Nightwatch: Ch. 3.2 – Deconstructing Shadows

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[3] Voices of Authority

[3.2] Deconstructing Shadows

Blind Global To: “”
Blind From: “Ms. Information”
Subject: Nightwatch Memo!
Date: 19 February 2260

Time for me to spread my usual “misinformation and harmful ideas,” lucky duckies! Who knew the truth was misinformed and justice could be so harmful?

This time, one of my quiet buddies on the inside got her hot little hands on a Nightwatch internal memo. Oh my stars and garters, you would not believe the things our friends in the Ministry of Peace are talking about. Well, okay, you would, but now you know. Lies, more lies, naked emotional manipulation, sliming opponents, racism, fear and even more lies.

Enough from me. Here are the goods.

[3.2.1] Nightwatch Disposes

I will be blunt. We have a crisis on our hands.

Morale has been shaken, to put it lightly. This absurd video purporting to show Clark taking responsibility for President Santiago’s death is far too conveniently timed, yet it has a supposedly unforgeable code embedded in it. We know, of course, that no code is unbreakable or unforgeable. Who knows what the Minbari or the Vorlons are capable of with their technology? It is outrageous.

And yet there are millions who already believe it, and billions more are starting to have their doubts. Now more than ever, we must reassure them that the Ministry will keep their lives placid and Nightwatch will keep Earth secure. For those reasons, we are authorised to accelerate our time table.

Redundancy checks on disloyalty reports are no longer necessary. If Nightwatch personnel on the ground tell us that someone is causing trouble, that person is to be examined immediately. If the resources are at all available, we are to “embrace” that person as soon as possible, helping him reintegrate into society if he cooperates and finding another solution if not.

Publicity campaigns are being redoubled, and we need every spokesperson we can get to work the echo chamber. The Regional Director wants us to start on this yesterday, and I agree fully. Keep hitting the talking points. This is exactly what we have been warning people about regarding misinformation. Citizens’ thoughts are being disrupted and the peace is threatened. It is at best a slanderous attack on the presidency – remember, we want to make this less about Clark personally and more of an assault on the office itself – and at worst it is a treasonous first step toward open rebellion.

Keep the alien angle subtle but constant. Mention no races by name, but keep talking about the sort of advanced technology required to fake this signal. That part has the advantage of being undeniably true. I want the word “verisimilitude” stamped on every political officer’s forehead when this campaign is over. No one is to say the word “Minbari,” but I want everyone in our region thinking it by the end of the month.

As for the opposition, it is time to go on the political offensive. Throw everything at them and see what sticks. Stay on the “disturbed and unbalanced” front, yes, but also add the other attacks we have discussed. Their sort is always vulnerable to attacks on their patriotism – it is easy to make the proles suspicious of those who ask too many negative questions about the government. Insinuate connections to the opposition and “outsiders.” Again, do not refer to any specific race, but keep the suspicion factor as high as possible. By keeping them on the defensive, we erode their ability to attack the president.

Regarding the president, I cannot stress enough the need to promote him as the One Good Man standing up for Earth. Clark is a visionary, helping to bring mundanes and telepaths together. Clark is a peacemaker, keeping the Alliance out of alien wars and conflicts. Clark is a hero, drawing the line against sedition and corruption. Do not forget to use the word “line” with that talking point, as it evokes memories of the heroic stand at the end of the Earth/Minbari war.

And last but not least, for goodness sake, do not call the Ministry “Minipax” in public. Some people do still read their Orwell.

Philip Coventry

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