Skip to comments.Distributed IO by PSYOP Auxiliaries and Volunteer Counter Propagandists
Posted on 04/22/2007 12:01:57 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4
I was an auxiliary one cold November night in 1977. My mission was to navigate and ride shotgun in my buddy’s uncle’s dump truck as we drove through the DeSoto National Forest in south Mississippi with 30 G’s (guerrillas) in the back while evading the law enforcement OPFOR (opposing force). This was part of a Special Forces training exercise, similar in many ways to a Robin Sage, but the guys being trained were an Operational Detachment Alpha from 5th SF Group (I may have the Group wrong; it was a long time ago). The Exercise Coordinator had used the DeSoto National Forest for this purpose before, and had already recruited a number of local civilians to participate as auxiliaries, people who assist the guerrillas, sympathizers who don’t pull triggers, but help feed, cloth, move, supply and aid the fighters. Every resistance movement needs auxiliaries. He needed a truck bigger than any of his auxiliaries could get, so he called a buddy of his who happened to be an Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Southern Missisippi, who recruited my buddy, who recruited me. We spent the first four hours of our participation in the exercise chatting with the Exercise Coordinator in the darkness of a hayfield in the middle of a pine forest that was the drop zone into which the team would arrive. We were part of the reception committee. I never did see that guy in the daylight, but he made a big impression on an impressionable youth.
For about three years I have been carrying this idea of volunteer civilian infowarriors around in the back of my mind, then they changed INFOWAR to INFORMATION OPERATIONS and I had to educate myself on the component of IO where we were getting creamed by the Bad Guys, Psychological Operations. I wondered why we were doing so poorly, and found out that the Good Guys aren’t allowed to conduct PSYOP that might encourage the domestic target audience to support the war, while the Bad Guys and their auxiliaries in the Main Stream Media have unlimited and unchallenged access to our eyes and ears and hearts and minds. PSYOP scares a lot of people, especially “civil libertarians,” and there are several laws that govern public diplomacy which, because many PSYOP products and their dissemination constitute a form of public diplomacy, also govern military PSYOP. Our military PSYOP people are forbidden by law from producing programs and actions designed to nullify propaganda or mitigate its effects on the American domestic target audience. They pretend that Other Government Agencies counter propaganda outside the AO, knowing full well that strategic counter propaganda is too hot a potato to mess with.
So what to do? At last year’s Milblog Conference Public Affairs took a lot of heat for failure to conduct counter propaganda, but counter propaganda has never been PA’s mission, and they are under the same restraints as PSYOP. These legal restraints are not going to be repealed in time to win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the enemy propaganda
which caused partial regime change in America last November,
which persuades the majority of Americans that it is not treason for the third in line of Presidential succession to travel to enemy countries and negotiate with their dictators,
which prevents mobs of peasants with pitchforks and torches from gathering to burn down the Senate Majority Leader’s castle,
is not going to be nullified or mitigated by military PSYOP or OGA, then we can either remove all sharp objects from our pockets, place our heads between our legs, and kiss our asses goodbye
WE can do it.
Who is “we,” Kemosabe?
If you are still reading this and you’re not a troll and you haven’t accepted defeat, you can be one of the “we.”
I think this would better be posted during the day.
Maybe you could ping it around for me in about six hours.
I’d have to say that Free Republic busting Dan Rather for pushing forged National Guard docs would qualify as a quality civilian counter-propaganda exercise.
...But it’s much more problematic for civilians to go busting traitors like Valerie Plame and her paramour Joe Wilson for their fabricated Niger uranium operation...since civies don’t have access to the right data.
Yes, I can ping people to it tomorrow but that’ll be Sunday. Not many are around on Sunday. I’ll ping on Monday also.
“Busting traitors” would be outside the lane of civilian volunteer counter propagandists, but convincing fellow citizens that treason should be punished wouldn’t be.
Your first mission as an IO Auxiliary.
Bump in six hours.
I took the oath in 92, it still applies, let me know what I can do.
Ex military intelligence (see profile). Let me know what I can do, though I’m rusty....
I write this from Iraq, near Baghdad, and as a psyop tactical team leader.
We are forbiden from using psyop on Americans.
We are forbiden from mentioning the enemy by name.
There is no means in the government to counter the propaganda of the mainstream media except sites like Free Republic.
Tactically, are ability to accomplish our mission and goals for the supported command is compromised by political correctness, ignorance and a lumbering process for vetting and approving new psyop products. We do what we can.
There isn’t the will within the government to counter the mainstream media.....they are afraid of them. And those that are afraid are the cowards who fail to confront evil and those who passively support it.
Guys like you, posting anonymously, could provide valuable assistance to wannabe info-guerrillas. There are counter propaganda techniques that could be applied at the strategic level by people who aren't subject to the Smith-Mundt Act. Refutation is a whole lot like fisking, and doesn't require formal PSYOP training. Silence is not working.
The pajamahadeen are waiting for leadership and instruction. If you are not encumbered by any restrictions on your free speech, consider blogging, or commenting on blogs, where distance learning for potential counter propagandists can take place.
Propaganda has long had a negative connotation here. That may even be one of the reasons our MSM is so heavily against any positive news from the war - they fear being accused of disseminating government propaganda, but have no problem with disseminating the enemys propaganda.
Propaganda is neither evil or good. It can either be The Big Lie, or the truth. According to Webster, propaganda is any widespread promotion of particular ideas, doctrine, etc.
Free Republic and individual Freepers are already performing distributed Information Operations in the form of counter propaganda.
This is the best thing we can do to support this war. Just talking to people informing them of the who, what, where, and why of this war, and how it fits together is (IMO) very important. Even if it doesn’t seem so (Iwish I had a dollar for everytime someone said “I didn’t know that”). Ya got a printer? then you can leave articles laying around for some unsuspecting soul to find, pamphlets...think about it.
A couple of things recently published
“The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy”
From Afghanistan and Iraq to Europe and the United States we are engaged in one of the most heated wars of all time. In this incisive new book, the man that has been called—the only one to understand the mind of the jihadist—shows that the most important battle is actually taking place in the hearts and minds of the world’s population. This is the war of ideas, where ideology is the most powerful weapon of all. Phares explores the beliefs of two opposing camps, one standing for democracy and human rights, and the other rejecting the idea of an international community and calling for jihad against the West. He reveals the strategies of both sides, explaining that new technologies and the growing media savvy of the jihadists have raised the stakes in the conflict. And most urgently, he warns that the West is in danger of losing the war, for whereas debate and theorizing rarely translate into action here, ideas and deeds are inextricably linked for the forces of jihad.
Road Map for Moderate Network Building in the Muslim World (long read)
RAND Corp. ^ | Angel Rabasa, Cheryl Benard, Lowell H. Schwartz, Peter Sickle
Identifying Key Partners and Audiences
A critical part of U.S. network-building efforts, as well as in its broader public diplomacy and strategic communications policy, is identifying key partners and audiences. Difficulties in distinguishing potential allies from adversaries present a major problem to Western governments and organizations attempting to organize support for moderate Muslims. Work done by the RAND Corporationin Cheryl Benards Civil Democratic Islam and Angel Rabasa et al., The Muslim World After 9/11has begun to lay the framework for identifying ideological tendencies in the Muslim world,1 which is necessary in order to identify the sectors with which the United States and its allies can be most e.ective in promoting democracy and stability to counter the in.uence of extremist and violent groups.
Around the world Muslims differ substantially not only in their religious views, but also in their political and social orientation, including their conceptions of government; their views on the primacy of sharia (Islamic law) versus other sources of law; their views on human rights, especially the rights of women and religious minorities; and whether they support, justify, or tolerate violence perpetrated in advancement of a political or religious agenda. We refer to these as marker issues, and the position of groups or individuals on them allows for a more precise classifcation of these groups in terms of their a.nity for democracy and pluralism.
The point is this is a war of IDEAS, and in this war even 58 year old guys sitting in Mn. can do their part.
At the end of the day you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.
I’m going to stop now before I comedown with cliché poisoning
Thanks for posting this. I have long thought there has to be a way to counter the propaganda of the MSM - but how.
Surely there are smart minds on FR that can organize, determine methods and develop news bits with the ability to grab the attention of the regular public.
We can post long technical articles all day long and no one will read them as we have to counter the sound byte propaganda of the MSM.
I ask that the great minds here start thinking and give us the use of their marketing talents.
All that’s required for evil to triumph is forgood men to do nothing (remain silent)
Thanks for the ping!
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something I can do." Edward Everett Hale
I still do something, every now and then.
Worthy of repeating--please keep me on this pinglist.
Call to action Ping...
Bump for effect.
Why is it that if the military of a nation/state attacked
us or our interests abroad a state of war would be in effect
against that nation/state but that the attacks of the military arm of a religion/state are exempt from bringing attacks against that religion/state?
We are at war, as our enemies repeatedly tell us, THEY have no doubts, why do we?
As another American once said, “...men cry “Peace,peace!” but there is no peace...”
We must emulate our founding fathers, and those Americans whose eyes were open prior to our previous conflicts, and prepare for what is surely coming.
Aye. Point taken. This thread has thereby listed 2 examples of what has and/or can be done by civilians to aid our nation:
#1: Convince fellow citizens that treason should be punished
#2: Busted Dan Rather for forged National Guard documents
Fair enough. If we see an example of published propaganda ala Rather's 2004 fabrication, then we can pounce on it again for similar effect.
If we see the opportunity to force elected politicians to answer that they will/would punish a traitor, then we will take it...likewise for writing editorials/letters/blogging to push home the point to a national audience that treason should be punished (preferably with a good example that makes the treason easy to recognize by the average Joe).
I'd also add a 3rd thing that we can do: Identify the scope of our enemy.
For instance, the "unholy alliance" between the far Left in the West with militantly-radical Islamism in the East.
Another example would be the PC culture in our schools that insists on punishing our schoolchildren for defending themselves from an attacker (thus creating generations that first defer to a "government" solution rather than indiviual initiative).
Why is it that **not a day goes by without an anti-Bush** editorial and anti-war slant to the news?
Can you imagine that sort of negativity against FDR during WW2?!
Are Iraqi insurgents planning/executing operations solely to manipulate the Western news media?
Why is our State Department considering a defacto alliance with KLA drug lords and Iranian Mujaheeden in Kosovo right now?
Why is Russia complaining about a missile defense system that is impotent against their strategic arsenal?
Why is China meeting with Cuba, Venezeula, Iran, and Zimbabwe?
Why did France run a WMD intel op against the U.S. in 2003?
The better that we identify who and what is against us, the better we will be able to act.
...and that action is what you want.
C-4 there are some operating in the nether places doing this. But as you rightly point out, the support and means are not forthcoming from the central source.
We really depend on bloggers like yourself and others to provide info for distribution.
And the oppo is very organized. Young skulls full of mush. The results of the "educational" institutes around the USA and the world.
Who is castigating you? Not me.
I've simply gotten to where I'm much more selective as to which battles (there are 4 main issues with me) I'll fight. Most battles, like illegal immigration (and it's one of my 4 issues), are simply a waste of time, IMO. I'll not stop fighting it though until it's totally lost, which shouldn't be too many years away.
Bookmark for when I’m not asleep.
IMHO, it would be helpful if somebody could come up with a non-pejorative synonym to call friendly propaganda, leaving the word to designate enemy products only.
At the end of the day youre either part of the solution or part of the problem.
you dont have to wear a uniform to be an information operator. All you need is some very basic literacy and an internet connection and you, too can be a force multiplier for the good guys. You can be a civilian irregular information group IO auxiliary. Now doesnt that give you more warm and fuzzies than watching Dances With the Stars?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
What is done to Muslims in America today could be done to Baptists tomorrow. America finds it extremely difficult to make war on a religion, unless it's the Branch Davidians.
I am not trained on PSYOP or counter propaganda techniques, but it seems to me that much that is applicable to tactical and operational counter propaganda could be applied to strategic counter propaganda by people who were free to do that. Most of the people who are free to do that could use some assistance by people who used to be in that line of work
That would be nice.
One good one I found there is Outdated Images of Detention Center, Mission Frustrate Guantanamo Troopers which can be printed and sent to news organizations
Thanks for the links.
The problem is “reputable” news org won’t use anything put out by Defence link. They say it’s because they are biased and are pushing an agenda.
What did you actually say? Apparently the responses you are getting from me aren’t satisfying you. What is it you want from me?
I think the net national response to the Virginia Tech shootings illustrates a certain degree of success already...in the aftermath of the shooting some media outlets have come out banging the gong for gun control (a principal goal in the enemy's agenda), but the people...they just aren't having it.
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