please use these message points as often as possible and send USDA's director of speechwriting, a weekly email summarizing the event, date and location of each speech incorporating the attached language. Your responses will be included in a weekly account sent to the White House."

A three page pdf file of the "talking points" is available here.

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