Sunday, April 20, 2008

“Psyops on steroids” - Col. Ken Allard

Awhile back I posted a letter at Salon about an article I'd received from David Horowitz's FrontPageMagazine. In June 2005, a week after Sen. Dick Durbin made a well-publicized criticism of conditions of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu (Ret.) was flown to Cuba on Vice President Cheney's plane with other retired military officers as part of a "Department of Defense trip." Upon returning, he wrote "What I Saw at Gitmo" -- consisting largely of what he'd been told at Gitmo.

The New York Times has a lengthy, front page piece this morning that mentions that flight in the summer of 2005:

Some of these analysts were on the mission to Cuba on June 24, 2005 — the first of six such Guantánamo trips — which was designed to mobilize analysts against the growing perception of Guantánamo as an international symbol of inhumane treatment. On the flight to Cuba, for much of the day at Guantánamo and on the flight home that night, Pentagon officials briefed the 10 or so analysts on their key messages — how much had been spent improving the facility, the abuse endured by guards, the extensive rights afforded detainees.

These ' “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” ' in Pentagoneze were part of an "information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance," the Times finds.

... members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access.

A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis.

“It was them saying, ‘We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you,’ ” Robert S. Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, said.

Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. “This was a coherent, active policy,” he said.

As conditions in Iraq deteriorated, Mr. Allard recalled, he saw a yawning gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequent inquiries and books later revealed.

“Night and day,” Mr. Allard said, “I felt we’d been hosed.”

You can find photos of Lt. Col. Cucullu being hosed here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

baseball: it smacks of cheating. Somehow, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, to mention just a few, did a fine job without the juice. Are we to have 2 Halls of Fame? One for before the drugs and the other for after? Just a thought.