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Letter to the Editor: Propaganda

By PAULA WELLNITZ
Orangeville

Editor,

Back in the time of WWII, I remember the word propaganda was frequently used. I am not sure, but there may have been an official office to put out propaganda. Information was given out in such a way about WWII and conduct around it that would make things seem better than they were. As we would say today, propaganda put the "spin" on information. It was decried then and should be today. It's just another form of lying.

Today, many in government seem to do this. Our president has taken a great deal of responsibility for propagandizing on himself as he periodically goes around the country repeating something he wants the people to accept. Frequent repetition of a message is a large part of the work of someone spreading propaganda.

Because Pres. Bush goes only to receptive audiences, this adds another layer to the propaganda. That acceptance can make some other people think that what he says must be true.

The latest message our president is repeating, of course, is his approval of unmonitored and unspecified surveillance in the US. He would like all to accept this as within the law. Having slipped the idea in a discussion of another subject is not "telling Congress." At anytime, but especially with something as serious as this, a very open presentation would need to be made and discussed. Specific approval would be required from the whole body of Congress. Which, hopefully, would be denied. Perhaps present Congress people would even recognize that a previous group in Congress had given away much privacy by setting up the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 1978.

Such secretive actions are done out of fear. Things done out of fear create problems. They do not solve them.

Actually this is a throw back to the day of King George III of England when he set up general warrants in 1761. He thought he was doing good but it was recognized as not so by people in the American colonies. This led to the American Revolution, since British soldiers by this decree could search in any house, day or night without a warning just on some vague suspicion of wrong doing.

When the Constitution was presented for approval, the colonies did not accept it until there was appended a Bill of Rights. Number four connects to our president's suspension of its guarantee of privacy of homes and correspondences, and by extension today, of means of electronic communication.

The people of the American Revolution must be "turning over in their graves" to see such flouting of the precious hard won rights.





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