Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WikiLeaks scaring the shit out of Americans

"It could be very, very damaging. . . . The Secretary slammed the release of the cables, calling it an attack."
"...there's enormous potential damage for the United States in these -- in these leaks, Jill. I assume that's what officials there are telling you."
"WikiLeaks is creating a new and potentially dangerous information paradigm...."

As never before during a national security crisis, Americans are turning to social media to express their fears.   A new survey of social media sites by a DoF research team reveals America's deep-seated fear of  WikiLeaks.

Dr. Rebecca Wolf, Deputy Secretary for Community and Social Media at DoF, has learned of Americans who "cannot sleep" (see here and here), so frightened are they of the subversive whistle-blowing organization.

Dr. Wolf writes, "The response on Twitter shows that the media is doing its job." She added, "Throughout the cablegate crisis, government and news media organizations have continued to cooperate in the interest of protecting the national security establishment."

The team's findings affirm that traditional news media organizations continue to serve a critical role.   Easton Syme, a senior DoF analyst, writes, "Rather than displace traditional media, DoF research shows that new social media tools complement traditional media.  Americans learn from traditional news sources what to fear; and the salience of the propaganda is amplified by social media.  It's a virtuous circle."

These tweets illustrate how America has reacted to WikiLeaks:

 Sam Tate  Wikileaks scares me
 Monty Dhaliwal   scares the hell out of me. Maybe ignorance really is bliss...
 Sasha Nouri  This genuinely scares me. RT @ Gary Sick on Wikileaks, Iran and war  
 Gregory Littley Wikileaks scares me, to the core. Hillary Clinton delivered statement on Wikileaks  
 James Bailie  wikileaks scares me. i have no idea what it is, or whether i'm going to die because of it....
 Larawriter WikiLeaks scares me.

DoF salutes everyone who has shared their fear of WikiLeaks by way of social media.  The reaction to WikiLeaks suggests that US citizens have learned to take perceived national security threats very seriously.   That's positive.  Of course, there can be too much of a good thing.   Scared shitless of WikiLeaks, the country may be at risk of paralysis.  Decisions will have to be made.  The question America's leaders face today is:  How to channel public fear of WikiLeaks into programs that will either profit our partners in the security and defense industries or expand the influence of the national security establishment?

Shortly after having been briefed by DoF opinion researchers, Sec Fear Malcolm P. Stag III participated in a panel with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.   Secretary Stag said,  "At this point, the government needs to do something -- just about anything -- and the sooner the better.  Basically, we've got to either bomb something* or pass some new laws.  Preferably both.  This approach promises to make the American People fee safer."

Mr. O'Reilly asked Secretary Stag if he could be more specific: "Assuming he's not too busy nationalizing American industry, what is the next step Obama might take?"

Sec Fear replied, "Obviously, the next step would be for our Commander in Chief to ask Sec Def Gates  to identify WikiLeaks-related targets to strike.   Whether the bombing is to be carried out by the CIA or the Pentagon, the president needs a list of targets.  He will also want to call up the Attorney General.   (Attorney Gen.) Holder will be told to compile a list of freedoms that Americans could be asked to give up in exchange for the perception of greater security."

* For example, we can try to take out Julian Assange, as suggested by the Rev. Mike Huckabee, perhaps by way of drone strike as suggested by an advisor to the Canadian prime minister.

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Dr. Rebecca Wolf
Undersecretary for Community and New Media
United States Department of Fear