RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 10:35:11 GMT

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 10:35:11 -0000
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    The fact this "new" office got reported in the New York Times is reason
    enough to disband it- how rubbish is a secret information warfare unit if it
    gets in the press before it gets going?!

    Of course this kind of thing already exists, and has done for years and
    years. Philip Knightly's book 'The First Casualty' offers a great
    historical sweep (recently updated to include Kosovo) of this kind of thing.


    > ----------
    > From: Wade T.Smith
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Monday, February 25, 2002 13:02 PM
    > To: Memetics Discussion List
    > Subject: Fwd: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    > Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    > n
    > t
    > ASHINGTON, Feb. 24 The Pentagon may eliminate a new office intended to
    > influence public opinion and policy makers overseas, Defense Secretary
    > Donald H. Rumsfeld said today. Proposals from the new agency, the Office
    > of Strategic Influence, have caused an uproar in Congress and elsewhere
    > in the government.
    > Its director, Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, has proposed
    > that the office coordinate activities ranging from public press releases
    > to secret "information warfare" in friendly as well as unfriendly
    > countries, military officials said. In the past, such secret operations
    > included the spreading of inaccurate or misleading information.
    > Mr. Rumsfeld today reiterated comments he made last week after The New
    > York Times reported the office's existence and proposed activities: he
    > said the military would not be permitted to tell lies to promote American
    > policies or views. But he said today that the disclosures about the
    > office's potential activities may have doomed its credibility.
    > "The person who's in charge is debating whether it should even exist in
    > its current form, given all the misinformation and adverse publicity that
    > it's received," Mr. Rumsfeld said on the NBC News program "Meet the
    > Press."
    > Distancing himself from the office, which reports to Douglas J. Feith,
    > the under secretary of defense for policy, Mr. Rumsfeld said he would
    > leave its fate in the hands of his top lieutenants. He said he had "never
    > even seen the charter for the office."
    > But the office's assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former
    > Army colonel and psychological operations officer, said at a recent
    > industry conference that General Worden had briefed Mr. Rumsfeld on the
    > purpose and goals of the office at least twice, and that Mr. Rumsfeld had
    > given his general support.
    > The office, which has a secret multimillion-dollar budget and a staff of
    > about 15, had started planning its activities and coordinating with the
    > National Security Council, the State Department and other federal
    > agencies.
    > Top aides to Mr. Rumsfeld have confirmed that he supported the broad
    > mission of the Office of Strategic Influence, but they said he had not
    > approved any of the classified proposals that were circulating at lower
    > levels of the Pentagon, the ones that have stirred up heated internal
    > debate.
    > "We're into the frustrating part of ironing out differences within our
    > family," Colonel Timmes told those attending the conference, on Feb. 8 in
    > Arlington, Va.
    > The new office was formed after the Sept. 11 attacks to coordinate
    > disparate information operations geared toward assisting the military
    > overseas. Administration officials, including Mr. Rumsfeld, have voiced
    > concern that the United States was losing public support overseas for its
    > war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic countries.
    > "The Afghan people were being told that the food rations we were dropping
    > were poison, and they weren't," Mr. Rumsfeld said on the CBS News program
    > "Face the Nation," adding: "And the Taliban and the Al Qaeda were lying
    > about it, and we needed to find ways to tell these people of Afghanistan
    > that they could eat that food. Millions of these were dropped."
    > Mr. Rumsfeld continued, "There are lots of things that we have to do to
    > direct people where they can get humanitarian assistance. So we need to
    > be in the business of communicating that kind of information. But this
    > department is not in the business of misinforming people."
    > Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company
    > ===============================================================
    > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    > For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    > see:

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