Caught Controlling the Message – Ooops!

October 24, 10:59 p.m., 2017

For strategic reasons leaders of countries choose to control information intended for public consumption.  Usually any value in time and place escapes manipulation.  For some reason, on October 23rd, this was not the case, when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a surpise stop in Afghanistan to meet its president Ashraf Ghani, both place and time became concerns.

The meeting was made in a fortified American base in Bagram Airbase at 34° North 56’46”.  Problem was, that when the meeting was reported out, the photo of one room’s wall color was different and one version was missing a fire alarm and three clocks and one version was made to suggest a meeting place in Kabul, at 34° North 32′.

“There is no question that the photo has been manipulated,” said Hany Farid, an expert in photo forensics and a professor of computer science at Dartmouth College.”

From the point of view of the WIP, both geographic locations were well within its orb, but the deliberate and skillful manipulation of time and place (misinformation) is curious.  How far do modern governments go in the alteration, indeed the hi-tech scrubbing of information they report to their respective populations?  Why was it important to the Afghanistan leadership to do this?

“On at least one occasion, when the Taliban have overrun the center of a district, the government has relocated the local administration compound to another area so it can say “no, the district has not fallen.”

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