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[] White House will not support Pentagon's disinformation plan,

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Das dürfte angesichts des drohenden Irak-Krieges eine der spannenderen
Aufgaben in der nächsten Zeit sein: Die verschiedenen Info-Krieger und
PR-Warriors in der US-Regierung herauszufinden, ihre Strategien zu
vergleichen, Widersprüche herauszuarbeiten, mögliche (freundliche und
feindliche!) "Target Audiences" vorher zu identifizieren und nicht
zuletzt zu überlegen, wie z.B. Europa mit solchen Sachen politisch
umgehen soll. Bin gespannt auf Input und Diskussionen (jaa, nach den

White House will not support Pentagon's disinformation plan

Eric Schmitt NYT

IHT, Wednesday, December 18, 2002 

WASHINGTON The White House has distanced itself from a Pentagon
directive that would authorize the military to carry out covert
operations to influence public opinion and policy-makers in friendly and
neutral countries.

The White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, acknowledged Monday that there
had been widespread recognition throughout the Bush administration that
the United States had to work harder "in better communicating America's
message of hope and opportunity."

But Fleischer told reporters they should not presume that the Pentagon's
idea had advanced very far and cautioned that President George W. Bush
would not approve of anything that involved lying.

"The president has the expectation that any program that is created in
his administration will be based on facts, and that's what he would
expect to be carried out in any program that is created in any entity of
the government," he said.

When asked whether that included manipulating foreign media, like
planting false news stories with foreign journalists, Fleischer said,
"No, I don't think that's anticipated."

Fleischer was responding to questions about an article in The New York
Times that disclosed the existence of a proposed directive that
conceived a program to undercut the influence of mosques and religious
schools, as well as planting news stories in newspapers and other
periodicals in foreign countries.

Early this year, Bush reacted angrily to reports that a new Pentagon
bureau, the Office of Strategic Influence, was considering ways to plant
false information with unwitting foreign journalists. Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld was forced to close the office.

A senior administration official said the Defense Department's proposed
directive had "caught the White House by surprise."

Rumsfeld has not decided on the Pentagon directive, which has set off a
fierce debate over whether the military should apply its considerable
resources to carrying out secret propaganda missions in friendly
countries like Germany or Pakistan, which Qaeda terrorists have used as
bases, defense officials said.

Such a program would aim to undermine mosques and religious schools in
the Middle East and Southwest Asia that have become breeding grounds for
Islamic militancy. It might funnel money to help establish alternative
schools or pay foreign journalists to write articles favorable to U.S.

If adopted, the directive would permit activities well beyond what is
done now, which range from broad range of actions from psychological
operations to using electronic countermeasures against enemy radars.

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