Obama Waging Psychological Warfare on Americans, Says Crazy Doctor

Dr. Keith Ablow lays out the case that President Obama is conducting psychological warfare on us.

obama-frown

Dr. Keith Ablow asks, “Is Obama waging psychological warfare on Americans?

Having never considered this question, I was intrigued. Who better to answer this question than Dr. Keith Ablow?

I believe that the Obama administration is conducting psychological warfare on conservative Americans. Not only that but it is also waging this war on all Americans who previously viewed themselves, their country, their Constitution and their overwhelming belief in God as a force for good in the world.

Interesting. So, what is Dr. Keith Albow’s evidence for said beliefs?

The psychological warfare began with an apology tour in which President Obama publicly “confessed,” presuming to speak for all of us, for the shortcomings of America and our supposed contributions to tyranny and all manner of evils around the world.

I’m familiar with said apology tour—the name of which is controversial in some circles since Obama never technically apologized–but had never considered that it might be pyschological warfare. But, in hindsight, it was sneaky of our elected leader to claim to speak for the country.

This confession planted in the American mind the notion that our values and beliefs might not be in line with freedom and truth.

What evidence is there for that? Well, never mind.

It was reinforced by the first lady stating during the 2008 presidential campaign that she had never felt pride in our country.

If I recall my logical fallacies correctly, post hoc ergo propter hoc is among them. But pre hoc ergo propter hoc is not! So, QED, Dr. Keith Albow is probably right.

These statements were seemingly shrugged off by Americans who, collectively, seemed to be telling themselves that they were hearing discontent channeled from disenfranchised groups in our nation who, nonetheless, loved the country—and all of us, too.

But, deep inside the American psyche, something more malignant could have been planted—the seeds of self-hatred and self-doubt. And I no longer believe that those seeds were planted unintentionally by people as smart and capable as the president and first lady.

So, we go from two “seems” and a “could have” to something that definitely happened deliberately. Why not? And he mentions that these people are “smart and capable”—a confession against interest—so he’s probably not biased in any way.

Psychological warfare has been described as a set of techniques aimed at influencing a target audience’s value systems or beliefs and inducing confessions of wrongdoing or attitudes favorable to the group proffering the techniques.

Pretty much everything any politician says or does falls into that description. And Obama’s a politician. Indeed, a smart and capable one. So, yeah, he’s probably engaged in psychological warfare.

The techniques are often combined with black ops strategy, in which covert initiatives seek to dispirit, disempower and confuse adversaries.

Now, Ablow doesn’t give any examples of Obama doing this. But, hey, he’s already documented that Obama is a politician. A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse. Say no more.

The psychological warfare has continued, I believe, with other opportunities the president has had to make American’s question their individual freedoms and autonomy.

This has included misrepresenting horrific crimes, such as the one which unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut, as evidence of the need for gun control measures, when they clearly evidenced a need for revamping our mental health care system.

So, apparently, evincing policy disagreements with Dr. Keith Ablow is a form of psychological warfare? Well, it does fit the definition previously offered by Dr. Keith Ablow, noted expert on psychological warfare.

Gun rights are inextricably entwined in the American psyche with freedom to defend oneself. Attacking gun rights, I believe, is an element of the psychological warfare on the American belief that force is justifiable when confronting evil.

So, any attempt to change any pre-existing opinion is psychological warfare? This is a bit confusing. For example, until reading this article, it had never occured to me that Barack and Michelle Obama were conducting psychological warfare on the American people. So, is Dr. Keith Ablow, noted expert on psychological warfare, conducting psychological warfare in trying to convince the American people that Barack and Michelle Obama are conducting psychological warfare on the American people? That’s pretty heavy.

My belief that psychological warfare is being deployed on Americans by this American president and his administration has been solidified as news has come out of the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

This black ops targeting doesn’t just have the effect of slowing the financial momentum of these groups. It has the goal of dispiriting them and making them feel helpless to achieve their goals.

Aside from the lack of evidence that this American president or his administration ordered the review of Tea Party groups, and the fact that Tea Party groups are allowed to operate with or without approval, he has a very good point here. I mean, we all know Obama doesn’t like the Tea Party and doesn’t want them to achieve their goals.

If liberal Americans stand by and do not seek swift and severe justice for those who perpetrated these acts, then they will have tacitly been victimized, too. Because they will have tacitly agreed that it is acceptable for their government to target certain political movements for persecution—and that will have fundamentally changed the psyche of America.

Strangely, this actually makes sense. Although I’m not sure what it has to do with psychological warfare.

Seen through the lens of psychological warfare, the failure to defend our embassy in Benghazi need not be understood simply as a screw-up. It could reflect an actual strategy on the part of the administration to reinforce the notion that homicidal violence born of hatred toward America is understandable—even condonable—because we have generated it ourselves and are reaping the harvest of ill will we have sown. In other words, we should take our punishment.

Apparently, my psychological warfare lens is cloudy because I’m just not seeing this one. Even if we grant that Obama intentionally left our embassy unprotected while anticipating an attack—an assumption for which no evidence exists—the notion that it would have that impact makes no sense. When have Americans ever taken an attack as a sign of their own failings? Certainly, they didn’t in this instance.

The president said as much when he blamed the murder of our Ambassador to Libya on a film that criticized Islam.

My faith in Dr. Keith Ablow is declining rapidly. I’ve criticized the president for this particular statement and, indeed, for previous statements criticizing Americans for making inflammatory videos or statements that insult Muslims. Freedom of speech is virtually absolute in our tradition and American presidents should honor that. But Obama never suggested, in any of these instances, that Americans deserve to be attacked or “should take our punishment.” He’s merely suggested that we shouldn’t do things that will provoke action from religious zealots. I disagree with that rather strongly; we shouldn’t give a veto power to thugs. But he’s not justifying violence against Americans but rather trying to prevent it.

This misstatement may disclose not just incompetence and may not just be evidence of a cover-up, but may be evidence of exactly what I am theorizing here: that the president, with the help of his administration, is attempting to conduct psychological warfare on Americans who value autonomy and free will and free markets and small government, by convincing them that they are wrong-minded, prejudiced and pathological and should deeply question their beliefs—including some ensconced in the Constitution.

Again, we have a lot of “mays” leading to some rather bold conclusions here. But, again, he’s defining “psychological warfare” so broadly here that it amounts to “persuasion.”

The wiretapping of journalists would be, then, just another black ops technique in an ongoing war against our freedoms.

It would! Except that there’s no evidence that the administration wiretapped any journalists. Unless we’re redefining “wiretap” to mean “look at phone call logs.”

There will be those that say that many American leaders have sought to target groups hostile to their views. Some will point to President Nixon or Senator McCarthy or J. Edgar Hoover. And that debate can be had.

That’s some pretty slick psychological warfare right there . . .

But I assert that this administration is engaged in a coordinated attempt to dispirit, disarm and disenfranchise large portions of the American population and to weaken our founding principles through what is best understood as psychological warfare.

Well, if Dr. Keith Ablow asserts it, who am I to argue? My doctorate is in political science, not psychology. And he’s given some evidence that Obama wants to thwart those who want to run him out of office—which is surely dispiriting to them!–and to disarm—or at least, not allow to buy arms without background checks—some people. It stands to reason that he wants to disenfranchise them, too, right? Well, no. But it could be a black op.

And with that statement in the public domain, let us, at least, be aware and notice how many events unfold in-keeping with it, over the next months and years.

Who could oppose situational awareness?

The enemy of psychological warfare is the knowledge of what is really happening to us and remembering who we really are.

Knowledge and memory? I’m for those, too.

FILED UNDER: Humor, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    Is OTB becoming the crazy Republican blog?

  2. bk says:

    @DC Loser: Lots of material.

  3. LaMont says:

    Replace “psychological” with the phrase “Out Of My Ass” and read again. Seriously! It becomes a great read!

  4. Phillip says:

    All my thoughts on Ablow are summed up by Rod Dreher:

    If only Dr. Leo Spaceman were a Republican, he could have a lucrative career on Fox.

  5. Scott says:

    As always, these rants say more about the author (Ablow not Joyner, to be clear) than anything else. It also makes me extremely confused because this is so subtle, Machievellian, so Nixonian, that it couldn’t possibly come out of an Administration that is so incompetent. Unless the incompetency is a clever subterfuge to hide the deeper game. After all, this is a demon that planted birth announcements to hide his true origins.

  6. rodney dill says:

    As soon as I hit the line “But, in hindsight, it was sneaky of our elected leader to claim to speak for the country,” I did a quick scan for the tags on this post. Found what I was looking for. 🙂

  7. Tony W says:

    You call him a crazy doctor, some 30% of Americans call him mainstream.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    Wow James. I appreciate you reading Dr. Ablow so I don’t have to. But 1500 words (counting quotes) on this Looney Toon? I’m impressed with your stamina. However, shouldn’t you have mentioned FOX News, who hosted this.

    I see in WIKI that Dr. Ablow is also an expert witness. That’s just frightening.

  9. Rodney Dill says:

    It strikes me that virtually all leadership techniques could be viewed as trying to psychologically influence the behavior of others.

  10. Moosebreath says:

    “A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse. Say no more.”

    Nudge Nudge.

  11. EddieInCA says:

    Obama Waging Psychological Warfare on Americans, Says Crazy Doctor who is a Frequent FOX Guest and Prominent GOP Voice

    Fixed that for you, Dr. Joyner.

  12. Matt Bernius says:

    James, I think you missed the best part of the entire page — Ablow’s bio…

    Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.

    So the question is Ablow “Murdoch” or “Hannabal”? His lack of hair seems to disqualify him for “Face” and his writing style suggests he isn’t about the pity no fools.

  13. Scott says:

    @Phillip: I liked this other quote:

    At some point, you have to wonder when shamelessness crosses the line from character defect to psychopathology.

  14. Sam Malone says:

    Again…we are presented with a mastermind who is manipulting the psyche of Americans…who is at the same time wildly incompetent and an affirmative action President.
    He cannot be both.
    It appears, based on the facts in evidence, that he is neither.

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    But it could be a black op.

    Why does it have to be black? #MaximumUmbrage

  16. PJ says:

    @Sam Malone:

    Again…we are presented with a mastermind who is manipulting the psyche of Americans…who is at the same time wildly incompetent and an affirmative action President.
    He cannot be both.
    It appears, based on the facts in evidence, that he is neither.

    No, he’s obviously just a puppet, with Joe Biden being the scheming puppet master pulling Obama’s strings….

  17. Matt Bernius says:

    All joking aside, it should be noted that isn’t just a blog entry on the “Fox Nation” community site. Ablow is a *paid Fox-News contributor* and a member of the stations “Medical A-Team.” Which means that, to the degree that they paid him for this editorial (as part of his larger contract with the station), this is as much Fox’s view as it is his.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I believe that the Obama administration is conducting psychological warfare on conservative Americans.

    You know what? Based on the mental state of today’s Republicans, I believe Obama is winning too.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My belief that psychological warfare is being deployed on Americans by this American president and his administration has been solidified as news has come out of the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

    I know I am not supposed to confuse the issue with anything as staid and old fashioned as facts, but…..

    “The IRS office in Cincinnati which decides whether to exempt such groups from income tax singled out 72 of them for scrutiny because they were openly affiliated with the Tea Party movement, together with 24 others whose names included associated labels such as “patriot”.”

    However a further 226 other political groups were also placed in the same review whose affiliations were not immediately apparent from their name alone, which is often the case among liberal campaign groups. It remains unknown how many of these were in fact Democrat-leaning groups, partly because individual names cannot be publicly released under IRS confidentiality laws.”

    It would seem the IRS was “targeting” conservative groups with all the subtlety of a cluster bomb.

  20. James Joyner says:

    @Matt Bernius: I love it when a plan comes together.

  21. Matt Bernius says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    It would seem the IRS was “targeting” conservative groups with all the subtlety of a cluster bomb.

    Correct — it was completely inept. The issue is that 100% of the groups whose names included “Tea Party”, “Patriots”, and “9/12.” It was entirely inappropriate (and ineffective — review showed only 19% of those groups should have been flagged based on content).

  22. Moosebreath says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “Based on the mental state of today’s Republicans, I believe Obama is winning too.”

    Isn’t fighting against an unarmed foe a violation of the Geneva Conventions?

  23. Franklin says:

    Personally, I thought this was one of Joyner’s best pieces, helped greatly by Ablow unintentionally setting him up like a professional beach volleyball player.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    It was entirely inappropriate

    This is where I disagree. I think it was entirely appropriate to flag obviously political organizations (and don’t anyone try to tell me the Tea Party is not political) for heightened scrutiny. Where it may have been inappropriate is if obviously liberal political organizations where not subjected to the same.

    And according to the article, we may never be able to answer that question because of confidentiality rules with in the IRS, and the obvious demagoguery by the GOP.

    My solution would be to just blow up the whole 501C4 thing.

  25. Rafer Janders says:

    It was reinforced by the first lady stating during the 2008 presidential campaign that she had never felt pride in our country.

    Laura Bush said that?!?!

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    Even if we grant that Obama intentionally left our embassy unprotected while anticipating an attack—an assumption for which no evidence exists—the notion that it would have that impact makes no sense.

    Well, there’s also the fact that we don’t have an embassy in Benghazi. The US Embassy in Libya is in Tripoli, and it was not attacked.

  27. ihazconservative says:

    When a headline asks a questions, the answer is always “no”.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    (and ineffective — review showed only 19% of those groups should have been flagged based on content).

    Also, as I understand it, from you and others, the way the rules are written for how an organization qualifies as a 501C4 is so vague as to be all but meaningless. Read one way with a particular emphasis, they qualify. Read another way with a slightly different emphasis? They don’t.

    I find the whole thing a ridiculous mess that was long in coming. Almost predictable. (always easy to say that in hindsight)

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Isn’t fighting against an unarmed foe a violation of the Geneva Conventions?

    It’s OK in this case because the GOP doesn’t recognize the Geneva Conventions.

  30. anjin-san says:

    @ James Joyner

    While this story is mildly amusing, I think you should really spend some time pondering the fact that this is your party. You choose to be a part of this organized psychosis.

    You, not Keith Ablow, are the odd man out in today’s GOP.

  31. G.A.Phillips says:

    Hey? And I thought it was the cool aid….

  32. JKB says:

    Ah, the psy op started long ago in the 1920s with the long march through the institutions. Obama, rather than being a grand psychological master, was more a victim as he brought so much out into the open. We learn more each day and with each scandal. The failure of big government to do things competently, the proclivity for the use of big government to abuse those disagreed with, etc. Not to mention, the general and widespread failure of Blue State politics.

    If there is a psy op it is against the warriors of the social welfare state. Nothing can break a will to fight faster than seeing all your success in imposing your will dashed in the face of the enemy (reality) as each piece crumbles under its own weight.

  33. Matt Bernius says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    This is where I disagree. I think it was entirely appropriate to flag obviously political organizations (and don’t anyone try to tell me the Tea Party is not political) for heightened scrutiny. Where it may have been inappropriate is if obviously liberal political organizations where not subjected to the same.

    Disagree — it would have been appropriate to flag them based on content. But to select based on name just isn’t correct — especially when you are selecting 100% of all applications with those names.

    Again, the review of the objective data demonstrates this to be the case. According to section 1 of the TIGTA Audit, 69% of all applications flagged for “potential political review” were correctly flagged. But when we look at the use of the “Tea Party” BOLO list, the success rate drops to 17%. And given that all “potential political review” were, in general, not given a timely review, the fact that 83% of Tea Party applications were stalled for multiple years for no other reason than their name, is truly problematic.
    Update: I got these numbers backwards. The fact is that the BOLO List turned out to be *right* 83% of the time. See this post for more information.

    Now, if the review process for all “potential political review” cases wasn’t such an utter cluster-f, then the inappropriate use of the name would have had less of an effect. But no such mechanism was in place.

    Simply selecting based on name, especially without a mechanism for an expedited content check to back up the initial selection, is fundamentally inappropriate.

  34. One thing I think would help is to eliminate the idea of a non-profit organization entirely. It’s activities, nor organizations that should be considered tax exempt. And organization would be able to deduct expenses that qualify, and obviously some organizations would have a much larger range of their activities qualify than others. Nice thing is that by focusing on activities rather than organizations as a whole is we could also eliminate other problems like BS charities that don’t actually do much charity work and exist primarily to pay huge sums to their directors.

  35. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol , 99% of my followers hate me, but I got followers….

  36. Sam Malone says:

    @ jkb…

    “…The failure of big government to do things competently…”

    it’s funny…i’ve never had food poisoning, or been in an airplane crash. i’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles (maybe a million?) on nice roads. my parents rely on a very reliable socialized health care system. and they recieve socialized support payments regularly. mail shows up in my mailbox every single day…and i can’t remember ever being aware of anything lost. all thanks to what you call the incompetent big government.
    frankly…it’s clear you are full of shit…based purely on the evidence.

  37. John D'Geek says:

    I have discovered a truyly remarkable reply to this article. Unfortunately the margins are too small to contain the proof …

    (+10 Geek Points to anyone who recognizes where I stole this from)

  38. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Maybe Ablow was the impetus behind Obama’s mental health speech.

  39. MM says:

    Dr. Keith Ablow was also the doctor who diagnosed Casey Anthony based on watching the trial on TV. He’s one step above the guy who reads Obama’s thoughtprints for WorldNetDaily.

  40. reid says:

    Sad that a PhD psychologist, of all people, isn’t more sensitive to his own mental problems. Such is the nature of insanity, I guess….

  41. Franklin says:

    @anjin-san: What is your goal of repeating the same thing in every thread? If you drove all the reasonable people out of the GOP (granted, a rapidly diminishing number as is), we’d be left with essentially a one-party system which personally I’m not looking forward to.

  42. Fermat says:

    Hey Geek…stop plagarizing me…dammit!!!

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @John D’Geek: First name starts with a P. If I say more, everyone will know.

  44. R. Steckel says:

    @John D’Geek: Fermat’s Last fear-them?

  45. Spartacus says:

    @Franklin:

    If you drove all the reasonable people out of the GOP (granted, a rapidly diminishing number as is), we’d be left with essentially a one-party system which personally I’m not looking forward to.

    There is a much greater need to try to solve the country’s current problems than there is to maintain the charade that we have two political parties. We do not have two parties that are trying to use the political process to govern well. Only one party is trying to do that. As long as JJ and all the other “reasonable people” continue to vote GOP none of this will change for the better.

    It’s cute and all that James writes this post criticizing Ablow, who is no less ridiculous than most in the GOP. But which is worse, believing everything Ablow believes or voting for people who believe what Ablow believes? By making fun of Ablow, James avoids the real work of answering for his own foolishness in voting for a party that pursues policies that are premised on beliefs that are as crazy as Ablow’s.

  46. anjin-san says:

    @ Franklin

    I don’t want to drive James out of the GOP, but I do want him to stop being an enabler for the crazies. I’m tired of the ugly reality of GOP politics being dismissed as “silly” and “bizarre”…

  47. Franklin says:

    @G.A.Phillips: So you’ve got something like a cult, do you?

  48. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    “…The failure of big government to do things competently…”

    Did you hear that damn Bin Laden released another video?

  49. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    “…The failure of big government to do things competently…”

    Curiosity photos from Mars