You're not imagining things Marg. It really is true. As Noam Chomsky has documented so eloquently and thoroughly in his many books , declassified State Dept. papers, and quotes from influential planners and advisors like George MacKennan reveal they are only too aware that to get the population on their side for invasions, imperialistic adventures, economic measures that benefit the rich to the detriment of everyone else, they need to shape their thinking, create "necessary illusions" etc.
The weasel words are thought up by clever PR
trained consultants, and other figures from the intellectual classes who are part of the invisible power structure behind "the president". Weasel words like..."anti-American", "collateral damage", "plausible denial" come to mind.
There's no special dept. though. They don't need one for that. Why when there is a revolving door between Wall Street and the White House. The President doesn't need to select his cabinet of advisors and policy-makers from elected representatives...he and his cronies only have to cherry-pick from the Corporate world which they come from.
I think the right word for the US governmental regime would be plutocracy.....rule by the rich and powerful.
As a non-American, I can say that yes, there is a certain derision in my country for US actions by intelligent educated people, but also a lot of misplaced respect and admiration.
Some people will always look up to and worship power.
But I would like to say this. The US govt. is not the American people. Many who hate US imperialism, realise there are loads of good American people , who may oppose US imperialism, may be ignorant etc.
As Chomsky points out no State Govt. is a moral agent. They act in the interests of internal elites. The New Zealand Govt. if we had the military arsenal of the US, and pop. would be just as bad, imo.
Many Americans seem to really care about the wrongs that US imperialism gets up to. I respect that.