Monday, March 14, 2011

Bradley Manning P.R. Flak Admits Deliberate Lie; Refuses to Correct Deceptive Press Release

Do publicists ever lie on purpose? Do they ever admit to lying, but then refuse to correct their misinformation?You be the judge.

To help you make your decision, I will present evidence in the form of a dialogue between myself and an actual publicist. First the excerpt.

Me: So you knew it was wrong when you sent it out?
FitzGibbon Principal Publicist Naomi Seligman: Yes.
Me: When are you sending out the correction?
Seligman: I don't think I'll send a correction.

Now for the background.

As we all know, accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning currently lives in the Quantico Marine base brig while awaiting trial on beaucoup charges that could land him in prison for the rest of his life. Apparently the young Army Pfc doesn't like being in jail. In order to raise public sympathy for his cause, the accused traitor has secured the services of a public relations firm. Enter FitzGibbon Media.

Today FitzGibbon sent out a press release.

The missive had a hyperbolic meet-us-in-Quantico headline:

Hundreds to Gather to Condemn Abu-Ghraib Treatment at Quantico as Un-American

It continued with:
[blah blah...blah blah blah...yappity yap... more hyperbole, 
followed by list of supporters only a Weather Undergroundsman could love]

And then the good stuff:

On the evening of March 2, 2011 PFC Manning was inexplicably stripped of all his clothing by the Quantico Brig and left naked in his cell for the next seven hours. His clothes were returned to him the following morning only after he stood to attention in front of the rest of the clothed inmates, still naked. The same thing occurred the following night and morning and it is now unclear when or if this treatment will end.

Sounds horrendous, right? No one should be made to sleep naked without good reason. Which is precisely the case with Bradley Manning. The accused prospective-life-prisoner lost his clothes because they endangered his life.

How so?

Before Manning lost his night clothes, he openly talked about suicide. He didn't just mention it in passing. He specifically told someone how he would kill himself. In suicide prevention lingo, this falls under the category of "having a plan." Which requires intervention.

Manning's plan involved killing himself with his underwear. And yes, it can be done. Jail inmates have been known to hang or strangle or choke themselves with all sorts of found objects, including the reworked waistbands of their Fruit of the Looms. The Marine Corps guards had no choice but to act on Manning's threat in such a way as to ensure his safety. If he had been a depressed Marine threatening to shoot himself, they would have confiscated his weapon. In this case, they properly took away his underwear. As an aside, can you imagine the resulting discourse if Manning had been found lifeless with his underwear tightly cinched around his neck after making that threat?

Now, back to the press release.

I did not understand why, in light of the suicide threat and resulting sensible action, FitzGibbon claimed that Manning was inexplicably stripped of his clothing. I thought perhaps the p.r. firm mistakenly had sent out a draft or an incomplete version of the press release. I called the person who sent me the notice.

The following is excerpted from my conversation with Naomi Seligman, who runs FitzGibbon's west coast office.

Molotov cocktail, anyone?
Me: I think I might have received only a partial version of the Bradley Manning press release. Is that possible?
Naomi: It went out okay. You should have the entire press release.
Me: Something is missing from the one I got. Mine says he was inexplicably stripped of his clothing.
Naomi: [silence]
Me: But he lost his clothing because he said he would use it to kill himself.
Naomi: We didn't detail everything about that.
Me: About why his clothes were taken away?

Naomi: Right.
Me: But it's not inexplicable. There is a reason.
Naomi: I understand that. It's been reported.
Me: He said he was going to kill himself with his underwear.
Naomi: What you know is right.
Me: About him threatening to kill himself with his underwear....
Naomi: Right.

Me: I'm looking through the press release, and I don't see that in here, where they took his clothes because he said he would kill himself with his underwear.
Naomi: We didn't put that piece in there.
Me: Why not?
Naomi: This is just an advisory for the rally.
Me: But that is the point of the rally. To protest mistreatment. You say he inexplicably lost his clothes. But there is a legitimate explanation for why his clothes were taken away.
Naomi: I don't think we're going to clarify that.
Me: About why his clothes were taken away?
Naomi: Right.
Me: But your press release gives a false picture of what happened.
Naomi: It's only an advisory...
Me: get people to come to the rally?
Naomi: Yes.

Me: The press release is wrong. It's inaccurate. When are you sending out the correction?
Naomi: I don't think I'll send a correction.
Me: Okay, so just to clarify. The information in there is misleading; you know it's misleading; but you're leaving it as is?
Naomi: Yes.

Made up your mind yet on those questions I asked?

The rally is 2 p.m. on Sunday near the main entrance at Quantico. Participants will include Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, and retired Army Col Ann Wright, last seen schmoozing with Hamas operatives and thumbing her nose at Israel during the Mavi Marmara incident.

Other FitzGibbons clients include the "progressive" group Win Without War; the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo; and agit-propsters


Anonymous said...

Who is paying for him to have a "publicist"?

BillT said...

I hope no one here is stunned to learn that Lefties prevaricate.

Problem is, they're victims of arrested development.

Like, about age six.

They believe they're entitled to whatever someone else has in addition to whatever they have, they can't control their emotions, they live in a fantasy dimension, and they lie even when they're caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I'm looking into the payment question now. Stay tuned...

Funny you should mention the lying, Bill. According to Naomi's boss, Trevor FitzGibbon, Naomi never said those things to me. Uh, huh...

Jumpmaster said...

Keep it up, Susan. Stay on it.

Baroness Ophelia Kensington-Gore said...

Unless you recorded the phone call, her boss will insist that she never said anything like it to you. Or even that she never even spoke to you.

j lynn chase said...

I wanna know who's paying the bill. Some leftist org is probably picking up the tab for this weasel. I hope it isn't being done with my tax money!!! That would be adding insult to injury. Will be waiting for an update on this nefarious PR person. She needs a new job. Like advertising where they pay you to lie!

BillT said...

Public Relations *is* a branch of the advertising game -- it specializes in something called "donut truth."

They'll tell you the truth, but there's a big hole in the middle of it.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I don't get the part about the accused traitor being allowed to meet with a publicist. Manning already has shown himself to be untrustworthy. So now he gets to run a public relations scam from the comfort of his jail cell? Must be nice.

Anonymous said...

This is typical diatribe from the right wing. Private Manning in entitled to his due process, just like every other American.

BillT said...

Hi, Anon.

Congratulations on fitting both a Lefty talking point and a total non-sequitur into such a short space.

Susan Katz Keating said...

And where is he being deprived of his due process? Although, as a member of the armed forces, he falls under the UCMJ...

BillT said...

Now, now, Mizz Susan -- Anon's just practicin' to be a PR flak, don'tcha know...

Susan Katz Keating said...

The words are oddly similar to ones the PR flak boss-man used when he talked me last night....

Now, why is that, I wonder....?

LL said...

Anonymous, let me address a few thinking points you might want to take under consideration:

1. Definition of diatribe: a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism

There is criticism in this post, but mostly a calling out of a BIG FAT LIE.

2. Manning is getting due process. He is represented by an attorney and will be going to court martial to face his charges.

3. This post is about Susan's conversation with Naomi Seligman and what she had to say about the prevarication in the press release.

4. Pull your head out of your ass because the lack of oxygen is interfering with your reading comprehension.

BillT said...

If Anon is the best Manning's got pulling for him, he's Leavenworth-bound...

Susan Katz Keating said...


*high five,* Loops, on that scientific observation re the effect of oxygen deprivation on brain function.

Bill, I agree... but Manning seems to be playing under Special Rules. I'm not going to bet the brass cannon just yet...

BillT said...

His lawyer's saying that Manning only joked about committing suicide, and the brig personnel took him seriously.

I wonder how that will fly in court, particularly when there are signs posted in every airport in the country, stating, "Don't say 'hijack' or 'bomb' to the security personnel -- even jokingly."

There are some places where even a joke *must* be taken as an actual threat, lest an actual threat be taken to be a joke -- and if Manning *did* kill himself due to the brig personnel failing to act on his remark, the Libs would be howling like banshees, demanding that every Marine in Quantico be hanged, drawn, and quartered.

BillT said...

BTW, Anon, ol' chum?

Where in the law does it state that "due process" requires including publicity agents for the defendant?

Susan Katz Keating said...

It's very easy to claim after the fact that he was joking. Maybe he was - maybe he wasn't. But in this case especially, where the "joker" potentially faces life in prison, you have to proceed with caution.

If Manning really did kill himself? What a nightmare... of conspiracy theories, murder accusations, you name it.

Hmmm... kind of makes me wonder. In terms of p.r., the Manning folk would get far more mileage out of a dead martyr. So... they want the Marines to ignore the suicide threat? Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

You should be put in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for months and months before even seeing a judge, and then stripped naked after you make a joke about killing yourself. You´re a farce.

Anonymous said...

He should be have been taken out, blindfolded, and shot. Then we wouldn't have all this BS about his "rights." Military traitors are different than normal lawbreakers.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!!!! A voice of reason! Ms. Keating, THANK YOU. Keep them honest. Your doing a wonderful job.

BillT said...

You should be put in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for months and months before even seeing a judge...

And the Clueless Wonder returns.

He was remanded for pretrial confinement by a military judge's order, dipstick -- he's subject to the UCMJ, not civil law.

If you're a sample of the best the Bradley Manning Fan Club can do, he's guaranteed to be spending the remainder of his life in Leavenworth.