Obama’s Administration Calls Propaganda “Transparency”

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Jeh Johnson confirmed as DHS SecretaryLast Thursday, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Jeh Johnson, gave a speech in Washington, D.C., boasting of the supposedly great progress the Obama Administration has made in border security. (See FAIR’s analysis of the speech and the weakness of his claims of improved security in this week’s Legislative Update)

The point of the speech was clearly to convince the American public it does not have to worry about the border. “Not enough has been said” by the government, Johnson claimed, about the Administration’s efforts at border security. He went on to say that “in the absence of facts” the American public is “susceptible” to claims that the border is “porous” and that unaccompanied minors and members of terrorist organizations thus may pass through it. The public, he said, is owed, “informed, careful, and responsible dialogue, not overheated rhetoric,” which he asserted he would provide in his speech—as a commitment to “transparency.”

Yet the news stories from the summer of tens of thousands of minors and families streaming across illegal the border illegally were not overheated rhetoric. They are not an “absence” of facts, but a presence of facts not carefully managed by the government in such a way as to convince the public that it has nothing to be alarmed about. The Administration, it should be noted, is not primarily vowing to protect the public, but vowing to more successfully convince the public it is protecting them. The problem, to Johnson, is that the public, which has gone from hearing news about the border crisis to news about Ebola and ISIS, has stopped believing Administration assurances that there is no cause for concern. Given that the Administration is planning to announce a unilateral amnesty of millions of illegal aliens and the possibility of a new surge of immigration after the November elections are over, heightened public concern over lax policies regarding immigration and border security is clearly very unwelcome to the Administration.

Johnson’s solution, therefore, is more effective propaganda, with propaganda going by the watchword “transparency.” In the speech, Johnson proclaimed, “with transparency comes responsibility.” This is an odd elocution, though perhaps Johnson was trying to evoke the famous phrase “with power comes responsibility” (originated by French philosopher Voltaire but popularized by Spiderman). With true transparency comes, not responsibility, but accountability.

Johnson was clearly not giving a speech about the duties of those who hold power to be accountable for their actions, but rather of those who hold power to be careful about what information they release to the people, so that the information gives the people the  impression they wish to convey. For instance, after his prepared remarks promising transparency, an audience member asked why DHS has not published the numbers of visa overstayers, when Johnson’s predecessor promised over a year ago they would be forthcoming. His answer was that DHS has a report prepared, but they are delaying publishing, because they need more people to go over the methodology to ensure it is accurate.  But are they really checking the report for “accuracy,” or holding back until they figure out a way to massage the numbers so that they don’t sound alarming to the public? Or until the election is over?

True transparency, and the accountability that comes with it, is what the Administration avoids at all costs.

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7 Comments

  1. avatar

    In the past few days, the Washington Post ran a story about the apprehension of several members of MS-13 as they attempted to kill a man at a local high school. The article noted the upsurge in activity by the gang in this area and the sizable membership. Wonder how much of this is due to the addition of NEW members who crossed during the border surge?

  2. avatar

    FAIRUS.ORG is a Combined Federal Campaign Entity for the Federal Govenment’s Charity Drive

    Yet this website is considerred anomalous and I heard recently, somtimes banned by government agency access. God forbid they be transparent.

  3. avatar

    This border control effort is such a farce. Those thousands of children and fed, clothed, assigned legal representation, given medical exams, packed up and shipped off to any place that will allow it, never to be heard from again until Obama announces his executive amnesty. They will get their visas, work authorizations, deportation blocked, and the only thing in it for Americans is the bill. As transparent as mud. What a bunch of crooks!!!

  4. avatar

    Close the border. Deport all individuals who are here without legal permission. Require the Obama Administration to disclosed the location of all children under 18. The cost of one child to house, feed, and attend to health issues is about $150 per child per month plus the cost of $8,000 per child per year for education. Example: $150 x 12 months + $8,000 = $9,800 per year for one child x 68,900 children = $551,200,000 for ONE YEAR. This could pay for a one way ticket to their land of birth. We have the ER68 problem in the United States with 650 to 700 children sick and 5 deaths. Six children in Texas now have TB. Both health problems can be trace to the Central American countries. Three fourths of the children (51,675) are over 14 year old. Most have never attended school. They have limited reading nor writing abilities in Spanish. A lot of the children have admitted to murder, rape, assault, intimidation of shop owners to the Border Patrol officers. Source: House subcommittees, Senator subcommittees on the issue of U.S. southern border. The cost of education from Alief Independent School District. Non Profit organizations are charging the United States government about $150 to $165 per child per month – source Drudge report. Interviews with Border Patrol officers by news reporters. Stop the people from coming across the border.

  5. avatar

    If you call intercepting illegal border crossers and shipping them all over the country securing the borders then I guess you could call the border secure. The whole “deporter in chief” appellation seems designed to put forth a farcical idea that the O is actually deporting people, when it seems that it only means that some of the illegal swarms were dissuaded from landing on our side.. How many were there? Nobody knows because the bulk of them are intercepted, moved to an interior location and allowed to stay. They are given food,. clothing, housing, and a notice to appear. Guess which one they don’t want?

  6. avatar

    They’re massaging the numbers without a doubt! This corrupt and useless administration should be held for contempt, with the majority placed behind bars. Starting at the top, period!

    • avatar

      Congress could have blocked all this spending. They are just keeping it under the radar until they are locked into their congressional seats again. Throw all the bums out.