Every dictator is overcome by the words of sycophants and assorted hanger-on. Politicians have spin doctors so that the best can be made of the uncomfortable. General Prayuth Chan-ocha hs liked to speak for himself, often appearing angry, testy, short-tempered and ignorant.
In recent posts, PPT has wondered whether The Dictator is delusional or an inveterate liar. We now have the answer.
Khaosod reports that, for all of these foibles, Prayuth has now shown that he is more of a liar than delusional.
Some weeks ago it became clear that the military dictatorship was seeking to “funnel all internet traffic through a single, government-managed choke point…”.
After much criticism and an extensive denial-of-service-like attacks on state websites, the military dictatorship has denied that it plans a single gateway and “insists the project has not been initiated despite evidence to the contrary.”
The Dictator himself has lied:
I have not ordered [the government] to go ahead with this. I merely told them to study it, but there has been some misinterpretation…. Right now, this matter is only under study. There’s nothing.
A bunch of junta members, ministers and assorted mouthpieces also lied.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology Uttama Savanayana lied:
Let me insist this is just an idea…. Since I took up the post a month ago, there has been no policy plan, no conclusion of what it will look like, and I have not yet proposed anything for the prime minister to deliberate.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Panadda Diskul lied. He fibs that “the prime minister merely told us to study the facts…”. Of the single gateway panic, he declared: “This is fabricated news created by those who are selfish…”.
Government spokesman Major-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd lied, “saying the project was only ‘noted’ in cabinet minutes to acknowledge its study.” He fibbed: “I insist that all of these are just studies…. It is not a project yet yet. It is not happening. Will it happen or not, I cannot answer.”
Khaosod doesn’t call these liars by that name. However, it points out that:
Weeks after the cabinet ordered officials to “speed up” development of the single-gateway project, officials from the top down have done an about-face after internet users banded together to bring down at least six government agencies’ websites to protest the plan.
It points to The Dictator’s efforts to accelerate the project:
Prayuth … raised the project as a priority in June, according to minutes of his cabinet meetings. In subsequent meetings in July and August, the cabinet stepped up orders for officials to urgently expedite the project.
It even produces legal evidence to demonstrate the lies:
Section 1.2 of the June 30 Cabinet Resolution, a legally binding document, includes this section: The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology must also work with related agencies, such as Ministry of Justice and Royal Thai police, to proceed with implementation of a single gateway to be used as a device to control inappropriate websites and flow of news and information from overseas through the internet system.
If that isn’t sufficient evidence of deliberate fabrications, the report says:
… at least four published Cabinet Resolutions indicate that Prime Minister Prayuth and his military regime have not only finished discussing and studying the feasibility of a single gateway, but had made it an urgent matter for implementation.
On 30 June, Gen. Prayuth was quoted in the cabinet minutes urging administrators to solve the problem of youth addiction to online games and “access to inappropriate media” by “proceeding to implement a single gateway to be used as a device to control inappropriate websites and flow of news and information from overseas through the internet system.”
On 21 July, Prayuth instructed the telecommunications ministry and “related agencies to urgently speed up the implementation of a single gateway to be used as a device to control inappropriate websites and flow of news and information from overseas through the internet system in accordance with 30 June, 2015, Cabinet Resolution.”
On 4 Aug., the ministry and other related agencies were again instructed to “report about development in implementation of a single gateway.”
Three weeks later on 25 Aug., the cabinet – apparently still waiting for a response – gave a September deadline for the MICT to report back and once again ordered it to “speed up its work on the issue.”
That all seems pretty clear. Prayuth, Sansern, Panadda and Uttama are lying.
In this case, lying might be a way to drop the project.