U.S. Special Ops contracts network of psychological-warfare “influence websites” supporting the Global War On Terror

Steve Watson

Thursday, Sept 17, 2009

U.S. Specia

Pentagon Targets UK and France With Psyops Websites 170909socom

l Operations Command (SOCOM) has finalised a $10m agreement with a large globalist defense contractor to operate a network of psychological operations websites, with Britain and France named as “targeted regions”.

We first reported on the Trans-Regional Web Initiative (TRWI) last year.

Now the operation, which will essentially issue military propaganda disguised as independent media reports throughout the world, has been implemented with General Dynamics running the initiative for the first year.

The company ranks No. 4 on Washington Technology’s 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors and is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world.

SOCOM, which operates the U.S. Army’s only full-time psywar unit, the 4th Airborne Psychological Operations Group, issued specifications (PDF) on the operation last year:

Special Operations Command requires the capability to posture for rapid, on-order global dissemination of web-based influence products and tools in support of strategic and long-term U.S. Government goals…

[Contractors will] develop, design, construct, operate, and maintain a series of synchronized influence websites supporting [Global War On Terror] requirements … Government estimates a minimum of two and no more than twelve websites.

The specs also outline the need for “indigenous content stringers and editors” within “targeted regions” disseminating round the clock “original features, news, sports, entertainment, economics, politics, cultural reports, business, and similar items of interest to targeted readers”.

previous SOCOM notice on the project noted that “All contractor personnel shall hold a U.S. SECRET security clearance and be able to obtain a U.S. TOP SECRET clearance.” meaning that any “news” reporters and editors employed will have access to “both classified and unclassified government computer systems facilities.”

Their role, according to SOCOM is to “influence foreign audiences per Government-approved Concepts of Operations (CONOPs), conceptual approaches and previously approved prototypes.”

The so called “targeted” readers and regions are listed as Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Russian and Malay, but also French, and “English (British dialect and spelling)”.

In our previous report from May 2008, we noted how the Pentagon already has a number of foreign language news websites in operation in the Balkans, North Africa, Iraq, Latin America and Asia.

The front pages of the sites appear to be populated with regionalized news stories, but the disclaimers buried within the sites and accessible only via small links at the bottom of the pages reveal that all three are run by the U.S. Department of Defense.

In comments to USA Today, Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of Defense in charge of special operations said that the websites are designed to counter enemies on the internet who put out information that is not in keeping with the interests and goals of the U.S. military:

“It’s important to … engage these foreign audiences and inform,” Vickers said. “Our adversaries use the Internet to great advantage, so we have the responsibility of countering (their messages) with accurate, truthful information, and these websites are a good vehicle.”

Since when has the federal government and its war machine military been concerned with promoting the truth?

Army Col. Jerry O’Hara, spokesman for the Pentagon’s Iraq command, made similar comments regarding TRWI:

“Youngsters on the street are into the World Wide Web — that’s how they communicate, how they learn what’s going on in the world, how they stay informed — and they pick and choose what (news sources) they have on their desktop… We have to be involved in that in order to communicate effectively.”

Does that sound like an operation to spread truthful information to you or does it sound like a covert military operation to shape the views of people around the world to bring them in line with the motivations of the Pentagon’s top brass and to further suppress any dissenting opinion?

What this essentially boils down to is that while the Obama White House has declared the War on Terror to be over, the Pentagon is deploying a vast global psyop network of electronic media outlets to promote the interests and goals of the U.S. military as part of the “war on terror”.

And the targets of the psyop? The terrorists that must be countered? As ever it’s the free thinking everyday people who sit down to read the news.

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