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the Talking Can
04-10-2006, 06:28 AM
Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi
Jordanian Painted As Foreign Threat To Iraq's Stability

By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 10, 2006; Page A01

The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The documents state that the U.S. campaign aims to turn Iraqis against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, by playing on their perceived dislike of foreigners. U.S. authorities claim some success with that effort, noting that some tribal Iraqi insurgents have attacked Zarqawi loyalists.

Two slides from a briefing prepared for Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, describe a U.S. military propaganda campaign that was intended to highlight the role of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist, in the Iraqi insurgency. By emphasizing his foreign origin, the "psychological operations" effort sought to play on a perceived Iraqi dislike of foreigners and so split the insurgency.
News From Iraq

For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi's role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the "U.S. Home Audience" as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign.

Some senior intelligence officers believe Zarqawi's role may have been overemphasized by the propaganda campaign, which has included leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings and at least one leak to an American journalist. Although Zarqawi and other foreign insurgents in Iraq have conducted deadly bombing attacks, they remain "a very small part of the actual numbers," Col. Derek Harvey, who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq and then was one of the top officers handling Iraq intelligence issues on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an Army meeting at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., last summer.

In a transcript of the meeting, Harvey said, "Our own focus on Zarqawi has enlarged his caricature, if you will -- made him more important than he really is, in some ways."

"The long-term threat is not Zarqawi or religious extremists, but these former regime types and their friends," said Harvey, who did not return phone calls seeking comment on his remarks.


....The military's propaganda program largely has been aimed at Iraqis, but seems to have spilled over into the U.S. media. One briefing slide about U.S. "strategic communications" in Iraq, prepared for Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, describes the "home audience" as one of six major targets of the American side of the war.

That slide, created by Casey's subordinates, does not specifically state that U.S. citizens were being targeted by the effort, but other sections of the briefings indicate that there were direct military efforts to use the U.S. media to affect views of the war. One slide in the same briefing, for example, noted that a "selective leak" about Zarqawi was made to Dexter Filkins, a New York Times reporter based in Baghdad. Filkins's resulting article, about a letter supposedly written by Zarqawi and boasting of suicide attacks in Iraq, ran on the Times front page on Feb. 9, 2004.


...The Zarqawi program was not related to another effort, led by the Lincoln Group, a U.S. consulting firm, to place pro-U.S. articles in Iraq newspapers, according to the officer familiar with the program who spoke on background.

It is difficult to determine how much has been spent on the Zarqawi campaign, which began two years ago and is believed to be ongoing. U.S. propaganda efforts in Iraq in 2004 cost $24 million, but that included extensive building of offices and residences for troops involved, as well as radio broadcasts and distribution of thousands of leaflets with Zarqawi's face on them, said the officer speaking on background.

The Zarqawi campaign is discussed in several of the internal military documents. "Villainize Zarqawi/leverage xenophobia response," one U.S. military briefing from 2004 stated. It listed three methods: "Media operations," "Special Ops (626)" (a reference to Task Force 626, an elite U.S. military unit assigned primarily to hunt in Iraq for senior officials in Hussein's government) and "PSYOP," the U.S. military term for propaganda work....

washington post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/09/AR2006040900890_2.html)

memyselfI
04-10-2006, 06:32 AM
So what's new(s)????? :rolleyes:

Karen Ryan, Jeff Gannon, Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, planted stories in Iraq, US troops fake press conferences...

this has been the FAUX News Administration.

http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/37/9592

Mr. Kotter
04-10-2006, 08:55 AM
I know...

It's disgusting the administration would use propaganda and canned stories/propaganda to promote it's policies.

I can't believe this is the first administration to ever resort to such a tactic though. I find that surprising.

jAZ
04-10-2006, 09:57 AM
I know...

It's disgusting the administration would use propaganda and canned stories/propaganda to promote it's policies.

I can't believe this is the first administration to ever resort to such a tactic though. I find that surprising.
Actually, this *might* be strictly illegal, though likely not I suspect. In any case, explicitly targeting the US with such propaganda certainly defies the spirit of the Smith-Mundt Act, if not the letter.

http://wiki.uscpublicdiplomacy.com/mediawiki/index.php/Smith_Mundt_Act

Mr. Kotter
04-10-2006, 10:10 AM
Actually, this *might* be strictly illegal, though likely not I suspect. In any case, explicitly targeting the US with such propaganda certainly defies the spirit of the Smith-Mundt Act, if not the letter.

http://wiki.uscpublicdiplomacy.com/mediawiki/index.php/Smith_Mundt_Act

Yeah. And like I said, no other administration in history has ever done that....why the unmitigated gal of this administration to be the first! :cuss:

The FIRST, I tell you.... :harumph:

We should skip the impeachment, Senate trial, and civil actions, and just execute Dubya. Tonight. On pay-per-view TV, I tell you. Maybe www.moveon.org will carry a live simulcast on the web.... :hmmm:

jAZ
04-10-2006, 10:12 AM
Yeah. And like I said, no other administration in history has ever done that....why the unmitigated gal of this administration to be the first! :cuss:

The FIRST, I tell you.... :harumph:
Ever hear of Armstrong Williams?

Mr. Kotter
04-10-2006, 10:14 AM
Ever hear of Armstrong Williams?

Of course.

Pitt Gorilla
04-10-2006, 10:16 AM
Yeah. And like I said, no other administration in history has ever done that....why the unmitigated gal of this administration to be the first! :cuss:

The FIRST, I tell you.... :harumph:

We should skip the impeachment, Senate trial, and civil actions, and just execute Dubya. Tonight. On pay-per-view TV, I tell you. Maybe www.moveon.org will carry a live simulcast on the web.... :hmmm:You do realize that YOU are the only person talking about them being the first. Are you attempting to argue with yourself?

Edit: Now Jaz has taken the bait.

jAZ
04-10-2006, 10:17 AM
There's quite a bit of this behavior that this administration is in fact *the first* to do.

And to be honest, I'm unaware of any allegations of overseas media outlets ever being used as a forum for targeting Americans with propaganda prior to Bush (since the practice was banned in 48).

I'm sure you have some specific examples to flush out your sarcastic assertions to the contrary.

banyon
04-10-2006, 10:38 AM
There's quite a bit of this behavior that this administration is in fact *the first* to do.

And to be honest, I'm unaware of any allegations of overseas media outlets ever being used as a forum for targeting Americans with propaganda prior to Bush (since the practice was banned in 48).

I'm sure you have some specific examples to flush out your sarcastic assertions to the contrary.

Voice of America (VOA) has some pretty sketchy history on this issue.

Lurch
04-10-2006, 10:46 AM
Voice of America (VOA) has some pretty sketchy history on this issue.

Sinking of the Maine, intel reported prior to Pearl Harbor that was ignored, refusal to believe reports of the Holocaust, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, alleged atrocities in Bosnia....yadda, yadda, yadda.

Lurch
04-10-2006, 10:48 AM
There's quite a bit of this behavior that this administration is in fact *the first* to do.

And to be honest, I'm unaware of any allegations of overseas media outlets ever being used as a forum for targeting Americans with propaganda prior to Bush (since the practice was banned in 48).

I'm sure you have some specific examples to flush out your sarcastic assertions to the contrary.
What were the numbers the Clinton administration knew to be false yet used to justify intervention in Bosnia, again? Wanna talk about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears? Or how about the truth of Lincoln's anti-slavery position, and the emancipation proclamation? Or any of the other fables history teachers tell their students? Or are we just limiting ourselves to the current President and his administration?

banyon
04-10-2006, 10:52 AM
What were the numbers the Clinton administration knew to be false yet used to justify intervention in Bosnia, again? Wanna talk about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears? Or how about the truth of Lincoln's anti-slavery position, and the emancipation proclamation? Or any of the other fables history teachers tell their students? Or are we just limiting ourselves to the current President and his administration?

That's all true. But this is the first time I can recall organized, taxpayer subsidized propaganda. Those other events were just deceptions which didn't require a bureaucratic structure to underpin them.

Lurch
04-10-2006, 11:03 AM
That's all true. But this is the first time I can recall organized, taxpayer subsidized propaganda. Those other events were just deceptions which didn't require a bureaucratic structure to underpin them.

If you think that, you have been ill-informed IMO.

oldandslow
04-10-2006, 01:04 PM
Just because other admins have done it....

does not make it right now...

I do not think the world was made a better place with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution or Holocaust denial.

The only way to stop this kind of crap is make someone pay for it.

Lurch
04-10-2006, 01:06 PM
Just because other admins have done it....

does not make it right now...

I do not think the world was made a better place with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution or Holocaust denial.

The only way to stop this kind of crap is make someone pay for it.

To make someone pay for it, one has to have proof of an existing law that was broken. As with the historical cases I referred to earlier, good luck with that.

oldandslow
04-10-2006, 01:10 PM
To make someone pay for it, one has to have proof of an existing law that was broken. As with the historical cases I referred to earlier, good luck with that.


Oh, I am not one of those who are crying for impeachment. The American people voted in GWB in 04. Just as they did Clinton in 96. IMO, neither should have been re-elected.

By paying for it, I mean at the ballot box.

And I think that will happen in 06. The Dems are gonna take the House. Remember, you heard it here first!!!!

Lurch
04-10-2006, 01:11 PM
Oh, I am not one of those who are crying for impeachment. The American people voted in GWB in 04. Just as they did Clinton in 96. IMO, neither should have been re-elected.

By paying for it, I mean at the ballot box.

And I think that will happen in 06. The Dems are gonna take the House. Remember, you heard it here first!!!!

You could be right. I wouldn't place any high dollar wagers on it though. Not with Dean runnin' the asylum.

banyon
04-10-2006, 01:11 PM
If you think that, you have been ill-informed IMO.

Where was McKinley's bureacratic proganda apparatus for "Remember the Maine?

Or any of the others you mentioned? :shrug:

BTW you are very quick to judge people as ignorant.

Judge not, lest you be... :)

Lurch
04-10-2006, 01:17 PM
Where was McKinley's bureacratic proganda apparatus for "Remember the Maine?

Or any of the others you mentioned? :shrug:

BTW you are very quick to judge people as ignorant.

Judge not, lest you be... :)
State Department complicity and cooperation with Hearst. It could be credibly argued that State Department, Defense Department, CIA, and other beauracratic institutions were involved at different levels in each of the examples I posted. The most recent example: State Department misrepresentations (clearly, deliberate) during the debate over involvement in Bosnia--remember Albright's self-righteous ruminations? And for what its worth, I said ill-informed, not ignorant. Given the state of public education and the teaching of history in this country, you wouldn't be alone though.

patteeu
04-10-2006, 01:36 PM
When at war, I'd rather our military be allowed to introduce propaganda into the global information market than tie their hands in order to prevent that propaganda from polluting the consciousness of American citizens. I'd be against propaganda efforts aimed primarily at the American people, but as long as there is a legitimate international goal, I'm OK with it even if it impacts the American people collaterally.

*edit* I probably shouldn't have qualified my statement by saying "when at war," because I think our government should be able to propagandize the international community during peacetime too.*/edit*

Duck Dog
04-10-2006, 01:41 PM
The documents state that the U.S. campaign aims to turn Iraqis against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, by playing on their perceived dislike of foreigners. U.S. authorities claim some success with that effort, noting that some tribal Iraqi insurgents have attacked Zarqawi loyalists.

I have zero problems with the military doing this. Propaganda can be a very usefull tool and has been used forever.

banyon
04-10-2006, 02:08 PM
State Department complicity and cooperation with Hearst. It could be credibly argued that State Department, Defense Department, CIA, and other beauracratic institutions were involved at different levels in each of the examples I posted. The most recent example: State Department misrepresentations (clearly, deliberate) during the debate over involvement in Bosnia--remember Albright's self-righteous ruminations? And for what its worth, I said ill-informed, not ignorant. Given the state of public education and the teaching of history in this country, you wouldn't be alone though.

So, in other words, no separate taxpayer subsidized apparatus specifically designed to "catapult the propaganda".

Or in other other words, my original assertion was correct. :D

I didn't make the claim that governments haven't used propaganda before which is how you are steering the conversation.

Lurch
04-10-2006, 02:11 PM
So, in other words, no separate taxpayer subsidized apparatus specifically designed to "catapult the propaganda".

Or in other other words, my original assertion was correct. :D

I didn't make the claim that governments haven't used propaganda before which is how you are steering the conversation.

You are making a distinction without a substantive difference, then. Be my guest, I guess.

banyon
04-10-2006, 02:46 PM
You are making a distinction without a substantive difference, then. Be my guest, I guess.

I thought you cons were all about not wasting taxpayer money.

This should be right up your alley.

At least they could do the propaganda on their dime and not ours.

Adept Havelock
04-10-2006, 07:38 PM
I know...

It's disgusting the administration would use propaganda and canned stories/propaganda to promote it's policies.

I can't believe this is the first administration to ever resort to such a tactic though. I find that surprising.

It is disgusting. Bush's admin. is far from the first to us this tactic, I'll agree. Sadly, It's also one of the more capricious when it comes to use of it. It's not the first time, and it surely won't be the last.

:cuss: