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[] Doch kein OSI?,

... dass keine(r) dem Pentagon nun noch irgendwas glaubt, wollte man wohl =

February 25, 2002

New York Times

Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence


WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 =97 The Pentagon may eliminate a new office intended t=
influence public opinion and policy makers overseas, Defense Secretary Don=
ald H. 
Rumsfeld said today. Proposals from the new agency, the Office of Strategi=
Influence, have caused an uproar in Congress and elsewhere in the governme=

Its director, Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, has proposed th=
at the 
office coordinate activities ranging from public press releases to secret =
warfare" in friendly as well as unfriendly countries, military officials s=
aid. In the past, 
such secret operations included the spreading of inaccurate or misleading 

Mr. Rumsfeld today reiterated comments he made last week after The New Yor=
Times reported the office's existence and proposed activities: he said the=
would not be permitted to tell lies to promote American policies or views.=
 But he said 
today that the disclosures about the office's potential activities may hav=
e doomed its 

"The person who's in charge is debating whether it should even exist in it=
s current 
form, given all the misinformation and adverse publicity that it's receive=
d," Mr. 
Rumsfeld said on the NBC News program "Meet the Press." 

Distancing himself from the office, which reports to Douglas J. Feith, the=
secretary of defense for policy, Mr. Rumsfeld said he would
leave its fate in the hands of his top lieutenants. He said he had "never =
even seen 
the charter for the office."

But the office's assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former Army=
and psychological operations officer, said at a recent industry conference=
General Worden had briefed Mr. Rumsfeld on the purpose and goals of the of=
fice at 
least twice, and that Mr. Rumsfeld had given his general support.

The office, which has a secret multimillion-dollar budget and a staff of a=
bout 15, had 
started planning its activities and coordinating with the National Securit=
y Council, the 
State Department and other federal agencies.

Top aides to Mr. Rumsfeld have confirmed that he supported the broad missi=
on of 
the Office of Strategic Influence, but they said he had not approved any o=
f the 
classified proposals that were circulating at lower levels of the Pentagon=
, the ones 
that have stirred up heated internal debate. 

"We're into the frustrating part of ironing out differences within our fam=
ily," Colonel 
Timmes told those attending the conference, on Feb. 8 in Arlington, Va.

The new office was formed after the Sept. 11 attacks to coordinate dispara=
information operations geared toward assisting the military overseas. Admi=
officials, including Mr. Rumsfeld, have voiced concern that the  United St=
ates was 
losing public support overseas for its
war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic countries.

"The Afghan people were being told that the food rations we were dropping =
poison, and they weren't," Mr. Rumsfeld said on the CBS News program "Face=
Nation," adding: "And the Taliban and the Al Qaeda were lying about it, an=
d we 
needed to find ways to tell these people of Afghanistan that they could ea=
t that food. 
Millions of these were dropped."

Mr. Rumsfeld continued, "There are lots of things that we have to do to di=
rect people 
where they can get humanitarian assistance. So we need to be in the busine=
ss of 
communicating that kind of information. But this department is not in the =
business of 
of misinforming people."

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