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US: The Pentagon and disinformation
The New York Times (2/19/02) published an article of which ISN Security Watch has distributed a summary. Here is the opening passage: "US sets up misinformation office: The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news, possibly even false information, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to sway public sentiment and policymakers in other countries. The military's recently created Office of Strategic Influence is proposing to expand on the common practice of distributing information in hostile nations. It is suggesting information also be delivered to allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe. Proposed activities include "aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the internet but also covert operations". The Office of Strategic Influence's head, Brigadier General Simon Worden, reportedly believes the department should consider running so-called "black" information campaigns that use misinformation and covert activities".
My comment: This makes me uneasy. It might end up leading the world to disbelieve any information put out by the US government.
Ronald Hilton - 2/20/02