THE PENTAGON WILL WAGE WAR ON AND ACROSS THE INTERNET
From Scotland's the Sunday Herald :
"Imagine a world where wars are fought over the internet; where TV broadcasts and newspaper reports are designed by the military to confuse the population; and where a foreign armed power can shut down your computer, phone, radio or TV at will.
"In 2006, we are just about to enter such a world. This is the age of information warfare, and details of how this new military doctrine will affect everyone on the planet are contained in a report, entitled The Information Operations Roadmap, commissioned and approved by US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld..."
It is certainly no great secret that the Pentagon is already deep into a massive 'psy-ops' program focused primarily on winning the War On Terror and destabilising the insurgency in Iraq. This program makes use of fake news stories, fake videos posted online, spreading propaganda through the message and discussion boards of websites around the world and publishing high profile books that may be 80% sensational and revealing fact, with 20% pure falsity.
The Lincoln Group, a media company paid hundreds of millions of dollars by the Pentagon to plant terribly written stories in Iraqi newspapers was recently exposed by the UK's Independent newspaper, along with a stream of US media outlets. Rather than backing down from continuing such a program after exposure, US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rusmfeld, said the Lincoln Group would continue to be funded for its work and that he had no problem with fake 'good news' stories finding their way into Iraqi newspapers.
It is not unreasonable to assume, therefore, that getting exposed may have been part of the Lincoln Group's original plans, as now many Iraqis view their newspapers as possibly containing planted stories. What to believe? What to dismiss as propaganda? The credibility of Iraqi newspapers as being truthful and reliable has been effectively destabilised.
The Pentagon backed psychological operations campaign involves the use of all media, including books, posters, films, the internet, music, personal assistant computer devices (PDAs, Blackberrys), web forums and newspapers. These media forms are used to funnel out black propaganda and misinformation that is aimed at assisting the US government goals and military strategies in the War On Terror.
Rumsfeld admitted in 2005 that Al Qeada was winning the information war online, and when he talked of their successes, he spoke almost in awe. He was most certainly impressed by what they had achieved.
From the shattering footage of beheadings and US tanks being destroyed by roadside bombs, to Osama Bin Laden speeches that were seen by more people than the speeches of President Bush, the Pentagon has been slow to realise the full potential and effectiveness of their enemy in the online world.
Not any more, or so it appears.