The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

In December, the Pentagon used software to monitor the Twitter debate over Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing; another program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets; and, last year, General William Caldwell, deployed an information operations team under his command that had been trained in psychological operations to influence visiting American politicians to Kabul. A U.S. Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis, noted recently in his scathing 84-page unclassified report on Afghanistan that there remains a strong desire within the defense establishment to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary ‘to protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will,’ he wrote, quoting a well-regarded general. The defense bill passed the House Friday afternoon.

Michael Hastings, Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban

Hastings adds:

The bill’s supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home, and that new techniques are needed to help fight Al-Qaeda.

That’s interesting. A little less than a month ago, we had government officials giving quotes like this: “Some could argue that the organization that brought us 9/11 is essentially gone.”

Bonus Information (and a damn good read): How NATO and the US State Department endanger internet freedom | P U L S E