Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Carl Bernstein: Psychological Warfare Observed

During a CNN interview wherein David Gergen was a guest, and talking about the duo of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and the Wisconsin campaign and charges of plagiarism made within the last day concerning a Barack Obama speech, coming from the Clinton campaign, Carl Bernstein uttered the phrasing:

psychological warfare

CNN host appeared shocked. He asked if Bernstein was saying the Clintons are beating up, or ganging up on Obama?

Bernstein: No... talking about co-Presidency... read (Gergen's) (or his own) book about co-Presidency... suggesting it's the two of them, but it's restoration of the Clinton presidency, and what does that mean, and that Obama has been successfully portrayed by them as an empty suit...

Bernstein didn't give the title of the book, so we may be off-track.

Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton
by David Gergen


Find Bernstein's book title:

A Woman In Charge
Now a New York Times and National Bestseller, Carl Bernstein’s stunning portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton shows us, as nothing else has, the true trajectory of her life and career.

...The afterword concludes:

"So, in the end, Hillary for President had come down to Restoration, a co-presidency in which all the considerable talents and experiences of both Clintons and the hard lessons learned by each would be applied to reversing the catastrophes, ennui, and grievous misgovernance" of the Bush presidency.


Unfortunately, Bernstein seems to retain his elite status in the journalistic world, and thinks everybody can read his mind... maybe his implant is a bit outdated.

He didn't explain what he meant by psychological warfare and the implication that's what was used by the Clinton's (or somebody) in this latest effort to charge Obama with plagiarism.

The segment was during the hour preceding Wolf Blitzer

Why use the the term - psychological warfare - apparently Bernstein wrote an article published in the Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977 How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up


(Net the Truth Online)



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Aired February 19, 2008 - 15:00 ET

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This is a deep psychological game of psychological warfare the likes of which certainly I've never seen. I don't think David has either. And it's particularly vicious and it's particularly different because there are two people together, which is to say, Hillary and Bill Clinton against one other candidate. Now, I was just reading a terrific book on the subject of the Clintons right here that I'm holding up.

LEMON: David Gergen.

BERNSTEIN: By David Gergen.


BERNSTEIN: And he writes...

GERGEN: I thought -- and I thought Bernstein was going to plug his own book again.


GERGEN: I couldn't believe it. He's shameless about that.

BERNSTEIN: No. No. This is about Gergen's book. But, in fact, Gergen's book is really remarkable on the subject of a co-presidency and why it doesn't work and why it didn't work in the case of the Clintons. And he goes into a whole thing about Hillary Clinton's failure to reveal her taxes and the Whitewater -- to respond to the Whitewater allegations and said she went at it as a litigator.

And I think we're seeing the same thing in this campaign. And if all the traditional measures, like exit polls, are not helping us understand what's going on... LEMON: I'm not...

BERNSTEIN: We are talking about deep feeling the voters have about these two candidates or these three people. And I believe we're beyond conventional measurements.

LEMON: So you're saying...

BERNSTEIN: And all we can do is...

LEMON: Real quick -- real quick, Carl. You're saying that the Clintons, obviously, are ganging up on Obama. You're talking about...


LEMON: Oh. What are you -- what are you saying there then?

BERNSTEIN: Whoa. Whoa. No. What I'm suggesting is -- no. It's not about ganging up. What I'm saying is...

LEMON: Well, you said it's two -- you said co-presidents. Did you not say that?

BERNSTEIN: Yes, absolutely.


BERNSTEIN: I think that's the dynamic that we're dealing in here, is this is about restoration of the Clintons to the presidency.


BERNSTEIN: And the real dynamic that we have to deal with as reporters is what does that mean? What are the tactics employed in the campaign accordingly? And, also, the fact that Obama has been portrayed -- with some success up to this point -- as an empty suit with great lungs by the Clinton apparatus.

LEMON: So David...

BERNSTEIN: And that's what we're dealing with.

LEMON: Do you think the voters in Wisconsin or any of these -- especially Wisconsin, where it was supposed to be -- they thought Obama was going to win. Now it seems to be tighter than it was. Do you think that this is playing well with voters, what Carl is talking about, the sort of co-presidency -- a return to the Clinton years?

GERGEN: No. I think we've got -- heading into South Carolina -- and not only did the Clintons get involved with sort of, you know, going after Obama in ways that many people felt went too far or were excessive and they got appalled by it, but I think they opened the window and gave us the sense that it might be a co-presidency.

And there was an awful lot of backlash to that. I think if Obama wins the nomination, we will look back on those days as a turning -- a major turning point in this campaign. But since then, I must say that he's gone -- you know, Bill Clinton has become more quiet -- is quieter. He's got like a case of laryngitis out there on the campaign trail...


GERGEN: ... which has been helpful to her. And I think she's been fighting back. And what we find ourselves in Wisconsin is, right now, is a very important drama. And I think the best thing about it is that we, the pundits, the commentators, couldn't tell you how it's going to come out. It's all in the hands of the voters -- the gods. And...

LEMON: Yes. And the same thing, too, as well, in Hawaii, because, you know, that's -- Obama was born there. But he still doesn't have it locked up. And that's according to our reporters who are out there in the trenches.

But, listen, I want to move on and get to this, because there is so much to cover here. You're talking about -- you know, I was talking about the idea that the Clintons Amy be beating up on Obama. And Carl said that's not so. But you cannot count Michelle Obama out in all of this. And, you know, a very strong woman, a very smart woman. And she will say what's on her mind, no doubt about that.

I want you to listen to this and we're going to talk about this whole thing, which is kind of a controversy now.


CNN Transcripts for February 19, 2008



Originally published in Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977.

How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up

...The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management. “These were the guys who went through the ranks and were told ‘You’re going to he a journalist,’” the CIA official said. Relatively few of the 400‑some relationships described in Agency files followed that pattern, however; most involved persons who were already bona fide journalists when they began undertaking tasks for the Agency...


References to Carl Bernstein



Read the comments section


Confessions of a Covert Agent: Psychological Operations are my specialty
by eldib on December 3rd, 2007
To give a little more background on publicly revealed psychological operations, in 1977, after the Congressional Church Committee investigated CIA manipulation of the news media, and right after George Bush Sr. left his post as the Director of the CIA, famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein searched a little deeper into what was known as Operation Mockingbird. He revealed that over 400 US journalists were actually carrying out clandestine CIA PsyOps services. Bernstein identified operations involving almost every major US news outlet, most notably The New York Times, CBS and Time magazine. The CIA responded to all of this with a “limited hangout.” A “limited hangout” is CIA speak for when classified information gets out and you have to make it seem as if you are “coming clean” with all the information on the operation, but in reality you are really just admitting part of the operation so you can cover up other deeper parts and continue the program. This worked very effectively for them, as the US public quickly moved on and this operation has largely been forgotten...


Interview with David Gergen

What did that episode tell you about the power of Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Well, I think to be fair to the president, Bill Clinton is a man who likes to share power and the spotlight. He doesn't mind other people doing that. And he was very generous in bringing the vice president into a position of real authority. I think the vice president had more authority in this administration than any other one.

But I also think it led him ultimately into creation of what amounted to a co-presidency in a variety of serious ways. So, that she wasn't making all the decisions, but she did have veto authority over some important issues.

And that put her in a situation which I think is unprecedented in American history. You can perhaps go back to the late period of Woodrow Wilson when he had a stroke and his wife, Edith, was making many decisions. But there's no other, I think, comparable time when we've had, in effect, a co-presidency...

On what issues? I mean you say that Mrs. Clinton had veto power. She had veto power on these Whitewater documents--but on what else?

Health care. The biggest single initiative of the first term was very, very much her--she was driving that. I mean if anything she was the prime player and he was not as fully engaged as he was on those other issues. And I think that was one of the reasons that he didn't bring to bear on it his very, very considerable political skills. I mean she's a great policy analyst, but he has perfect pitch in politics. He can hear, he can sense, he knows, he's finely tuned, about the political environment. I don't think that health care bill would ever have looked the way it did had he been fully engaged, had he been in charge of the process.

But at the end of the day, I have to say this: the tragedy about the documents question was there was nothing in those documents that was criminally culpable.

When the documents were all revealed, there were embarrassments in there, but there was nothing that was going to get them into legal trouble. But the failure to turn over the documents led to the outside Independent Counsel being brought in. And then led to these huge investigations that consumed much of his presidency.


At the same time -- looking at the health care debacle and events that set off the Whitewater inquiry -- Bedell Smith has questions.

"Has she learned to compromise?" she asked. "Bill was willing to make compromises to get a health plan through. She was not. ... She doesn't look back. She has had a tendency to dig in, at times to wear blinders. She doesn't let go."

As well, the author said, Hillary Clinton is a "secret keeper. ... I think we've seen in the last seven weeks, with controversy over release of Clinton administration records, a flashback to those questions of secrecy."

The national media, preoccupied with Hillary's ups and downs, has yet to take up one intriguing matter: What would be the role played by Bill Clinton if his wife becomes No. 44?


Already referring to the Bill Clinton presidency as "Clinton I" can you believe...

From Conciliation to Confrontation: Clinton I and the Veto



The Missing Times by Terry Hansen

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