Author Topic: Disinformation...  (Read 730 times)

Offline Uche Obiora

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1547
Disinformation...
« on: December 14, 2004, 05:16:51 AM »
... it seems that our vaunted pentagon is lobbying to use the same tactics we use on enemies on the battlefield off the battlefield. Here are two links to the relevant articles;

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror

Pentagon Weighs Use of Deception in a Broad Arena

Now, it seems to me a fundamentally wrong thing to do. The question is, why the fuck are our leaders even entertaining such a notion? Does honesty mean so little in this day and age?


Disclaimer: Users may need to register to view said articles.
There's a lot to be said for wilful ignorance.

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Offline Croi Boi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4569
Disinformation...
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2004, 05:47:17 AM »
I doubt many people are going to bother to register just to read an article.  You'll be better off copying and quoting it here.
there is another world
there is a better world
well, there must be.

Offline The Almighty Stick

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1131
Disinformation...
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2004, 06:36:31 AM »
What the fuck are you thinking!

Seriously, we are fighting a war with them, you should know that better than anybody. What would you like us to do? Invite them over for tea and scones and work out the details of where and when we should strike?

Disinformation is a necessity, especially in today's world where communications are broad and fast. I've heard that a significant portion of intelligence gathered by our opponents is based on our own media. And now that our media is being nosey bastards and prying to get information that could harm our own troops (we've all seen the press meetings and the idiotic questiosn these 'journalists' ask), its necessary to use a little disinformation through our own outlets every once and a while.

When journalists from the front had to write letters that took a couple weeks to get back to the news agencies and were censored it was perfectly acceptable for them to be there. But when you see Geroldo out on live tv things get a bit ridiculous and dangerous.

Offline Ranges

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3958
Disinformation...
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2004, 03:35:00 PM »
Actually, i think that lying to win this war is a quick way of admitting you're losing..

Terrorists want the US to let go of it's fundamental values. Especially the democratic ones. Now, a democracy needs a truthfully informed population. If there are things that population cant know yet, there is a law for that, being whatever variatio the US has on an official secrets act.

But lying to the public. Manipulating it, and accepting their disinformation as collateral damage in the war on terror is quite simply anti-democratic. It wrecks the oversight that is the basis of a democracy.

So in this case, i personally think it's better for the US, both military and civilian, to stay silent about things that shouldnt be in the press. And to tell the truth later, when it wont kill any US soldiers anymore.
*giddy decidedly dumbfounded looking smirk*
all shall adore the Dark Lord of Coffee!

Offline Uche Obiora

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1547
Disinformation...
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2004, 04:03:47 PM »
The last time I checked, there is nothing in the rules of engagement that required that the public be notified when we're about to launch a campaign.

Quote
..."The movement of information has gone from the public affairs world to the psychological operations world," one senior defense official said. "What's at stake is the credibility of people in uniform."...

...Pentagon officials say Myers is worried that U.S. efforts in Iraq and in the broader campaign against terrorism could suffer if world audiences begin to question the honesty of statements from U.S. commanders and spokespeople...


We have a PA department to determine what information to release to the public. This public would of course be America and its allies. That mission would sorely suffer if we use said channels to deceive the enemy because in doing so, we also deceive our people. It's like the story about the boy who cried wolf.

Quote
"The worst outcome would be to lose this war by default. If the smart folks in the psy-op and civil affairs tents can cast a truthful, persuasive message that resonates with the average Iraqi, why not use the public affairs vehicles to transmit it?" asked Charles A. Krohn, a professor at the University of Michigan and former deputy chief of public affairs for the Army. "What harm is done, compared to what is gained? For the first year of the war, we did virtually nothing to tell the Iraqis why we invaded their country and ejected their government. It's about time we got our act together."


Now that's funny. What exactly are we going to tell the Iraqis in this regard? I mean, does even the American public know why the fuck we invaded Iraq? Or are we perhaps going to say one thing today and another thing tomorrow as suits our purposes? Even then, this is a job for PA, not IO.

Quote
Advocates also cite a September report by the Defense Science Board, a panel of outside experts that advises Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, which concluded that a "crisis" in U.S. "strategic communications" had undermined American efforts to fight Islamic extremism worldwide.

The study cited polling in the Arab world that revealed widespread hatred of the United States throughout the Middle East. A poll taken in June by Zogby International revealed that 94% of Saudi Arabians had an "unfavorable" view of the United States, compared with 87% in April 2002. In Egypt, the second largest recipient of U.S. aid, 98% of respondents held an unfavorable view of the United States.


And lying to them would improve their opinion? Get real.

In this war, America has a responsibility to be as transperent as possible. That does not mean telling the enemy where and when we will strike... unless it serves our purposes (and I have yet to see a clear reason why it would serve our purpose to do that). It does mean that we let the public see how we are fighting this war. Such knowledge has already exposed violations of the Geneva convention by the U.S. military. Convenient? No. Even then, what we are trying to prevent is another repeat of Vietnam. Having the reporters there will at the least, put a check on most of the deviants who would out of sheer... deviancy  :P commit atrocities that would harm our cause.
There's a lot to be said for wilful ignorance.

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Offline rille

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3721
Disinformation...
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2004, 10:28:19 PM »
Just paste the whole stuff.
Nevermind copyright etc. :mrgreen:

Actually, how much more money can you digout to keep this war of yours going? :/
"Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so." | Sonnet X | John Donne

Offline Uche Obiora

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1547
Disinformation...
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2004, 12:16:00 AM »
Quote
THE NATION
PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror
The use of misleading information as a military tool sparks debate in the Pentagon. Critics say the practice puts credibility at stake.
By Mark Mazzetti
Times Staff Writer

December 1, 2004

WASHINGTON — On the evening of Oct. 14, a young Marine spokesman near Fallouja appeared on CNN and made a dramatic announcement.

"Troops crossed the line of departure," 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert declared, using a common military expression signaling the start of a major campaign. "It's going to be a long night." CNN, which had been alerted to expect a major news development, reported that the long-awaited offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Fallouja had begun.

In fact, the Fallouja offensive would not kick off for another three weeks. Gilbert's carefully worded announcement was an elaborate psychological operation — or "psy-op" — intended to dupe insurgents in Fallouja and allow U.S. commanders to see how guerrillas would react if they believed U.S. troops were entering the city, according to several Pentagon officials.

In the hours after the initial report, CNN's Pentagon reporters were able to determine that the Fallouja operation had not, in fact, begun.

"As the story developed, we quickly made it clear to our viewers exactly what was going on in and around Fallouja," CNN spokesman Matthew Furman said.

Officials at the Pentagon and other U.S. national security agencies said the CNN incident was not an isolated feint — the type used throughout history by armies to deceive their enemies — but part of a broad effort underway within the Bush administration to use information to its advantage in the war on terrorism.

The Pentagon in 2002 was forced to shutter its controversial Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), which was opened shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, after reports that the office intended to plant false news stories in the international media. But officials say that much of OSI's mission — using information as a tool of war — has been assumed by other offices throughout the U.S. government.

Although most of the work remains classified, officials say that some of the ongoing efforts include having U.S. military spokesmen play a greater role in psychological operations in Iraq, as well as planting information with sources used by Arabic TV channels such as Al Jazeera to help influence the portrayal of the United States.

Other specific examples were not known, although U.S. national security officials said an emphasis had been placed on influencing how foreign media depict the United States.

These efforts have set off a fight inside the Pentagon over the proper use of information in wartime. Several top officials see a danger of blurring what are supposed to be well-defined lines between the stated mission of military public affairs — disseminating truthful, accurate information to the media and the American public — and psychological and information operations, the use of often-misleading information and propaganda to influence the outcome of a campaign or battle.

Several of those officials who oppose the use of misleading information spoke out against the practice on the condition of anonymity.

"The movement of information has gone from the public affairs world to the psychological operations world," one senior defense official said. "What's at stake is the credibility of people in uniform."

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said he recognized the concern of many inside the Defense Department, but that "everybody understands that there's a very important distinction between information operations and public affairs. Nobody has offered serious proposals that would blur the distinction between these two functions."

Di Rita said he had asked his staff for more information about how the Oct. 14 incident on CNN came about.

One recent development critics point to is the decision by commanders in Iraq in mid-September to combine public affairs, psychological operations and information operations into a "strategic communications" office. An organizational chart of the newly created office was obtained by The Times. The strategic communications office, which began operations Sept. 15, is run by Air Force Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel, who answers directly to Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Partly out of concern about this new office, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, distributed a letter Sept. 27 to the Joint Chiefs and U.S. combat commanders in the field warning of the dangers of having military public affairs (PA) too closely aligned with information operations (IO).

"Although both PA and IO conduct planning, message development and media analysis, the efforts differ with respect to audience, scope and intent, and must remain separate," Myers wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Times.

Pentagon officials say Myers is worried that U.S. efforts in Iraq and in the broader campaign against terrorism could suffer if world audiences begin to question the honesty of statements from U.S. commanders and spokespeople.

"While organizations may be inclined to create physically integrated PA/IO offices, such organizational constructs have the potential to compromise the commander's credibility with the media and the public," Myers wrote.

Myers' letter is not being heeded in Iraq, officials say, in part because many top civilians at the Pentagon and National Security Council support an effort that blends public affairs with psy-ops to win Iraqi support — and Arab support in general — for the U.S. fight against the insurgency.

Advocates of these programs said that the advent of a 24-hour news cycle and the powerful influence of Arabic satellite television made it essential that U.S. military commanders and civilian officials made the control of information a key part of their battle plans.

"Information is part of the battlefield in a way that it's never been before," one senior Bush administration official said. "We'd be foolish not to try to use it to our advantage."

And, supporters argue, it is necessary to fill a vacuum left when the budgets for the State Department's public diplomacy programs were slashed and the U.S. Information Agency — a bulwark of the nation's anticommunist efforts during the Cold War — was gutted in the 1990s.

"The worst outcome would be to lose this war by default. If the smart folks in the psy-op and civil affairs tents can cast a truthful, persuasive message that resonates with the average Iraqi, why not use the public affairs vehicles to transmit it?" asked Charles A. Krohn, a professor at the University of Michigan and former deputy chief of public affairs for the Army. "What harm is done, compared to what is gained? For the first year of the war, we did virtually nothing to tell the Iraqis why we invaded their country and ejected their government. It's about time we got our act together."

Advocates also cite a September report by the Defense Science Board, a panel of outside experts that advises Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, which concluded that a "crisis" in U.S. "strategic communications" had undermined American efforts to fight Islamic extremism worldwide.

The study cited polling in the Arab world that revealed widespread hatred of the United States throughout the Middle East. A poll taken in June by Zogby International revealed that 94% of Saudi Arabians had an "unfavorable" view of the United States, compared with 87% in April 2002. In Egypt, the second largest recipient of U.S. aid, 98% of respondents held an unfavorable view of the United States.

The Defense Science Board recommended a presidential directive to "coordinate all components of strategic communication including public diplomacy, public affairs, international broadcasting and military information operations."

Di Rita said there was general agreement inside the Bush administration that the U.S. government was ill-equipped to communicate its policies and messages abroad in the current media climate.

"As a government, we're not very well organized to do that," he said.

Yet some in the military argue that the efforts at better "strategic communication" sometimes cross the line into propaganda, citing some recent media briefings held in Iraq. During a Nov. 10 briefing by Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, reporters were shown a video of Iraqi troops saluting their flag and singing the Iraqi national anthem.

"Pretty soon, we're going to have the 5 o'clock follies all over again, and it will take us another 30 years to restore our credibility," said a second senior Defense official, referring to the much-ridiculed daily media briefings in Saigon during the Vietnam War.

According to several Pentagon officials, the strategic communications programs at the Defense Department are being coordinated by the office of the undersecretary of Defense for policy, Douglas J. Feith.


Quote
HEARTS AND MINDS
Pentagon Weighs Use of Deception in a Broad Arena
By THOM SHANKER and ERIC SCHMITT
 
ASHINGTON, Dec. 12 - The Pentagon is engaged in bitter, high-level debate over how far it can and should go in managing or manipulating information to influence opinion abroad, senior Defense Department civilians and military officers say.

Such missions, if approved, could take the deceptive techniques endorsed for use on the battlefield to confuse an adversary and adopt them for covert propaganda campaigns aimed at neutral and even allied nations.

Critics of the proposals say such deceptive missions could shatter the Pentagon's credibility, leaving the American public and a world audience skeptical of anything the Defense Department and military say - a repeat of the credibility gap that roiled America during the Vietnam War.

The efforts under consideration risk blurring the traditional lines between public affairs programs in the Pentagon and military branches - whose charters call for giving truthful information to the media and the public - and the world of combat information campaigns or psychological operations.

The question is whether the Pentagon and military should undertake an official program that uses disinformation to shape perceptions abroad. But in a modern world wired by satellite television and the Internet, any misleading information and falsehoods could easily be repeated by American news outlets.

The military has faced these tough issues before. Nearly three years ago, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, under intense criticism, closed the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence, a short-lived operation to provide news items, possibly including false ones, to foreign journalists in an effort to influence overseas opinion.

Now, critics say, some of the proposals of that discredited office are quietly being resurrected elsewhere in the military and in the Pentagon.

Pentagon and military officials directly involved in the debate say that such a secret propaganda program, for example, could include planting news stories in the foreign press or creating false documents and Web sites translated into Arabic as an effort to discredit and undermine the influence of mosques and religious schools that preach anti-American principles.

Some of those are in the Middle Eastern and South Asian countries like Pakistan, still considered a haven for operatives of Al Qaeda. But such a campaign could reach even to allied countries like Germany, for example, where some mosques have become crucibles for Islamic militancy and anti-Americanism.

Before the invasion of Iraq, the military's vast electronic-warfare arsenal was used to single out certain members of Saddam Hussein's inner circle with e-mail messages and cellphone calls in an effort to sway them to the American cause. Arguments have been made for similar efforts to be mounted at leadership circles in other nations where the United States is not at war.

During the cold war, American intelligence agencies had journalists on their payrolls or operatives posing as journalists, particularly in Western Europe, with the aim of producing pro-American articles to influence the populations of those countries. But officials say that no one is considering using such tactics now.

Suspicions about disinformation programs also arose in the 1980's when the White House was accused of using such a campaign to destabilize Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya.

In the current debate, it is unclear how far along the other programs are or to what extent they are being carried out because of their largely classified nature.

Within the Pentagon, some of the military's most powerful figures have expressed concerns at some of the steps taken that risk blurring the traditional lines between public affairs and the world of combat information operations.

These tensions were cast into stark relief this summer in Iraq when Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top commander in Iraq, approved the combining of the command's day-to-day public affairs operations with combat psychological and information operations into a single "strategic communications office."

In a rare expression of senior-level questions about such decisions, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a memorandum warning the military's regional combat commanders about the risks of mingling the military public affairs too closely with information operations.

"While organizations may be inclined to create physically integrated P.A./I.O. offices, such organizational constructs have the potential to compromise the commander's credibility with the media and the public," it said.

But General Myers's memorandum is not being followed, according to officers in Iraq, largely because commanders there believe they are safely separating the two operations and say they need all the flexibility possible to combat the insurgency.

Indeed, senior military officials in Washington say public affairs officers in war zones might, by choice or under pressure, issue statements to world news media that, while having elements of truth, are clearly devised primarily to provoke a response from the enemy.

Administration officials say they are increasingly troubled that a nation that can so successfully market its cars and colas around the world, even to foreigners hostile to American policies, is failing to sell its democratic ideals, even as the insurgents they are battling are spreading falsehoods over mass media outlets like the Arab news satellite channel Al Jazeera.

"In the battle of perception management, where the enemy is clearly using the media to help manage perceptions of the general public, our job is not perception management but to counter the enemy's perception management," said the chief Pentagon spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita.

The battle lines in this debate have been drawn in a flurry of classified studies, secret operational guidance statements and internal requests from Mr. Rumsfeld. Some go to the concepts of information warfare, and some complain about how the government's communications are organized.

The fervent debate today is focused most directly on a secret order signed by Mr. Rumsfeld late last year and called "Information Operations Roadmap." The 74-page directive, which remains classified but was described by officials who had read it, accelerated "a plan to advance the goal of information operations as a core military competency."

Noting the complexities and risks, Mr. Rumsfeld ordered studies to clarify the appropriate relationship between Pentagon and military public affairs - whose job is to educate and inform the public with accurate and timely information - and the practitioners of secret psychological operations and information campaigns to influence, deter or confuse adversaries.

In response, one far-reaching study conducted at the request of the strategic plans and policy branch of the military's Joint Staff recently produced a proposal to create a "director of central information." The director would have responsibility for budgeting and "authoritative control of messages" - whether public or covert - across all the government operations that deal with national security and foreign policy.

The study, conducted by the National Defense University, was presented Oct. 20 to a panel of senior Pentagon officials and military officers, including Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, whose organization set up the original Office of Strategic Influence.

No senior officer today better represents the debate over a changing world of military information than Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, an operational commander chosen to be the military's senior spokesman in Iraq after major combat operations shifted to counterinsurgency operations in the spring of 2003.

His role rankled many in the military's public affairs community who contend that the job should have gone to someone trained in the doctrine of Army communications and public affairs, rather than to an officer who had spent his career in combat arms.

"This is tough business," said General Kimmitt, who now serves as deputy director of plans for the American military command in the Middle East. "Are we trying to inform? Yes. Do we offer perspective? Yes. Do we offer military judgment? Yes. Must we tell the truth to stay credible? Yes. Is there a battlefield value in deceiving the enemy? Yes. Do we intentionally deceive the American people? No."

The rub, General Kimmitt said, is operating among those sometimes conflicting principles.

"There is a gray area," he said. "Tactical and operational deception are proper and legal on the battlefield." But "in a worldwide media environment," he asked, "how do you prevent that deception from spilling out from the battlefield and inadvertently deceiving the American people?"

Mr. Di Rita said the scope of the issue had changed in recent years. "We have a unique challenge in this department," he said, "because four-star military officers are the face of the United States abroad in ways that are almost unprecedented since the end of World War II."

He added, "Communication is becoming a capability that combatant commanders have to factor in to the kinds of operations they are doing."

Much of the Pentagon's work in this new area falls under a relatively unknown field called Defense Support for Public Diplomacy. This new phrase is used to describe the Pentagon's work in governmentwide efforts to communicate with foreign audiences but that is separate from support for generals in the field.

At the Pentagon, that effort is managed by Ryan Henry, Mr. Feith's principal deputy for policy.

"With the pace of technology and such, and with the nature of the global war on terrorism, information has become much more a part of strategic victory, and to a certain extent tactical victory, than it ever was in the past," Mr. Henry said.

However, a senior military officer said that without clear guidance from the Pentagon, the military's psychological operations, information operations and public affairs programs are "coming together on the battlefield like never before, and as such, the lines are blurred." This has led to a situation where "proponents of these elements jockey for position to lead the overall communication effort," the officer said.

Debate also continues over proposed amendments to a classified Defense Department directive, titled "3600.1: Information Operations," which would lay down Pentagon policy in coming years. Previous versions of the directive allow aggressive information campaigns to affect enemy leaders, but not those of allies or even neutral states. The current debate is over proposed revisions that would widen the target audience for such missions.

Mr. Di Rita, the Pentagon spokesman, says that even though the government is wrestling with these issues, the standard is still to tell to the truth.

"Our job is to put out information to the public that is accurate," he said, "and to put it out as quickly as we can."


There ya go.
There's a lot to be said for wilful ignorance.

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Offline AshtrayMonument

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1999
Disinformation...
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2004, 04:02:07 PM »
Fuck it, they're just the public. The only right they have is to shut the fuck up and accept whatever the hell the government tells them.

While we're at it we should nuke that country full of terrorists. You know the one, Persia or Arabia or whatever the fuck.
People always tell me that they're crazy. Crazy people aren't so fucking boring.

Offline Bannor

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 391
Disinformation...
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2004, 04:22:17 PM »
How very orwellian.

First the orchestrators of an offensive war are working under the "secetary of defense" and now the media is being manipulated to tell lies guised as truth.

The big question is is this a new thing or is the bush administration just really clumsy?

Offline Ranges

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3958
Disinformation...
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2004, 06:03:12 PM »
Quote
In this war, America has a responsibility to be as transperent as possible. That does not mean telling the enemy where and when we will strike... unless it serves our purposes (and I have yet to see a clear reason why it would serve our purpose to do that). It does mean that we let the public see how we are fighting this war. Such knowledge has already exposed violations of the Geneva convention by the U.S. military. Convenient? No. Even then, what we are trying to prevent is another repeat of Vietnam. Having the reporters there will at the least, put a check on most of the deviants who would out of sheer... deviancy  :P commit atrocities that would harm our cause.


I agree completely.
You should do the world a favor, and become a general.. :)
*giddy decidedly dumbfounded looking smirk*
all shall adore the Dark Lord of Coffee!

Offline Thin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7638
Disinformation...
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2004, 01:04:32 AM »
Disinformation is pretty widespread in the political game as it is anyway, not to the point that it breaks any laws, but politicians have been misleading their publics for centuries.
I dont condone or condemn it; I just expected it to happen. The brutal truth is you can't win a war if you tell the truth. You will have to lie or exagerate a little.

Information is a valueable commodity, if you ignore its importance it will probably be used against you.

Offline AshtrayMonument

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1999
Disinformation...
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2004, 07:50:34 AM »
Pick a side dammit!
People always tell me that they're crazy. Crazy people aren't so fucking boring.

Offline Soma

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2524
Disinformation...
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2004, 07:55:53 AM »
Pick the red team, they are =f =a =s =t =e =r !
Pimps don't commit suicide!

Offline Thin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7638
Disinformation...
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2004, 01:27:34 PM »
Quote
Pick a side dammit!


People are going to be lied too anyway, so why shouldn't they try to use it to their advantage?
I wouldn't expect the American Military to be brutall honest in all cases, that would be unfair. They are a military not a judicial system.


Woah. Deja vu :|