US/NATO Embrace Psy-ops and Info-War

Exclusive: The U.S. government and NATO have entered the Brave New World of “strategic communications,” merging psy-ops, propaganda and P.R. in order to manage the perceptions of Americans and the world’s public, reports veteran war correspondent Don North.

By Don North

As reflected in a recent NATO conference in Latvia and in the Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual, the U.S. government has come to view the control and manipulation of information as a “soft power” weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase “strategic communications.”

This attitude has led to treating psy-ops manipulative techniques for influencing a target population’s state of mind and surreptitiously shaping people’s perceptions as just a normal part of U.S. and NATO’s information policy.

Dr. Stephen Badsey, Professor of Conflict studies, Wolverhampton University, U.K.

Dr. Stephen Badsey, Professor of Conflict studies, Wolverhampton University, U.K.

“The NATO case and argument is that NATO’s approach to psy-ops is to treat it as an essentially open, truthful and benign activity and that, plus the elimination of any meaningful distinctions between domestic and foreign media institutions and social media, means that psy-ops and public affairs have effectively fused,” said British military historian, Dr. Stephen Badsey, one of the world’s leading authorities on war and the media.

Badsey said NATO has largely abandoned the notion that there should be a clear distinction between psy-ops and public affairs, although NATO officially rules out the dissemination of “black propaganda,” knowingly false information designed to discredit an adversary.

“The long argument as to whether a firewall should be maintained between psy-ops and information activities and public affairs has now largely ended, and in my view the wrong side won,” Badsey added.

And, as part of this Brave New World of “strategic communications,” the U.S. military and NATO have now gone on the offensive against news organizations that present journalism which is deemed to undermine the perceptions that the U.S. government seeks to convey to the world.

That attitude led to the Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual which suggests journalists in wartime may be considered “spies” or “unprivileged belligerents,” creating the possibility that reporters could be subject to indefinite incarceration, military tribunals and extrajudicial execution the same treatment applied to Al Qaeda terrorists who are also called “unprivileged belligerents.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Pentagon Manual Calls Some Reporters Spies.”]

The revised “Law of War” manual has come under sharp criticism from representatives of both mainstream and independent media, including The New York Times’ editors and the Committee to Protect Journalists, as well as academics such as Dr. Badsey.

“The attitude toward the media expressed in the 2015 Pentagon manual is a violation of the international laws of war to which the USA is a signatory, going back to the 1907 Hague Convention, and including the Geneva Conventions,” said Badsey, a professor of conflict studies at Wolverhampton University in the United Kingdom and a long-time contact of mine who is often critical of U.S. military information tactics.

“But [the manual] is a reflection of the attitude fully displayed more than a decade ago in Iraq where the Pentagon decided that some media outlets, notably Al Jazeera, were enemies to be destroyed rather than legitimate news sources.”

The Vietnam Debate

The Pentagon’s hostility toward journalists whose reporting undermines U.S. government propaganda goes back even further, becoming a tendentious issue during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s when the war’s supporters accused American journalists of behaving treasonously by reporting critically about the U.S. military’s strategies and tactics, including exposure of atrocities such as the My Lai massacre.

In the 1980s, conservatives in the Reagan administration embracing as an article of faith that “liberal” reporters contributed to the U.S. defeat in Vietnam moved aggressively to discredit journalists who wrote about human rights violations by U.S.-backed forces in Central America. In line with those hostile attitudes, news coverage of President Ronald Reagan’s invasion of Grenada in 1983 was barred, and in 1990-91, President George H.W. Bush tightly controlled journalists trying to report on the Persian Gulf War. By keeping out or keeping a close eye on reporters, the U.S. military acted with fewer constraints and abuses went largely unreported.

This so-called “weaponizing of information” turned even more lethal during the presidency of Bill Clinton and the war over Kosovo when NATO identified Serb TV as an enemy “propaganda center” and dispatched warplanes to destroy its studios in Belgrade. In April 1999, acting under orders from U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, American bombers fired two cruise missiles that reduced Radio Televizija Srbija to a pile of rubble and killed 16 civilian Serb journalists working for the government station.

Despite this willful slaughter of unarmed journalists, the reaction from most U.S. news organizations was muted. However, an independent association of electronic media in Yugoslavia condemned the attack.

“History has shown that no form of repression, particularly the organized and premeditated murder of journalists, can prevent the flow of information, nor can it prevent the public from choosing its own sources of information,” the group said.

The (London) Independent’s Robert Fisk remarked at the time, “once you kill people because you don’t like what they say, you change the rules of war.” Now, the Pentagon is doing exactly that, literally rewriting its “Law of War” manual to allow for the no-holds-barred treatment of “enemy” journalists as “unprivileged belligerents.”

Despite the 1999 targeting of a news outlet in order to silence its reporting, a case for war crimes was never pursued against the U.S. and NATO officials responsible, and retired General Clark is still a frequent guest on CNN and other American news programs.

Targeting Al Jazeera

During the presidency of George W. Bush, the Arab network Al Jazeera was depicted as “enemy media” deserving of destruction rather than being respected as a legitimate news organization and the news network’s offices were struck by American bombs. On Nov. 13, 2001, during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, a U.S. missile hit Al Jazeera’s office in Kabul, destroying the building and damaging the homes of some employees.

On April 8, 2003, during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a U.S. missile hit an electricity generator at Al Jazeera’s Baghdad office, touching off a fire that killed reporter Tareq Ayyoub and wounding a colleague. The Bush administration insisted that the attacks on Al Jazeera offices were “accidents.”

However, in 2004, as the U.S. occupation of Iraq encountered increased resistance and U.S. forces mounted a major offensive in the city of Fallujah, Al Jazeera’s video of the assault graphically depicted the devastation and on April 15, 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld decried Al Jazeera’s coverage as “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable.”

According to a British published report on the minutes of a meeting the next day between President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush suggested bombing Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar but was talked out of the idea by Blair who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

During the Iraq War, Dr. Badsey wrote the following observation which I cited in my book on military/media relations, Inappropriate Conduct: “The claim that in 2004 at the first battle of Fallujah the U.S. Marine Corps ‘weren’t beaten by the terrorists and insurgents, they were beaten by Al Jazeera television’ rather than that they [U.S. forces] employed inappropriate tactics for the political environment of their mission, is recognizable as yet another variant on the long-discredited claim that the Vietnam War was lost on the television screens of America.”

Although the notion of Vietnam-era journalists for U.S. media acting as a fifth column rather than a Fourth Estate is widely accepted among conservatives, the reality was always much different, with most of the early Vietnam War coverage largely favorable, even flattering, before journalists became more skeptical as the war dragged on.

In a recent interview on NPR radio, Charles Adams, a senior editor of the new “Law of War” manual, was unable to cite examples of journalists jeopardizing operations in the last five wars and that may be because there were so few examples of journalistic misconduct and the handful of cases involved either confusion about rules or resistance to news embargoes that were considered unreasonable.

Examining the history of reporters dis-accredited during the Vietnam War, William Hammond, author of a two-volume history of U.S. Army relations with the media in Vietnam, found only eight dis-accreditations, according to military files.

Arguably the most serious case involved the Baltimore Sun’s John Carroll, an Army veteran himself who believed strongly that it was important that the American people be as thoroughly informed about the controversial war as possible. He got in trouble for reporting that the U.S. Marines were about to abandon their base at Khe Sahn. He was accused of violating an embargo and was stripped of his credentials, though he argued that the North Vietnamese surrounding the base were well aware of the troop movement.

Toward the end of the war, some reporters also considered the South Vietnamese government so penetrated by the communists that there were no secrets anyway. Prime Minister Nguyen van Thieu’s principal aide was a spy and everyone knew it except the American people.

During his long career, which included the editorship of the Los Angeles Times, Carroll came to view journalists “almost as public servants and a free press as essential to a self-governing nation,” according to his obituary in The New York Times after his death on June 14, 2015.

Strategic Communication

During the Obama administration, the concept of “strategic communication” managing the perceptions of the world’s public has grown more and more expansive and the crackdown on the flow of information unprecedented. More than any of his predecessors, President Barack Obama has authorized harsh legal action against government “leakers” who have exposed inconvenient truths about U.S. foreign policy and intelligence practices.

And Obama’s State Department has mounted a fierce public campaign against the Russian network, RT, that is reminiscent of the Clinton administration’s hostility toward Serb TV and Bush-43’s anger toward Al Jazeera.

Since RT doesn’t use the State Department’s preferred language regarding the Ukraine crisis and doesn’t show the requisite respect for the U.S.-backed regime in Kiev, the network is denounced for its “propaganda,” but this finger-pointing is really just part of the playbook for “information warfare,” raising doubts about the information coming from your adversary while creating a more favorable environment for your own propaganda. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Who’s the Propagandist? US or RT?”]

This growing fascination with “strategic communication” has given rise to NATO’s new temple to information technology, called “The NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence” or STRATCOM, located in Latvia, a former Soviet republic that is now on the front lines of the tensions with Russia.

On Aug. 20, some of the most influential minds from the world of “strategic communications” gathered in Latvia’s capital of Riga for a two-day conference entitled “Perception Matters.” A quotation headlined in all its communications read: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed” noble sentiments perhaps but not always reflected in the remarks by more than 200 defense and communications experts, many of whom viewed information not as some neutral factor necessary for enlightening the public and nourishing democracy, but as a “soft power” weapon to be wielded against an adversary.

Hawkish Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, led a delegation of U.S. senators and said STRATCOM was needed to combat Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. “This Center will help spread the truth,” said McCain although “the truth” in the world of “strategic communications” can be a matter of perception.

Don North is a veteran war correspondent who covered the Vietnam War and many other conflicts around the world. He is the author of a new book, Inappropriate Conduct,  the story of a World War II correspondent whose career was crushed by the intrigue he uncovered.

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30 comments for “US/NATO Embrace Psy-ops and Info-War

  1. Consortiumnews.com
    September 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Test. Test.

    • paul wichmann
      September 3, 2015 at 5:57 am

      Indeed. I had a bit of grief getting through.
      It’s what you get for offering this fine piece, and ragging on our propagandist state generally.

    • ishvaaag
      September 6, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Humans are embedded in societies that survive through individuals … there’s little remnant morality once the individual’s survival risk is appraised. In that state, the individual at hand will deny any and all rules to keep the species alive through its own survival. Hence this shit of psyops is to be defeated by the same mechanism that originates it, what is quoted as finding other source for news, or some haven or weapon to survive. Psyop, psyop, damned.

  2. Zachary Smith
    September 2, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    The NATO case and argument is that NATO’s approach to psy-ops is to treat it as an essentially open, truthful and benign activity …

    If that was all there was to it, the “NATO case” would be a good one.

    It’s when they start murdering people who present evidence the “truthful and benign” things are actually malignant lies that the “NATO case” falls to pieces.

  3. legal eagle
    September 3, 2015 at 5:45 am

    When you have to bend the truth in order to forward your agenda then there is something wrong with the agenda

  4. paul wichmann
    September 3, 2015 at 5:53 am

    I’d correct Don North; We’re Orwellian rather than “Brave…” Either way, though, we’re dead.

    We almost fully satisfy Goldstein’s tract on war (as peace). The Inner Party members, in their cranial recesses , did not believe their own propaganda, yet they plowed ahead as though the lies were legitimate bases for decision-making.
    This is so US, indisputably proven by the fact of the gulf between our intentions and the results we obtain. And then, by our resolute inability to perceive that ever-widening gulf. Consequently: Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, the Ukraine, and on (and on), not a single lesson learned. There isn’t even the possibility.

    We are fat, sloth-like and incompetent, in almost every way corrupt, handicapped and disabled. This alone would be our end. But our comfort with and affinity for the LIE, top to bottom, is the lock, the determinator.

    • r.k.barkhi
      September 8, 2015 at 1:52 am

      i think you are both right in terms of using “brave new world” and “orwellian”(1984) as these books uncannily describe where we are heading as a society so perfectly that i recommend both to everyone i talk to. Read them while u can!

      however many people think the situations that you mentioned are accidental or due to some lack of understanding or intel,etc. if you adjust your attentions and widen out your perspective it will become clear that there is NO failure of understanding, but a resounding success in all fields attempted(bank fraud,politician/judge owning,warfare etc)

      the main problem or block we have is that we look at these incidents and global situations in a piece meal way and from our reasonable and mentally sane points of view. when you widen your perspective and begin to find the connections that truly exist (and luckily for a time they are still researchable) then you become aware of the similarity in m.o. and in the payoff(s). asking “who benefits” from the situations that puzzle you leads to names and corporations,bankers and politicians who make a killing (literally and fiscally) FOR THEMSELVES but always at the expense of others (leading to the concept of a “free market” where these same names do fiscally and/or politically insane things because they know The Taxpayer Will Bail Them Out (e.g.jeb +neal bush’s1987 S&L,2008-9 BAILOUT etc) which is where the term “free” comes in:they make the profits and taxpayers foot the multi billion dollar bills making the venture “free” for the fraudsters .the “market” part is a fraud from the getgo,read any legislation re: large corporations and the rigging is buried in the fine print.

      for example look at the wars in the mideast.oil and empire are the reasons and 9/11 was crafted as the excuse to invade countries that happened to sit on “strategic”oil reserves (the caspian sea reserves was why we invaded afghanistan). so who made the big bucks? well theDick cheney/haliburton provided equipment for both the oil part AND the military part with contracts worth billions and so did other crimefamilybush friends (what biz where they in?guess!).who cares that this created unheard of deficits,robbed us of needed infrastructure replacement,etc.why just cut those pesky social progams(another hidden agenda),bankrupt the states (via “no child left behind”-a tactically brilliant plan) and since youve both created the “enemy”and declared war on “it” , you are in the drivers seat like no war mongering psychopath in history with an endless war against anyone you name and a nearly permanent transfusion of PUBLIC monies directly into your pals bank accounts aka DOD contracts. remember the “free” “market” as viewed by these people:they do all the stupid evil wasteful crap and the public pays for it.

      is it beginning to make “sense” now? of course you need to know something about the abnormal sociopathic mentally ill mind to really get a handle on this. that is the other reason none of this made sense before-you are a normal human being and these people are seriously morally,ethically and mentally ill. unfortunately (as if things are bad enough) they have sucked the middle classes almost dry and are now sucking the money from the 1% who are unaware of whats really going on (see any wealth distribution report c.2008-now. the only major gains are in the .01% !). when this bloodmoney runs dry they will not be happy stopping there……

  5. Tertius
    September 3, 2015 at 9:52 am

    What about the 9/11 false flag inside job? Even Robert Parry for reasons unknown to me, stick to the party line. That it was a conspiracy by members of Al Qaida & planned by Osama Bin Laden who was conveniantly killed in a raid in Pakistan.

    After all these years of torturing suspects, nearly 14 years, no-one has been sentenced in an open civilian court, the conspiracy alleged by the USA government, has never been proven beyond any doubt. Why Robert? Because there is no real evidence that any afilliated to Al Qaida could pull off an operation of that magnitude without help inside the USA, if they were involved at all.
    1. How could they, Al Qaida, have possibly known that military exercises simulating the same scenario as actually happened that day, will take place to mask their actions of hi-jacking 4 planes and crashing them into strategic buildings? The mighty god Allah through his prophet Mohammed told them in a dream? If you believe that then virgin births probably happen every day.
    2. From a physics point of view, ASSYMETRICAL damage at a top of a building cannot cause a complete SYMMETRICAL collapse of a complete building, not to mention 3 of which one was not even hit by an aeroplane. That is why explosives experts have to plan precisely where they place charges and the order in which these should be set off in order to have a COMPLETE SYMMETRIC collapse. To make it look like floors pancaking on top of each other, require even more expertise. Oh yes, Osama’s dad is in the construction business and he taught his son how to implode buildings. Even better, he taught him how to do it with hi-jacked aeroplanes. What geniuses are they not, these Saudi-Arabians who cannot even build their own weapon systems which they buy from the USA. Or maybe it is because Allah is on there side and inspire them in moments of need. And for some odd reason Allah has abandoned them after 9/11. Did they do something wrong, did they not follow Allah’s orders precisely and therefore Allah alllowed them to be punished by the good Americans?
    3. If the top floors pancaked the floors below, then the centre columns or parts of them, would remain standing.
    4. For a complete symmetrical collapse to take place, the bottom of the central load bearing columns have to be severed SIMULTANOUSLY!. Steel is flexible and conduct heat very well. It is only in a world of magic or of lies believed, that the heat and damage caused by aeroplanes crashing high into a building can possibly cause ALL the load bearing columns to be severed at the bottom simultanously.

    Robert, why can you not see this? You think that such conspiracies cannot be hidden? Well in both the cases of 9/11 and JFK, this has been done with amazing success. How is it possible? In South Africa the conspiracy of a secret group, the Broederbond, controlling the ruling National Party has been exposed years ago by journalist of the South African Sunday paper, The Sunday Times. It is a fact, no-one will dispute this and names of people who belonged to the Broederbond, has been exposed a long time ago. Is this not possible in the USA? Are people of Anglo Saxon origins so pure and decent, that they would not be able to form secret groups which control governments and execute devious conspiracies? A group which fits the bill is the Neocons who you write about so often. Clearly they have conspired in the Ukraine to affect regime change and to use this strategic gain, to try and weaken the rule of Putin and to replace him with a leader compliant to the Nato/USA agenda of global control.

    Robert, I don’t know what your motivations are or what the blind spot in your psyche is that you cannot get yourself to admit that Al Qaida by themselves could never be able to commit the horrific crimes on 9/11? And neither is the USA government filled with incompetents not able to either limit or prevent what happened on 9/11. The USA Empire still controls many governments on this planet. In fact, the USA Empire is the most “successfull” empire that has existed on planet earth within known history. Can incompetent people do this? Well if that is possible, soon Africa will be the new empire builders. That is why the USA will also be successfull if not resisted by more competent people. Not by journalist but by real leaders like those of Russia and China.

    • Joe
      September 4, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Your comment is based upon mechanical engineering assertions that are highly disputable and insufficient to prove any causal theory alternative to the airplane damage. You should have a complete and accurate mechanical model before making public assertions against evidence that is fairly complete and indisputable. Otherwise you are just making assumptions and troubling others with unsupported assertions not worth their time.

      Your primary assumption is simply that the WTC collapse model does not fit lateral impact damage. That is incorrect because the lateral impact was not at the top, it was far down where dynamic load from collapse of floors above was sufficient to collapse floors below, and was distributed enough to collapse the entire structure below. The upper floors apparently collapsed largely due to aircraft fuel fire damage to columns, which would have been fairly even distributed across the impacted floors. I have seen this happen where a fuel truck overturned and burned the area around a very large billboard supported by large I-beams that were bent over at ground level under their own weight.

      So you would need a lot more evidence of an alternative cause to assert this based upon speculation as to the resulting damage model, and should not trouble yourself or others with potential alternatives until you have such evidence.

      • Joe B
        September 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

        I share your concern about the apparent simultaneity of collapse across the building cross-section. As you note, this would be necessary for vertical collapse of a medium-rise structure with load-bearing walls. But I suspect that the WTC structure was quite weak and depended upon cross-bracing and lateral members to stabilize a large number of small columns. With damage on one side and partial collapse, it is likely that the falling structure quickly destroyed the marginal bracing of columns below, causing progressive failures to spread rapidly across the whole cross-section. This would remove support of any part of the structure above, causing it to fall more or less vertically after one or two floors were crushed. Something like a house of cards falling more or less vertically.

        If there were a large number of synchronous explosions destroying lower columns, it is unlikely that no one would have noticed, unlikely that there would be no chemical evidence, unlikely that much of the building would remain standing long enough for firefighters to get inside, and unlikely that it would be so well coordinated with a unique aircraft attack on the same day. So the alternative hypothesis requires a lot of evidence to merit consideration, of which we have none at all.

        • J
          September 4, 2015 at 7:58 pm

          Look at the very beginning of the movie the French Connection for good overhead construction photos of the towers. There’s a big central tower.

          • Joe B
            September 5, 2015 at 7:58 am

            Usually there is a central tower of elevator shafts and utility lines, but it is not necessarily stronger than the other structure. It would be overloaded by many floors of collapsing structure around it. One would need to see differing examples of other collapsing high-rises of similar structure to see anything surprising about WTC. But it is true that “progressive failure” (overloading at one point causing failure causing overloading at the next point) is much neglected and more likely with marginal strength designs, whereas smaller structures usually have redundant load paths designed to take up loads from local failures.

        • AJ
          September 6, 2015 at 3:28 am

          Obviously haven’t done much research have you?

          It is structural engineering we are talking about here, and there is no way in the world that such asymmetrical damage could result in a symmetrical collapse in three, yes three buildings. And there was evidence of explosions – lots of it. A lot of that testimony was omitted from the official “story”.

          I’m not an expert, but I have studied structural engineering, and after spending countless hours looking into it I am convinced more than ever that those buildings were intentionally demolished by explosives.

          • Joe B
            September 6, 2015 at 10:12 am

            You have no basis for disparagement instead of argument. Our difference is based upon the credibility of your evidence of explosions. If there was credible evidence of simultaneous explosions after the building had been burning for a long time, you must show that, and explain why there were two causes, other airplanes with no such coordination with other causes, etc. Your case lacks sufficient evidence and argument, that is all.

            The article is not about the WTC incident. To merely fill this site with assertions is without value, and to claim that others have not done “research” because they disagree is silly.

          • Mudhole
            September 6, 2015 at 11:28 am

            This guy you are arguing with, ‘Joe’ is a Hasbara troll. He’s never going to get tired, never going to admit the truth. Arguing with Hasbaraniki is a complete waste of time.

      • r.k.barkhi
        September 8, 2015 at 2:29 am

        try applying your own brand of logic? to your unproven unreferenced etc statements.comparing a bilboard to the 42 central i beams supporting the core of the wtcs (which had to be left out of computer models to “support”the collapse theory) is an incredible leap of….i dont know how to characterize it.

        in the event you are not a traitor troll paid by our tax dollars i will ask you this:
        if the building “collapsed” as you say then
        1.where were the 100+floors and steel girders?
        2.why was the concrete COMPLETELY pulverized,somwthing that NEVER happens in a collapse but ALWAYS happens in a demolition?
        3. as many scientists have said”the only smoking gun i needed was the presence of molten metal.NO OFFICE FIRE OR JET FUEL FIRE IN THE WORLD WILL MELT STEEL.EVER.PERIOD”.
        4.none of the “aircraft” were ever i.d. as 757/767s. look at the available video and show us a commercial jet.2 of the supposed flights werent even scheduled for that day.
        5.where are the wings and tail of the 2nd “plane”.not one video shows anything falling into the street and yet those hollow wings are supposed to have cut thru steel girders INTACT? why didnt the tail fall into the street?
        6.in over 100 years no steel frame bldg has collapsed from fire.on 9/11 three bldgs fell down virtually in their footprints.no bldg can collapse into itself or its footprint.thats why explosives are used and guess what….hundreds of people reported explosions BEFORE AND AFTER the impacts.
        7.if a 767/757 hit the pentagon….why wasnt it shot down? how did it stay in one piece when the pilot who flew that exact plane stated:he couldnt make that 330 degree turn in that plane at that speed ,fly so low and hit the pentagon in one piece.he stated that the plane wasnt made for those types of maneuvers and would break up in mid air.finally:show us any one of the 80+ videos recorded that morning…go ahead show us the plane!

  6. jaycee
    September 3, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    There’s a cruel logic informing these policies and that is the doctrine of total war.

    Waging total war infected all sides in WW2, and by the end of it people were so horrified, traumatized and cognizant of the ease by which eventually all could succumb to dark impulses, that the United Nations was founded on the principle of outlawing war (or at least aggressive war-making). That international legal regime has broken down, to the extent it was ever enforced, and now generations removed from WW2’s trauma, devotees of total war are in ascendancy. The policies they advocate are not just wrong but criminal.

    • paul wichmann
      September 4, 2015 at 3:23 am

      I would rather you’d put it ‘endless war’, as in Orwell’s “1984”; if it were total war we’d have total mobilization, everyone at the front or in the factories.
      Yet different from Orwell’s ‘two minutes of Hate’ or ‘Hate Week’, the pot comes to a boil only to secure entry, after which things settle down, and people on all sides are wrecked and wasted in relative obscurity.
      But otherwise agreed. Europe carried the weight of WW2, so even now, despite deterioration, they’re a bit more cautious than US.
      All this is possible for two (off the top) reasons: Nothing is sacred to our leaders / masters, and their propagandist talent is highly effective – and unassailable. Second, we are so cursed dumb, dull, gull, patriotic and unconscious.

    • paul wichmann
      September 4, 2015 at 3:25 am

      I would rather you’d put it ‘endless war’, as in Orwell’s “1984”; if it were total war we’d have total mobilization, everyone at the front or in the factories.
      Yet different from Orwell’s ‘two minutes of Hate’ or ‘Hate Week’, the pot comes to a boil only to secure entry, after which things settle down, and people on all sides are wrecked and wasted in relative obscurity.
      But otherwise agreed. Europe carried the weight of WW2, so even now, despite deterioration, they’re a bit more cautious than US.
      All this is possible for two (off the top) reasons: Nothing is sacred to our leaders / masters, and their propagandist talent is highly effective – and unassailable. Second, we are so cursed dumb, dull, gull, patriotic and unconscious.

  7. Mortimer
    September 3, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    “strategic communications,” merging psy-ops, propaganda and P.R. in order to manage the perceptions of Americans and the world’s public …
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Doctrine of “Self- Preservation”

    what of wak’n up
    n’to 211 alarm bells
    mes’n wit cho mind
    not mess’n ging

    but struggling/stroking
    thru soft-controlled desire
    4 that cold can of steel,
    (this is how we do.)

    Locked Up, all dat B
    took’n away
    freedom of thought,
    das gone.

    cain’t scheme/no visualize
    who ta hook up wit,
    N’git N2 something
    for tha moan’n

    af’ta that
    da day move
    itself forward,
    i’m did…

    no space ta
    think 4 myself
    or Not be signed
    2 a clique.

    Doctine of Self- Preservation… .

  8. rosemerry
    September 3, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Of course we could easily go back to 1945 and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombing, which were not allowed to be reported by ANYONE and whose effects were recorded but kept secret (except for a few disobedient men like Wilfred Burchett) for decades, while the military officials in the USA spread lies to minimise any reports of harm.

    • Mortimer
      September 3, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      How will the upcoming
      9/11 emblem
      be historically
      remembered???

      Who will be hung
      for the crime?
      those accused
      or real perps… ?

      false flag Ops
      real designers?
      paid performers
      or created props?

      That led to war
      with no end
      so that we could
      “defend our freedoms”

      You all still believe that… ?

  9. Jo
    September 3, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Thousands of individuals (including myself) claim to be gang stalked (organized stalking, revenge stalking, harassment by proxy), which is really military psy-ops or Cointelpro, which was resurrected in the 1980s, only with more sophistication and more wide spread.

    We cannot get any help. There is a disinformation campaign so that there are perps acting as targeted individuals (TIs), websites that say they will help and don’t, and a lot of overall misinformation (a lot of it is simply to scare us, the TIs). We are dismissed as paranoid or conspiracy theorists. We are neither. If anyone knew their history, they would realize the CIA and FBI nearly always claimed a person was crazy so they wouldn’t be taken seriously. The first step in organized stalking is to discredit the victim.

    So, here we are. Suffering in silence. Erroneously called nuts or dissenters. This has been going on for decades. Fortunately, for me it has only been 1 year — but any amount of time in this is torturous.

    Read about Aaron Alexis or Myron May, both of whom were TIs. They could well be failed tests for finding Manchurian Candidates. Strange…but probably true.

    If anyone wants more info, contact me at ti_jo_2014@protonmail.com

  10. GrandmaR
    September 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    This link (below) is for a report on the Ukraine on yesterday’s PBS NewsHour. I hope everyone will watch it and also study the transcript. Is it possible that Margaret Warner and Judy Woodruff don’t know these are outright lies? NO, it is not. I sat there slack jawed!

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/ukraine-resistance-growing-negotiated-settlement-separatists/

    • Jay
      September 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      PBS and NPR mostly treat whatever the New York Times prints as news as established truth.

      And the Times sure has told a lot of lies about Ukraine.

  11. September 3, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    It’s going to be end of mine day, however before ending I
    am reading this fantastic paragraph to improve my experience.

  12. September 4, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Don North certainly does his research and writes with an authority that is both reasoned, well expressed and contains some revelations. His second article on the Pentagon’s new manual on semi-belligerent media goes into greater detail on the implications and background of how we got to this state of military paranoia concerning zones of US operations.

  13. Douglas Baker
    September 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    9/6/2015 Streaming videos from Netflic and other entertainments made available in main stream culture and shape shifted prior to public display like Netflic’s “Narcos” self tagged, “magical realism”, are carriers for what ever propaganda is the fashion of the day.

  14. September 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    What did you think they were doing previously?

    This strains credulity that the author just discovered propaganda.

  15. David G
    September 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I also recall the shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad by a U.S. tank in 2003, killing two journalists and wounding others. It’s possible that the military’s claim that this wasn’t deliberate targeting of non-embedded reporters is correct, but it occurred in a context of contempt for their work outside the embedded message machine and disinterest in their safety.

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