December 6, 2005
Information: A Sword that Must be WieldedBy John B. Dwyer
Since 9/11, it has been the policy of the United States to employ all of its weapons, military and non—military, in waging the global war on terrorism, to defeat the Islamofascist enemy bent on destroying us and our way of life.
Information is a vital tool in the armory, hence the term information warfare. One of the components of this vital form of warfare is psychological operations — pysops for short. An important mission of psyops, as defined in Joint Publication 3—53 'Doctrine For Joint Psychological Operations' (5 Sept. 2003) is:
These are terms and actions that cause mainstream media knickers to become twisted; their liberal sensibilities are affronted as they avoid all mirrors. For if they looked at themselves, what would they see? Themselves as purveyors of misinformation, disinformation and lies in their coverage of the war in Iraq, the military and the Bush administration, deserving their own chapter in the psyops doctrine manual.
In its press release titled 'Information Operations critical to success in Iraq' the headquarters, Multi—National Force, Iraq (MNFI) stated
In the central theater of the global war on terrorism this weapon is being used properly. It is a sword that must be wielded.
Let's look at exactly what has got the Righteousness Brigades of The Media in such a tizzy. The MNFI press release states:
Nothing sinister here. In fact, as we see, precautions are taken to safeguard reporters and publishers.
The third party referred to in the release is the Lincoln Group. They aren't sinister either. Anyone can go to their website. They are a strategic communications and public relations firm. Information about them, their mission, their staff, etc. is readily available. The Director of Strategic Solutions, probably in overall charge of Iraq operations, is Andrew Garfield. He was a senior British military then civilian intelligence officer. He has extensive experience in information operations and psyops and was the British Defense Intelligence Staff's first Information Operations officer. Mr. Garfield has lectured extensively — in the United States at the Naval Postgraduate School and 4th Psychological Operations Group at Ft. Bragg. (see posted bio). Interestingly, the former commander of the 4th Psyops Group, Colonel James Treadwell, once said, 'Truth is the best propaganda.'
Here is the Lincoln Group's response to the current teapot—oriented tempest:
And so, there it is. The truth is out. Multi—National Force Iraq has had unmitigated gall to promote and publish the truth about what is really going on in Iraq, the stories that the MSM rarely, if ever, publishes.
During the last global conflict, World War Two, our government decided to establish the Office of War Information (OWI) in June 1942 (see my AT article 'When A Bodyguard Of Lies Was Possible'). Under the direction of well—known broadcaster Elmer Davis, OWI disseminated information via newspapers, radio, movies and other outlets, generating propaganda themes for them all. Its Office of Policy Information conducted psyops abroad, propagating information aimed at weakening enemy morale and increasing support for the allied war effort.
When the Bush administration tried to establish the OWI—like Office of Strategic Influence in 2002, the effort was sabotaged by a hostile media. At a February 20, 2002 meeting with the Defense Writer's Group, Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith explained clearly what this new Office's mission would be.
He went on to explain how
He emphasized that the credibility of Pentagon spokesmen is a paramount concern and
The first question he took from a reporter epitomizes the ruling, the continuing, hostile attitude of the press corps:
It is now time for the administration and the Pentagon to go on an information offensive, to wage a concerted multi—media campaign to tell the untold stories from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from wherever the global war on terror is being fought. It is time to wield unabashedly the sword of information warfare, to do so in the courageous spirit of the warriors that sword will help protect and defend.
Because the truth is, we must win; there can be no substitute for victory.
John B. Dwyer is a military historian. He is a frequent contributor.