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It’s a potentially serious offense. If Caldwell did order the operation, it could violate a decades-old law called the Smith-Mundt Act, which forbids the government from targeting propaganda at American citizens. Caldwell’s boss, Gen. David Petraeus, announced on Thursday that he’ll investigate the “facts and circumstances” of a potentially improper use of information operations.
On July 13, 2010, U.S. Congressmen Mac Thornberry (TX-13) and Adam Smith (D-WA), members of the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, introduced "The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2010" (H.R. 5729), a bipartisan bill to revise the outdated restriction that interferes with U.S. diplomatic and military efforts.
It is time we revisit the existing restrictions in the Smith-Mundt Act and their implications on America's engagement with the world. We need a more effective, agile, and transparent communication and engagement programs, call them "public diplomacy programs" if you want, in an environment where the Internet, satellite communications, 24/7 news, and cheap international travel enable and foster dynamic diasporas that may or may not be based one's ethnicity, language, or passport. The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act by Reps. Thornberry and Smith will help move us in that direction.
Originally posted by MemoryShock
I am not surprised in the least...I think the whole, "do not target Americans" is more for false public confidence than it is for preventing application...
Originally posted by MemoryShock
Besides, the advertising agencies and media have been applying 'psy ops' for a very long time...
Originally posted by Maxmars
I resist the generalizations embedded in the story....
Whenever discussing what the Army, Pentagon, or DoD is up to... including this... we must acknowledge distinctly that policy and practice is directed from within the corporate cartel known as the Military Industrial Complex.
While I attribute the ability to stop this atrocious and reprehensible practice to the Army (or whatever military service) I recognize that the impetus, motivation, and planning of it is sourced 'outside' what we consider the "military" in terms of the men and women who swore an oath to serve this country and protect her people.
A Vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Originally posted by kosmicjack
It's really much more serious than McChrystal cracking jokes about the President or Vice President, which is admittedly insubordinate. But this is arguably illegal: