Revealed: All the president's media tricks

Jerusalem

Bashar al-Assad was advised before appearing on American TV to admit to some policing "mistakes", but to argue that Wall Street protesters were also being "suppressed" by police beatings, and to exploit anti-Obama sentiment in the US.

A rare insight into the media strategy of the Assad regime's most ardent supporters is afforded by a series of tips for the dictator in one of hundreds of emails uncovered by the hackers' group Anonymous and published in the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The email was sent by Sheherazad Jaafari, a press attaché at the Syrian mission to the UN and gave advice ahead of the President's ABC interview with Barbara Walters in December. The interview was notable for Mr Assad's claim that "We don't kill our people... no government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person."

Ms Jaafari summarised with some candour US media reports of the regime's use of tanks and aeroplanes against the uprising in her memo to Luna Chebel, a former Al Jazeera journalist who now works in the Assad office: "They use the phrases 'The Syrian government is killing its own people... Security forces are criminal and bloody'."

She advised that Mr Assad should say: "Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA, where there are courses and schools that specialise in teaching policemen and officers how to torture." She advised using the exposure of detainee treatment in Abu Ghraib in Iraq or execution by electric chair as examples of American brutality.

Saying that it was "hugely important" to stress that "mistakes were done in the beginning ... because we did not have a well-organised 'police force'", she added: "[The] American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it'. It's worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by policemen, police dogs and beatings."

She added: "It would be worth mentioning how your personality has been attacked and praised in the last decade according to the media. At one point H.E. [His Excellency, Mr Assad] was viewed as a hero and in other times H.E. was the 'bad guy'. Americans love these kinds of things, get convinced by it."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Learning Support Assistant

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a Learning Support A...

EBD Learning Support Assistant

£50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced Learn...

SEN Learning Support Assistant

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are looking for SEN Learn...

SEN Food Tech/Catering Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced Foo...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London