Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id LAA14301 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Wed, 20 Feb 2002 11:52:33 GMT Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3102A6D27A@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 11:43:41 -0000 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
They've been doing this for decades. I'm amazed anybody is buying this as a
genuine "new" development.
> From: Wade T.Smith
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 16:07 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Fwd: Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad
> February 19, 2002
> Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad
> By JAMES DAO and ERIC SCHMITT
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> "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."
> Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company
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