bush propaganda on your news soon

  1. 631 Posts.
    Pentagon ponders propaganda unit


    The Bush Administration is quietly resurrecting the idea of a "black propaganda" unit within the Pentagon to spread false stories and information in the foreign media - even in countries the United States considers its allies.

    According to senior officials at the Pentagon, a heated debate is currently taking place about how much power this unit should have.

    On one side, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and one of his senior officials, Douglas Feith, have been arguing in favour of "information warfare" while others say that telling lies to the media is wrong and possibly counter-productive.

    The move follows previous efforts by Rumsfeld to develop such a propaganda unit. That operation, known as the Office of Strategic Planning, was shut down three years ago as a result of the controversy it caused.

    At the time, Rumsfeld warned that its work would continue.

    According to a report in the New York Times, the idea has been revived because of growing concern that the US is failing to effectively sell itself - especially in Arab and Muslim countries. Last month, a report by the Pentagon's own Defence Science Board warned that the US was losing "the war of ideas" in the Islamic world. It said America's talk of bringing democracy to Muslim nations was seen as "self-serving hypocrisy".

    Lawrence de Rita, a senior Pentagon spokesman, said: "In the battle of perception management where the enemy is clearly using the media to help management perceptions of the general public, our job is not perception management but to counter the enemy's perception management."

    Officials involved in the present debate say the propaganda unit could, for instance, plant false stories in the foreign press or create web documents in Arabic to try to discredit and undermine the influence of mosques and religious leaders that preach anti-American principles.

    So-called "Black Ops propaganda" and psychological warfare have long been part of the US's military arsenal.

    Last week it was reported that the US cable channel CNN had been fed false information three weeks before the recent assault on the city of Fallujah.

    On October 14, Marine spokesman Lieutenant Lyle Gilbert said on camera that "troops crossed the line of departure" and that the Fallujah operation was under way.

    It transpired however that the operation to take the city had not yet started and that the US military was looking to see if the report triggered any moves by insurgents inside the city.

arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch. arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch.