As the Obama campaign machine prepares to kick things into full gear for 2012, the president is relying on some old tricks to give him a leg up on his competition, including recycling one particularly controversial program to fight "disinformation."
You may recall that in the heat of the health care reform debate, the Obama administration came under fire for encouraging its supporters to collect and forward any "fishy" information about the president's health care plan directly to the White House:
Opponents of health insurance reform may find the truth a little inconvenient, but as our second president famously said, "facts are stubborn things."Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example, to "uncover" the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions.
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.
After widespread outrage of this "internet snitch brigade" exploded across the internet and the media picked up on the story, the White House quickly pulled the plug on the e-tip box. But this kind of creepy "Obama monitoring program" is back -- just in time for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.
The Obama-Biden campaign has launched a new website -- www.AttackWatch.com -- to monitor "inaccuracies... falsehoods... gossip..." and "smears" against President Obama. The BarackObama.com campaign website reads:
If you’re worried about the increasing negativity of the attacks on President Obama and his record, now's your chance to fight back with the facts. Visit AttackWatch.com to learn the truth about frequent smears, track new attacks as they happen, and report false allegations you’ve seen or heard.
We’ve heard it all since 2008, from lies about the Affordable Care Act to false rumors that the Obama administration hasn’t been an ally to Israel. These aren’t just unfounded allegations about the President—they’re attempts to derail the momentum of this movement and undermine everything we’ve accomplished together in the last three years.
At press time, the top feature on Obama's AttackWatch.com was titled "Glenn Beck twists the facts on Israel."
The Obama camp's source on Beck's so-called "lies" is the ever-reliable George Soros-funded Media Matters:
Conservative pundit Glenn Beck added his voice to a growing collection of false allegations about the President’s record on Israel. “We’re talking a lot about Israel,” said Beck. “The President of the United States, I believe, has betrayed our last strong ally.”
So what are the facts, as concocted by the Obama campaign machine? A collection of snipped quotations, not from Beck, but from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak remarking that he “can hardly remember a better period of support.” (Not mentioned is that later in the same interview, Barak admits to Fox News' Greta van Susteren that many Israelis are "not happy with the positions of the [Obama] administration...")
In addition, Israeli President Shimon Peres, a centrist, is also quoted, saying he doesn't "have any doubt" that Obama is a friend of Israel. The site also says that Obama's own former Defense Secretary Robert Gates thinks the president has done more "to improve the US-Israel security relationship... than at any time in his 45-year career." (Gates also recently defended the Obama administration by calling Israel an "ungrateful ally.")
The site includes no mention of how Benjamin Netanyahu feels about the Obama administration's Middle East policy, even though the prime minister has personally met with Obama and delivered remarks before a joint session of Congress.
The AttackWatch site also includes input from ThinkProgress.org -- clearly fair & balanced analysis of these "facts":
To follow all the latest "lies" about President Obama perpetuated by the apparently misinformed masses, check out @AttackWatch on Twitter.