Communist China appears to have decided they've gotten all they can out of the Olympics from an international perspective. Not that the international perspective was the primary goal, the regime's real interest was making its people believe it had won international acclaim. However, recent events are making clear the cadres are more focused on hoodwinking their own people - the rest of the world be damned.
The best evidence for this is the latest Sudanese attack on Darfur (Times of London). This would have been unthinkable just a week ago for public relations reasons, but with the opening ceremony behind them (and with its value being steadily eroded by the exposure of fakery - Boycott 2008), the regime has obviously decided that it can ride out the international storm.
This will also mean that the already invasive security at the Games will continue (BBC and Boycott 2008), as will the human rights abuses (Between Heaven and Earth, Boycott 2008, and the Washington Times), antics by satellite state like Sudan and North Korea (One Free Korea), and the overseas intimidation (Epoch Times), although they may need to dial it down in Australia - or at least decouple it from the drug trade (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, any athletes hoping the cadres will move beyond their regime-controlled religious establishment (Washington Post) had best not hold their breath.
The other clear signal that the Olympics are all about bamboozling the Chinese people is the news that the cadres are now pointing the finger at Falun Gong for the Todd Bachman murder (Epoch Times). Frankly, this is a stunner - not necessarily because the Communists are trying to tar Falun Gong, but because it was the standard propaganda line from the get-go.
This tells us that the regime is no longer paying attention to the rest of the world. The cadres knew that Falun Gong has enough defenders out there (including yours truly) to make any accusation controversial. The regime would have to know that changing its story to blame the movement will be even worse - outside Communist China.
Inside Communist China, however, it could be another story. To get an idea as to how different the "news" is over there, take a look at how Michael Phelps has been covered (International Herald Tribune). It's abundantly clear that the Communists are determined to get as much internal propaganda value as possible, and that no longer means worrying about the rest of the world.
Still, the new Falun Gong smear smacks of desperation to me. The Games are almost halfway through, and the high from the opening ceremony has worn off with surprising speed (even those who don't focus on the fakery, like Meghan Cox Gurdon of the Washington Examiner, are no longer impressed). The closing ceremony - and more importantly, the post-Olympic hangover - are coming on fast. The Communists are playing defense now.