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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-11-03 11:29 PM
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Pentagon PSYOPS worked in CNN newsroom!
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This is Operation Mockingbird on steroids!

Check the inbedded link for more info.

Pentagon Propaganda Plan Is Undemocratic, Possibly Illegal
February 19, 2002

The New York Times reported today that the Pentagons Office of Strategic Influence is 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 OSI was created shortly after September 11 to publicize the U.S. governments perspective in Islamic countries and to generate support for the U.S.s war on terror. This latest announcement raises grave concerns that far from being an honest effort to explain U.S. policy, the OSI may be a profoundly undemocratic program devoted to spreading disinformation and misleading the public, both at home and abroad. At the same time, involving reporters in Pentagon disinformation puts the lives of working journalists at risk. .......

According to the New York Times, one of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence is the U.S. Armys Psychological Operations Command (PSYOPS). The Times doesnt mention, however, that PSYOPS has been accused of operating domestically as recently as the Kosovo war.

In February 2000, reports in Dutch and French newspapers revealed that several officers from the 4th PSYOPS Group had worked in the news division at CNN's Atlanta headquarters as part of an internship program starting in the final days of the Kosovo War. Coverage of this disturbing story was scarce (see FAIRs Why Were Government Propaganda Experts Working on News at CNN? < > 3/27/00), but after FAIR issued an Action Alert on the story, CNN stated that it had already terminated the program and acknowledged that it was inappropriate.

Even if the PSYOPS officers working in the newsroom did not directly influence news reporting, the question remains of whether CNN may have allowed the military to conduct an intelligence-gathering mission against the network itself. The idea isnt far-fetched-- according to Intelligence Newsletter (2/17/00), a rear admiral from the Special Operations Command told a PSYOPS conference that the military needed to find ways to "gain control" over commercial news satellites to help bring down an "informational cone of silence" over regions where special operations were taking place. One of CNNs PSYOPS interns worked in the networks satellite division. (During the Afghanistan war the Pentagon found a very direct way to gain control-- it simply bought up all commercial satellite images of Afghanistan, in order to prevent media from accessing them.)
Its worth noting that the 4th PSYOPS group is the same group that staffed the National Security Council's now notorious Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), which planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration's Central America policies during the 1980s. Described by a senior U.S. official as a "vast psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in enemy territory" (Miami Herald, 7/19/87), the OPD was shut down after the Iran-Contra investigations, but not before influencing coverage in major outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post (Extra!, 9-10/01).
The OPD may be gone, but the Bush administrations recent recess appointment of former OPD head Otto Reich as assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs is not reassuring. It suggests, at best, a troubling indifference to Reichs role in orchestrating the OPDs deception of the American people.

Indeed, as the Federation of American Scientists points out, the Bush Administrations insistent efforts to expand the scope of official secrecy have now been widely noted as a defining characteristic of the Bush presidency (Secrecy News, 2/18/02). The administrations refusal to disclose Enron-related information to the General Accounting Office is perhaps the most publicized of these efforts; another is Attorney General John Ashcrofts October 12 memo urging federal agencies to resist Freedom Of Information Act requests. ......

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