|Cartoon illustrating the effectiveness of using the |
'character assassination' weapon to subjugate a
targeted group by destroying their leadership.
Simon King - Why were there so many political killings in the USA in the 1960’s (JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King) and none since?
Muhammad Rasheed - The cartel involved in directing these extreme political actions later decided the high-profile nature of the killings caused more long-term problems (in the form of blowback) than they were intended to solve. Having the affect of martyring the victim, the killings actually radicalized both the followers, and others heavily sympathetic to the late political figure’s cause. This created a whole new militant group larger and potentially more dangerous to the oppressive status quo than the original movement that influenced them.
Consequently, in their efforts to subjugate a targeted group more effectively than crudely assassinating their leaders, the cartel instead switched to a ‘character assassination’ plan. Designed to sour the followers’ opinion of a leader by revealing and/or falsifying leaked information that will cause the figure to lose public credibility, the new tactic had the advantage in not only stopping the momentum of the leader’s activist efforts, but also dissolved the often critical public support.