Escalating cover-up : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Well, here it is folks, the government's official happy-face cover-up strategy, reported in today's Wired News:

-- Shimrod (, January 26, 1999


There's only one reason the White House would want Y2K meetings closed: the information being presented is worse than we can imagine.

-- Spidey (, January 26, 1999.

Think I'm gonna faint.

The good news is - the sheep are stirring.

Now, about that speech Miss Abrams gave that encouraged responsible, community-based preparation - the one NOT given on US soil........... must this now be retracted?

Most excellent catch, Shimrod. Thanks.

-- lisa (, January 26, 1999.

It's one thing for the government to lay the facts on the table and then argue about what the facts mean - it's another to simply hide the facts.

The real problem I see here is the 'information hiding' - for example, if they follow through with their apparent desire to restrict public access to the GAO quarterly reports, they will end up creating the very panic they are trying to avoid.

It's a very, very bad idea. If the facts are so disturbing that they cannot be released to the public, then we must assume the worst.

-- Arnie Rimmer (, January 26, 1999.

Shimrod, Thanks for the heads-up. I was unaware that the GAO's industry readiness report had been deep-sixed. I'm starting to think that the lone person who applauded Clinton's State of the Union y2k mention must have been the only one who did *not* realize the extent of the problem.

-- Puddintame (, January 26, 1999.

Expect to see an even bigger pendulum swing highlighting Y2K good news, especially if Koskinen hires the P.R. firm. The question still remains, is it ACCURATE and TRUTHFUL good news.

Well, Declan, this is a better reporting job than the Time Magazine article at least. And, for the most part, Wired does a very good reporting job. What does this all mean? Expect more dis-information, and dig deeper for the glimmerings of truth.

Diane *Big Sigh*

-- Diane J. Squire (, January 26, 1999.

Even though Koskinen said as recently as two weeks ago that "our strategy is Do they really believe that by keeping the public in the dark, that they are going to avoid a panic. two things that struck me in this article were:

based on the premise that the public has great common sense and will respond appropriately when they have the necessary information," the Clinton administration and Congress have taken steps to close meetings.

[the necessary info has been all filed with lies, close the doors to the public and that little black box in our heads will really get going]

"There's a certain necessity, to a degree, in having private meetings. We want to encourage people to be candid about their progress, and opening the meetings up to the press and the public doesn't always encourage candor," Gribben said.

[What a joke, the @&$%ing gov't will have the next 9 months to prepare themselves before the pollyanna's come to the conclusion "OH &#it were in trouble]

The truth is when you try to cover things up as in closed door meetings, people will always fear the worst. Wait until the senate is done with Clinton and the media doesn't have a homerun story. I will bet anything that the Y2K story will be dragged through the mud, just as O.J. & cigar smokin Slick Willy. Then thins will get real ugly. Have you ever seen a pollyanna sprint through a Home depot, screaming? Don't worry, you will!!!!


-- Matt (, January 26, 1999.

I think I'm gonna faint, then puke then choke and die.

As someone not afraid to call black black, and white white, I now point out that this is a government conspiracy. Look up the word conspiracy if you've recoiled from the word. Go ahead, the word won't bite you.

If this Wired article is factual, it has deep meaning. We now have proof that the conspiring government will be responsible for the deaths of unprepared people. Whether it's 10 people or 100 million. There will be deaths, it's a given.

-- Chris (, January 26, 1999.

He-he-he. I think a government sponsored happy-face campaign will cause panic by persuading the sheeple that the government *is* hiding the truth. "Don't worry, folks, your government says that Y2K is no problem. A public service announcement sponsored by John Koskinen" Ma, hurry down to Costco, pronto!

'Course, the only truly fallacious Y2K prophecies so far have been those that predicted panic in 1998, including mine. Yeah, sure.

-- BigDog (, January 26, 1999.

Remember, nothing is confirmed untill officially denied.


-- LM (, January 26, 1999.

Here are what I think are two key quotes from the article...

John Koskinen, assistant to President Clinton and chairman of the White House's Y2K council, has entered into discussions with a public relations firm, Wired News has learned.


When an industry-advisory group met for the first time last Thursday, members fretted over how to prevent public overreaction to Y2K. The members of the group include incoming Securities Industry Association chairman Roy Zuckerberg, United Airlines chairman Jerry Greenwald, North American Electric Reliability Council chairman Erle Nye, and Scott Anderson of the American Bankers Association.

-- Kevin (, January 26, 1999.

There's an article in this month's Year/2000 Journal concerning spin doctors: "Year/2000 and corporate communication." The authors, Robert W. Blanning and Frederick E. Talbott, are at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Business, "where they are teaching and doing research on the implications of Year/2000 for public relations and crisis communications." The article is designed to help Y2K professionals communicate with crisis communications professionals and "orchestrate" (unfortunate choice of word) efforts.

Crisis communication responsibilities will be to: "Inform communications professionals of any changes in their organization's remediation efforts; provide explanations and assistance when problems begin to surface; and help quash rumors."

The authors conclude: "The Year/2000 problem poses fascinating opportunities to create more open, direct communication lines within and between organizations and everyone they impact: customers, suppliers and the public. Effective communication can create and maintain understanding, order and trust in the most trying of situations."

The article is much lengthier than these brief notes would suggest; however, these few points have no doubt been part of "crisis communications professionals'" advice to the government, especially the "provide explanations," "quash rumors," "create understanding," and "maintain. . . order" bits.

-- Old Git (, January 26, 1999.

A friend of mine e-mailed me that Hugh Downs was on the local radio talk show telling everyone to be calm, everything was going to be OK. Anyone else hear this?

-- Gayla Dunbar (, January 26, 1999.

Closed meetings are getting to be the norm in Washington. I think we will be seeing more of them.

-- Linda A. (, January 26, 1999.

Someone tell me this. If we can learn the details of grand jury testimony within minutes why can't someone get their hands on and entire document(GAO industry readiness report) that took an army of people weeks to prepare and which was then presented to an audience?

-- Puddintame (, January 26, 1999.

Just pick a GAO, General Accounting Office Y2K report, any report. Tons of em.

Year 2000 Computing Crisis
GAO Reports and other GAO Publications

Which one did you have in mind, Puddintame?


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 27, 1999.

Declan's Wired article needs to be bookmarked by all of us for easy, future reference. This is probably the biggest Y2K story in awhile. Well, let me put it to you this way: it's been at least two months since I've had a bad day because of Y2K, but Declan's article has made today one of those days for me.

Somebody on another thread recently tried to draw a parallel between Y2K and Pearl Harbor. I'm talking about the rumor, true or not, that Roosevelt knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor, but gave no warning because he had to get the U.S. involved in World War II quickly before Hitler got too strong.

The parallel between Pearl Harbor and Y2K has only been partial because the government has given limited warning on Y2K, such as the whole 60 seconds Clinton devoted to it in his state of the union address. Declan's article, though, increases the parallel between Y2K and what allegedly happened in regard to Pearl Harbor.

It's as if some people at Pearl Harbor thought an attack might be possible, and our government decided to hire a PR firm to persuade the public that such an attack was unlikely.

I admit the government has to walk a fine line on Y2K. And I freely admit that as soon John and Jane Q. Public "get it" (when their local news finally tells them their utilities may not make it), then the stock market and banks are going to start having problems.

But there's a big difference between our government keeping quiet about Y2K, and our government disinforming people on Y2K. Big difference. A line is being crossed. I don't think history will look kindly at a decision to bring in a public relations firm to disinform the public.

I'll be OK tomorrow, but today is a very sad day.

-- Kevin (, January 27, 1999.

Diane, I'm talking about the one being covered-up as mentioned in this post by Shimrod. See hot link which says in part:

"In response to a Senate request, the General Accounting Office last fall compiled reports on each industry's Y2K readiness, but has not yet released the complete results to the public. Some agency Y2K officials even worry that the bulky quarterly reports published by the White House's Office of Management and Budget every four months contain too much information."

-- Puddintame (, January 27, 1999.

There's a second thread going on now about this same subject at...

-- Kevin (, January 27, 1999.

Kevin, exactly. Scared me so bad I had to do some shopping to offset the fear and rage. Y2K stuff, that is. Not shoes.

I think it's too late to prevent people from GI. I'm running into too many GIs randomly anymore.....worst part is if the evidence we need starts getting blacked out, we'll have that much less ammo for alerting/convincing the sheep.

Oh, well. Nobody said this was gonna be easy.......

-- Lisa ($, January 27, 1999.


I've discovered that often they "have" published something quietly, without creating a press release about it. Unfortunately, it means reading through all those reports. Groan!

Pick, one, any one, and you'll probably find out things we don't yet know about the GOV and Y2K.


(P.S. I don't have the time to read them all. I will, however check out some, later).

-- Diane J. Squire (, January 27, 1999.

Thanks for the feedback. I spoke on a panel at the National Press Club this evening. Securities, airline, world bank folks were my fellow panelists. our host? The International Association of PR Agencies or something. I will write a little something about this too.

-- Declan McCullagh (, January 28, 1999.

Having some small experience with foreign language dictionaries, it occurs to me that a non-english speaker who looked up "public" and "relations" could come to the conclusion that it meant, "unhidden screwing of the populace". Maybe not so far wrong at that. . .

-- Hardliner (, January 28, 1999.

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