An Anonymous-affliliated hacker group has stolen and leaked hundreds of damaging emails from Syria's Ministry of Presidential Affairs including a damning thread regarding the manipulation of American opinion of President Assad's dissent-crushing tactics.
The talking-points thread, a translation of which can be read here, was sent from Sheherazad Jaafari, a Syrian press attache, to Presidential aide Luna Chebel just before Assad's recent Barbara Walters interview. Apparently, the Syrian government doesn't think too highly of the American people's intellect.
Highlights include Americans' disinterest in reform:
The American audience doesn't really care about reforms. They won't understand it and they are not interested to do so. Thus, a brief mention of the reforms done in the past couple of months is more than enough.
as well as comparing the bloody crackdown and media blackout to the Occupy Movement:
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". Its worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by police men, police dogs and beatings.
and my personal favorite:
Bloodshed is another subject brought up in the American media. There is no mention of how many "soldiers and security forces have been killed". They think that bloodshed is done by the government to attack the "innocent civilians" and "peaceful demonstrators". Mentioning "armed groups" in the interview is extremely important and we can use "American and British articles" to prove that there are "armed gangs".
In addition to the emails, Anonymous exposed login information for 78 Ministry accounts—35 of which were a variation of 12345. Hey, that's the same combination I have on my luggage. [Haaretz via Ars Technica]
Image: the AP