unwarranted fear

Image: Michelle Guimaraes


By occupying the minds of Brazilians with potocas, journalists do not help the democratic struggle

There were those who shivered with fear when reading the report of the Folha de São Paulo entitled “Army buys equipment to access cell phones and is silent about reasons”. Nothing could be more understandable, at a time when the skinny democracy we have left is threatened.

The newspaper insinuates that the Army is preparing to extract “data from cell phones, from cloud systems on the devices and from public records stored on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram”. Well, this is commonplace in military intelligence. The newspaper reported that the chicken eats corn. It is impossible for armed corporations to stay alert without basic technical resources.

The journalist says that, “for the first time”, the Army buys such a tool. The reserve colonel of Heraldo Makrakris added: it is “another” tool. The report is so shallow and misleading that another colonel, Marcelo Pimentel, joked: the journalist should win the prize Pulitzer.

The reporter made the reader think about theft when he informed that the purchase was made without bidding. Didn't you know it's bizarre to advertise that kind of purchase? And that, if there was publicity, was it intentional, as Colonel Marcelo Pimentel warned?

The reporter also made the poor reader imagine terrible plans, by highlighting that the purchase was authorized by General Paulo Sérgio, today Minister of Defense dedicated to harassing the TSE on account of electronic ballot boxes.

In these matters, the necessary reporting should address the intentions of the news leaks, teaches Piero Leirner, a dedicated researcher of hybrid warfare. The performance of the military is directed towards the conditioning of society. They are interested in creating environments that they call “psychosocial” and, in this sense, they surreptitiously use the unsuspecting press or in bad faith.

It is not up to Brazilians to fear the espionage capacity of military corporations. Warriors, the more informed they are, the better they prepare for their missions. The worrying thing is the purposes of the espionage. Was it to accompany the step by step of the numerous foreign agents involved in our business?

What should make citizens uneasy is the obsessed concern of the military with the “internal enemy”, which transforms him, to the joy of the potential foreign aggressor, into a hunter of citizens dissatisfied with the socioeconomic order. What is frightening is the personality disorder of the Brazilian military who, by dedicating himself to the maintenance of law and order, abandons his primary function of preparing himself to face the hostile foreigner.

What must astonish Brazilians is the dependence of military corporations on weapons and equipment from foreign powers. In other words: the inability to defend the country with its own weapons and the permanent improvement of industrial-military complexes that terrorize the world.

By occupying the minds of Brazilians with potocas, journalists do not help the democratic struggle. They act as transmitters of military designs. Will it be that one day we will see big newspapers sending reporters to Washington to tell us what the hell the commissions of the Brazilian Armed Forces are doing in the United States? That is indeed frightening.

Since the Second World War we have maintained permanent military offices in this country. The wasted public resources would be enough to change the course of prose in Defense policy.

* Manuel Domingos Neto is a retired UFC/UFF professor, former president of the Brazilian Defense Studies Association (ABED) and former vice president of CNPq.

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