Margaret DeB. Tutwiler has given up. In a short communiqué she stated she was quitting her job as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy to become Director of Communications of the New York Stock Exchange.
Since January 2004, she tried to “sell” the image of the United States to the world in general and the Arab public in particular. But the bureaucratic conflicts, the strategic incoherencies and especially the pictures of the coffins of the American soldiers dead in Iraq and the tortures in Abu Ghraib put paid to her patience. Millions of dollars can not hide Washington’s real foreign policy.

Margaret DeB. Tutwiler

For sure, hiring someone for the post will not be easy for Colin L Powell. Charlotte Beers, the famous advertising agent of the rice company Uncle Bens, quit too after a year in such a job and several months passed before Powell could replace her. No one wanted to be kamikaze anymore for all efforts turn against the person who makes them.
Thus, Tutwiler had organized several months ago a guided tour for journalists to the Abu Ghraib prison. It was about telling the world that the liberation of Iraq had led to the normalization of a prison that had been the symbol of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. The public relations agent told the press that inmates felt so good in the prison that some of them did not want to leave it. _ But, the truth is that it is still a center of torture and Tutwiler was the only one who did not know it. The pictures of the services made by the 800 brigade were taken up again in the press accompanied by the anachronical comments of the public relations office.

Iraqi prisoner tortured by the United States Army in Abu Ghraib prison, Baghdad, Iraq

But the problem is even worst. Washington’s policy is the result of the unstable balance between the pressure groups. Therefore, every topic has several strategies instead of one, which are implemented at the same time. The control of a group depends on the circumstances. But these delaying maneuvers can not be “sold” to the international public opinion. The only long-term strategy accepted by all the elements of power is the world domination. But, by definition, domination is imposed by the use of force and no advertising can make it attractive.

Today, we know that a Strategic Communication Policy Coordinating Committee (SCPCC) was founded in the National Security Council last September 10, 2002. It is co-chaired by Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy (Beers, then Tutwiler) and special assistant to the president for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations (Shirin Tahir-Kheli). Among others, the said committee comprises the National Security Council director for counter-terrorism, the White House communications director and the head of the Coalition Office of Global Communications. In real life, this committee only meets once every three months and has made no decisions. As usual, “meetingitis” has only exacerbated bureaucratic rivalries.

The State Department has become so inefficient that only the Pentagon can beat it. There is always a contradiction between conventional diplomacy, aimed at the States, and public diplomacy (or propaganda) aimed at the public opinion. With the purpose of not losing his credibility, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, founded in 1953 an independent communications agency, the United States Information Agency (USIA), out of the range of the State Department. But during the Kosovo war, propaganda was mixed with conventional diplomacy: Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright intoxicated the allied States and the public opinion too. However, due to the pressure of Senator Jesse Helms, who wanted to make some savings in the budget, the USIA was annexed to the State Department and half of its workers were fired. But since the invasion of Iraq, the public opinion and that of governments have been quite different and the State Department has been implementing a double discourse. Besides, as time passed by, the staff of the Voice of America and of other official media became independent due to the establishment of another agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). Some journalists feel certain pleasure when they criticize their government’s action on live reports and show the internal contradictions which actually undermine the general message. That is counterproductive.
Now, the White House has two communication services: the first one for the presidency and the second one for the Coalition. Or maybe this is just a way to believe that there is a Coalition of free and equal states which together defend mankind, for there are only complementary forces of the Empire. The reader will be shocked by the fact that the Coalition Office of Global Communications is included in the Internet server of the White House though it is unknown to the other States of the “Coalition”. The US Department of Defense implements four types of external communication:

 Information Operations (IO) aimed at destabilizing the adversaries;

 Public Advertising (PA) aimed at praising the quality of its work;

 Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) aimed at intoxicating, demoralizing and manipulating;

 The spread of information aimed at imposing its own analysis.

Each service works in a compartmentalized way and usually gets into the other’s field of action.

Patricia S. Harrison

In the surrounding cacophony, Margaret DeB. Tutwiler’s function will be temporarily guaranteed by Patricia S. Harrison, Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Culture. But she should not do anything. Such an authority vacuum should be useful for the Department of Defense. It is known that the former Office of Strategic Influence, which was used to manipulate world wide the September 11 shock, was officially dissolved though effectively redesigned. Consequently, Donald Rumsfeld will be free to do whatever he wants. The troubles of the American communications also show that, contrary to its objectives, the lies-producing machine is used today primarily to intoxicate the internal public opinion on the consensus issues of the ruling class and not to sell the image of the United States abroad, a process which identifies totalitarian regimes.