The effects of Coercive Persuasion change both the individual's internal
attitude toward the actions encountered AND the external effect of the
Modern Coercive Persuasion methods contain a workable technology for
effecting the victim’s willing "cooperation," "sincerity," and "compliance"
which is so passionate, zealous and convincing, that it expresses itself as
voluntary and willing change, versus factually coerced ‘change.’
COERCIVE PERSUASION vs. SIMPLE PERSUASION
By definition, Coercive Persuasion embodies a ‘toxic’ intent and a careful
methodology in the application of the techniques. Enticing someone to buy a
set of encyclopedias is radically different than persuading them to buy
The casual or coincidental application of some of the Coercive
Persuasion techniques does not constitute an organized or dynamic Coercive
Persuasion program. However, the radical gap between Coercive Persuasion,
versus the ‘traditional’ brainwashing methods - physical force,
imprisonment, or threat of force - leaves Coercive Persuasion, and it's
nearly unperceivable method of application, deceptively looking more like a
form of simple persuasion.
In the image of an "X-Y" graph, "simple persuasion" sits at the base,
opposite Coercive Persuasion on the vertical; or "Y" axis. Similarly,
harmless information in a book presenting all viewpoints would be far to the
left side on the horizontal "X" axis, with repeated violent physical
coercion on the extreme opposite side.
On one end of the influence continuum ("Y" axis) simple persuasion involves
beliefs and behaviors in an atmosphere of free will. In the case of simple
persuasion, it is the value or truth (assumed to be honest) in the message
that ultimately creates the message's acceptance; and effects any subsequent
decisions or actions.
On the opposite end, Coercive Persuasion is distinguished from simple
persuasion by an intense and focused manipulation. Coercive Persuasion
involves a scientific and methodical manipulation. Coercive Persuasion
alters – or re-programs – thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors
by manipulating, undermining, inhibiting and/or obstructing free will. In
the application of Coercive Persuasion, the coercive tactics and techniques
incrementally force the message's acceptance.
Any objective and inherent
value or truth is not essential, except by coincidence or convenience.
Simple persuasion may still be powerful, such as a ‘hellfire and brimstone’
sermon, or a car salesman telling a man how much the ladies like a
particular car. Simple persuasion lacks the nefarious intent, sophistication
and deceptive methodology of true Coercive Persuasion.
Again, simple persuasion may imitate, or superficially employ, some of the
tactics and techniques of Coercive Persuasion. Simple persuasion lacks the
duration and broad "assault mission" associated with Coercive Persuasion.
Conversely, Coercive Persuasion is often pandered as simple persuasion;
attempting to disguise itself.
The deception behind Coercive Persuasion
translates to the science being a devastating psychological control
In a courtroom, the victims of
Coercive Persuasion lack any signs of physical abuse. In the defensive mode,
the victims can be expected to present convincing rationalizations for any
radical or abrupt changes in their behavior – or life.
They are usually
found to have a convincing "sincerity." In the extremes of success of
Coercive Persuasion, the victims have been changed so gradually that they
typically aren't even aware of the described and factual differences in
their life. In a courtroom, the challenge is to decide if Coercive
Persuasion was actually used unlawfully. The court decisions require careful
case-by-case analysis of all the influence techniques used - if they can be
identified - and how they were applied.
Nefarious intent must be
established. It is legally necessary to focus on the medium, as opposed to
the message. The legal challenge must also focus on the critical
differences, versus any coincidental similarities, as to whether or not
Coercive Persuasion was illegally used. Love and concern aside, harm must be
established; change alone is not sufficient.
For example, sobering up a
30-year alcoholic can’t be considered any form of legal offense.
COERCIVE PERSUASION AND SOCIETY
One can only guess as to how much Coercive Persuasion has affected Americans
over the last 20 - 30 years. There should be no doubt that it has been used
within group applications, affecting millions of people.
One of the more
common applications of Coercive Persuasion is witnessed in a perversion of
the Rand Corporation’s "Delphi Technique," which leads to the topic of
"Manufactured Consensus." Coercive Persuasion is now evidenced in its
techniques being sneaked into Corporate America, through "management
consulting" or "productivity services."
How often does America hear the
Coercive Persuasion terminology such as "politically correct," "team player"
or "diversity training?".
The potential for Coercive Persuasion is only limited by the magnitude of
nefarious intent and the imagination of its managers. Persuasive Coercion is
an unregulated technology, used to "invisibly" exploit the psychological
vulnerabilities of the targeted individuals. Unfortunately, it is being
naïve to not assume that the ‘magnetic’ power of Persuasive Coercion is too
inviting not to be improved further.
In the Lord Acton statement,
corrupts; absolute power corrupts – absolutely."
Tragically, few appreciate the fact that Coercive Persuasion has the power
to overcome normal freedom of thought, undercutting any or all of man’s
other freedoms. In a time of massive corruption, it’s no longer safe to say
that it’s "strange" that national or international laws don’t explicitly
make Coercive Persuasion or any methodology of "thought reform" a crime.
Most people assume that their own minds and thought processes are somewhere
between sacred and invulnerable. An "Immortality Complex" leads the typical
individual to the false conclusion that they can’t be appreciably
manipulated. It’s a ‘given’ that people prefer to believe that their
thoughts, beliefs, opinions, values and attitudes are totally
Interestingly, when confronted, the same self-assuming individuals will
incrementally admit to such personal weaknesses as advertising or
high-pressure sales tactics. However, they will still insist in preserving a
rather transparent myth, asserting that only ‘other people’ are weak minded
and easily conned or influenced.
But, they insist, they are "strong minded."
Often, a ‘designer’ surface logic is employed to bypass critical thought
processes. For example, the "American" family value system may be attacked –
in a passionate and convincing voice - by citing the "terrible" family value
system that "American" children abandon their parents in their older years;
while the children of other countries do not.
The argument works, until one
goes to a ‘deeper’ level and argues, that ‘their’ parents paid for their own
Social Security retirement three times over – and have been told for the
third time that they still are not old enough to collect a dime. Still, the
"surface logic" ("first-up" effect) comes up as a powerful persuasion
device, usurping rational thought processes, to easily impose a different
Still, most people entertain at least a fantasy that manipulators might
confront, browbeat, and argue ‘other people’ into doing their bidding. In
that perspective, they commonly picture the forces of "Big Brother" in Nazi
storm trooper boots, holding guns to peoples’ heads; forcing such persons to
totally alter their beliefs and their personalities to willingly accept a
‘new’ and ‘safe’ ideology.
Amazingly, George Orwell’s book, "1984" has become a classic for all time.
The underlying message being that anyone is vulnerable to manipulation,
whether overt and brutal, or subtle and covert.
The Hollywood line of "Every
man has a price" should not be perceived in terms of dollar amounts, versus
the more immediate ‘price’ of a sacred value, such as the immediate survival
of self or loved ones.
WHEN MINDS ARE FREE TO REASON, THE CULTURE IS SAFE
Mankind has always had to fight an oppressive political and religious system
for all forms of freedom – including freedom of thought. In the USA, laws
have been enacted to prohibit "hate crimes." ‘Hate’ is an emotion; we are no
longer even free to feel.
Now the world is witnessing a re-visitation of the Nazi propaganda
machinery, as well as the oppressive methodologies of the Gestapo. In a
world, which thrives on technology, it is technology – and its managers -
which is destined to be the most difficult adversary.
In the Kennedy murders alone, America has factually seen its share of the
"Manchurian Candidate;" ("Manchurian Patsy" is more accurate) yet, few
notice the obvious lessons of history. Thus, the power of psychological
technology must be questioned – and feared! The refinement of
psycho-technology threatens the ultimate imprisonment.
As with physical
incarceration, the psycho-technology denies or restrains one's free will,
the individual’s conscience, and their informed consent. While the concept
defies the imagination of most, political Coercive Persuasion amounts to
high treason. In the 2001 "Patriot Act," the language which defines
"terrorism" goes to such loose language as "…appear to be intended:" In
whose perception??? When does "revenge" get separated from the ‘normal’
concept of "terrorism?"
At the time of this writing, abortion protestors and
drug dealers are falling within the scope of the "Patriot Act," as the
selective application of law resorts to arbitrary "perception."
In the style
of the TV "cop shows," Coercive Persuasion will produce a ‘plea bargain,’ in
the precise methodology of Persuasive Coercion. Imagine being a defendant,
and being advised by your own attorney,
"You can go to trial and sweat the
‘mandatory sentencing guideline’ of 25-to-life for terrorism, or take a
plea-bargain for 5-to-10 for possession with intent to distribute."
persuasion methods produce faster results than others.
The most frightening aspect of Coercive Persuasion is that the surgical
precision of the art increases in the invisible control psychology; and
within the associated technology of the information age.
Thus, in time, one may reasonably be certain that if the psycho-technology
is properly researched and applied, the victim won't be able to detect its
In many Internet presentations, there is the strong suggestion of certain
‘personalities’ presenting information/positions in the format of being "disinformationists;"
or "PSYOPS [Psychological Operations] Technicians."
The logical question
"How can you be sure – or suspect – that disinformation or PSYOPS
are being conducted?"
From one’s own observations and/or research, the patterns of the
personalities are reasonably self-evident.
The particular ‘personalities’ are
attached to only incredibly sensitive issues and or positions.
They typically get instantly "personal."
They are detached from "normal"
standards of morality, such as the traditional American justice
standards - including the Constitutional Bill of Rights.
They ONLY support the "government,"
regardless of any practical, compelling or moral positions to the
It gets more complex from there. However, the
underlying issue goes to the question of the casual poster, "How would I
recognize a disinformationist or PSYOPS Technician? How does it work?"
Another valid question is,
"How would you distinguish a ‘good-guy’ from a
The simple answer to that question is that the ‘good-guy’ seeks to educate,
discuss, debate or illustrate – with obviously noble intent. The ‘good-guy’
is anchored to admirable principles or causes. Condemning the burning of Mt.
Carmel or James Beck, versus a serious attempt to arrest them/him; speaks to
an attachment to "American Justice." Approving or cheering the burning of
them/him – without any sincere remorse - is self-serving barbarism. The
‘bad-guy’ is uniquely a ‘destroyer.’
The major clue is that one particular ‘control’ rule stands out:
"Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control"
Six Methods for Online Perception Control
The ‘targeted’ person is, ideally, not
to be allowed to discover what is going on; and how she or he is
being manipulated/changed – one step at a time – or by whom. The
targeted person is kept on the edge of the question, "What do you
want me to say?" The disinformationist or psyops operator will
ensure that the ‘acceptance/approval’ steps are easy to take. The
rule seems to be to never issue a ‘broad-brush’ challenge for the
targeted person to change their thoughts & attitudes.
The person’s social environment is often
controlled – even online. A special emphasis is commonly discovered
to be made in an attempt to control the targeted person’s time.
Online participants may be ‘required’ to answer detailed questions,
with the questions designed to "frame" a controlled conclusion –
unknown to the unwitting participant.
There is often found to be a
clear persistence in the questions – to the last detail, until the
trap is sprung, or the targeted person makes self-defeating
mistakes/conclusions. The questions to the ‘target’ are often framed
toward a later goal of quoting the person – "Well, you previously
said ‘X,’ are you changing your mind?"
It is very often discovered that there
is a systematic attempt to effect a sense of powerlessness in the
targeted person. A ‘wolf pack’ may be discovered; two attacking is
more effective than one. However it is also true that the ‘wolf
pack’ avoids the appearance that an ‘attack group’ is in operation,
versus creating the impression that "All good people think like
___." The targeted person’s physical, mental and emotional energy is
The targeted person is worn down, via never-ending
questions, challenges or innuendos - or a variety of selected
psychological techniques. The focus is found to be to trigger the
long-term EMOTIONAL elements of "ridicule," embarrassment," "guilt"
or "shame." (Implied: "A truly GOOD person wouldn’t think/speak like
that." Personal image/credibility/integrity is the first-up line of
Any system of rewards, punishments
and/or experiences [character enhancement or attack] is manipulated
in such a way as to inhibit any behavior that reflects the person’s
desired social identity. The online manipulation goes to the
proposition, "IF you imitate ME/US, I’ll quit saying bad things
about you." In the presumptions of the human experience, ‘seniority’
implies authority or association WITH authority and a capability to
effect harm. Any online ‘friendships’ will be attacked.
A system of rewards, punishments, and
experiences is manipulated, in order to promote the ‘desired’
group’s ideology, norms or belief system and group-approved
behaviors. "You can’t say that!" "You REALLY should learn how to
think." The experiences of those who ‘complied’ are touted as models
for ‘acceptance and approval.’
A closed system of logic and an
authoritarian structure is injected or implied, which is oriented
around ‘no feedback.’ The closed system refuses to be modified
except by perceived leadership approval or executive order.
"I really hope you don’t actually believe
that could be TRUE!"
"That question has already been answered."
"The issue is self-evident; let’s move on."
The world of "Information Warfare" and "PSYOPS"
is complex and detailed.
Most articles on the Internet are oriented around
military themes. However, their application to the domestic population is a
matter of altering a handful of terms & environmental arenas. The U.S.
military - including the National Guard and Reserves - are trained at riot
Delta Force was advising - at a minimum - at WACO and the Seattle
It’s simply naive to think that the domestic U.S. population
is exempt from such issues as "Information Warfare" and "PSYOPS"
Just remember the volumes of headline articles asserting that Saddam had
literally "tons" of WMDs. Then note the reality and the post-war exposure of
the lies which were successfully sold to the public - and Congress.
The key revelation as to whether PSYOPS is present, versus debate or
education, is the obvious element of "intent;" who/what benefits? However,
that "intent" is not always evident. For example, the WMD debate draws
attention away from the clear War Crimes in the corrupt invasion of both of
Afghanistan and Iraq.
The "16 words" of the Niger uranium matter drew
attention away from the more damnable and undeniable lies of the ENTIRE
team. The focus also limited the casual observer’s attention to the single
The harsh reality is that the effect of the lies and the associated
personalities had a terrible effect on all of humanity. Unfortunately, the
clear suggestion is that the "campaign" is just getting started!
Blind trust aside, the issues surrounding a controversial event must
rationally be observed and/or evaluated, with a certain chain of evidence
and logic, concluding that the information is both solid and conclusive, or
that further information and/or clarification is needed.
When one’s mind
"This just doesn’t make sense," then it’s time to re-examine or re-think a
Often, major "problems" successfully escape appropriate scrutiny. For
example, the Bobby Kennedy autopsy attests to Sirhan never having hit Bobby
with a single round; yet, America still slept.
The major questions being,
"Who did shoot him; and where the hell was the media??"
Similarly, the bloody Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, in 1967 went
unnoticed, by the media.
Most thought Thierry Meysan’s position that there was no B-757 strike on the
9-11 Pentagon too ludicrous to consider.
Blind faith kept most away from the
issue. Those who were jogged to the ‘curiosity’ position got a rude
awakening. The legendary "conspiracy theorist’" became the "conspiracy
examiner." Still, critical thinking prevailed among too few, often
relatively impotent to effect a change. Personal conclusion and/or
conviction requires that if one or more links are observed to be undeniably
weak, the matter requires more information, and a re-development of the
particular picture/position. Hopefully, objectivity prevails.
Where such weaknesses are discovered, an alternate thesis is usually
demanded, by logic, alone.
The most solid approach demands that certain "benchmarks" be developed, as
reference points. In the WTC, for example, one must note that a stopwatch
confirms that the WTC buildings (3) free-fell; they didn’t "collapse," in
any manner of reasonably anticipated mechanical sequence. Hence, a
reasonable person should start looking for supporting links to confirm the
horror, which that observation inherently demands.
Amongst the 9-11 media video, there are ‘captures’ strongly suggesting
sequenced blasts, ahead of the collapsing upper section. The Naudet brothers
captured and witnessed lower lobby images, suggesting a major thermal and
mechanical event – which couldn’t have migrated from the upper floors, given
vertical distance and the three-tier elevator ‘modules.’
The lack of smoke
damage in the lobby rejects the notion of a hydrocarbon fire. The overhead
glass in the lobby was intact, with the vertical panes all being shattered –
suggestive of something on the order of an earthquake – or the building
settling. The later documented reports of molten steel in the building
basements quickly led to the conclusion of a unique thermal event; totally
separate from the aircraft crashes or the related fires – however
More points appear, such as the quick and overseas disposal of the WTC steel
and the matter of the insurance money. Any suspicious fire scene is
preserved for forensic examination. Yet, the WTC steel was sold to China,
almost overnight. Who would be authorized to sell that steel, without any
forensic analysis and an impending insurance claim, with the potential for
If a person rents a store, for example, the terms of the lease will require
the lessor to carry fire insurance for the replacement of the store - not as
a personal gamble that there might be a fire - and the lessor being able to
keep the money, over the rights of the property owner. For all obvious
reasons, insurance is never treated as a lottery.
Is the investment company
which leased the WTC towers compelled to rebuild the WTC towers, or turn
over the insurance money to the Port Authority? If not, why not.
Other ‘truth benchmarks’ are readily available. For example, the USA "terror
status" is always ‘elevated,’ as a minimum – with the White House forcing
the Mexican border wide open to anyone – including ‘terrorists;’ ‘narco-terrorists,’
The great ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democracy’ advocate, George Bush Jr., won’t
recognize Taiwan as an independent country – as Iraq is crafted in to a
"Narco-terrorism" is on the Bush ‘list.’ Yet, after the Taliban had banned
opium production in Afghanistan, the post-invasion opium fields were
re-planted with a vengeance! Not to mention the consequent vast quantities
of opium serving the global heroin markets.
Minor rhetoric aside, Bush did
nothing significant to intervene.
Thus in the observation process it is necessary to both establish that one
or more links can be broken, leading to the rapid invalidation of the
original presentation. However, credibility demands that one must also be
careful to note whether or not there are supporting links to the original
presentation which cannot be rationally broken.
Often, combinations of the
‘pros’ and ‘cons’ are left to the matter of "preponderance of evidence,"
often ‘mitigated’ by some format of shouting match.
The key rule being -
"Think for yourself!"
In the OKC bombing, for example, there are a host of major unanswered
questions. In the final analysis, the site of the truck-bomb crater reveals
a diameter of approximately 18 feet, versus the ‘official’ citation of 28
feet, in the ASCE report. Hence the conclusion that the truck-bomb couldn’t
possibly have done the sum of the Murrah Building damage, backed by the
radically irregular shape of the damage and the seismic data. Throw in a
host of peripheral and truly bizarre and essentially ‘un-investigated’
deaths. Add the blatant corruption, known to be involved in the ‘official’
It is also necessary to note whether or not a presentation is clearly made
in the scope of unmistakable "plausible assertion" or "plausible denial;"
versus easily proven and/or documented fact; add "common sense." Raw
suspicion drives persistence.
In order to be credible, there must also be the element of "fairness." That
may require the position, "I don’t know." The test being whether or not the
‘unknown’ is critical to a major premise; does the ‘unknown’ serve to defeat
or advance that premise?
Returning to the matter of disinformation, the true ‘agent’ – versus a
random ‘apologist,’ will be found to be devoted to the interference of any
independent evaluations, versus the ‘official’ line. His/her job will be to
lead others to falsely believe that any ‘alternate’ premise links are weak
or too easily and seriously broken to consider. Such an ‘agent’ will, at a
minimum, offer alternate solutions, always leading away from the truth – or
the more probable truth. In most cases, various forms of scientific "attack"
on any messenger or message will be witnessed.
These efforts will be
dedicated to impeding both conclusions and convictions.
In the 9-11 matter, for example, the disinformationist is charged with not
only discounting alternate ‘conclusions,’ but to also destroy any positions
which will leave the ‘conviction’ that something is seriously wrong with the
‘official’ accounts. Such disinformation efforts are scientifically crafted
to prey upon scientifically established weaknesses in the typical persons
For example, the disinformationist will be charged with inducing
intellectual and emotional stress, so that ‘distance’ is created via the
rhetoric of the disinformation and also with time. It may be assumed that
such efforts are also scientifically ‘measured’ in the disinformation
In most cases there is a certain "preponderance of evidence," whether in the
form of reliable documentation; or within the reasonable person’s mind, as
to greater probability of what is factual. There does remain a certain
mandate for acceptance, which says that if the ‘first-up’ presented chain of
evidence cannot be broken for a given position, the first-up position will
In cases where the chain of logic or evidence is undeniably broken, via a
truly critical link; a repair to that link must be made, a new link must be
forged, or an entirely new chain must be assembled, regardless of which
‘side’ the breach occurs.
The shattering of a critical link typically mandates a scalding
review/examination of the remaining links, for validity and pertinence.
Where honest intent is behind a failed presentation, the shortest route to
the truth is an acceptable admission that the presentation was flawed, and a
new position is being assembled.
Many 9-11 activists were taken in by the DoD imagery of the ‘strike’
fireball at the 9-11 Pentagon. The mistaken trust in authority blinded many,
who failed to notice that the photos of the day revealed that the presented
fireball didn’t burn as much as a blade of grass – add that the time-date
stamp on the imagery was a day-and-a-half later, etc.
The activist mandate was to acknowledge the flaws in the video footage and
move on to other information, which supported the original claim.
Ironically, the citation of the DoD being behind the phony imagery better
served the activist position, than did what the imagery otherwise offered.
The matter further proved the vulnerability of even bright minds to being
taken in. The paradox was that the phony footage ended up as a ‘boost’ to
the activist positions, toward exposing the truth.
Again, the propaganda formula:
"Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control"
... the disinformationist can be spotted by their focus on emotionalizing the
issue, while often seeking to somehow punish any failure - factual or simply
accusatory. The disinformationist will be found using the best of verbal
skills to intimidate any undesired presentations, with the goal of
discouraging or preventing any further discussion – or observation and
The broader attempt of a disinformationist is to poison any issue, in the
minds of a journalist or casual observer, as opposed to a given activist.
This can often be observed in facts mixed with flawed information, if not
outright lies. This can be deliberate by a disinformationist, disguised as
an activist, or such can sometimes be foisted upon the unsuspecting.
For example, in the Vince Foster death, one reliable journalist was tricked
into believing that Foster’s gun was found in the wrong hand. The subsequent
credibility damage was incredible.
By implication, many disinformationists work with an Information Warfare
team. It must be assumed that there is a team leader pulling the strings of
the up-front personality. The disinformationist team suffers, when the truth
wins. Thus, there is commonly found an incredible passion in the effort to
preclude any undesired rational and complete analysis of any chain of logic
and/or evidence. Beyond the prevention effort, the truth further threatens
to hang the disinformationist and/or their team.
A common tactic of the 'embedded disinformationist' is to create busy work,
passionately insisting on "extreme investigation." Alternately, he/she will
water-down a forum, with distracting articles and issues.
The intent being
to divert or exhaust mental and emotional energy.
It’s somewhat rare that facts and truth inherently carry their own weight.
Thus, it is the role of the disinformationist to apply deceit, at a minimum,
if not outright lies. Within reason, the disinformationist evades outright
lies, versus an extreme of deceit. It is a general rule in disinformation
and "psyops" (psychological operations) circles that the worst event is to
ever get caught in a lie. Hence, the obvious evasion of a lie – versus
alternate ‘deception’ tactics - often betrays the identity of a
Neither the 9-11 commission or the FBI will cite foreign terrorists as being
the culprits of 9-11. There were no tickets to be discovered, the purported
terrorists didn’t appear on any passenger manifests; nor did they appear in
the 9-11 autopsies. Still, the methodology in the presentation left America
with the unmistaken conviction that foreign terrorists did the work of 9-11.
The trained and skilled disinformationist operates with a fairly
standardized bag of tools and tactics. However, it’s also true that the
general public is not inclined to look for the presence of a trained
disinformationist; given that the mass media is most commonly found spouting
comparable positions. However blind and counter-productive, ‘traditional’
trust in the mass media effects incredible influence over the minds of the
The general attitude that America is above resorting to Nazi propaganda
tactics aids the disinformationist. It is also true that the law prohibits
GOVERNMENT agencies from applying propaganda or "psyops" on the American
public. However, it was seen in the 1991 Gulf War, that the propaganda had
been "outsourced" to a private firm – sufficiently outside the reach of
those laws. Another application of the infamous "loophole."
When ‘undesired’ truth is presented, the disinformationist attempts to
distract any discussion in the alternate and undesired chain of logic and
evidence, which cannot be easily broken.
Instead, the disinformationist –
when necessary – resorts to clever deception – sometimes outright lies - to
‘frame’ given links as being far weaker, than they factually are. Often one
witnesses the creation of an illusion, which ‘suggests’ a break. When that
doesn’t serve the disinformationist, the "personal" treatment is witnessed,
wherein the disinformationist – at a minimum - questions the motives or the
credentials of the presenter – or source of the information.
Again, in the 9-11 debates, one FEMA worker stated that his rescue team
arrived the night before 9-11. That statement became a hot debate, involving
a multitude of disinformation attempts. Even if the ‘official’ line was
accepted, that the debated rescue team arrived in New York ON 9-11; and
promptly went to their hotel, for the night.
The issue was ‘quietly’ settled
by Rudy Guiliani’s testimony before Congress, that
FEMA had a major team
assembled in New York, in the format of a ‘scheduled’ exercise.
exercise was called "TRIPOD," set up on Pier 92. Still, the public, as a
whole, didn’t react - the ‘time factor’ had dampened public interest.
While it is academic that discounting a thunderstorm can’t quiet the
lightning, the "public" can be swayed in their perceptions, as to what may
or may not be true. Emotional survival strategies bend the mind of the
public toward ‘easy’ and emotional paths of decision making; the classic
"path of least resistance."
Thus, the disinformationist often has a given
flaw in human nature working for him/her. Consequently, the mandate for the
first-up presentation is an inherent part of any nefarious conspiracy. That,
of course, adds a terrific liability to any truly ‘secret’ operations. The
Watergate scandal is a classic, in that regard. Nixon’s team lacked a
first-up position, if anything went wrong.
Almost any position – moral or otherwise - requires corroboration. Yet, the
mental-emotional psychological dynamics of the ‘first-up’ presentation can
still often win. For example, Ron Brown’s plane was reported to have gone
down in the "storm of the decade." That position was as false as any in
history, yet it still won.
"Perception Control" is always the key.
However corrupt, it is common in the
American court system that "bought" testimony is allowed in the fashion of
criminals being allowed to testify against other criminals. Breath-taking
verbal attorney skills aside, this isn’t always successful, where
corroborating evidence is seriously lacking.
Where there is a clear motive to lie, logic dictates that factual opposing
evidence would render any such testimony as a lie, leaving that testimony as
totally and completely invalid. Yet, the events of 9-11, in example, render
the additional mandate that the testimony must be sufficiently impressed
upon the targeted minds – regardless. That’s where the media enters the
picture, attesting to Herman Goering’s statement, that the fear among the
public will easily serve to actualize a blatant lie.
have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the
peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It
works the same in any country."
That, of course falls in line with Goebbel’s statement,
"If you tell people
the same lie over and over again and it goes unchallenged, that 'lie'
becomes the people's 'truth.'"
Key, in this statement is the qualifier,
"unchallenged." Witness the incredible controls over the American media, in
By all appearances, Bush Sr.’s
New World Order is alive and thriving – as a
‘virtual government,’ hidden in an incredibly clever ‘fog’ of information.
It is an end result, versus a physical headquarters.
The "order" is achieved
by networked personalities and so-called "Non Government Organizations"
(NGO). The ‘goals’ are hiding in plain sight, in such forms as Brezinski’s
"The Grand Chess Board," Barnett’s "The Pentagon’s New Map," The "Project
for a New American Century" (PNAC, the "Hart Rudman Report" and Bush’s
"National Security Strategy" (NSS).
The ‘mechanisms’ appear to be found in
such entities as the
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the infamous
Trilateral Commission and the "Bilderbergers."
"Globalization" appears to be a euphemism for "Ameri-corp uber alles."
While such seems totally off-scale for credibility, the documents and
history don’t lie! Astute perception is required.
Look to just the title,
"The Pentagon’s New Map," then wonder how the Pentagon got charged with
achieving global American corporate goals! Independent observation and
thought are required. Next, go to the trillions of unaccounted dollars which
the Pentagon refuses to account for. There is nothing in the realm of
"impossible," in this picture!
The scientific element of "Negative Perception Control" (ignorance,
non-presentation or psychological denial) leave the reality quite well
Doubts? Look these matters up on the Internet; then think and judge, for
However ‘impossible’ it may seem, the events leading up to and subsequent to
9-11 strongly suggest that the original "Nazi Formula" is being very closely
followed, with few changes, versus enhancements. In the background,
ignorance is facilitating the effort.
For example, few know the Geneva
Conventions, thus the War Crime invasions (and they were) of Afghanistan and
Iraq aren’t generally perceived as such. As desired, ignorance serves the
propaganda ‘perception’ formula, as dynamically as does effective
information presentation. As expected, the disinformationist will shout -
"Don’t look behind that curtain!" ‘Truth’ and ‘facts’ are additionally
treated in terms of "regard."
Presentation is one element, but the final
absorption is a matter of personal ‘regard’ for that information, relative
to its intake as fact or fiction. Enter the tactic of "characterization." Is
the observers ‘regard’ in the light of "Oh, that’s nothing," or "OH, my
Public forums such as Internet chat, discussion and news groups; as well as
newspaper letters to the editor play an important role. These forums present
topics for discussion, with attempts by individuals to ‘sell’ their
particular position. Often, the associated exchange, discussion or debate
develops a particular idea or position, with the given medium serving as a
sounding board; with the intent to improve an idea, solution or position.
In these environments, the disinformationist often appears; intent upon
quickly ending any such discussion. The disinformationist often ‘frames’ the
presentation – and the presenter - as lacking in serious credibility. Often
any associated supporters are comparably ‘framed’ as being comparably less
than credible. The typical strategy also attempts to stage the issues and
personalities for any future confrontations, by defeating any early
In such exchanges, the disinformationist commonly alludes to "higher
standards," as a means to control the discussion. This is commonly expressed
in the format of "I’m trying to…" A witness is often cited as lacking
engineering or medical credentials; with the statement that they have no
qualified position to offer reliable testimony. Often a matter, source or
personality is comparably ‘linked’ to a low standard.
For example, a
respectable newspaper may be unjustifiably ‘labeled’ as a "communist rag." A
reputable person is labeled as "leftist," with no regard for any workable
definition of "left."
The disinformationist may resort to outright demands,
as though they are in some special position to make the demand. "Common
sense," seemingly becomes invalid. There may be a demand for those who
present a position or concept to back up everything with a professional
level of expertise, such as a doctor, engineer or professor. According to
the demands of the disinformationist, anything less is supposed to render
any discussion as meaningless.
It is typical that in support of such
demands, anyone who disagrees is labeled or characterized as being obviously
stupid, in no uncertain terms. This is typically seen in the posture of "See
how you are?" Such attacks can often be nothing less than brutal, commonly
expressed in the style of trying to foist ‘shame,’ ‘ridicule’ or ‘guilt’
upon the undesired presenter.
Facts and truth take a distant second place,
when such tactics are employed.
While most expect rational discussions, the reader/listener/observer is
increasingly left to judge whether or not a discussion is rational, or
whether one side or the other is the least bit credible. Therein lays the
importance of corroborating independent information, for better or worse.
Unfortunately, the same reader is also tasked to determine when a rational
discussion is taking place, or whether or not blatant deceit,
disinformation, psyops or "Coercive Persuasion" (Jonestown tactics) are
The casual participant is also tasked with the decision as to whether or not
to confront an apparent disinformationist with direct questions, as to their
intent and role. While there are commonly those who simply desire to lead
others astray – as well as those who are simply ignorant, foolish or
misguided – all such should be challenged to establish truly reliable
In responding to an opposing position, it is most effective to start with
diplomatic questions, or statements. It may be ultimately necessary to
demand that the other party ‘put up or shut up.’ However, that is commonly a
two-edged blade; caution is advised.
For the ‘noble’ person, caution is advised, with regard to the use of
These should be used with great prudence; they can back-fire.
All responses should evade any emotional traps and discussion/debate
sidetracks. When an article or rule is discussed, it is best to keep the
matter in good context. Quoting a complete statement or rule rather than
loosely citing it, denies many the complete reference. At a minimum, it’s
best to offer - and be prepared - to provide a complete copy of a cited
statement or rule.
The "25 RULES" offered by another Internet contributor, H. Michael Sweeney,
are well worth examining. He credits these rules as having been built from
the Thirteen Techniques for Truth Suppression, by David Martin.
the "complete gospel," they offer a good beginning, for recognizing and
understanding disinformation tactics.
Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation
Note: The first rule and the last
five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly
within the ability of the traditional disinformationist to apply.
These rules are generally used more directly by
those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal
conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no
evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it - especially if
you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it
didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid
discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be
used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct
group or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit.
Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing
issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence,
as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually
exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially
well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn
of the facts are through such "arguable rumors". If you can
associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify
it a "wild rumor" which can have no basis in fact.
Use a straw man. Find or create a
seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily
knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad.
Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your
interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or
select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their
significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all
the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding
discussion of the real issues.
Sidetrack opponents with name calling
and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger
ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach.
Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as "kooks",
"right-wing", "liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists", "conspiracy
buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists", "religious fanatics",
"sexual deviates", and so forth. This makes others shrink from
support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing
Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a
brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then
scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any
answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-
the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can
be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning --
simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues,
and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify
the opponent’s viewpoint.
Question motives. Twist or amplify any
fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of
a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing
issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or
associate yourself with authority and present your argument with
enough "jargon" and "minutiae" to illustrate you are "one who
knows", and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or
demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or
logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial
they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof,
contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix
well for maximum effect.
Associate opponent charges with old
news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale
matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which
can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen,
have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with
early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent
charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually
them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply
being a rehash without need to address current issues -- so much the
better where the opponent is or was involved with the original
Establish and rely upon fall-back
positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the
"high road" and "confess" with candor that some innocent mistake, in
hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have seized on the
opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater
criminalities which, "just isn’t so." Others can reinforce this on
your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and
respect for "coming clean" and "owning up" to your mistakes without
addressing more serious issues.
Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon
the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the
multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too
complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter
to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address
the actual issues.
Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid
discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent
deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
Demand complete solutions. Avoid the
issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely,
a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.
This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with
contingency conclusions in place.
Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it
does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the
Change the subject. Usually in
connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to
side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in
hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This
works especially well with companions who can "argue" with you over
the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid
discussing more key issues.
Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad
Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your
opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to
make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render
their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid
discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their
emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the
issues by then focusing on how "sensitive they are to criticism".
Ignore proof presented, demand
impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the "play dumb"
rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in
public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that
is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be
at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely
destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to
completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically
deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that
witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by
government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
False evidence. Whenever possible,
introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict
with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive
issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was
designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be
easily separated from the fabrications.
Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor,
or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your
benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open
discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required
to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the
prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful
evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to
subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this
technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be
used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved,
the matter can be considered officially closed.
Manufacture a new truth. Create your own
expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones
willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social
research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you
must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
Create bigger distractions. If the above
does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to
prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as
trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to
distract the multitudes.
Silence critics. If the above methods do
not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some
definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed
entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention,
blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail
information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or
Vanish. If you are a key holder of
secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is
getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
The important aspect of all this information is
to know that "disinformationists" exist; and that they operate with an
effective scientific method. These are not casual debaters, or simple
They are an intellectual and emotional toxin in the society.
They can be defeated, but only when they are generally known, identified as
they appear; and with steps taken to counter their nefarious ways.
The term, "cyberspace" represents a dramatic shift in the thought processes
of all major endeavors, but particularly when it comes to war. "War" is no
longer limited to the physical realm, as its major means of expression.
Once again, the modern psychological ‘victory’ formula is:
"Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control"
In the undying philosophy of the Prussian military philosopher
"War is diplomacy by other means."
aside, he didn’t say, "…on the battlefield." In modern global politics, the
war for the human heart and mind is a tremendous struggle, whether the
effort comes from profit-making machinery of Madison Avenue, or the "black
ops" of Langley Virginia.
Von Clausewitz left the legacy of the "trinity model" of war. In that
concept, he argued that the dynamics of the government, military and
populace would determine the outcome of war, whether the government is
offensive or defensive.
However, history leaves the legacy that the government and military can be
totally destroyed, with the remaining will of the populace being the
underlying determining factor. It is academic that the PSYOPS teams operate
on this premise.
Iraq is one such classic case; leaving the legacy that the total destruction
of a country’s military and government is a poor idea, as there is no one in
remaining authority to tell the populace to quit fighting. In the case of
Iraq, again, the Arab culture is sufficiently unique, that the American war
effort left the extremely low probability of anyone in a surviving
government delivering the "quit" message. The post-war Iraqi "resistance"
speaks for itself.
Obviously, the PSYOPS teams have serious work to do. The one lesson which
seems to escape military planners is that if the will of the populace can’t
be broken, victory is impossible. The lessons of Viet Nam, Beirut, Mogadishu
and even Northern Ireland have gone unheeded – and, at what expense?
Conversely, we have the example of Iran; the Shah was overthrown by the
simple will of the people being re-directed! No doubt, the multitude of
PSYOPS groups took notice.
PSYOPS efforts are found in the News Coverage, Public Relations, Propaganda,
blatant PSYOPS, or the mother of all tactics, "Coercive Persuasion" - the
'stuff' of Jonestown. The process begins with presented information, real,
distorted, imagined or manufactured.
In the human experience, with rare exception, the first presentation
(first-up) determines the long-term "perceived truth."
Perhaps, nothing can be more exemplary than the ‘plumped-up’
Osama bin Laden
in the conveniently "unclear" videotaped confession to 9-11. With that tape,
America went off to commit the War Crime Invasion of Afghanistan.
Enter the translation of a Funeral Article in Egyptian Paper: al-Wafd, dated
as of Wednesday, December 26, 2001 - Vol 15 No 4633
News of Bin Laden's Death
and Funeral 10 days ago
A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the
death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa'da organization, stating that
binLaden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and
quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The
Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden
and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora 10 days ago.
He mentioned that
30 of al-Qa'da fighters attended the burial as well as members of his family
and some friends from the Taleban. In the farewell ceremony to his final
rest guns were fired in the air. The official stated that it is difficult to
pinpoint the burial location of bin Laden because according to the Wahhabi
tradition no mark is left by the grave.
He stressed that it is unlikely that
the American forces would ever uncover any traces of bin Laden.
We must note the distinct ‘missing-person’ character against the 2004
videotape, which lacked any shadows, inferring a sophisticated production,
versus bin Laden’s pragmatic preference for caves. The image was
sufficiently mechanical as to appear to be a Hollywood special effects
production. Even the ‘message’ lacked the expected frequent references to
Considering such as the phony 9-11 "security camera" video images of the
Pentagon ‘strike,’ the bin Laden videotapes fall highly suspect against his
clear denials of involvement in the events of 9-11.
With regard to the subsequent US invasions, America didn’t bother to go to
the library to look at such documents as the U.N. Charter, the Geneva
Conventions or the Nuremberg Precedents. Unfortunately, historians await the
American version of – "But, we didn’t know!"
In the events of 9-11; before, during or after, the medium for the
psychological devices wasn’t limited to the ‘conventional’ mass media; the
Internet played a key role – pro and con.
A major part of the events of 9-11 was the void of critical information
which, while abundant, was never presented; but overtly and methodically
blocked from local or mass-media dissemination.
A key indicator of such a tactic is found in Clinton’s Arkansas criminal
associations, while Governor. While the information was available, it was
never prominently presented by the mainstream mass media. Thus, he was TWICE
elected as President.
The common availability of the personal computer makes it nearly rare to
hear a person swear more by the conventional news media, than the Internet –
the political ‘second opinion.’ Thus, a battle for the human heart is being
rigorously fought, with the first element of the formula, "Perception
It is not the least bit surprising that the arena of military Psychological
Operations (PSYOPS) is being expanded to the Internet.
The Battlefield of Information
In all regimes, Psychological Operations are an important instrument, used
to implement the prescribed national security strategy. Not uncommonly, the
"corporate" strategy seems to operate as a profitable parallel shadow to
that national security strategy, employing its own version of Psychological
The elements of government Public Diplomacy, military Public Affairs and
Psychological Operations play a key role in the endeavor of "information
operations," ideally reinforcing each other. In theory, they are separate
functions, with unique missions.
"Public Diplomacy" is intended to be an interagency effort, theoretically
only directed at the influence of foreign audiences. That arena employs the
use of over-the-border’ information dissemination, whether radio, TV or the
The world of government-sponsored "Psychological Operations" uses specific
techniques - designed (in theory) to uniquely influence non-U.S. audiences.
In the theory of the government game, "Public Affairs" are not supposed to
direct or manipulate the public actions or their opinion. Supposedly, Public
Affairs simply inform; theoretically, under the U.S. law, they "must be
separate and distinct" from any Psychological Operations.
In the same political theory,
"Public Affairs (as a unique arena) cannot
legally be used for the purpose of military deception; or as disinformation
for the digestion of foreign or domestic audiences. Nor are Public Affairs
to act in the fashion of "propaganda" or publicity designed to sway or
direct public opinion ... be included in [Department of Defense] public
That, according to the "Doctrine for Public Affairs in
Joint Operations," otherwise known as "Joint Publication 3-61."
So goes the theory, anyway.
However idealistic the applicable laws may be; reality has a different
account; not always flattering to those who claim a position of integrity
and morality. For example, the events of 9-11 contained an incredible level
of Psychological Operations and "Coercive Persuasion;" still ongoing. One
has only to examine the images of the 9-11 pre-collapse damage to the
Pentagon; noting that the damage was impossible to have been done by a
Specifically, the external columns were broken at their base; and not
displaced inward. The lowest possible impact point, according to the
‘official’ account, would have been approximately 18 feet.
Add the missing
seismic "crash" signature and the lack of thick black smoke of burning jet
fuel, coming from the purported impact hole. However passionate and
well-intended, the "witness" testimony of an aircraft crash doesn’t find the
needed physical corroboration. As a clincher, the famous piece of aircraft
skin on the Pentagon lawn was the wrong color; add the wrong damage.
Most importantly, all legitimate investigations into the 9-11 events were
blocked from the White House, among other players. Despite the lack of
evidence, al Qaeda was sold as the 9-11 culprit.
Mix well-timed Propaganda, PSYOPS and "Coercive Persuasion" with the correct
media presentations, and the rest is history. As always, timing is key.
Coupling the most current technology with the global mass media, it is
common to see an increasing blend/overlap of information between Public
Affairs and Psychological Operations. Hence, Public Affairs is no longer a
unique function of delivering specific media products, such as magazines,
newspapers and radio/television programming. Its function now involves the
task of processing themes and messages; acting as a low-level Psychological
The underlying motivation is best described in the statement,
manipulate the enemy, if you’re out there telling the truth!"
operations now mean that much.
The demand for such an evolution demands that Public Affairs, Psychological
Operations, and Public Diplomacy (radio, television, newspapers), in
addition to all other pertinent elements of information operations, be
integrated - to the greatest extent possible - and that the efforts be
In the context of U.S. efficiency and enterprise, they need to be integrated
into a single organization. Yes, the turf-wars are bloody.
It is academic that Public Information - domestic and international - must
be consistent at all levels, in order to achieve and maintain the needed
credibility of each element. It is natural that the content of the messages
emanating from Public Affairs, Public Diplomacy and Psychological Operations
will normally differ. However, in the interest of maximum "power," the
messages are required to not appreciably contradict one another.
Still, in the world of elementary human affairs, too much consistency
generates suspicion; in the fashion of witnesses who all tell an obviously
In particular, when the mass media is in total alignment
with governmental powers, the public suspicion can be expected to come very
alive, nigh unto dangerous.
Mind Warfare Has its Limitations
Psychological Operations are
theoretically oriented toward directing selected information at only foreign
audiences. In that statement is the obvious thought that it’s
counter-productive to lie to – or manipulate - your own audience.
That leaves the Psychological Operations personnel in the position of being
the ‘voice,’ when it comes to the political messaging of the
decision-makers; whether civilian leaders, politicians, or military
Psychological Operations personnel are charged with the responsibility of
gathering, processing and controlling all possible information, so as to
steer the targeted civilian and military emotions, reasoning, motives, and
intentions; so as to effect a desired behavior. Ideally, that means that it
is critical for every theme and objective to both support and reflect the
stated national policy. In turn (ideally), that requires that any
informational program be integrated and synchronized with all other
In the world of Psychological Operations, that is a formidable task, just
given the inter-agency "friction."
Physical warfare is incredibly expensive. Thus, it is discovered that there
are both spoken and silent mandates to coordinate all possible information
programs. Central to such national mandates, are the military Psychological
It is the un-spoken goal for customary diplomatic and political missions to
prevent a potential enemy from leaning toward any form of violence –
offensive, or defensive. However, as the history of Pearl Harbor and the
Iraq WMD issue demonstrate, that is not always the reality.
Internet and other communications technologies make it nearly impossible for
civilian governments to regulate information interchange. Consequently,
target audiences experience much greater exposure to PSYOPS efforts.
The global population trends are naturally moving toward urbanization,
particularly in the so-called third world countries. In consequence, the
traditional application of overwhelming combat force quickly becomes
uniquely effective, only on conventional battlefields, versus the urbanized
environment, heavily populated by non-combatants.
Given recent history,
"enemy" forces have noted the obvious moral conflict, effectively forcing
any third-world enemy to resort to using "human shields" as a means of
survival. While often illuminated as "cowardice" by the aggressor’s media,
the humanist perception quickly questions whether such tactics are
cowardice, or sheer common sense and wisdom.
In the military mission, the capability to communicate persuasively is
paramount to any political and/or military goal. It is obvious that the
destructiveness of conventional military weapons and limits of traditional
diplomacy leave Psychological Operations highly useful in bridging the gap
between military threat of force and diplomacy. There are cases of
Psychological Warfare winning a bloodless war.
In the American society, there are found significant legal limitations. In
the shadow of the propaganda used by the USSR in the Cold War, a variety of
laws govern Public Diplomacy. Inherently, many PSYOP efforts quickly become
domestic Public Diplomacy. In consequence of such laws, military
Psychological Operations encounter serious limitations.
In legal history, there was a general attitude against government agencies
propagandizing the American people. The "Smith-Mundt Act" of 1948 became the
foundation for Public Diplomacy. That Act established the
Agency (USIA). [That office/function is now the Office of International
In 1972, the "Foreign Relations Act" amended the
Smith-Mundt Act, banning the disseminating of any "information about the
U.S., its people, and its policies" prepared with the intent of
dissemination abroad, from being disseminated within the United States.
1998 Zorinksy Amendment added more restrictions on Public Diplomacy;
prohibiting any funds from being used,
"to influence public opinion in the
[United States], and no program material... shall be distributed within
the [United States]."
The 1998 Foreign Relations Restructuring Act also
merged several government agencies, leaving the USIA under the Department of
Political and military goals aside, the "powers" faced the conflict that
there was no gain in being honest. The various laws left those in the
business of Psychological Operations with a nearly impossible task of
reconciling domestic, versus international messaging. In the modern world of
communications, it is academic that any information conflicts would be
instantly identified, with the obvious counter-productive effect.
In 1999, Presidential Decision Directive 68 was issued, forming the
International Public Information Group. The stated intent recognized that
international public information activities "are overt and address foreign
audiences only." The Directive noted that any domestic information should be
"de-conflicted" and "synchronized" so as NOT to broadcast contradictory
messages. The intent of the Directive was to ensure that the various
"information" agencies would coordinate their efforts.
International legal barriers also limit the Internet for the application of
Psychological Operations. It is not surprising that technology creates major
political conflicts. The existing and explicit regulations over particular
actions - and general principles of international law – limit PSYOPS, as the
advances in Information Technology outpace existing laws. The obvious
consequence is the ambiguity in the definition of war, coupled with a void
in the desired and/or needed provisions, which explicitly prohibit
The IT "generation gap" leaves major areas of contention in the world of
Information Warfare. While the "traditional forces" of cyberwar are found in
the form of organized national militaries, any net-war attacks may not
necessarily involve traditional military forces, versus non-state or
A major conflict arises in the definition of "force," as information attacks
may not directly involve lethal attacks or physical destruction.
Thus, it is
a challenge to define such "attacks" as constituting the equivalence of
"force," under the pertinent provisions in such documents as the
Nations Charter and the Geneva Conventions. Overt information attacks may be
considered legal forms of coercion, even in peacetime. In the converse, the
distortion of enemy perceptions may be illegal, or otherwise be limited by
the laws against perfidy.
Even within the bounds of existing legal limitations, many areas of
Psychological Operations are considered to be within the bounds of
international law. The current international standard is the restraint
provided by the rules of the International Telecommunication Union.
these rules do not apply to warring belligerents, leaving Information
Warfare in the light of "…all is fair…".
That allows the manipulation of enemy perceptions. The result is the
creation of confusion, by such means as covertly altering official messages,
broadcasts or intimidating enemy leaders by methodically (electronically)
misleading their intelligence or other forms of communications. To do so
would not necessarily violate the laws of war, in principle.
Yet, the reasonable person is left to question the morality of using
Information Warfare to such an extreme as to leave an enemy force and its
citizens or leaders detached from reality. In the modern world, it is not
difficult to find cases of propaganda, video morphing, or deceptive
broadcasts used to initiate unrestrained civil war, or even genocide. Thus
civilization must, sooner or later, test the issue of what should be
Returning to the 9-11 Pentagon, the supposed Department of Defense "security
videotape" of the aircraft impact contained an erroneous time-date stamp,
the shadows were impossible and the incredible fireball was demonstrated to
not have burned or damaged anything. Still the "first-up" impression was
burned into the brains of America, with no call for an inquiry.
Another classic case in point was the overthrow of the Shah of Iran. The
primary weapon of choice was audio cassettes, distributing the teachings of
the Ayatollah Khomeini. However effective, imagine outlawing
Ironically, in the USA, religious messages are successfully being
‘outlawed,’ by selectively re-packaging them as ‘hate.’ In Canada, for
another example, it is illegal to cite religious scripture which condemns
In short, "It can happen!"
Strategy and Tactics
Even within the existing laws, the Internet serves as an important military
medium, enabling the Armed Forces to employ it, offensively, in the realm of
unconventional warfare. Certainly, the military has a vested interest in
using the Internet in countering any propaganda, disinformation, and
controversies or exposures, such as
the Depleted Uranium issue, similar to
the Agent Orange disaster.
Currently, the major debate against using the Internet for PSYOPS is
centered in the tactic of information product denial, particularly in the
forced public prevention of Americans from receiving specific Internet
The Internet product issue goes to a range of goods and services, such as
encryption methods, privacy software (anti-spyware) and certainly specific
information and internet communication capability.
A certain amount of Internet military application of PSYOPS is still
available, through the use of foreign language messages, posted on a
different Web site. That tactic assumes a certain measure of "tolerance."
While the typical American may not understand the particular language
employed, there will still be some minority segment of the U.S. population
which does get exposed to such "end-runs."
The potential capability of the Internet as a PSYOPS medium is rather
self-evident, by now. Both state and non-state entities have increasingly
relied upon the Internet to achieve domestic and international approval and
As one example, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
was formed and operated with such effect as the Dayton Accords, in the
Today, one still has to ask, "Who are they, anyway?"
not as though they are a "Congress" of the European Union. Regardless of
their rather "cosmic" (non-state) being, the OSCE effectively employed the
Internet to successfully influence the conventional public information
channels and the voter information efforts. In that effort, they have
reinforced their seeming legitimacy, as an international organization.
To date, few have examined the descriptor, "Ethnic Albanian." That being a
cryptic political euphemism for "Muslim." Few Americans, in particular, are
informed that the "Ethnic Albanians" had displaced the traditional Serbs
from their homelands. When those Serbs attempted to re-assert themselves in
their original homeland, the fighting broke out. In the midst of the
controversy, the parallels were available between the return of the Serbs,
versus the return of the Jews to the former Palestine.
Yet, the public
presentation was radically different – including the presentations on the
For example, the OSCE web site touted itself as a central clearing house for
the Balkan issues. While holding itself out as an authoritative information
source, the site served as a propaganda source. Its "service" extracted a
subtle price. The Serbs and Kosovars went beyond the providing of
information, engaging in what may legitimately be described as the first
online war. Both sides used the various Web sites and E-mail to make their
case and take their stands.
With the evolution of information operations/warfare, the various
information mechanisms are destined to become more popular among the
traditional "policy" agencies. Although debatable, it is suggested that a
denial of service is an inferior tactic, to a greater level of information
presentation – with an associated quality in that presentation. The trend is
for an increasing emphasis on affecting the target audience perceptions, the
associated emotions, thoughts and certainly their behavior.
During the Balkan War, the Serb broadcast media outlets were considered to
be the main source of Milosevic's propaganda. In consequence, those
facilities were bombed, having been labeled as "Dual-use" targets. However,
the U.S. Government elected not to attack the Serb Internet sites.
The official position of the Department of State was,
"Full and open access
to the Internet can only help the Serbian people know the ugly truth about
the atrocities and crimes against humanity being perpetrated in Kosovo by
the Milosevic regime."
It is elementary that raw truth is no match for a passionately and
effectively conveyed lie.
The Internet served as an effective NATO propaganda medium, despite the Serb
Internet efforts. The assumed difference was in the arena of resources,
whether money, expertise or personnel. The allowed survival of the Serb
Internet served as a message, in itself. The suggestion being that the USA,
in particular, was "above" taking unfair advantage of the Serb position. The
Department of State mounted a rigorous online effort to defend the Balkan
campaign and the U.S. credibility, in particular.
Beyond the expected norms of the Internet traffic, the Internet forums
served as a major intelligence source. Whether the mood of the populace, or
the movement of Serb forces, the Internet traffic was a Godsend to the
intelligence community. The major requirement being the establishment of
which sources could be trusted.
The Internet also allowed direct personal contact with the Serb populace,
without any intervention in the form of government censorship, or the
influence of peripheral propaganda. The Internet also forced the Serb
officials to think twice about terminating the Internet service, themselves,
fearing a popular backlash.
The American/NATO interaction within such environments as instant messaging
and chat rooms served as a major source of PSYOPS influence over the Serbs.
No doubt there was a major effort in the realm of "manufactured consensus."
That being the first true "cyberwar," the Serbs would have been poorly
prepared for the psychological interdiction.
Comparably, the Internet facilitated information being delivered to
sympathetic groups in specific areas of concern. With respect to the local
"forces" sympathetic to the NATO push, the Internet communication allowed
the "friendlies" to conduct proxy military operations, sparing the need for
Special Operations Forces to become more deeply involved.
Obviously, journalists delight in being able to gain information access to
otherwise prohibited locations. That access, in turn, permits the mainstream
media to act as an independent force-multiplier. While traditional
journalism might offer an opposing view, few may rationally doubt the
controls effected over the entire spectrum of the international mass media.
Although the statement above will meet with heated objection, the effective
pandering of the term, "Ethnic Albanian" serves as overwhelming evidence of
the magnitude of such controls. The White House conversion of the
Palestinian "suicide bombers" to "homicide bombers" was quite similar.
The Internet is also an electronic battlefield, requiring defensive devices,
programs and techniques to defend against attacks on individual Web sites
and other information sources. This is generally accomplished through
blocking and filtering software, which is installed on the various Internet
gateways and pathways, reaching as far as individually owned computers.
It is interesting to note that for all the cyber warfare, there is little to
block pornography on the internet, that being essentially the province of
"Connected Crime." It is a crime to download, store or re-distribute certain
forms of pornography, but it is not a crime to originate such material. The
implied message being, that the American citizen has the right to speak, but
not the right to listen or remember.
As with all forms of media, the Internet has become an extension of the
physical battlefield. Thus, governments and militaries find the Internet to
be a critical wartime asset for Psychological Operations. Over time, the
number of state and non-state actors is increasing in the use of the
Internet as a lever. The key advantage of the Internet is its relatively low
cost, especially where third-world countries are concerned.
Hence, there is a certain mandate for the concerned entities to achieve
maximum effectiveness through advantageous Internet policies, regulations
and laws. Only then can any PSYOPS effort take full advantage of the
ever-changing contemporary electronic media.
Currently, international law restricts many aspects of Psychological
Operation efforts. In an increasingly insane world, we find the ample legal
room for the United States, in particular, being constricted through such
devices as the "Patriot Act."
Most are aware of the Muslim online charities
and money transfer services which were shut down, following 9-11.
Conversely, the various agencies in the United States are stepping up their
effectiveness on the Internet, via more refined Psychological Operations
tactics. In particular, the application of "Coercive Persuasion"
methodologies are found in greater abundance. Such efforts, and their legal
status may not be "provable," but certain online personalities display an
otherwise uncanny – and interesting - ability to sway major debates.
It should be noted that the U.S. interests are not the exclusive
perpetrators of Psychological Operations. In particular, the Muslim
interests are discovered to be an increasingly formidable force in the
PSYOPS field. Certainly, Russia and China have been long-time players in
this field. As with all arms races, we may be certain that time will deliver
increasingly sophisticated devices.
Still, the military remains as the major player in the field of PSYOPS. In
that light, the military finds the mandate to maximize its employment of the
That mandate demands that the application of
Internet efforts be an integral effort, as opposed to being a uniquely
external device, with the needed Psychological Operations being uncontrolled
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