Disinformation in the Reporting of Ipperwash
A paper prepared for the Halifax International Symposium on Media and Disinformation, July 2004.
In this paper, I’ll try to show how structured disinformation contributed to racism, state violence and a systematic denial of social justice. I’ll examine CBC Television reporting of Native protests at Camp Ipperwash, Ontario in 1993; the fatal police shooting of Dudley George at Ipperwash in 1995 and finally, the CBC’s exposure of police racism in 2004. I’ll try to show how disinformation and propaganda arise from the work routines and formats of mainstream journalism. I am not suggesting that the CBC journalists involved in Ipperwash reporting were consciously racist, or that they deliberately sought to justify state violence and oppression. But I will argue that most mainstream journalists are not aware of how standard day-to-day reporting can help to perpetuate gross imbalances in power.
Let me begin with a declaration — the kind you might hear at any meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. My name is Bruce Wark and I am a professional journalist and long-time professor of journalism. And yes, I need help. In fact, I’ve needed help ever since I read a path-breaking book called Propaganda by the late French thinker, Jacques Ellul.1 The book was first published in 1962 under the French title Propagandes, the French-language plural of the word propaganda. Ellul argues there are various kinds of propaganda, not just one. And, he has a sobering message for those of us tempted to believe that in democratic societies, journalists are engaged in God’s work — on the one hand, enlightening citizens so they can vote intelligently and on the other, speaking Truth to Power on each citizen’s behalf.
Ellul paints a much darker picture. He argues that news is an indispensable element of propaganda. For one thing, the news media carry a steady stream of propaganda messages on behalf of powerful interests who have the money needed to create effective and sustained propaganda. For another, the media make viewers, readers and listeners need propaganda. Writing in the male-centred language of the 1960s, Ellul points to the daily onslaught of news and information:
To the average man who tries to keep informed, a world emerges that is astonishingly incoherent, absurd and irrational, which changes rapidly and constantly for reasons he cannot understand. And as the most frequent news story is about an accident or a calamity, our reader takes a catastrophic view of the world around him…The man who keeps himself informed needs a framework in which all this information can be put in order; he needs explanations and comprehensive answers to general problems; he needs coherence.2
Propaganda frequently plays on this need for coherence that Ellul says is created by a person’s exposure to the daily flow of news. In his book Islamic Peril: Media and Global Violence, the Canadian scholar Karim H. Karim refers to three main ways in which media propaganda provides coherence while engineering social consensus. First, it identifies and names the “general problems” Ellul refers to; second, it assigns responsibility for dealing with them; and third, it legitimates a particular way of viewing them — a way that usually drains them of their political context or historical background.3
The propagandist typically uses the news media to promote this framework after the media have reported some accident, unusual event or calamity. Thus, after the catastrophe of September 11th, the Bush administration used the media to name or identify the problem of “terrorism” perpetrated by Al-Qaeda, an ‘Islamic extremist terror network’ run by Osama bin Laden. Bush also used the media to authorize a military solution — the invasion of Afghanistan as a first step in the ‘war on terrorism.’ And the media helped to legitimate the depoliticized view that terrorism arises from an irrational clash between good and evil, us and them, freedom and tyranny, civilization and barbarism. Indeed, Karim writes that the media focus public attention on violence rather than on the politics of political violence. “‘Terrorists’ and ‘terror states’ are portrayed as global outlaws intent on creating worldwide mayhem, while powerful Northern states are generally presented as supplying, deploying and using weapons in the interests of peace, order and security, even if large numbers of the innocent are injured and killed by them.”4
This specific propaganda framework from the Bush administration is pervasive, blatant and obvious. I’m not suggesting that Bush’s propaganda is ineffective, only that it is easily recognized and analysed. Indeed, the purveyors of such propaganda sometimes cheerfully acknowledge it themselves. The White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card explained why the Bush administration waited until September 2002 to launch its public relations offensive to generate support for an invasion of Iraq. “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August,” Card told a White House correspondent for the New York Times.5
As I mentioned earlier, Jacques Ellul’s argument that news softens us up for the propaganda it often contains, conflicts with the traditional view that the free press is the cornerstone of democracy. After all, democracy is supposed to be about open discussion and debate. In promoting the Bush propaganda line about the urgent need for an invasion of Iraq, the mainstream American news media forestalled debate in the U.S., making war all but inevitable. In its own roundabout way, even the New York Times has belatedly apologized for peddling false information about Iraq’s so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction.6
It would be a comfort for those of us addicted to news, to suppose that we cannot be fooled for long by propaganda. The truth always comes out as it has about the absence of Iraq’s fearful Weapons of Mass Destruction. Well, as a journalism teacher, I’ve come to realize that a lot of the propaganda in everyday news is more subtle than Bush’s marketing campaigns. Much of that propaganda arises from standard journalistic practices and work routines. Journalists themselves usually don’t recognize this kind of propaganda, so how can their audiences be expected to recognize it? I’m not talking about the peddling of a blatant propaganda or marketing campaign, but about the subtle ways in which news may create or reinforce social attitudes, perceptions and accepted behaviour.
In his book, Endless Propaganda, Canadian historian Paul Rutherford explains for example, that the mass media tend to reinforce the power of elites such as the owners of capital, top politicians, state bureaucrats and the heads of big organizations: “These elites work through alliances with professionals, artists and intellectuals — call them licensed agents — who operate the means of persuasion and display, and are rewarded with money and status, even a share of power, for their efforts.”7 We might call this the hegemonic function of news — a function that persuades ordinary citizens to accept and even support, inequalities in wealth and power. In Rutherford’s terms, journalists as media professionals, act as “licensed agents,” for the elite power structure.
This sounds more conspiratorial than I mean it to. The tendency of news to reinforce power and wealth operates subtly and often invisibly. Journalists are not fully aware of it. They work according to professional routines and practices that make it hard for them to see the hegemonic functions of news. Journalists, for example, measure the quality of their work using standards such as fairness, balance and objectivity but these standards tend to obscure or hide systemic biases within the news.
I’ll try to illustrate what I mean by examining three CBC television news reports that span a 10-year period. The reports are about the unfolding of one particular story — the conflict at Ipperwash, Ontario between members of a Chippewa band and the Canadian military and Ontario Provincial Police. The first report was broadcast on CBC’s The National on August 25th, 1993:
PETER MANSBRIDGE INTRO: Tense situation tonight at a Canadian Forces camp in Southern Ontario. It’s Camp Ipperwash near Sarnia. Members of an Indian band have been occupying part of the camp since May. But the dispute escalated this week when someone took a shot at a military helicopter. Paul Hunter has the latest:
DIRECT REPORT: For 50 years this land has been a military training ground for army reserves but before the Second World War it was home to the Stoney Point Indian Band. The government expropriated the land during the war. Now the Indians say they want it back.
CLIP: (CLIFFORD GEORGE, ELDER) “Why am I here? This is my land. I’m back home where I belong.” (5 seconds)
SCRIPT: Clifford George was born here. He and a couple of other descendants of those who lost the land moved back onto Camp Ipperwash three months ago and say they’re not leaving. The military says the government paid the Indians two-and-a-half million dollars for the land and a deal’s a deal.
CLIP: (MAJ. BRIAN HAY, CANADIAN FORCES SPOKESMAN) “We have worked very hard to to uh get along and to accommodate but at the same time to remember that this is a bought and paid for public site that’s been here for 50 years and that the parents of the people who are protesting, in fact, probably sold it.” (15 seconds)
SCRIPT: The Indians acknowledge some compensation but say it was supposed to be a temporary deal. They were supposed to get the land back.
CLIP: (CLIFFORD GEORGE) “Give us back title to our land and then give us back our uh, our identity.” (5 seconds)
SCRIPT: It’s been a relatively uneventful protest until this week. On Monday night, a military helicopter was flying above the area when someone fired a gun and a bullet hit the helicopter. The military says the bullet could have caused a crash. Police are investigating what they say may be attempted murder. Today, the Indian band called it a “set up”. They say no one fired a gun Monday night…
CLIP: (CARL GEORGE, ACTING CHIEF) “If they can prove it, prove it! It’s just like National Defense saying this is their land. Prove it!” (6 seconds)
SCRIPT: For now, life goes on at Camp Ipperwash with both sides digging in for the right to the land they both call their own. Paul Hunter, CBC News at Camp Ipperwash, Ontario. (Report runs: 1:43)
Journalists need a ‘peg’ for each story they tell, something that makes the story newsworthy. If we analyse this report in terms of professional news values, the ‘peg’ for the story was that someone shot at a military helicopter. Shooting at a helicopter is a crime and the news media routinely report on crime as a form of deviant behaviour. In his book Visualizing Deviance, the Canadian criminologist Richard Ericson studies how deviance (and social control) are what he calls “the core ingredients of news.” Ericson argues that journalists visualize deviance or call attention to it as they focus on breakdowns in social order.8 In this case, the reporter visualizes the deviant or criminal behaviour by showing the actual bullet hole in the helicopter.
But I’d say that what is most interesting about this story, are the competing claims over the land on which the military base sits. The native elder, Clifford George and the acting chief Carl George state unequivocally that the land is theirs and the reporter, Paul Hunter quotes them as saying that any deal with the military was temporary — the land was supposed to be returned.
Major Brian Hay is just as adamant that the land “is a bought and paid for public site that’s been here for 50 years.” If you take these claims seriously, there’s no way both can be correct. Reporter Paul Hunter makes little apparent attempt however, to find out which side is right. Hunter appears to think it’s enough to report the claims and let viewers decide for themselves.
The CBC reporter seems to be unaware of the fact that in 1992, only a year earlier, the House of Commons standing committee on aboriginal affairs urged the federal government to “rectify a serious injustice” and return the land to the natives.9 Nor does the reporter seem to know that in 1972, Jean Chrétien, then Minister of Indian Affairs wrote to the Minister of National Defence suggesting that the land be returned and that in 1980, when the federal government paid the Natives $2.5 million in partial compensation, it promised to return the land once military exercises were completed.10
By reporting only immediate, surface information gathered on-the-spot and then letting viewers draw their own conclusions, Hunter is following a time-honoured tradition. As Hackett and Zhao point out in their book on journalism and the politics of objectivity, the CBC has been obsessed with objectivity, neutrality and fairness since its News Service was established in 1941.11 In this case, Hunter plays it straight down the middle. The military spokesman gets 15 seconds to make his case; the natives get 16 seconds to speak. Hunter appears to give equal weight to both claims. He gives no hint of any personal bias.
It takes about three hours to drive to Camp Ipperwash from Toronto and three hours to drive back. Hunter has to interview the various spokespeople, gather footage of the helicopter and the bullet hole. Where would he find time to look for dusty documents dating from the Second World War?
But why don’t Hunter’s Toronto editors call their Ottawa bureau and ask someone to check out the claims? I think one main answer is that the story will seem OK as long as both sides are given roughly equal time. Documents might take a long time to find and assess and besides, as Richard Ericson points out, the news media are not usually very interested in documents. They prefer to present what people say as dramatically as possible.12
The American media scholar, Lance Bennett points out that for the most part, news media stay away from delving into history. Bennett calls this “fragmented news”adding that the story is the basic unit of news and that it focuses on what is happening now.13
Let me return for a moment to the three main ways in which media propaganda provides coherence and engineers social consensus. First, it identifies and names the problem. In this case, the problem is that someone may have committed attempted murder during an ongoing land dispute between Chippewas and the military. Second, it assigns responsibility for dealing with it. The reporter says the police are investigating. Third, it legitimates a particular way of viewing it — a way that usually drains it of its political context or historical background. Aside from competing verbal claims, the reporter avoids historical background while suggesting the dispute is between parties with equal power, “both sides digging in for the right to the land they both call their own.”
I am not suggesting that the CBC was deliberately peddling propaganda or disinformation. Paul Hunter takes obvious care to present a report that is balanced, fair and neutral — one that meets CBC’s professional standards. I am suggesting however, that the propaganda arises out of normal journalistic work routines and standardized, storytelling formats. This fair and objective report covers up more than half a century of broken promises and blatant injustice. It also gives a spokesman for the Canadian military a platform to spout lies or half truths.
Now, let’s flash forward two years. My second TV report is dated September 7th, 1995:
PETER MANSBRIDGE INTRO: Now, to tonight’s other major story: It involves a deadly confrontation between native protesters and Ontario police. It happened in Ipperwash Provincial Park last night. One native protester killed, two other protesters and a police officer hurt. And as Havard Gould reports, each side is blaming the other for the bloodshed:
DIRECT REPORT: (CLIP OF UNIDENTIFIED NATIVES) “You’re fuckin’ cowards…He got the gun (inaudible) You’re fuckin’ cowards! (7 seconds)
SCRIPT: Natives say their occupation was peaceful, their protest, no threat.
CLIP: (UNIDENTIFIED) “We told everybody from right from the beginning, this is a peaceful occupation. We have no weapons at all.” (8 seconds)
SCRIPT: But someone shot up this car. Police say it was natives. And they say natives then rushed police lines, some in a school bus.
CLIP: (CONST. JACK SHARPE, ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE) “Gunfire came from these vehicles and our officers were defending themselves and uh, that’s what happened.” (7 seconds)
SCRIPT: What happened is that Anthony Dudley George was killed. His relatives insist he was a peaceful man.
CLIP: (UNIDENTIFIED) “He didn’t deserve to die because he was just (a) great guy.” (7 seconds)
SCRIPT: The natives’ version of events has someone dropping off food at night and then being attacked by police.
CLIP: (UNIDENTIFIED) “They were, they were rushed by the uh by the police uh individuals came out of the camp to assist the gentleman who was being beaten and uh and the uh the police opened fire on them.” (9 seconds)
SCRIPT: The anger can’t be overestimated. And natives who started occupying the park this week, claiming it’s sacred burial ground, are becoming more militant.
CLIP: (UNIDENTIFIED) “This is our land. We’re not going to give it up for nobody. It was taken from us once and we’re not going to let it go again.” (Second Voice) “We’ll die for this land, simple as that.” (10 seconds)
CLIP: (OVIDE MERCREDI, ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS) “They cannot continue to justify the use of force to suppress our people, to maintain what they call the rule of law. (14 seconds)
SCRIPT: Mercredi says he wants the Premier of Ontario to intervene but Mike Harris says it’s not his role or his intention to order police to pull back. And Harris says he won’t negotiate with the natives until the occupation of the park is ended. Harvard Gould, CBC News near Ipperwash Provincial Park, Ontario. (Report runs: 1:57)
September 7, 1995. Tag to Ipperwash death story.
MANSBRIDGE SCRIPT: To get some context on this story—what we’ll call a “Freeze Frame”—you have to go to a military camp at Ipperwash and you have to go back to the Second World War. That’s when the Canadian Government started using this land for military training. The problem is the land was taken from native families. It was always supposed to be returned. But after years of hearing the same promise, some families move right onto Camp Ipperwash in an attempt to force the military out. The military finally retreated this summer when a group of militant natives invaded the camp. It was also militants who started the occupation of the park next door saying it contains sacred burial grounds.
Once again, CBC’s The National has dispatched a reporter to the Ipperwash area, this time to a small provincial park beside the military base where there’s supposedly a native burial ground. This time the CBC provides some background — the background that it failed to give two years before. The land was “taken from native families” for military use but was “always supposed to be returned.” Peter Mansbridge reports that those he labels “militants” claim that Ipperwash Provincial Park contains a sacred burial ground but once again, the CBC does not appear to have tried to establish the truth of this claim.
For reporter Havard Gould, the deviance appears to be the death of a native man named Dudley George but the reporter has trouble visualizing it. He shows a photo of the dead man, and a grieving young woman, who is apparently a relative. He also shows young native men, cursing the police. Once again, there are bullet holes. This time in a car that police say the natives “shot up.” Once again, claims are in direct conflict. The natives say their occupation was peaceful and that when they tried to rescue a native man being beaten by police, the police opened fire. Police constable Jack Sharpe insists that natives opened fire first and the police were forced to defend themselves.
Havard Gould has little way of knowing what happened. Ipperwash is a long way from Toronto, and it’s likely Gould had never talked to the Chippewas before. As columnist Dan David pointed out in the native newspaper Windspeaker, Native stories usually happen far away from big cities and “reporters only show up when people are already dead or dying.” David says mainstream reporters usually have little experience covering Native issues and many know they don’t do a good job covering them.14
In this case, Gould has little choice but to report competing claims. No journalists were present when the riot police marched on the park. Gould does keep following the story however, and reports a week later that the federal government has released documents verifying the Natives’ claim of a burial ground in the park. We now know after a lengthy trial in which an Ontario Provincial Police officer was convicted in the fatal shooting of Dudley George that the Natives’ account of events was essentially correct and that the police lied systematically. The police were not responding to gunfire from the school bus when they killed Dudley George and shot another unarmed Native in the back.15
There is a large body of literature drawing attention to how the mainstream media present negative images of First Nations peoples and other people of colour. Henry and Tator summarize this literature in their book Discourses of Domination.16 Some of what they write has particular relevance to the Ipperwash coverage I’ve referred to. Henry and Tator write: “Routinely news is about events, not conditions; about conflict, not consensus; and about facts which advance the story, not about those which explain it.”17 They also argue that the media tend to make Native peoples invisible or marginal transmitting the message that they are not full participants in Canadian society.18
In their book, Media and Minorities: Representing Diversity In A Multicultural Canada, Fleras and Kunz argue that few news stories are situated within an historical context and coverage is conveyed from an outsider’s point of view. Moreover, mainstream reporting portrays Native peoples as problem people — those who have problems or those who create them.20
And in the book, Unequal Relations: An Introduction to Race, Ethnic and Aboriginal Dynamics in Canada, Fleras and Elliot contend that media reporting treats Aboriginal peoples as “others” and helps create an “us” and “them” mentality among mainstream news audiences. Media preoccupation with conflict can generate a “moral panic” that leads to situations in which police, the military and other public authorities think they have no choice but to quell unrest and impose order.21
Mainstream news depends on powerful institutions. Journalists routinely use information from sources within such institutions. These sources are “authorized knowers,” officials with institutional credentials who are qualified to speak.22 Major Brian Hay wearing his military uniform and Constable Jack Sharpe in his police uniform are the authorized knowers who represent powerful institutions. Except for Ovide Mercredi, who speaks on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, all of the Native speakers in the second Ipperwash report, remain unidentified and therefore unauthorized. Journalists’ dependence on institutional sources gives established institutions the power to shape and define reality. It reflects the hegemonic function news plays in supporting established order.
But as Paul Rutherford reminds us, hegemony, or domination by the powerful, is never achieved permanently. The privileges of power are constantly challenged and the exercise of power generates resistance.23 Much of this resistance is itself institutional. The courts found the OPP officer who shot Dudley George guilty of criminal negligence causing death. The human rights group, Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Committee both called for a public inquiry into the Harris government’s role in the shooting. At the Ontario Legislature, opposition Liberal member, Gerry Phillips also pressed persistently for such an inquiry.24 And the newly-elected Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty finally set one up.25
The news media followed these institutional stories becoming more aggressive as the years went by. Toronto Star reporters Harold Levy and Peter Edwards covered the Ipperwash story extensively conducting thousands of hours of interviews, attending court hearings, consulting government documents obtained under Ontario and federal freedom of information laws and studying transcripts of statements given by police officers who were present at Ipperwash.26 In 2001, Edwards published his book One Dead Indian: The Premier, the Police and the Ipperwash Crisis.
The CBC also became more aggressive in its reporting. On January 20, 2004, CBC’s The National broadcast a report that finally revealed the racist roots of the Ipperwash shooting.
PETER MANSBRIDGE INTRO: The legacy of a violent confrontation at Ipperwash, Ontario is full of troubling details. Tonight, a disturbing new dimension. A CBC News exclusive. A rare glimpse into the events of early September 1995 when about 30 Aboriginal protesters erected barricades at Ontario’s Ipperwash Provincial Park, part of a land dispute. Among the protesters, Dudley George. The Ontario Provincial Police sent in officers. A confrontation ensued. George was shot and killed. Now, insight into the mindset of some officers. The CBC has obtained a tape, blatant in its racist remarks. Here is Ioanna Roumeliotis.
DIRECT REPORT: They were posing as a media crew, a handful of Ontario Provincial Police officers. Their camera caught these images at Ipperwash Provincial Park. What it also recorded was a shocking conversation between at least two of those officers.
CLIP: Is there still a lot of press down there? No, there’s no one down there. Just a great big fat fuck Indian. The camera’s rollin, eh? Yeah. We have this plan you know. We thought if we could get five or six cases of Labatts 50 we could bait them. Then we’d have this big net and a pit. (Laughter) Creative thinking. Works in the south with watermelon. (25 seconds)
SCRIPT: It’s a conversation clearly rife with racist remarks recorded a day before a Native land dispute ended in gunfire. And it was only released after an Access to Information request by a producer with the CBC’s the fifth estate. The request was for police surveillance material taken during the standoff to provide insight as to why it ended in the shooting death of Native protester Dudley George. It’s the first time it’s been revealed some police were disguising themselves as media. To the George family, the conversation also points a damning finger at Ontario’s provincial police. We reached Dudley George’s brother Sam at his home near Ipperwash.
CLIP: (Sam George) I think once they start to think like that, then they start to downgrade a person to, to a certain extent, then they start to feel that that person is not worth nothing and then that maybe it’s alright to shoot them. (13 seconds)
SCRIPT: About 200 police officers were involved in the Ipperwash standoff. OPP Sgt. Kenneth Deane was convicted of criminal negligence causing death in 1997. A judge also determined then that George and two other protesters were unarmed during the incident despite police allegations that they were [armed]. That’s added to persistent and lingering allegations police were under political pressure by then-Premier Mike Harris to take action. The George family lawyer has spent nearly a decade researching the events at Ipperwash and pushing for a public inquiry that was finally announced last fall by the new Liberal government. He calls the conversation toxic and poisonous.
CLIP: (Murray Klippenstein) So this kind of attitude in several steps makes it pretty easy to shoot an Indian. And if the Indian um, has a legitimate grievance about burial grounds, you can joke about it and demean them and um shooting them is not that big a deal. (23 seconds)
SCRIPT: The Ontario Provincial Police say the two officers in question have already been disciplined. One underwent Native sensitivity training. The other was working on a contract that was not renewed. We reached a spokesperson with the Ontario Provincial Police late this evening.
CLIP: (Superintendent Bill Crate) The words were shameful and offensive and they should never have been said. And uh, and I can tell you that our position with regard to this is pretty clear. It’s just not acceptable behaviour. (10 seconds)
SCRIPT: That conversation. The fact that police were posing as media when they recorded it, will all play a large part in the public inquiry into Ipperwash. The inquiry may begin as early as next September and already it’s clear, it will be full of controversy. Ioanna Roumeliotis, CBC News, Toronto. (Report runs: 3:14)
The CBC’s 2004 report is strikingly different from its Ipperwash reports in 1993 and 1995. It is based on research that goes beyond verbal claims. It is longer and more comprehensive. This time the problem is defined as racism on the part of police. The responsibility for dealing with it is shared by the Ontario Provincial Police and a provincial inquiry. But once again, there is little historical context. In his book on the shooting of Dudley George, Peter Edwards traces the long history of oppression of the Chippewas back to the War of 1812 when Tecumseh recruited relatives in the Kettle and Stoney Point area to fight with the British in the war against the Americans. The British promised the Natives pensions and 160 acres of tax-exempt land outside their own “reservations.” But such wartime promises were forgotten in peacetime.27
In conclusion, I would say that the CBC’s habit of trying to visualize deviance in two-minute news reports does not work well in deeply rooted cultural conflicts with long histories behind them. In its earlier reports, the CBC relied on balance and objectivity. But its reporting was actually highly unbalanced and inaccurate. CBC’s coverage in 1993 and 1995 confused protest with crime, inaccurately portraying the Chippewas as irrational and violent. The CBC’s reliance on dramatized news formats and its preoccupation with issues of order and disorder, deviance and control may explain why members of the Stoney Point Band came across as “others,” a status usually accorded to criminals.
I would argue that the Ipperwash coverage demonstrates fundamental shortcomings in mainstream journalism. Journalists become agents of propaganda when they routinely rely on elite institutions to frame coverage of contentious events. Instead of speaking Truth to Power, journalists tend to speak on behalf of powerful elites unconsciously justifying inequality and injustice. In the case of the Ipperwash protests, the CBC’s earlier reporting unconsciously supported racism and oppression.
5“Quotation of the Day,” New York Times, September 7, 2002, Section A, p. 2. See also Bumiller, Elizabeth, “Bush Aides Set Strategy to Sell Policy on Iraq,” New York Times, September 7, 2002, Section A, p. 1. An abstract for this article from the Times archives says: “White House officials say administration is following meticulously planned strategy to persuade public, Congress and allies of need to confront threat of Saddam Hussein.”