Monday, January 30, 2006

The upside of being spied on.

Way back on December 6, 2005, I wrote Paying for Hearts and Minds. Yours, in which I commented on the fact that the Pentagon paid $100 million dollars to place articles in the Iraqi press. Here’s what I said:
Who then are the intended targets of the articles in the Iraqi press? You. Here’s how it works. Cindy Sheehan, or Jack Murtha, or Joe Blow stands up and says, “Hey, this is a damn quagmire. Energy production, employment, industrial output – you pick the measure – things are worse now than they were before the war began. Rape rooms are back, sectarian warfare is breaking out, terrorists are being trained, and religious tolerance is down the tubes. Those are not Iraqi battle-ready battalions – they are private militias of religious warlords. Etc., etc., etc. It’s all true, too.

But then up jumps Bill O’Reilley, Rush Limbaugh or Joe Blow-harder. He says, “What does Cindy Sheehan or Jack Murtha or you know? You’re over here. Let’s look at what is being said by real people on the ground; let’s listen to the Iraqi people.” Then he reads some lies placed in the Faluga Fishwrap by Spec 4 Armstrong Williams.
Here’s the update, published on Friday, January 27, 2006 by Agence France Presse:

US Propaganda Aimed at Foreigners Reaches US Public: Pentagon Document

The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.

But the document suggests that the Pentagon believes that US law that prohibits exposing the US public to propaganda does not apply to the unintended blowback from such operations.

“The increasing ability of people in most parts of the globe to access international information sources makes targeting particular audiences more difficult,” said the document.

“Today the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences become more a question of USG (US government) intent rather than information dissemination practices,” it said.

Called the “Information Operations Roadmap,” the document was approved by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003.

It was made public by the National Security Archives, a private non-profit research group which obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Well, it’s nice to know someone is reading my blog! And a tip of the hat to Common Dreams for catching the Agence France Presse article.

“... and tell 'em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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