THE CONSERVATIVE DISINFORMATION NETWORK (CDN)
1. Modern Yellow Journalism: Since the decline of print media, yellow journalism has evolved into an Internet-based disinformation network. True to its origin, yellow journalism still challenges ethical journalists. Although many journalists try to be “fair and balanced,” and although many strive for “accuracy in media,” some fraudulently use such slogans just to hide their hypocrisy. The pattern is clear to deception analysis: Unethical “journalists” feed false information to leading pundits, who misrepresent reality to their gullible followers. They create alternate realities: fantasy worlds of their own design, composed of a different house of cards to support each fraudulent meme. As reported by Newsweek:
"The outlandish stories about Barack Hussein Obama are simply false: he wasn’t born outside the United States (the tabloid “proof” has been debunked as a crude forgery); he has never been a Muslim (he was raised by an atheist and became a practicing Christian in his 20s); his policies are not “socialist” (he explicitly rejected advice to nationalize the banks and wants the government out of General Motors and Chrysler as quickly as possible); he is not a “warmonger” (he promised in 2008 to withdraw from Iraq and escalate in Afghanistan and has done so); he is neither a coddler of terrorists (he has already ordered the killing of more “high value” Qaeda targets in 18 months than his predecessor did in eight years), nor a coddler of Wall Street (his financial-reform package, while watered down, was the most vigorous since the New Deal), nor an enemy of American business (he and the Chamber of Commerce favor tax credits for small business that were stymied by the GOP to deprive him of a victory). And that’s just the short list of lies" .
2. Conservative Pundits Dominate: According to Newsweek , conservative pundits are America’s most influential political figures. Rush Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and O’Rielly are on top, with audiences in the millions. As leading pundits, their information comes from a variety of sources, some of which are propaganda outlets more than legitimate journalism. They are just the tip of the disinformation iceberg. As a result, according to a recent University of Maryland study, Fox News viewers are the most uninformed . Fox News serves as a portal between the real world and Right-Wing Fantasyland.
3. Conservative Disinformation Network: Some pundits present disinformation supplied by faux journalists conducting faux opposition research with faux evidence, such as so-called “Accuracy in Media” (AIM) . Pundits may then “frame” their targets with this bogus evidence, accusing them of imaginary offenses (e.g. “death panels”), even though their “evidence” has not been verified by journalistic standards. Although such trickery has always been part of politics, 20th century police states (e.g. Nazi Germany and the USSR) provided a lasting template for future strategic deception . Soviet KGB “active measures” planners refined the process, which is alive and well today in the Conservative Disinformation Network (CDN).
4. Today’s Conservative Disinformation Network (CDN): Disinformation is the recognized enemy of legitimate research, including journalism and intelligence analysis. Disinformation is a strategic deception tool designed to deceive analysis . Some intelligence officers have been trained in “Deception Analysis” by the C.I.A. Unfortunately, civilians rarely enjoy such protection. They are virtually clay in the hands of CDN propaganda specialists, who create alternate realities virtually at will . The CDN demonstrates the extraordinary leverage now possible when Internet-based disinformation campaigns subvert legitimate journalism.
5. The Conservative Disinformation Network (CDN) and Iraq:
(1) The integrity of mainstream journalism was compromised in 2002, when the Bush administration (supported by the CDN) misled Americans into supporting the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses. Through official and unofficial channels (including the CDN), the Bush administration FRAMED Iraq by using fabricated evidence (e.g., "Curveball," forged Niger uranium letter, etc.). Mainstream media failed to use due diligence when examining Bush administration claims regarding the Iraqi threat, and when examining exaggeration of those claims by the media [6, 33].
(2) Further, the false arguments made by leading conservatives today are reminiscent of the false arguments made by the Bush administration after 2001 (e.g. John Yoo’s torture memo). They all involve fabricating “evidence” that contradicts pre-existing proof, then using the fabricated evidence to excuse their offenses. In this case, the CDN used a public-private partnership to sell the Iraq war, including friendly journalists such as the New York Times' Judith Miller .
b. Masterful Deception I: The Iraqi WMD Hoax. The DoD Joint Staff proponent agency for deception planning (DoD/OSP? ) may have devised a flawless special plan to exaggerate the Iraqi threat: In coordination with foreign intelligence services, feed false Iraqi threat information (e.g. “WMD stockpile” and “mobile weapons lab” reports) from false defectors (e.g. “Curveball,” Iraqi National Congress, etc.) to our Intelligence Community (IC) [30, 32].
[NOTE: Military deception planning, including Camouflage, Concealment, & Deception (CC&D) management, is NOT an intelligence function. It is a covert operational function planned and executed by warfighters (with intelligence SUPPORT). "Special Plans" is one type of Special Access Program, which have been managed by the Joint Staff since before the first gulf war.]
(1) Coincidentally (?), in a stunning lack of due diligence, the IC swallowed these Iraqi threat falsehoods. Despite exonerating United Nations inspections, the IC dutifully reported them (with qualifications) to the Bush administration in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) .
(2) Not content with the NIE’s qualifications, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Bush administration further exaggerated the Iraqi threat both explicitly and implicitly . Thus, the WMD hoax was created. Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a May 2004 "Meet The Press" interview , stated that some intelligence sources were "deliberately misleading."
(3) For example, on August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney's assertions went well beyond his agency's assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind, "Our reaction was, 'Where is he getting this stuff from?' " .
(4) By using fabricated intelligence reports and manipulating intelligence information, the Bush administration created a virtual molehill out of thin air, dutifully supported by the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Then the Bush administration created a virtual mountain from this molehill, by exaggerating the NIE findings to portray a WMD stockpile threat.
c. Masterful Deception II: Iraqi 9/11 Responsibility. The ease with which Americans faulted Iraq for 9/11, without ANY explicit accusations to that effect from the Bush administration, also reflects a masterful special plan. The share of Americans who believed Iraq was responsible for 9/11 may be compared to the share of Germans who believed the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" hoax. Anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda was relentless under Goebbels, but anti-Iraq propaganda only required a small push from the Bush administration to acquire a life of its own within the CDN.
(1) The Senate Intelligence Committee reported  that the Bush administration implicitly linked 9/11 to Iraq, with the help of their ad hoc “Counter-Terrorism Evaluation Group,” which was tasked to make assessments independently of the IC.
(2) Despite their assessments, the Bush administration never explicitly accused Iraq of responsibility, but their innuendo was enough to make Iraq a scapegoat (e.g. frequently accusing Saddam of links to "terrorism," and occasionally linking Saddam to Al Qaeda). As a result, 69% of Americans falsely believed Iraq was responsible for 9/11 , in addition to stockpiling WMD after 2001. President Bush finally admitted that there was no evidence to suggest the Iraqi's were behind 9/11 .
d. According to the Center for Public Integrity: "President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses .
(1) According to former Press Secretary Scott McClellan :
(a) Bush made the decision to invade Iraq "by early 2002 — at least a full year before the invasion — if not even earlier. "He signed off on a strategy for selling the war that was less than candid and honest," McClellan writes in "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."
(b) McClellan says Bush's main reason for war always was "an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom." But Bush and his advisers made "a marketing choice" to downplay this rationale in favor of one focused on increasingly trumped-up portrayals of the threat posed by the weapons of mass destruction.
(c) During the "political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people," Bush and his team tried to make the "WMD threat and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appear just a little more certain, a little less questionable than they were." Something else was downplayed as well, McClellan says: any discussion of "the possible unpleasant consequences of war — casualties, economic effects, geopolitical risks, diplomatic repercussions."
(2) Former CIA Director George Tenet :
(a) ". . . doubts that W.M.D.’s were the principal cause of the United States’ decision to go to war in Iraq in the first place, that it was just “the public face that was put on it.” The real reason, he suggests, stemmed from “the administration’s largely unarticulated view that the democratic transformation of the Middle East through regime change in Iraq would be worth the price.”
(b) ". . . points out that many senior Bush administration officials, including Paul D. Wolfowitz and Douglas J. Feith, were focused on Iraq long before 9/11, and that Mr. Cheney asked Bill Clinton’s then-departing secretary of defense, William Cohen, before the 2001 inauguration to give the incoming president a comprehensive briefing on Iraq and detail possible future actions."
(c) “There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat,” he writes of a war that has already resulted in more than 3,300 American military deaths, at least 60,000 Iraqi civilian deaths and already cost more than $420 billion. Nor, he adds, was there “a significant discussion regarding enhanced containment or the costs and benefits of such an approach versus full-out planning for overt and covert regime change.”
(d) "As for Mr. Cheney, Mr. Tenet describes thinking of him as very supportive of the intelligence community but then goes on to note numerous occasions in which the vice president delivered or planned to deliver bellicose speeches about Saddam Hussein that exceeded the available intelligence."
(3) Former top CIA official Tyler Drumheller : When no weapons of mass destruction surfaced in Iraq, President Bush insisted that all those WMD claims before the war were the result of faulty intelligence. But a former top CIA official, Tyler Drumheller — a 26-year veteran of the agency — has decided to do something CIA officials at his level almost never do: Speak out.
(a) He tells correspondent Ed Bradley the real failure was not in the intelligence community but in the White House. He says he saw how the Bush administration, time and again, welcomed intelligence that fit the president's determination to go to war and turned a blind eye to intelligence that did not. "It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it’s an intelligence failure. It’s an intelligence failure. This was a policy failure," Drumheller tells Bradley.
(b) Drumheller was the CIA's top man in Europe, the head of covert operations there, until he retired a year ago. He says he saw firsthand how the White House promoted intelligence it liked and ignored intelligence it didn’t: "The idea of going after Iraq was U.S. policy. It was going to happen one way or the other," says Drumheller.
(4) Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz outlined the Bush administration's reasoning on Iraq :
(a) ". . . there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two. . . ."
(b) "The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it. That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there's the most disagreement within the bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we've arrested that al Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his UN presentation."
(c) Please note that Wolfowitz explicitly links Iraq to Al Qaeda, which supports his "terrorism" second reason, and "overriding" fourth one: connection between WMD and support to terrorism, which was NOT supported by the Intelligence Community.
(d) Further, please note that he said the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people is NOT enough reason to put our troops at risk. This explains why the Bush administration required an Iraqi threat COVER STORY to justify the invasion!
e. Honorable Mention: Swiftboating John Kerry and Smearing Barack Obama. This disinformation network again showed its teeth by “swiftboating” John Kerry in the 2004 election, and has again displayed its power by creating an alternate reality regarding Barack Obama’s background. As mainstream media examine the most flagrant examples of current political misrepresentation, perhaps we should examine the integrity of “opposition research” BEHIND the scenes in greater detail.
6. CDN: The Modern Face of Yellow Journalism: Since conservatives lost power in 2008, their deception planning occurs in the private sector. Until conservatives regain the Presidency, they must depend on the Conservative Disinformation Network (CDN) to manipulate gullible Americans.
a. Information Laundering: To this end, some conservative media sources (especially those published exclusively on the Internet) serve as information laundering fronts for propaganda, just as some stores serve as money laundering fronts for criminal activity. Their disinformation becomes more credible when published by honest-sounding sources like the Pittsburgh Tribune , “Accuracy in Media ,” or by fraudulent college professors like Dr. Paul Kengor .
b. Cesspool of Lies: Peel back this protective coloring, however, to reveal their insidious cesspool of smears, falsehoods, and other disinformation. A simple challenge to any of their most outrageous lies easily reveals their deception, as they will stonewall, obfuscate, or make ad hominem attacks rather than provide responsive answers to legitimate questions.
c. Right-Wing Fantasyland: When run by professional advocates posing as journalists, the CDN serves influential pundits as a virtual “Ministry of Truth,” creating alternate realities through propaganda. As old media loses ground to the Internet, the CDN gains influence in promoting the revisionist mythology of “Right-Wing Fantasyland.” Conservapedia.com provides a handy guide to this alternate reality, with a detailed view of each fraudulent house of cards.
B. JOURNALISM VERSUS PROPAGANDA
1. Information Sources:
a. Ethical journalists are bound by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Legitimate journalists exercise due diligence in their research, just as ethical district attorneys exercise due diligence in their cases. They are expected to FOLLOW the evidence instead of stacking or fabricating “evidence,” and they are expected to maintain objectivity for the public good.
(1) Although blogosphere journalists (like their print counterparts) are less scrutinized than broadcast journalists, they know that they cannot honestly misrepresent opinion or speculation as fact. When errors are identified, ethical journalists retract and apologize for their mistakes. Hence, the retraction section of legitimate publications.
(2) As columnist Green Greenwald recently pointed out, however, even Time and similar MSM still have problems with accuracy , but their margin of error pales in comparison to misrepresentation by the CDN. Greenwald also takes on liberal outlet The Nation for similar misrepresentation 
(3) Conflicts of interest within news organizations may produce systemic bias based on ownership, funding, sourcing, and other considerations . Although this "propaganda model" prevents absolute objectivity, the degree and pattern of bias depends on editorial commitment to the SPJ Code of Ethics . Glenn Greenwald points out that the MSM uncritically reports Obama administration propaganda regarding Wikileaks, just as the MSM uncritically reported Bush administration propaganda regarding Iraq before the invasion .
(4) "What sets propaganda apart from other forms of advocacy is the willingness of the propagandist to change people's understanding through deception and confusion rather than persuasion and understanding. The leaders of an organization know the information to be one sided or untrue, but this may not be true for the rank and file members who help to disseminate the propaganda" .
(5) "Propaganda is a powerful weapon in war; it is used to dehumanize and create hatred toward a supposed enemy, either internal or external, by creating a false image in the mind. This can be done by using derogatory or racist terms, avoiding some words or by making allegations of enemy atrocities. Most propaganda wars require the home population to feel the enemy has inflicted an injustice, which may be fictitious or may be based on facts. The home population must also decide that the cause of their nation is just" .
b. Unethical “journalists" (e.g. N.Y. Times' Judith Miller) may pretend objectivity while serving as propaganda organs for their sources. They thrive on the fringes of journalism. They may pay lip service to the Code of Ethics, yet misrepresent evidence to support political or personal agendas. When they actually FABRICATE evidence, instead of just stacking evidence, they have completely crossed the line . When their “errors” are revealed, they tend to evade responsibility whenever possible. Hence, retraction sections are less common in publications outside MSM.
c. Professional advocates, in contrast to ethical journalists, are NOT usually paid to be objective. They are openly paid to promote their client’s interests, and do not claim to be journalists. Honest advocates (like most PR staff, lobbyists, and attorneys) wear their allegiance proudly, with little pretense of objectivity, because they explicitly represent their sponsors.
d. Professional propagandists, whose playbooks exploit the laissez-faire nature of the blogosphere, may not even pay lip service to journalism standards. They may function like other professional advocates with explicit agendas, such as attorneys, agents, and public relations specialists. They can easily exploit the blogosphere, because the alternate reality of Right-Wing Fantasyland creates a virtual echo chamber for disinformation, energized by confirmation bias. Although such disinformation may be unethical by broader standards, however, it is not hypocritical unless it violates their stated “principles.” Professional pundits fall into this group when they openly support "the organized dissemination of information, allegations, etc, to assist or damage the cause of a government, movement, etc" 
e. Hypocritical Propagandists: In contrast, those propagandists who CLAIM to be “fair and balanced” journalists, or who CLAIM to promote “accuracy in media,” ARE hypocrites . They routinely violate the Code of Ethics. By raising the false flag of journalism, they gain undeserved credibility for their "news propaganda" on the backs of legitimate journalists . When their deception is revealed, they will often stonewall or attack their critics, rather than providing substantive answers.
2. Cradle of Disinformation: Professional propagandists, such as self-proclaimed “journalist” Cliff Kincaid, customize alternate realities for their communities . Their fantasies are reinforced by repetition through blog syndication (RSS feeds). Their fraudulent “opposition research,” their publication of deceptive “reports” that seriously misrepresent their targets, and their spiral RSS distribution network reveal their highly sophisticated management of journalistic fraud:
a. "Journalistic fraud includes practices such as plagiarism, fabrication of quotes, facts, or other report details, staging or altering the event being putatively recorded, or anything else that may call the integrity and truthfulness of a piece of journalism into question. As their reputations for accuracy and truthfulness are arguably the most important assets of mass media outlets, many strictly enforce codes of journalistic ethics and carefully screen their reports for factual accuracy, publishing corrections even for minor errors soon after a story appears. When a case of journalistic fraud is discovered (especially at a prestigious media outlet), it is widely reported upon." 
b. "These kinds of examples of journalism malpractice have their roots in much older forms of news and media,’ said Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, a leading U.S. journalism school. ‘The only thing that seems new here are the forms in which these transgressions are expressed…The classic forms of journalistic malpractice, going back decades, are making stuff up, ripping other writers off, and the third is peddling special interests without letting the reader know. They continue to exist to this day, and in all forms.’" 
c. Limited Recourse: Because such chicanery may be protected by the 1st Amendment, most victims have limited legal recourse. “Public figures” have even less defense against defamation, because they must prove both defamation and malice. When private individuals are falsely accused, such as Dr. Hatfill in the anthrax letters case, the attacks themselves may even transform victims from private to public figures, thereby raising the bar by now requiring proof of malice. When defamation victims (such as Frank Marshall Davis) are dead, they are fair game for defamation in the United States, because (as a general rule) their estates cannot sue for defamation.
d. “Ministry of Truth”: With such legal protection, and the decline of conventional journalism, propagandists have virtually unlimited freedom to revise history. Like George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth,” propagandists flaunt their revisionism through ironic names like “Accuracy In Media” (AIM) or Fox’s “fair and balanced” claim. With professional advocates masquerading as journalists, their unbridled revisionism may even create alternate realities that conflict with each other (e.g. 1949 Honolulu NAACP incident).
e. As a stealth propaganda organ, the CDN benefits from mainstream media (MSM) inertia. Although some watchdog organizations eagerly dissect specific CDN misrepresentation, the PATTERN of misrepresentation seems to evade serious scrutiny. Mediamatters , ConWebWatch , politifact , and sister organizations often expose the most egregious CDN falsehoods, but seem to shy away from the next level of abstraction: positing an “intelligent design” behind the pattern of misrepresentation. Such reluctance to follow matters to their logical conclusion, as epitomized by MSM avoidance of the pattern of misrepresentation used to justify the invasion of Iraq, continues to hinder historical research .
3. House of Cards: Creating credible illusions is like building a virtual house of cards. Every card is essential to the structure. Examining any card closely will destroy the house. Although each “card” may be examined differently, deception planners can only protect each fabrication against limited scrutiny. Because unlimited scrutiny will expose most misrepresentation, deception planners may create a cover story to explain their actions. Such cover stories can rarely justify patterns of misrepresentation, however, because even “good faith” mistakes are not tolerated in legitimate journalism.
a. The “Noble Lie”: When a pattern of deception is revealed, cover stories may be worthless. The last defense of yellow journalism may be the Leo Strauss concept of the “noble lie” (e.g., “the end justifies the means”), a falsehood . Although national security may justify strategic deception on an international scale, domestic deception is never “noble” and rarely justified. It is a dishonorable betrayal of public trust!
b. “Sanitizing” Information Sources: One sign of its police state heritage is the CDN tendency to automatically treat obscure or anonymous information sources, which confirm pre-existing biases, as if they are credible without validating their claims. The CDN then publishes such unsubstantiated information as “fact,” as if it had been confirmed by journalism standards, without identifying the original source. Just as intelligence agencies “sanitize” raw intelligence information to protect classified sources and methods, so too does the CDN “sanitize” unsubstantiated claims, by obscuring their unethical sources and methods, to present the appearance of integrity. Thus baseless rumors may be presented as “fact” by unethical journalists.
c. Case In Point: Misrepresenting Obama’s Asia Trip: On 4 Nov 10, Anderson Cooper examined a particularly noteworthy CDN falsehood (from GOP Rep. Michele Bachman) regarding the cost of the recent presidential trip to Asia. According to Bachman, the trip was costing taxpayers $200 million a day. The claim was traced to an alleged Indian provincial official from the Indian state of Maharashtra, and reported by the Indian Press Trust. The claim was quickly picked up and circulated by the CDN, with both Limbaugh, with Beck raising the ante by claiming the trip was a vacation costing $2 billion. Cooper pointed out that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the entire Afghan war costs only $190M/day. Further, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Obama’s trip actually costs around $5.2 million/day. Their $200M/day “vacation” claim grossly misrepresents reality by a factor of almost 40X .
4. Summary: In the words of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in his column “Too Good to Check” : “When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, we have a problem. It becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues – deficit reduction, health care, taxes, energy/climate – let alone act on them. Facts, opinions, and fabrications just blend together. But the carnival barkers who so dominate our public debate today are not going away – and neither is the Internet. All you can hope is that more people will do what Cooper did – so when the next crazy lie races around the world, people’s first instinct will be to doubt it, not repeat it.”
C. MISSION STATEMENT
1. Scope of Analysis: The disinformation campaign against Frank Marshall Davis is the epitome of contemporary political deception. Although President Obama has been smeared in numerous ways, we will concentrate on CDN misrepresentation of his relationship with Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987), an African-American writer mentioned as “Frank” in Obama’s 1995 book, Dreams from My Father. This book indicates that “Gramps” introduced 11-year-old Obama to his friend Davis in Hawaii, soon after Obama returned from Indonesia. Dreams indicates that Obama occasionally visited Davis with Gramps as a young teen, but only twice on his own thereafter: once after his grandmother’s bus stop incident (1976?), and again three years later before leaving for college in 1979.
2. Presumptions: At risk of committing the “Fallacy of Generalization,” this analysis presumes that:
a. Disinformation from so-called “Accuracy in Media” (AIM) is a representative sample of disinformation against the Davis-Obama relationship.
b. Disinformation against the Davis-Obama relationship is a representative sample of disinformation against Barack Obama.
c. Disinformation against Barack Obama is a representative sample of conservative disinformation.
d. If these presumptions hold true, then AIM disinformation against Frank Marshall Davis is a representative sample of conservative disinformation. If true, then the transparency of AIM’s deception in defaming Frank Marshall Davis should provide a model of conservative disinformation in general.
3. Purpose of Disinformation Campaign: The overall disinformation campaign against Obama portrays Obama as an unqualified threat to the United States. A major theme portrays Obama as a socialist, which was explicitly rejected by the far left. Because Davis joined the CPUSA during WWII, the CDN claims that Davis “mentored” Obama in communism during his adolescence in Hawaii (1971-1979). According to conservative mythology, Davis supposedly treated Obama “like a son” and indoctrinated young Obama with “communist values” during his visits. This speculation, misrepresented as fact by the CDN, not only claims that Davis had “communist values.” It also claims that Davis indoctrinated Obama with “communist values.” In the absence of any empirical evidence, we will examine a range of fraudulent circumstantial evidence “supporting” these claims.
4. Socialist Influences: Although Obama’s book mentions early socialist influences on the mainland, it contains no evidence of Davis’s “communist” influence. For Davis to have actually mentored Obama in communism (as claimed), Dreams must have intentionally EXCLUDED Frank’s socialist influence while INCLUDING Frank’s racial influence. Because Dreams included later socialist influences, censoring Frank’s “communist” influence would serve no purpose. As a result, we will examine other evidence affecting the claims of “communist values” and “communist indoctrination.”
a. “Communist” in Name Only:
(1) Despite joining the CPUSA, empirical evidence shows that Davis did NOT believe in collectivism. He was a “Communist” in name only, just as some people are “Christian” in name only. People often join organizations without internalizing their values, especially when membership has other advantages.
(2) Further, there are degrees of internalizing institutional values. Just as religions have members with a wide range of conviction, ranging from fundamental to nominal, so too do other institutions have members with a wide range of conviction. For example, police officers and politicians range from clean to corrupt. Chinese billionaires may be nominal members of their Communist parties, but their economic orientation is arguably capitalistic. To presume that a CPUSA member "advocates" communism, based on membership and supporting other CPUSA members, is like presuming that a Mormon "advocates" Mormonism because he supports other Mormons. It is fallacious.
b. “Free Enterprise or Socialism”: This 26 January 1950 Honolulu Record column , proves that he favored free enterprise by small businesses, which he believed were being ruined by monopolies. Davis criticized Stalin, and rejected fascism, the dominance of monopolies, and the “horror of socialism” in writing. Nevertheless, Davis protected the rights of American socialists on principle, just as the ACLU protected the rights of American Nazis on principle. Davis said he would ally with the “Devil himself” to fight racism!
c. Ironic Misrepresentation: “Free Enterprise or Socialism” proves that Davis rejected the sort of “collusion” between Wall Street and the government (e.g. bailout of GM, T.A.R.P., etc.) that conservatives consider to be “socialism.” Ironically, despite evidence to the contrary from Davis himself, the CDN attributed Obama’s bailouts to Davis’s influence! According to his writing, it appears that Davis would have sided with conservatives in opposing the bailout as “socialist.” While both the left and right wings may have let these bankrupt companies fail, the moderate center (including both Bush AND Obama) saved the day!
d. Strange Bedfellows: Nevertheless, in the delusional world of Right-Wing Fantasyland, Davis was smeared with “communist values” in order to implicate Obama through guilt-by-association. We will examine evidence that dishonest left and right-wing extremists, such as Cliff Kincaid and Alan Maki, became strange bedfellows in their common effort to misrepresent Frank Marshall Davis as a radical who advocated communism. This self-serving agenda is a common thread in disinformation. In virtually EVERY case, this disinformation involved negative misrepresentation based upon his relationship with Barack Obama. The alternate reality fabricated by the CDN neglects to mention that most of Davis’s “radical” goals are mainstream standards today.
e. Expert Opinion: University of Kansas Professor Edgar Tidwell, commonly acknowledged as an expert on the life and writing of Davis, wrote that THESE were the “radical” goals of Frank Marshall Davis:
(1) integration of armed forces
(2) integration of AFL and CIO
(3) fair wages and other benefits for workers
(4) general dismantling of all laws supporting racial segregation
(5) end to laws supporting anti-Semitism
(6) end to atomic warfare
(7) rights for soldiers in combat zones to vote in national elections
(8) support for Fair Employment Practices Act
(9) support for a broad United Nations (not just US and Great Britain forming a world power union)
(10) end to restrictive covenants in real estate
NOTE: These have mostly become mainstream standards by the 21st century. Frank Marshall Davis was not out of line. He was just ahead of his time!
f. Communist Indoctrination? Empirical evidence contradicts CDN speculation that Frank Marshall Davis indoctrinated Obama with “communist values”: the political position of Frank’s only son, Mark. Although he grew up in the Davis household for eighteen years, Mark rejected communism. He retired as an Air Force Intelligence Officer in 1993 with Top Secret/SCI access, with 24 years of active duty. After all: If Davis did not indoctrinate his OWN son in communism, then what is the likelihood that Davis indoctrinated ANY child in communism, even if Davis HAD been an “avowed communist”?
4. Other Disinformation: Although focused primarily on Cliff Kincaid’s disinformation regarding the Obama-Davis relationship, we will also touch upon other sources, including NewZeal blogger Trevor Loudon, writers Toby Hamden, Andy Martin, Jerome Corsi, and David Freddoso, and the perverse National Enquirer/telegraph.uk defamation of Frank Marshall Davis based on his novel Sex Rebel: Black.
5. Follow the Evidence: We will examine blogosphere reaction when their falsehoods are exposed.
a. Honest Bloggers: Some bloggers may have circulated falsehoods in good faith, unaware that their original sources intentionally (or unintentionally) were false. When misrepresentation is brought to their attention, people of integrity reconsider their conclusions in light of remaining evidence. This is especially true for objective observers, and others who have no vested interest in the subject at hand (e.g. role of Dr. Hatfill in the anthrax letters case).
b. Dishonest Bloggers: Others, however, may still insist that their original beliefs are valid despite proof to the contrary (e.g. Iraqi WMD stockpiles). This is especially true when falsehoods confirm a target’s pre-existing biases, which is the easiest type of deception operation. Even if bogus evidence is exposed, this may not affect the target’s underlying bias, leaving them vulnerable to subsequent deception. For them, faith and trust may outweigh reason. As die-hard residents of Right-Wing Fantasyland, their continuing rationalization suggests they may truly be incorrigible, perhaps even incapable of rational analysis. Their brainwashing was perfect. For everyone else, as they say on C.S.I., “Follow the evidence”!
2: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/11/01/power-list.html), conservative pundits are America’s most influential political