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Old 02-19-2002, 07:28 PM   #1
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Agitprop

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...road&printer=1

Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad
Tue Feb 19, 9:00 AM ET
By JAMES DAO and ERIC SCHMITT The New York Times

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said.

The plans, which have not received final approval from the Bush administration, have stirred opposition among some Pentagon officials who say they might undermine the credibility of information that is openly distributed by the Defense Department's public affairs officers.

The military has long engaged in information warfare against hostile nations for instance, by dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages into Afghanistan when it was still under Taliban rule.

But it recently created the Office of Strategic Influence, which is proposing to broaden that mission into allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe. The office would assume a role traditionally led by civilian agencies, mainly the State Department.

The small but well-financed Pentagon office, which was established shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was a response to concerns in the administration that the United States was losing public support overseas for its war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic countries.

As part of the effort to counter the pronouncements of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and their supporters, the State Department has already hired a former advertising executive to run its public diplomacy office, and the White House has created a public information "war room" to coordinate the administration's daily message domestically and abroad.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, while broadly supportive of the new office, has not approved its specific proposals and has asked the Pentagon's top lawyer, William J. Haynes, to review them, senior Pentagon officials said.

Little information is available about the Office of Strategic Influence, and even many senior Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides say they know almost nothing about its purpose and plans. Its multimillion dollar budget, drawn from a $10 billion emergency supplement to the Pentagon budget authorized by Congress in October, has not been disclosed.

Headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations.

The new office "rolls up all the instruments within D.O.D. to influence foreign audiences," its assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former Army colonel and psychological operations officer, said at a recent conference, referring to the Department of Defense. "D.O.D. has not traditionally done these things."

One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with foreign media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with the proposal said.

General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said.

"It goes from the blackest of black programs to the whitest of white," a senior Pentagon official said.

Another proposal involves sending journalists, civic leaders and foreign leaders e-mail messages that promote American views or attack unfriendly governments, officials said.

Asked if such e-mail would be identified as coming from the American military, a senior Pentagon official said that "the return address will probably be a dot-com, not a dot- mil," a reference to the military's Internet designation.

To help the new office, the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington-based international consulting firm run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. The firm, which is being paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.

Officials at the Rendon Group say terms of their contract forbid them to talk about their Pentagon work. But the firm is well known for running propaganda campaigns in Arab countries, including one denouncing atrocities by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The firm has been hired as the Bush administration appears to have united around the goal of ousting Mr. Hussein. "Saddam Hussein has a charm offensive going on, and we haven't done anything to counteract it," a senior military official said.

Proponents say the new Pentagon office will bring much-needed coordination to the military's efforts to influence views of the United States overseas, particularly as Washington broadens the war on terrorism beyond Afghanistan.

But the new office has also stirred a sharp debate in the Pentagon, where several senior officials have questioned whether its mission is too broad and possibly even illegal.

Those critics say they are disturbed that a single office might be authorized to use not only covert operations like computer network attacks, psychological activities and deception, but also the instruments and staff of the military's globe- spanning public affairs apparatus.

Mingling the more surreptitious activities with the work of traditional public affairs would undermine the Pentagon's credibility with the media, the public and governments around the world, critics argue.

"This breaks down the boundaries almost completely," a senior Pentagon official said.

Moreover, critics say, disinformation planted in foreign media organizations, like Reuters or Agence France-Presse, could end up being published or broadcast by American news organizations.

The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are barred by law from propaganda activities in the United States. In the mid-1970's, it was disclosed that some C.I.A. programs to plant false information in the foreign press had resulted in articles published by American news organizations.

Critics of the new Pentagon office also argue that governments allied with the United States are likely to object strongly to any attempts by the American military to influence media within their borders.

"Everybody understands using information operations to go after nonfriendlies," another senior Pentagon official said. "When people get uncomfortable is when people use the same tools and tactics on friendlies."

Victoria Clarke, the assistant secretary of defense for public information, declined to discuss details of the new office. But she acknowledged that its mission was being carefully reviewed by the Pentagon.

"Clearly the U.S. needs to be as effective as possible in all our communications," she said. "What we're trying to do now is make clear the distinction and appropriateness of who does what."

General Worden, an astrophysicist who has specialized in space operations in his 27-year Air Force career, did not respond to several requests for an interview.

General Worden has close ties to his new boss, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, that date back to the Reagan administration, military officials said. The general's staff of about 15 people reports to the office of the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, which is under Mr. Feith.

The Office for Strategic Influence also coordinates its work with the White House's new counterterrorism office, run by Wayne A. Downing, a retired general who was head of the Special Operations command, which oversees the military's covert information operations.

Many administration officials worried that the United States was losing support in the Islamic world after American warplanes began bombing Afghanistan in October. Those concerns spurred the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence.

In an interview in November, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained the Pentagon's desire to broaden its efforts to influence foreign audiences, saying:

"Perhaps the most challenging piece of this is putting together what we call a strategic influence campaign quickly and with the right emphasis. That's everything from psychological operations to the public affairs piece to coordinating partners in this effort with us."

One of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence is the Army's Psychological Operations Command. The command was involved in dropping millions of fliers and broadcasting scores of radio programs into Afghanistan encouraging Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers to surrender.

In the 1980's, Army "psyop" units, as they are known, broadcast radio and television programs into Nicaragua intended to undermine the Sandinista government. In the 1990's, they tried to encourage public support for American peacekeeping missions in the Balkans.

The Office of Strategic Influence will also oversee private companies that will be hired to help develop information programs and evaluate their effectiveness using the same techniques as American political campaigns, including scientific polling and focus groups, officials said.

"O.S.I. still thinks the way to go is start a Defense Department Voice of America," a senior military official said. "When I get their briefings, it's scary."

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And who says the Soviet Union is dead? The U.S. is considering using old Soviet Agitprop techniques.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-19-2002, 10:19 PM   #2
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I heard a little bit of this on the news earlier today, and was a little bit shocked. Shocked that it was on the news, which could hurt the effectiveness of this campaign. It is nothing new, we've done this before, commonpractice for just about any government to not be forthcoming in it's disclosures regarding conflict.
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Old 02-19-2002, 10:44 PM   #3
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Well, it is no secret to me either. I've known it for a while now. It is just nice to know that the Cold War just took a 10 year hiatus...

Considering that the government has no qualms about spreading propaganda to foreign nations, how do we know that the government doesn't do the same to its own citizens? And, if it did, would we ever know the difference? I'm sure our Founding Fathers are rolling in their mausoleums; I'm sure they'd be happy to know that the government they created to be different from the others has become exactly what they escaped from.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-20-2002, 12:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Well, it is no secret to me either. I've known it for a while now. It is just nice to know that the Cold War just took a 10 year hiatus...

Considering that the government has no qualms about spreading propaganda to foreign nations, how do we know that the government doesn't do the same to its own citizens? And, if it did, would we ever know the difference? I'm sure our Founding Fathers are rolling in their mausoleums; I'm sure they'd be happy to know that the government they created to be different from the others has become exactly what they escaped from.

Melon

Melon,
Truthfully neither you nor I have the training and experience to make these judgement calls in policy. If the facts were fully disclosed, there would be a backlash from the very media so desiring this information.

Judging from various posts on this board about public opinion of america in other countries, I tend to believe there must be "propaganda" being spread about by other governments that dosen't favor us. It is a long played game, that really dosen't need to be making the news if it wants to be effective. Perhaps our media should bother to point out "inaccuracies" of media reporting that doesn't favor america spread by other countries. Of course, that would be a step off of their agenda to try and hurt the current administration.

As far as a "10 year hiatus" of the cold war, call it what you want, but I know you are too smart to actually believe that. You will have to take my word on this though, I will not reveal anything that I personally know of just to prove a point here.

Respectfully Melon, I think you get a little too worked up here. Every time you post something like this, it's almost as if you take it very personal. Remember who was attacked here, and keep in mind that while we are not perfect there are a lot worse places to live.
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Old 02-21-2002, 12:26 AM   #5
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I guess you have to see it from my view:

When we fought the Cold War against the Soviet Union, did we fight it simply to dissassemble an enemy or to correct all the wrongs it stood for? Perhaps I'm stupid for being an idealist, but I would hope it would be #2. Instead, it seems we were just competing with the Soviets to see who could dominate the world better.

Honestly, I would hope that the truth could set the world free. If we have to spread lies, what does it prove? We always eventually find out the truth, even if it is decades after the fact; and all we end up feeling is embitterness and regret. I don't like being lied to. I don't like growing up being told and believing that the people governing us are the good guys and later finding out that they were just lying through their teeth. The Republican Party did put on a great show, showing their disgust for President Clinton's lying about sex, but they obviously have no compunction about lying to the entire world about our way of life, just so that our agenda can be satisfied.

Do we honestly believe that any lie, no matter how noble the cause behind it may be, will be any good? If history is any guide, the answer is no. I want America to win the "War on Terrorism" honorably and noblely. If we are truly the "good" guys fighting against "evil," then why do we need to resort to lies and trickery? Are we, as Americans, being lied to and tricked? Do we really have that many skeletons in our closet? America will win the "War on Terrorism"; I hope that is the case. But, I fear, in the cause to attain victory, we will simply sow the seeds for the next war. How long must we sing this song?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-21-2002, 02:11 AM   #6
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I think this whole thing is overblown. Its a minor part of the whole operation. Melon, your starting to sound like one of those people who talks of Black Helicopters and Green Men from Mars. I come from a military family and put full trust in the Men and Women of our military. I find far more accurate info from the military itself than the New York Times that is simply trying to sell as many papers as possible. It was appalling to watch journalist refer to APCs as Tanks or refer to a T-72 Tank as a Truck during the Gulf War.
Spreading Deception and lies can be a good thing. Did you see the movie "Saving Private Ryan". Did you see how difficult it was for soldiers on those beaches! Imagine for a minute how difficult it would have been, if are government had not been engaged in a massive Public deception campaign to get the Germans to believe we were landing at a different beach at a different time! That is the type of lies and deception the military and government is thinking of and I'm for it because it has saved so many lives of brave men and women in the past!
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Old 02-21-2002, 02:26 AM   #7
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Thats fucked. 'The Office Of Strategic Influence'? What country are you living in?
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Old 02-21-2002, 08:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
. I find far more accurate info from the military itself than the New York Times that is simply trying to sell as many papers as possible.

Spreading Deception and lies can be a good thing. Did you see the movie "Saving Private Ryan". Did you see how difficult it was for soldiers on those beaches! Imagine for a minute how difficult it would have been, if are government had not been engaged in a massive Public deception campaign to get the Germans to believe we were landing at a different beach at a different time! That is the type of lies and deception the military and government is thinking of and I'm for it because it has saved so many lives of brave men and women in the past!

Exactly, great point STING2, If there is a "deception", the intention will not be to "cover up" atrocities committed by us or anything of that nature. It would be to save lives as Sting2 has pointed out. These are the things that have no business in the NY Times, or any media source for that matter.

There is a big difference here in the type of "lies" you are suggesting come from the Republican party and the "lies" told by Bill Clinton about a piece of ass. Personally, I could care less about that.

I understand your viewpoint, I just do not share it in the situation we are going through.

[This message has been edited by z edge (edited 02-21-2002).]
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Old 02-21-2002, 09:42 AM   #9
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Well, I could come out and argue again, but there is a follow-up story:

Pentagon: Office Won't Spread Lies
Wed Feb 20, 3:05 PM ET
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Pentagon (news - web sites) officials on Wednesday denied planning to use a new Office of Strategic Influence to plant false information in the news media to promote U.S. war goals.

"The Pentagon does not issue disinformation to the foreign press or any press," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld and his aides said the exact limits of the office's mandate have yet to be defined, but that in any case its efforts to shape world opinion would not include deliberately spreading falsehoods.

Rumsfeld said the Pentagon might engage in strategic or tactical deception, as it has in the past. For example, if U.S. troops were about to launch an attack from the west, they might "do things" that would make the enemy believe an attack was instead coming from the north, Rumsfeld said.

"That would be characterized as tactical deception," the secretary said.

The main reason for creating the new office last fall was to centralize oversight of what the military calls "information operations," such as spreading messages on a battlefield by leaflet or airborne broadcasts, said Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy. He oversees the new office.

The office also may explore "all kinds of ways of affecting enemies' perceptions" of U.S. military activities in wartime, he said.

"We have an interest in the enemy not knowing, not being comfortable about what we are going to do" on the battlefield, Feith said in a breakfast interview with a group of reporters.

He stressed that this would not include lying to the public.

"We have an enormous stake in our credibility, and we're going to preserve that," he said. "But we're not going to give up on the obvious usefulness of managing information of various types for the purpose of helping our armed forces accomplish their missions."

Rumsfeld stressed that the new office's mandate is still under discussion. Asked if it would do anything the Pentagon has not done in previous wars, he said: "We do have to think of it in a different way" because of the unique nature of the war on terrorism. "How it will play out over time, I don't know."

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Office of Strategic Influence, which is headed by Air Force Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden, has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet but also clandestine operations.

Feith indicated that some proposals would have gone too far. He said senior Pentagon officials, in creating the office after the Sept. 11 attacks, saw a need to "have oversight over all kinds of information."

"What happens is, when you put together an operation to do that, somebody immediately comes forward with suggestions that go beyond this very sensible and rather narrow concept," he said.

Asked whether the Pentagon might secretly enlist a nongovernment entity to spread false or misleading information to the news media, Feith replied, "We are going to preserve our ability to undertake operations that may, for tactical purposes, mislead an enemy. But we are not going to blow our credibility as an institution in our public pronouncements."

Critics worry that the Pentagon is planning to plant false information abroad that could get back to Americans.

"In this age of global communication, misleading information disseminated overseas would quickly become known to U.S. news organizations," Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, wrote in a letter to Rumsfeld.

"There would be no way to ensure that falsehoods told abroad would not also be told to the American public," she added.

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Well, first off, let's hope it is true, and they aren't just trying to deflect press attention.

Secondly, I don't think the government cares if the lies hit the American public. In fact, I think that they would find it to their advantage. Not only can they effectively propagandize the enemy, they can stir up "anti-terrorism" support domestically.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-21-2002, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
I think this whole thing is overblown. Its a minor part of the whole operation. Melon, your starting to sound like one of those people who talks of Black Helicopters and Green Men from Mars. I come from a military family and put full trust in the Men and Women of our military.
Oh I trust the men and women of our military as well, generally. I just don't trust the people commanding them.

And you can dismiss it as hysterical paranoia, but I'm not talking about aliens. America doesn't exactly have the cleanest history, in regards to telling the truth, especially in dealing with military operations.

Quote:
Spreading Deception and lies can be a good thing. Did you see the movie "Saving Private Ryan". Did you see how difficult it was for soldiers on those beaches!
Now this I don't have a problem with. Making tactical lies make sense, because, honestly, the "truth" in this case would really have no bearing on us. Once the battle or war is over, these lies simply cease to have relevance. Spreading lies to incite the public to violence or to glorify America falsely is where I take issue. It may simply anger the public further when it finds out the truth.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-21-2002, 09:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by z edge:
If there is a "deception", the intention will not be to "cover up" atrocities committed by us or anything of that nature.
Well, I would hope that would be true, but, even then, America doesn't have the greatest track record. See Laos and East Timor.

Quote:
I understand your viewpoint, I just do not share it in the situation we are going through.
When it comes down to it, I really just don't trust the Bush Administration. They love secretism, which makes me not trust that anything they say is either the truth or the complete truth.

Most interesting, Bush quietly suspended an executive order that forced presidential papers to be released 12 years after leaving office back in January--just to prevent Reagan's papers from being released. I'm sure he has enough skeletons in his closet to scare a lot of people, and Bush is following in his footsteps. It is most interesting what goes on behind the scenes...

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-21-2002, 10:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:


Rumsfeld said the Pentagon might engage in strategic or tactical deception, as it has in the past. For example, if U.S. troops were about to launch an attack from the west, they might "do things" that would make the enemy believe an attack was instead coming from the north, Rumsfeld said.

"That would be characterized as tactical deception," the secretary said.

----------

Well, first off, let's hope it is true, and they aren't just trying to deflect press attention.

Secondly, I don't think the government cares if the lies hit the American public. In fact, I think that they would find it to their advantage. Not only can they effectively propagandize the enemy, they can stir up "anti-terrorism" support domestically.

Melon


I see no problem with this, it may have saved my life, and many others.

[This message has been edited by z edge (edited 02-21-2002).]
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Old 02-21-2002, 01:25 PM   #13
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I have been hesitant to respond to this thread, because, generally speaking, debates between Melon and me go very poorly.

That said, I think we've both shown an improved level of civility, so I'll give it a shot:


As a general policy, the U.S. SHOULD be honest about what it's doing, truly.

But, as any D-Day documentary on the History Channel will attest, deception was KEY to the success of the Normandy invasion. We did EVERYTHING we could to convince the Germans we were landing further north, including have Gen. Patton command the non-existent army that was to lead the attack, and the invasion was successful. It may have meant the difference between victory and failure, given the fact that the Allies were making an amphibious landing in less-than-ideal weather, across open beaches and up a hill to well-guarded defenses. In the VERY least, it saved the lives of an untold number of Americans, British, and Canadians.

If faced with a similar situation now (in which disinformation would protect the lives of our soldiers) I say, go for it.

The problems now are these: our enemies probably use the same sources we do (CNN, the New York newspapers, the Internet); these sources are much closer to the front lines; and these sources are much, MUCH faster. So, any effective effort at deceiving the enemy may require the Government to also deceive the American public.

So, the question is, should the government decieve US in order to also deceive the enemy and protect U.S. forces? Absolutely.

I think we should still keep that option open, under the provisos that we do it rarely and we admit the deception when doing so is no longer a threat to national security.

We should draw some distinctions between our behavior and the behavior of our enemies - most importantly, that we do not target civilians (though some will invariably be unintended casualties) and we are not brutal to those we capture (though there's nothing wrong in keeping cable television out of their sights). But the use of deception is as "normal" in war as targeting infrastructure (factories and bridges) and using intelligence and counterintelligence. We should not completely discount it as a weapon in our arsenal.
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Old 02-21-2002, 11:24 PM   #14
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I agree with Bubba in principle. Having said that, the government has a track record of keeping stuff secret for "national security" decades after the fact. If they did use propaganda on us, I don't necessarily think that the government would reveal it to us after the war. It may seem innocuous, in theory. However, it leaves a bad precedent with great potential for abuse. For a government intended to serve us, rather than rule us, I do think the public has a reasonable right to know what our elected officials are doing. "Secrets" do have a place, granted, but where do you draw the line between genuine national security and corruption?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-22-2002, 12:43 AM   #15
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You raise tough and necessary questions, certainly. But I think at least the theoretical defense of disinformation was called for - particularly in the light of the "Soviet Union" comments in your first post.

From *at least* as far back as Normandy, and probably much further, the United States has used misinformation to its advantage. Thus, I wouldn't call it an "old Soviet Agitprop" technique.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 02-21-2002).]
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