How the Enemy Uses Political Correctness to Divide and Conquer America
by CYNTHIA E AYERS
April 10, 2012
Ask an active duty intelligence officer to explain the reason for the existence of the intelligence community, and they might tell you (if they're willing to say anything at all) that the main purpose of the intelligence community is to inform, if not warn, policy and decision-makers about threats to national security. The duty to warn the public (as opposed to just warning officials) is more nuanced; but suffice it to say that somewhere within the government's hierarchy these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Following the attacks of 9/11, there was a public outcry for information, and a demand that intelligence agencies warn the public on virtually all threats to the homeland. They did-and, if memory serves, the public subsequently decided they didn't want to know. The information provided was considered to be too much and too scary. In fact, rather than face the reality of living in a country under constant threat, many pundits resorted to calling intelligence officers, military service members, and government officials "scare-mongers." Detractors placed members of the intelligence community (as well as the entire administration) in the uncomfortable position of being slapped with negative connotations on a continuum from "negligence" to "zealotry." In some quarters, they were simply referred to as "war criminals."
Thankfully, intelligence analysts continued to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, however, in the wake of post-9/11 attempts to secure the nation, name-calling (essentially "friendly fire") has become increasingly incorporated within the information operations carried out by those who wish our country harm. The verbiage that exudes from these adversarial info-warriors is then picked up by "friendly facilitators" (a.k.a. "useful idiots") and further weaponized with overestimations of "good will" on the part of the enemy, assumptions of "bad will" on the part of our own forces, and underestimations of enemy intent. Our own warriors (information and otherwise) are handcuffed with stilted language and difficult to implement requirements supposedly invented to stifle misunderstandings and bias, but which only serve to further the disinformation of an enemy that we are no longer allowed to "know" (see Sun Tzu). Citing the power attributed to positive thinking (or political correctness), the enemies' sympathizers ironically resort to personal attacks and character assassination in efforts to close down conversation and divide the populace. In fact, the manipulations that "friendly facilitators" not only agree to, but participate in, ensure that in looking for the enemy, we turn on ourselves.
The result? Employees who refuse to walk the politically-correct line are replaced by others who know and heed the new rules. Those who remain are no-doubt confused as to what enemy they should be confronting, and probably become worried when descriptions of adversaries start to resemble people they have grown up with, or even worked beside for decades. In short-when political correctness outweighs national security interests the entire government becomes vulnerable to infiltration. No department, no agency is immune.
Why is this important? It's important because we live in a world with many threatening actors who know exactly how to influence us, and we are being manipulated daily. We fool ourselves if we believe that we can successfully keep those threatening actors at bay simply because we try to make them happy while using (or not using) wording and references that their representatives recommend. We fool ourselves if we think that by giving in to demands, we can show everyone how nice we really are, and avoid confrontation. We fool ourselves by assuming that terrorists (oops, I mean "violent extremists") will remain singularly, as opposed to cooperatively, threatening.
We pull a gigantic piece of wool over our own eyes if we think that our adversaries don't already know how to divide us and conquer us. They are already doing it-we just haven't figured it out yet.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Cynthia E. Ayers is currently Deputy to the Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security. Prior to accepting the Task Force position, she served as Vice President of EMPact Amercia, having retired from the National Security Agency after over 38 years of federal service.