Almost three decades have passed since the film The Atomic Cafe (1982) offered a cynical, and yet vacuous, denigration of the efforts of American civil-defense experts to prepare the populace for the horrific possibility of nuclear war — and other, more malicious, efforts were also at work to undermine the will of the West to continue the Cold War. As a newly inaugurated President Reagan prepared the American people to begin to more actively counter Soviet aggression, Soviet front groups promoted their agenda through a sham "peace" movement, led by the World Peace Council. A generation of citizens has grown up having been propagandized into the belief that any use of “The Bomb” would mean the end of the world. In the words of Prof. T.J. Nelson’s “Duck and Cover” essay at entropy.brneurosci.org:
The Obama administration plans to release a review of U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan on December 16. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that “the report will not contain any surprises,” according to Voice of America — which is to say that it will simply rehash the administration’s public position that Obama’s strategies are succeeding. “Gibbs,” added VOA, “says the administration is pleased with progress in several areas,” and “he has no doubt that the war effort is going better than it was a year ago.”
Nearly everyone with an internet connection knows the website WikiLeaks.org to be the notorious publisher of inconvenient truths about the secret machinations of government and military operations. Scarcely fewer know that the founder, Julian Assange, was arrested last week in London. Only a few are asking the right questions.
Governments’ dealings with paid informers are always risky. By his willingness to snitch on his friends and associates, the informer has demonstrated his untrustworthiness, so it is difficult for his handlers to know when he is telling the truth and when he is fabricating information either to settle old scores or simply to keep the largess flowing. The problem of knowing whom to trust only becomes more intractable when operating in foreign countries.