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Monday, January 27, 2014

How the government uses its powerful ‘invisible weapon’ to mislead the public [VIDEO] -- By Ginni Thomas, The Daily Caller

Disinformation was a widely used propaganda tool in the Soviet era. But did disinformation cease with the fall of the USSR?

Ronald Rychlak, a University of Mississippi School of Law professor, has co-authored a book on disinformation with the highest ranking Soviet bloc defector to come to the United States, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa.

Rychlak talked with The Daily Caller about Benghazi and other current events that have caused him to worry about the government lying to push a political agenda.

“Disinformation has caused worldwide damage to the reputation of the United States, and now it is putting down roots in this country itself,” Rychlak and Pacepa write in their book “Disinformation.” “To fight this invisible weapon, we must first recognize it for what it is and decode its hidden mission, since it is usually clothed in innocuous civilian dress — as were the terrorists who killed three thousand Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.”

Rychlak says they define disinformation as the ideologically-motivated effort to “implant false ideas” through an indirect, credible source. In this interview, he describes examples of both positive framing to promote a person, and negative framing to discredit a person, idea or institution.

“There are groups out there that openly acknowledge that they’re trying to bring down the United States through means other than the ballot box,” Rychlak said. “I mean, if you want to change the direction of America and you want to vote and you want to debate, you want to write letters to the editor, and you want to write op-eds, write a book, make a video, that’s fair. That’s what America is about. If you want to spread falsehoods, if you want to bring down individuals over false stories about their backgrounds — that kind of stuff is not.”

Rychlak encourages information consumers to be skeptical of what they are reading or hearing.

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