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The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.
The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as “information operations” at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.
“My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. “I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.”
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.
The military leadership (for lack of a better word) could (and should) have refused to engage in the manipulation of information and use of propaganda against - or applied to - our own citizens (representatives or otherwise). It is NOT rocket science or some great moral dilemma to identify that such activities are NOT part of "protecting and serving" the Constitution, but instead serve political and commercial expediency (or for the more conspiratorial 'ideological' expediency) of other agendas.
Yes... they should have at least ONE damn person in there who had the gumption and personal courage to speak truth to power..... (of course, the consequences nowadays is losing career prospects, amongst other inconveniences).
In a perfect world (which can never exist apparently) such 'mandates' should have been publicly exposed immediately and scrutinized from the source.... but of course, they weren't. Instead we are left only able to contemplate that it happened (without the journalistic who, what, where, when, why, and how.)
We already know the world of politically appointed cronies is the well-spring of such orders and policies, and that appears to be just fine with the military 'leadership' as it now exists.
But this article, among a plethora of others, is forging a meme wherein the military is 'separate' from the population which makes up it's constituent parts.....
While I do applaud the Rolling Stone for this and many other illuminating articles ... it is still entrenched within the same sorry simplistic generalizations that make people wrongly assume that institutions like the military have 'their own agenda.' They don't - they are a tool .... and the real problem is that this particular tool is not in the hands of "the people".... it's in "other" hands by virtue of the subversion and corruption of those in it's immediate chain of command (whom it MUST obey.)
The real question this article raises is WHO has the moral authority to justify the misuse of influence and information... did we vote for them? Are they accountable? and from whom do THEY get their marching orders?
The exploitation of superstitions for purposes of psychological warfare
I. Introduction The purpose of this paper is to present a few examples of superstitions (observed both during World War II and, in the case of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries, in the postwar period), to show some of the techniques which have been used by wartime propagandists to exploit popular superstitions, and to suggest very briefly some of the factors which might be considered in any attempt to exploit superstitions for psychological warfare.
Apocolyptic stories appeared. One such story recounted that in a certain observatory a new planet had been sighted which was moving rapidly towards collision with earth. An increase in non-institutionalized forms of religion was reported.
1. Prophesies concerning future events, either optomistic or pessimistic. 2. Belief in protective devices and acts. 3. "Fringe" or "radical" religions, particularly those maintaining that the end of the world is at hand. 4. Belief in magical phenomena, miracles, etc. 5. Fatalistic attitudes towards one's chances of escaping harm.