In case you have a few spare hours today.
With the blessing of the Obama administration, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point this morning published 17 declassified letters and documents recovered from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The letters or draft letters—included in a report called Letters from Abbotabad: Bin Laden Sideline– total 175 pages in the original Arabic and 197 pages in the English translation. The earliest is dated September 2006 and the latest April 2011. The originials and translations can are now available on the CTC website.
Lee Camp is a new buddy and someone I’ve come to admire. His messages are always right on point, and his delivery is addicting. Plus, he’s a nice guy.
This particular video, his newest, hit home with me, and it also invites discussion of a broader, more serious topic that has had a lot of media play lately: Online bullying and intimidation.
I (and several pals of mine) have first-hand experience with being harassed by a common nasty, anonymous bully. As do so many who confuse abuse for power, this particular “***hole” (to use Lee’s word) intimidates by projecting his own insecurities, frailties, and personality flaws onto his targets du jour. More generally, people such as these often take someone’s strengths and do their best to turn them into weaknesses.
As Lee points out, it’s less likely that this kind of aggressive behavior would happen in person, face to face. And I would add that it would also personally affect way fewer people, whereas on the Internet, they reach tens, hundreds, even thousands.
Of course there are cowardly blusterers everywhere exactly like the one I’ve mentioned. In fact, minus the anonymity (although often in the shadows), Karl Rove uses many of the same tactics. But by cowering in their proverbial basements, peeking out but allowing very few, if any, in, these infantile online name-callers have a misguided sense of self-importance, swagger, even invincibility, not unlike cocky teens who drive like maniacs while multi-tasking, smoking filterless Camels, and downing toxic alcopop/Red Bull combos as they flip off the cop giving someone else a ticket.
They may very well be overcompensating for their own impotence.
So yes, it’s a disturbing trend, as Lee points out, spurred on by the ability to hide behind a computer, suffering very few, if any, real consequences… as in the case of the commenter/stalker who came too close for comfort at our old TPC site by sending me a Google map of my neighborhood as he tried to zero in on where I lived (hence, my own anonymity); as in the case of the despicable comments I constantly find myself deleting under YouTubes I’ve posted (that are not aimed at me, but at other commenters, and in the most vile terms).
So this video focused on something I think we need to examine more thoroughly. And I thanked Lee for distilling it down to 2-3 minutes so that even the most arrogant and least receptive among us might possibly grasp the effect they are having on others.
And by others, I mean real people, real people who actually respect other real people and don’t feel the need to bombard them with unsolicited insults, lies, epithets, or labels.
“Lacking” seems to be a key word on so many levels when describing Barbie McLipSchmutz:
[...] [S]everal GOP new-media strategists believe she has significant room for improvement when it comes to her web presence. [...]
[S]ome Republican new-media strategists are questioning whether or not her online effort can convert the energy and enthusiasm surrounding her tour into political action.
“Significant room for improvement” is such an understatement, and I’m not talkin’ web presence here. I’ve rarely witnessed such a vast need for improvement. If there were a contest for that, Barbie would win.
Florida-based Republican new-media consultant Jordan Raynor has a thing or two to say about this:
But Raynor, who claimed to be an “agnostic” regarding Palin, said that she has struggled to make a mark on web platforms other than Facebook.
“What I don’t like about as far as an online strategy is that she puts most of her eggs in the Facebook basket. She should be extending her online cachet into other strategy,” he said.
Raynor and other consultants claim that her e-mail list of supporters could be larger considering her political celebrity.
Maybe she quit in the middle of making an e-mail list. She’s been known to do that.
Others, such as Alabama-based GOP new-media consultant Jeff Vreeland, lamented Palin’s decision to create a new Twitter account instead of changing the name of her gubernatorial account to keep her follower base of over 150,000, though it’s not clear that she was allowed to keep her old one.
“It was just a complete failure for the people who support her,” Vreeland, who said he “still [has] questions” about Palin before he could consider voting for her should she run for office.
Here’s my favorite quote of the article:
Senate Republican Conference online communications director Sean Hackbarth lobbed this charge at Palin’s online presence this week: “I’m sorry, Sarah #Palin has one of the lamest online efforts of any national political figure.”
Let’s see now. So far we have “lame”, “significant room for improvement”, “lacking”, and “failure”. Now that’s what I call accurate reporting.
Let’s see if we can find one final quote to end on. Why, here’s one now!
Soren Dayton, a new-media consultant who has worked on Capitol Hill and on Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign:
“She not converting her online energy for anything other than book sales right now”
And the All About Me Tour continues…
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Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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