BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The USDA & the War on Terror?

People...

The USDA on Iraq: Everything's Coming Up Rosy

You're gonna love this:
Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" -- saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" -- in every speech they give for the department.

"The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began.

The e-mail, sent to about 60 undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and other political appointees, was also sent to "a few people to whom it should not have gone," said the department's communications director, Terri Teuber.
I'm assuming that those "few people" were the career/non-Bushie folk in the USDA.
The career people, we are assured, are not being asked to spread the great news on Iraq in their talks to food stamp recipients, disadvantaged farmers, enviros or other folks.

The e-mail provided language "being used by Secretary [Michael O.] Johanns and deputy secretary [Charles F.] Conner in all of their remarks and is being sent to you for inclusion in your speeches."

Another attachment "contains specific examples of GWOT messages within agriculture speeches. Please use these message points as often as possible and send Harry Phillips , USDA's director of speechwriting, a weekly email summarizing the event, date and location of each speech incorporating the attached language. Your responses will be included in a weekly account sent to the White House.

*

There's a sample introduction: "Several topics I'd like to talk about today -- Farm Bill, trade with Japan, WTO, avian flu . . . but before I do, let me touch on a subject people always ask about . . . progress in Iraq."

See? Smooth as silk.

So then you talk about how "we are helping the Iraqi people build a lasting democracy that is peaceful and prosperous." If it looks like the audience is with you, try to slip in the old Iraq/al-Qaeda/terrorism link and say Americans are helping build a country "that will never again be a safe haven for terrorists."

Loop suggestion: With the polls showing that only about 40 percent of those surveyed actually still buy the linkage thing, you may want to use some discretion here lest you lose the audience.

The e-mail shows how to weave in a comment that times are tough for Iraqi farmers. "But revitalization is underway. President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq structured on three tracks -- political, economic and security."
Hopefully, this stuff will be applied to the other agencies (Dept of Interior, HUD, FDA, yada yada).

Examples:

1) "I'm here today to celebrate the re-opening of over 150,000 acres of land in the Teton National Forest. I'm also here to celebrate...the Global War on Terror...and the importance of fighting the evildoers over there...before we have to fight them over here.

Imagine if...Al-Qaeda attacked the Broulim's (grocery store) in Driggs...or the post office in Swan Valley."


2) "HUD has been working closely with the governor's office...and making great progress in the construction of over 500 new homes for some of Baltimore's neediest families.

Just like the President, who is making great progress in Iraq...and the Global War on Terror."


3) "The FDA will apply tougher standards to the pharmaceutical companies who are creating these new vaccines, and will provide important information to families who are concerened about autism and vaccinating their childrern.

Our goal is the health and well being of every newborn child in the United States of America...and victory in the Global War on Terror."

More later...

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