[ Monday, December 13, 2004 ]
The Pentagon is engaged in bitter, high-level debate over how far it can and should go in managing or manipulating information to influence opinion abroad, senior Defense Department civilians and military officers say.
Such missions, if approved, could take the deceptive techniques endorsed for use on the battlefield to confuse an adversary and adopt them for covert propaganda campaigns aimed at neutral and even allied nations.
Critics of the proposals say such deceptive missions could shatter the Pentagon's credibility, leaving the American public and a world audience skeptical of anything the Defense Department and military say - a repeat of the credibility gap that roiled America during the Vietnam War.
The efforts under consideration risk blurring the traditional lines between public affairs programs in the Pentagon and military branches - whose charters call for giving truthful information to the media and the public - and the world of combat information campaigns or psychological operations.
The question is whether the Pentagon and military should undertake an official program that uses disinformation to shape perceptions abroad. But in a modern world wired by satellite television and the Internet, any misleading information and falsehoods could easily be repeated by American news outlets.
--the rest of the article at site-- regestration is free, and rumors that registering for the NYTimes causes erectile disfunction are greatly exagerated.
I don't dispute the need or the right for the government to engage in misinformation campaigns, especially given the global nature of the current war.
That being said, where do you think the misinformation begins, and what do you think about it?
Are FAUX and DRUDGE now to be looked upon as mouthpieces for the misinformation campaign?
Are all press conferences with any government agency now suspect?
What would be a free press' role in such a campaign?
This issue provokes uncomfortable questions involving liberty, responsibilities and freedom.
Personally, I don't think America has come to grips with the seriousness of the situation in Iraq, or its true relationship to the global war on terror. Now that "lying" has officially become SOP, we can expect little in the way of reality from either the gommint or the so-called free press. In that respect, we are being prevented from experiencing the true nature of the war in Iraq and the war on terror.
The responsibility for maintaining freedom and liberty vis a vis the free and open exchange of information has now fallen directly on the backs of the world's free people. With American media now complicit in deception, it will be up to the citizenry and the "foreign" press to report on reality "beyond the curtain".
For with this pronouncement, the Bush administration has drawn a curtain around the United States, a "silicon curtain" Inside the silicon curtain, information is controlled and censored. It will be for those outside to sustain truth and freedom.
gonzoliberal [7:58 PM]