Sheherazad Ja'Afari, a U.N. based press attache in New York for the Syrian mission to the United Nations, exposes more about the American media and its capacity to be influenced by 'liberal guilt' in one email than conservative news sites could accomplish in a year.
Last night, hackers associated with the loose collective 'Anonymous' leaked the emails from the inboxes of 78 staffers from the mail server of the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs, revealing some interesting observations about the American media.
Hundreds of emails from Syrian President Bashar Assad's office were leaked on Monday after an attack by the hacker group Anonymous. One of the email files, which Haaretz has obtained, was a document preparing Assad for his December 2011 interview with ABC's Barbara Walters.
The attack took place overnight Sunday and the target was the mail server of the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs. Some 78 inboxes of Assad's aides and advisers were hacked and the password that some used was "12345". Among those whose email was exposed were the Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Fadlallah Azzam and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.
In one of the leaked emails, Ja'Afari outlines for another aide her coaching tips to Assad in preparation for an interview that occurred on ABC with Barbara Walters last December. Ja'Afari , who is also the daughter of Syrian Ambassador to the UN, advises that "[the] American psyche can be easily manipulated" and that he[Assad] should "prey on liberal guilt;" she also invoked the police response to the Occupy protests as an analogy.
Assad's TV interview with Walters was memorable for his repeated denials that Syrian citizens were being killed. "We don't kill our people ... no government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person," Assad told Walters.
About 10 days before the interview, Sheherazad Jaafari - a press attache at the Syrian mission to the United Nations - sent a long email to former Al Jazeera journalist Luna Chebel, who now works in Assad's bureau. She also sent the email to an aide of Shaaban's. Jaafari, who was involved in arranging the interview with Walters, also happens to be the daughter of the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Dr. Bashar Jaafari. […]
She advised: "It is hugely important and worth mentioning that 'mistakes' have been done in the beginning of the crises because we did not have a well-organized 'police force.' American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it.' It's worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by policemen, police dogs and beatings."
Jaafari also recommended that Assad say: "Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA, where there are courses and schools that specialize in teaching policemen and officers how to torture."She advised using Abu Ghraib in Iraq or execution via electric chair as more examples.
Advising on how to exploit the US media, Ja'Afari offered some additional insight in the leaked email:
'Prey on liberal guilt about the behaviour of Western troops engaged in conflicts in the Middle East'
'The comments that follow any article in the American Media are a very important tool to use in the interview. The Americans now believe that their government has failed two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are asking their government to stop interfering in other countries businesses and sovereignty and to start taking care of the American internal issues.'
'It is worth mentioning that when Obama asked H.E. to step down he himself have had a 70% decrease of his popularity in the States.'
'It would be worth mentioning how your personality has been attacked and praised in the last decade according to the media. At one point H.E. was viewed as a hero and in other times H.E. was the 'bad guy'. Americans love these kinds of things get convinced by it.'
'We can use Noland and Hillary’s statements encouraging armed groups to not give up their weapons as a “clear” way of asking for a civil war in Syria.'
The email also describes the arrangement for the interview's broadcast, indicating it would be shown across ABC News platforms to as many as 100 million people – including "ABC World News," "Good Morning America," "This Week," "ABC Radio, Nightline," and ABC News Digital (including Yahoo).
You can watch that interview here.
That's a lot of manipulated media to digest.