Saturday, December 4

The Zombie Corpse of Strategic Information

From the whining hippies at FAIR:

In an October 14 on-air interview, Marine Lt. Lyle Gilbert told CNN Pentagon reporter Jamie McIntyre that a U.S. military assault on Fallujah had begun. In fact, the offensive would not actually begin for another three weeks. The goal of the psychological operation, according to the Times, was to deceive Iraqi insurgents into revealing what they would do in the event of an actual offensive. ... Shortly before the launch of the "war on terror," an unnamed Pentagon war planner seemed to warn journalists everywhere when he told Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz: "This is the most information-intensive war you can imagine.... We're going to lie about things." (9/24/01) In February 2002, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence (OSI) was "developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations" in an effort "to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries." The story got widespread attention, and the Pentagon announced that the office would be eliminated. But considerably less media attention was paid when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld later said that, while the OSI had been closed, its mission would be taken up by other agencies. As Rumsfeld put it, "I went down that next day and said 'Fine, if you want to savage this thing, fine-- I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.'" (FAIR Media Advisory, 11/27/02) So the revelation that a misinformation campaign bearing a striking resemblance to the description of the OSI was actually being carried out ought not to come as a total surprise.

It's hard to fathom, isn't it? The Pentagon's attitude seems to be, "We're gonna give you fair warning and we're STILL gonna get away with it, because the mass media are a bunch of trained seals. Ha ha!" And they're right in many cases. FAIR's headline is "The Return of Psyops." Return? What the hell did they think the Bush reelection campaign was?

Lots of fuss has been made over headlines in the European press--specifically the Mirror--to the effect that 54 million American voters must be stupid to have re-elected the Chimp. [Insert rant on emotional intelligence and why the evil Bob Frum is also right.]

The democracy movement in Ukraine, meanwhile, seems to understand the appeal to emotion pretty well:

The protest organizers have placed gorgeous young women in the vanguard of confrontations with troops, so the troops will be too dazzled to club them.

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