Pentagon Expands Propaganda Reach With Foreign "News"
Military run electronic media outlets form global network
of "Information Operations" to take on "adversaries
on the internet"
Watson & Paul Watson
Thursday, May 1,
The Pentagon is expanding "Information Operations" on
the Internet with purposefully set up foreign news websites that
are designed to look like independent media sources but in reality
are nothing more than direct military propaganda.
"The Pentagon is setting up a global network
of foreign-language news websites, including an Arabic site for
Iraqis, and hiring local journalists to write current events stories
and other content that promote U.S. interests and counter insurgent
The websites at http://www.balkantimes.com,
are three of the said Pentagon run operations aimed at people
in the Balkans, North Africa and Iraq.
The front pages of the sites appear to be populated
with regionalized news stories, but the disclaimers buried within
the sites and accessible only via small links at the bottom of
the pages reveal that all three are run by the US Department of
See screenshots below for the disclaimers (click
to link through):
disclaimer is in Arabic. It reads:
"(Mawtani.com is) sponsored by the U.S. Department
of Defense to support the resolution No. 1723 (of the) Security
Council of the United Nations. (Mawtani.com) highlights and
emphasizes the move towards greater regional stability through
bilateral and multilateral cooperation ... and the steps taken
by governments towards stability in Iraq."
Though Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England commented
that the sites are "an essential part of (their) responsibility
… to shape the security environment in their respective
areas.", other Pentagon spokesmen have claimed that the sites'
content is not intended as propaganda, but is "a counter
to extremist propaganda … with truth."
Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of Defense
in charge of special operations commented that the websites are
designed to counter enemies on the internet who put out information
that is not in keeping with the interests and goals of the U.S.
"It's important to … engage these foreign
audiences and inform," Vickers said. "Our adversaries
use the Internet to great advantage, so we have the responsibility
of countering (their messages) with accurate, truthful information,
and these websites are a good vehicle."
(Article continues below)
Since when has the federal government and its war
machine military been concerned with promoting the truth?
Websites are also scheduled to go into operation
for Latin America and Asia. The entire network, referred to as
Regional Web Initiative" will consist of multiple
sites throughout the world that will "influence foreign audiences
per Government-approved Concepts of Operations (CONOPs), conceptual
approaches and previously approved prototypes." according
to a Special
Operations Command notice aimed at contractors interested
in running the sites.
The notice also states "All contractor personnel
shall hold a U.S. SECRET security clearance and be able to obtain
a U.S.TOP SECRET clearance. Contractor will require access to
both classified and unclassified government computer systems facilities.
Contractor will be authorized to courier classified information
up to the SECRET level in performance of official duties upon
approval of and designation by the Government."
"Youngsters on the street are into the World
Wide Web — that's how they communicate, how they learn
what's going on in the world, how they stay informed —
and they pick and choose what (news sources) they have on their
desktop," says Army Col. Jerry O'Hara, spokesman for the
Pentagon's Iraq command. "We have to be involved in that
in order to communicate effectively."
Does that sound like an operation to spread truthful
information to you or does it sound like a covert military operation
to shape the views of people around the world to bring them in
line with the motivations of the Pentagon's top brass and to further
suppress any dissenting opinion?
Of course, none of this is new, it is merely an
expansion of the already vast propaganda network the Pentagon
has at is disposal.
In 2005 the U.S. military command in Baghdad admitted
that it was paying
Iraqi newspapers to carry positive news about U.S.
efforts in Iraq. Once again this was passed off as a campaign
to counter "insurgent" misinformation.
These operations are not limited to foreign countries
however, they are active inside America, where the unwitting population
is more aggressively targeted.
CENTCOM has programs underway to infiltrate
blogs and message boards to ensure people, "have
the opportunity to read positive stories,"presumably about
how Iraq is a wonderful liberated democracy and the war on terror
really is about protecting Americans from Al-CIAda.
Just last month the New
York Times published an expose on privately hired
operatives who have been appearing on all major US news networks
promoting the interests and operations of the Pentagon and generating
favorable news coverage of the Bush administration while posing
as independent military analysts.
This operation was formally
announced In 2006 when the Pentagon set up a unit
to "better promote its message across 24-hour rolling news
outlets, and particularly on the internet".
Again, the Pentagon said the move would boost its ability to counter
"inaccurate" news stories and exploit new media.
The program represents another wing of the Pentagon’s
Office of Strategic Influence, publicly announced
after 9/11 but simply the latest incarnation of a PR brainwashing
scam that spans back decades. The OSI exploited legal loopholes
by planting its propaganda in foreign newspapers that would later
be picked up by U.S. newswires. In today's environment even that
seems quaint, with the Pentagon openly and proudly shouting from
the rooftops that they will knowingly violate the law to indoctrinate
the American people.
Perhaps the most alarming case of the military's
information tentacles burrowing their influence deep into media
circles in recent years was in February 2000, when another branch
of the same Pentagon propaganda bureau, Psychological Operations
Command (PSYOPS), had
placed their operatives "in the news division
at CNN's Atlanta headquarters as part of an “internship”
program starting in the final days of the Kosovo War."
speculated that the purpose was twofold, one to directly
propagandize the American people via CNN and also potentially
to allow the "military to conduct an intelligence-gathering
mission against the network itself," because 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
With the knowledge that government propagandists were utilizing
U.S. news network hubs at CNN to run what was described as a "vast
psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts
to influence a population in enemy territory," and that this
took place almost eight years ago - just imagine how infested
today's networks and newsrooms are with paid agent provocateur
propagandists whose sole job specification is to orchestrate methods
of mind control over the population of the United States.
2005 Government Accountability Office investigators
concluded that the Bush administration's secret policy to pay
off influential journalists to plant fake news and positive spin
on Bush's policies was illegal and that the "administration
had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the United States,
in violation of a statutory ban."
by media watchdog Center for Media and Democracy
revealed that, over a ten month span, 77 television stations from
all across the nation aired video news releases without informing
their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored
Some of the fake news segments talked
up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted specific
The consequences were not the drafting of new legislation that
would clearly outlaw such actions in future, nor any form of criminal
proceedings against the protagonists. The upshot of it all was
a slap on the wrist for conservative commentator Armstrong Williams
and a request that he pay back part of the money that the government
had given him - not even all of it.
"Armstrong Williams is going to pay back $34,000 to the
government for work he failed to deliver, but who's going to pay
the taxpayers for the rest of the quarter million dollars Williams
was paid for his propaganda services to the administration?,"
asked Congressman George Miller, as the Justice Department hurried
a settlement and swept the whole sordid affair under the rug.
See the Prisonplanet archive on Government
Use Of Fake News for more examples of these practices.
These operations equate to a formal declaration
of psychological warfare on the American people. The Pentagon
is engaging in direct propaganda and indoctrination.
Recent history clearly indicates this is just the latest outreach
of an insipid brainwashing agenda that is totally unlawful and
anathema to the U.S. Constitution.
The White House has made it perfectly clear that it will target
American citizens for propagating information harmful to the interests
of the U.S. government and classify them as enemy combatants.
This is codified in sub-section 27 of section 950v. of the Military
Commissions Act of 2006.
own strategy document for "winning the war on terror"
identifies "conspiracy theorists," meaning anyone who
exposes government corruption and its lies about major domestic
and world events, as "terrorists recruiters," and vows
to eliminate their influence in society.
The eminently hypocritical tenet of the Pentagon's justification
for the propaganda program - that they need to correct "inaccurate
statements" and "set the record straight" is borne
out by the fact that they participated in the dissemination of
the most lurid and damaging propaganda since Hitler's final speech
- a deliberately fomented lie about weapons of mass destruction
that has killed over one million Iraqis and thousands of American
How dare this gaggle of criminals lecture us about how the insurgents
control the media while equating anyone who even mildly criticizes
their bloodlust with being a terrorist?
They are the liars, they are the crooks, they are the propagandists
and it is we the alternative media - the fifth estate - that should
mobilize in the infowar to counter their spurious deception.
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