2005-06-11

Pentagon entwickelt neue PsyOp-Projekte

--- Das US-Verteidigungsministerium hat millionenschwere neue Projekte im Bereich der umstrittenen Psychological Operations (PsyOP) angesto�en, berichtet die Washington Post. Ziel ist es mal wieder, die Meinung der Welt�ffentlichkeit �ber die Medien zu beeinflussen. Auch das Internet soll in die Manipulationsma�nahmen einbezogen werden:
The Pentagon awarded three contracts this week, potentially worth up to $300 million over five years, to companies it hopes will inject more creativity into its psychological operations efforts to improve foreign public opinion about the United States, particularly the military. "We would like to be able to use cutting-edge types of media," said Col. James A. Treadwell, director of the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element, a part of Tampa-based U.S. Special Operations Command. "If you want to influence someone, you have to touch their emotions." He said SYColeman Inc. of Arlington, Lincoln Group of the District, and Science Applications International Corp. will help develop ideas and prototypes for radio and television spots, documentaries, or even text messages, pop-up ads on the Internet, podcasting, billboards or novelty items. Treadwell's group was established last year and includes a graphic artist and videographer, he said. It assists "psyops" personnel stationed at military headquarters overseas. Col. Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the Special Operations Command, which runs the Army's Special Forces, Navy SEALs and other elite combat units, said the contractors might help the military develop commercials in Iraq, for example, illustrating how roadside bombs meant for soldiers also harm children and other innocent civilians. ... Some previous Defense Department efforts in the field have been controversial. In 2002, the Pentagon abandoned its Office of Strategic Influence after reports surfaced, which the Pentagon denied, that it would disseminate inaccurate information to foreign media. After other agencies were criticized for hiring journalists to promote their policies, the Pentagon asked its inspector general to review its use of Fairfax-based Anteon International Corp. to run Web sites aimed at audiences in the Balkans and North Africa. The Web sites, known as the Southeast European Times and Magharebia, include articles from journalists paid by the Pentagon through the company, as well as articles translated from U.S. newspapers. That review is ongoing. Treadwell said there is no connection between the Office of Strategic Influence and the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element, adding: "I have never approved a product that was a lie, [or] that was intended to deceive."