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391 comments

posting anonymously due to SlashThink (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301200)

Yawn. Fuck you pussies! Enough of this faggotry!

Too late (2, Insightful)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301230)

We gave up any meaningful right when we signed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, & any remaining freedoms with the PATRIOT Act of 2001, so what say you, puny civilians?

Re:Too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301360)

Precisely. What would our founding fathers, specifically Alexander Hamilton, who wrote at length on this subject, have thought of our powerful central bank?

Re:Too late (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301492)

Precisely. What would our founding fathers, specifically Alexander Hamilton, who wrote at length on this subject, have thought of our powerful central bank?

That only a nation of niggers and greasy spics (can't leave them out) would tolerate it? When they keep outbreeding whites for another generation or two we'll have a nice replica of Haiti.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301776)

No, no, you're thinking of Jefferson. Once you go black, etc. etc.

Re:Too late (4, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301586)

I believe his exact argument was "KaChing!" with some fist pumping gestures.

Re:Too late (2)

Kyru (836008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301826)

Precisely. What would our founding fathers, specifically Alexander Hamilton, who wrote at length on this subject, have thought of our powerful central bank?

Ouch! I've been shot!

Re:Too late (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301434)

We gave up any meaningful right when we signed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, & any remaining freedoms with the PATRIOT Act of 2001, so what say you, puny civilians?

Holy cow are you people starting to sound like broken records. Is this the answer to all questions? The Federal Reserve Act?! What is wrong with our schools?

Re:Too late (5, Insightful)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301548)

Put on your tinfoil hats, cause this is how it works: The rich elite that control the central banks finance the politicians that run the military that invade the land of the sand people to take their oil to benefit the bankers that have conveniently invested in the most wasteful forms of energy because waste means profit through cyclical consumption & designed obsoletance which is the same reason you can't clean the fucking fan so it runs out of warrantee so you end up having to run to the store to buy another one because it's broken so open the door get on the floor everybody walk the dinosaur.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301666)

I did not see that coming. Bravo.

Re:Too late (5, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301680)

Holy cow are you people starting to sound like broken records. Is this the answer to all questions? The Federal Reserve Act?! What is wrong with our schools?

The US school system used to be one of the best. But it was never the same after the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

We (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301524)

Please stop using the term "we" to describe the actions of the elite few at the top of the pyramid.

Re:Too late (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301584)

uhhh... i hear you on the patriot act, but you do realize that the fed was brought into existence not because of some retarded senator palpatine style freedom destroying plot, which seems to be the way you think, but because people were sick of banking panic after banking panic laying waste to the economy and people's lives and financial well being:

http://history1800s.about.com/od/thegildedage/a/financialpanics.htm [about.com]

and although i'd really love to hear your john birch society conspiracy theories about the fed, i'm sorry, but i have an appointment with economic reality and psychological stability that i really must keep, adieu

Re:Too late (4, Insightful)

babblefrog (1013127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301678)

Didn't work, did it? The panics of 1930-1933 were the worst yet.

Re:Too late (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301902)

yes, so we got the FDIC added, along with the glass steagall act banking protections... which were underminded starting with reagan, legislated around further through clinton, and gutted under bush ii (hey SEC: stop doing your job, there's no guy pulling off a giant ponzi scheme, naaah). leading to, surprise! the crash of 2008

anything else i can help you with?

Re:Too late (4, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301686)

people were sick of banking panic after banking panic laying waste to the economy and people's lives and financial well being:

Good thing they put a stop to that, then!

Re:Too late (5, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301788)

Except we had the First Bank of the United States and the Second Bank of the United States, which were essentially central banks and they didn't help.

And the Fed not only didn't help avert the Great Depression, they admitted to making it worse thru over contraction of the monetary supply.

Considering the number of recessions, the modern name for bank panic, after the creation of the Fed, what exactly is your argument? They certainly haven't either slowed down or flattened out the severity of any, including the current, the ones in the 1980s and all the ones past.

Re:Too late (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301944)

my argument is if you have a central bank you stabilize the economy

duhhh...

oh no wait, i'm sorry, that's not my argument. that's economic reality pretty much agreed upon by anyone with an IQ above 100 and an average education

please drink less kool aid, thanks

Re:Too late (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301798)

So you no longer wonder why it is that a country that has a sovereign right to print money and has a printing press is over 12 TRILLION dollars in debt? And why that same country just created TRILLIONS for the banks to cover their stupidity? Maybe there was a better way to handle the crises you speak of. Check this out: http://www.slate.com/id/2271828/ [slate.com] A quote:The Fed makes money ex nihilo, pulling it out of thin air rather than taking it from its coffers. Then, it pushes the money into the economy by buying up assets from banks. If you want to know why there is such income disparity in this country look no further than the fed. And check out: http://www.amazon.com/Web-Debt-Ellen-Hodgson-Brown/dp/0979560888/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298568279&sr=8-1 [amazon.com] Conspiracy theory? Hardly.

Re:Too late (3, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301910)

The Fed shares only a small part of the blame.

1. Dual mandate of price stability and employment--came from Congress, and pulled the Fed out of areas where it's equipped to act.

2. A more regressive tax structure, started under Reagan.

3. Massive, unnecessary wars started by GWB.

4. Well meaning, but in retrospect ill advised government efforts to encourage home ownership. Also not something the Fed did.

If you're blaming the Fed, it's like blaming the tail for wagging the dog. Some people even go so far as to argue that the ability to print money causes wars. If you look at history, you see that the war comes first, then they turn to money printing. The gold standard does NOT keep people honest, honestly! As soon as government has a reason, they immediately trash the gold standard. As one author put it, "the gold standard is as good as the paper it's written on".

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301638)

For God's sake, get off the Fed train. You haven't figured out the root of a vast conspiracy which the rest of us are blind to. You're just an idiot.

Re:Too late (1)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301668)

We gave up any meaningful right when we signed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, & any remaining freedoms with the PATRIOT Act of 2001, so what say you, puny civilians?

What's really interesting here, is that we're not seeing the usual Big Gov't vs puny civilian story, but rather Big Gov't division A vs. Big Government to such an extent. It's one thing for, say, Bernanke to elaborate some nice rhetoric to the congress in order to explain his printing money "for the good of society". But to amass a small psychological army (no pun intended) to purposefully brainwash the congress? Now that's scary....

Re:Too late (2)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301714)

There was no congress; the bill was signed into law on christmas eve when most where at home with their families.

Lobbyists? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301234)

So basically the army used its soldiers as lobbyists?

Re:Lobbyists? (2)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301804)

Well one of the points that Lt. Colonel makes in the article is that they have rules that restrain themselves from using propaganda against American civilians. So I guess, in that sense, they're not really lobbyists.

Starship Troopers (2)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301236)

Psy-Ops? Isn't that what Dr Horrible's, (I mean Neil Patrick Harris) character was assigned to in Starship Troopers?

Re:Starship Troopers (1)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301298)

Would you like to know more?

Re:Starship Troopers (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301490)

I'd buy that for a dollar.. HA HA Hahha Haaaaa. Those bits in films tend to be the best bits.

Re:Starship Troopers (4, Interesting)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301352)

I think it is more like the character George Clooney played in The Men Who Stare at Goats [imdb.com].

Wrong but right (1)

oic0 (1864384) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301240)

While wrong... if their objective is to win and have as few deaths as possible, seems like a good strategy since the government can make its self an enemy of the army, bleeding them as much as the enemy. Call em home or give what they need.

Re:Wrong but right (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301334)

The only morally correct way to convince someone of your position is to present the evidence (and the rationale).

Any manipulation beyond that is a deliberate attempt to derail the other person's rationality and force them into making a decision that might not be in properly alignment with their loyalties and interests, and hence is potentially harmful to the person and hence morally wrong.

PsyOps is a weapon, and has the same moral status as any weapon. Firing weapons at our own senators is also morally wrong.

Re:Wrong but right (0)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301432)

Getting the mission done with as few deaths as possible is the morally right thing for a commander to do.

If there is a choice to be made between manipulating senators, and getting your people killed, I'd choose manipulating congressmen any time.

Re:Wrong but right (3, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301516)

So you do that and now there are less resources for some other commander and so his men die instead. Since you subverted the rational decision making process there were more total deaths since resources were not allocated optimally. Congratulations you killed bunch of Americans because you know best.

Actually why bother with the government at all? You're the commander the soldiers follow your orders - just a quick overthrow of the elected government and you can just allocate the resources as you see fit - this if clearly a good thing, since you know best.

Re:Wrong but right (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301532)

That slope is very slippery.

As convinced as you are that your position is the correct one, it is always possible that you are simply mistaken. In that case, someone else's objective position might save a lot of people from the bad consequences of your mistake. That is one reason why brainwashing (or equivalent) is morally wrong....you might force someone to agree with you when you should have been disagreed with.

If you can't convince your audience via reason and evidence, then you don't deserve their agreement.

Of course......if our senetors are actully outright corrupt then they should be overthrown....though that is a different situation entirely.

Re:Wrong but right (0)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301542)

I sure hope you aren't in the military, as I would hate to think that they have stooped so low as to have someone so unfamiliar with the concepts of honor and duty anywhere in the ranks.

Re:Wrong but right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301574)

You'd think Senators would be immune to manipulation, especially with all the lobbying done to them. Maybe they are weak minded and easily to manipulate, which makes them good candidates for replacement next election cycle.

Mij

Re:Wrong but right (0)

patjhal (1423249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301746)

"Getting the mission done with as few deaths as possible is the morally right thing for a commander to do."

Yes but that is not accomplished by manipulating senators. That is accomplished by the commander no deploying his troops.

"If there is a choice to be made between manipulating senators, and getting your people killed, I'd choose manipulating congressmen any time."

That is just a ridiculous statement. Manipulation is the worst kind of crime. It is the manipulators who got those people in a position to be killed in the first place and now they want to manipulate their way out. More will die that way.

Re:Wrong but right (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301806)

Getting the mission done with as few deaths as possible is the morally right thing for a commander to do.

"The mission" did not spring into being as a pure goal with its raison d'etre being its own existence in some bizarre circular logic. Tasks are assigned by higher ups to achieve the ends those higher-ups designate. If the people charged with carrying it out then turn on the people who give them their directives and try to manipulate them into changing parameters, then they're no longer fulfilling the implicit directive of carrying out their superiors' decisions, they're trying to alter their superiors' decisions and change the parameters of "the mission," setting their own goals first. We have a term for that already: it's called 'the tail wagging the dog'.

Re:Wrong but right (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301942)

Getting the mission done with as few deaths as possible is the morally right thing for a commander to do.

If there is a choice to be made between manipulating senators, and getting your people killed, I'd choose manipulating congressmen any time.

Among other things, you're presenting us with a false dilemma, are you not? That your only two choices are manipulation of your leaders or extra deaths among your people?

Re:Wrong but right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301460)

The only morally correct way to convince someone of your position is to present the evidence (and the rationale).

Not a factor when people's lives are on the line and you're the one who has to write home to their parents when they die.

Any manipulation beyond that is a deliberate attempt to derail the other person's rationality and force them into making a decision that might not be in properly alignment with their loyalties and interests, and hence is potentially harmful to the person and hence morally wrong.

Who cares? They sent you to fight a war for which you're ill-equipped, anything short of holding them hostage with you to get better funding is fine - hell even that if you don't suggest you're the one in control of the situation.

PsyOps is a weapon, and has the same moral status as any weapon. Firing weapons at our own senators is also morally wrong.

See above.

Re:Wrong but right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301858)

"Not a factor when people's lives are on the line and you're the one who has to write home to their parents when they die." since when do commanders write letters to the hundreds of thousands of brown people they slaughter during their shitty plunder, pillage, NWO operations? people's lives are on the line because these fucknuts PUT THEM THERE. they should be hanged for that reason, not given carte blanche.

Re:Wrong but right (1)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301628)

The only morally correct way to convince someone of your position is to present the evidence (and the rationale).

What if the other person has compromised rationality and/or skewed priorities and interests. If they are unwilling or unable to act rationally, or they have disordered interests, is it better to act "morally correct" and unecessarily put the lives of your men at risk, or manipulate their compromised rationality in order to secure the optimal outcome for the men on the front lines?

It's a question of one man's (potentially-compromised) rationality versus hundreds or more men's lives. And remember that to "target" is the one who put those men on the battlefield in the first place.

Re:Wrong but right (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301846)

What if the other person has compromised rationality and/or skewed priorities and interests. If they are unwilling or unable to act rationally, or they have disordered interests, is it better to act "morally correct" and unecessarily put the lives of your men at risk, or manipulate their compromised rationality in order to secure the optimal outcome for the men on the front lines?

Saying "it's okay as long as the other person has skewed priorities and ionterests" is equivalent to saying "it's okay whenever you want". Everyone thinks the other side has skewed priorities and interests.

Re:Wrong but right (1)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301908)

Well, first, my argument was against the simplified stance of "the only moral action is..." Secondly, I didn't say "it's OK if you THINK the other person has skewed priorities," I asked "is it OK if the other person HAS skewed priorities?" The difference is subtle, but it's possible to concieve of objectively skewed priorities ("so a few million people die; look at all the money I'm making!").

And again, my point is less about the morality of this situation and more about the validity of the "the only moral action is..." statement.

Re:Wrong but right (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301848)

Psy-ops isn't a weapon in the sense of an assault rifle or an 155mm gun, its use should not be considered equivalent.

That said, using Psy-ops on American citizens is *illegal* and as such, it doesn't matter whether it involves shooting the targets or giving them hookers, a suitcase of cash and free ice cream for a year, it is not allowed. Refusing an illegal order is the responsibility of an American soldier.

If indeed these orders were issued, refused, and then the subordinates were punished, the commanders responsible for that should be court-martialed or at least their resignations should be requested as soon as the facts are ascertained after an investigation.

Once that is done, I do hope that some of these politicians do take a good hard look at the support or lack thereof that they are providing to our mission in Afghanistan. Incidents like this do not happen in a vacuum, and illegal as they may be, they often represent an environment where the perpetrators felt forced to take that action.

Re:Wrong but right (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301550)

Right. But remember: the only people who are allowed to pull together information and paint a compelling, persuasive picture of what the troops in the field need are those who are sitting in a chair in a senate hearing room thousands of miles away, or those that have been asked by their new commander in chief (for the first time in months after he got elected to the job, during a war!) to fly all the way from Afghanistan for a 20-minute meeting.

At least the war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301242)

At least the war was 'legal', or was it?

Joking?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301246)

Oh, is it April 1st today?

No rule of law in America (3)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301256)

What are the chances anyone will serve time for this crime?

Re:No rule of law in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301350)

circa 1939? Maybe you can hire some bulldog like Ken Starr to posthumously investigate and punish these heathens.

Re:No rule of law in America (1)

rbollinger (1922546) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301382)

What Crime? Basically they were asked to look up voting records of the visiting senators and help adjust the General's presentations to make increasing troops and funding appear as the best course of action. This is no different than anything a business would do before going into negotiations, and definitely no different that what the media outlets do. Also, there is two sides to every story, so is the Married man sensationalizing orders from his boss because he was caught cheating, or is the General digging up dirt his subordinate because he was caught... doing his job?

Re:No rule of law in America (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301458)

RTFA. This was more than looking up voting records. They were targeting their fellow Americans with techniques designed specifically for use against the enemy, which is prohibited by law for good reason. It's no different than if a soldier pointed his rifle at a visiting politician and said, "Senator, vote for the new defense appropriations bill or I'll blow your head off."

You may be right that it's the same thing any business or news organization would do. The difference is that We, the People, do not invest in Microsoft or the New York Times the authority to kill people in our name. The rules are different for the military, and they damn well should be. If you want to live in a country where the military runs like a business, there are plenty of places in the world for you to try. Most of them aren't very pleasant places to live. Why don't you give it a shot, so to speak -- the experience will be very educational for you, if you survive it.

Re:No rule of law in America (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301544)

Every large bureaucracy in the government has a public affairs arm whose job it is to convince the public and policy makers that their bureau is important and deserves some pie.

My wife, as part of her job as a wildlife biologist, is to spend time indoctrinating school children in the importance of wildlife and natural habitat.

She may not be formally trained in psyops, but being a woman she is naturally predisposed to mental manipulation. This isn't really any different.

Re:No rule of law in America (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301606)

Again, please RTFA. I really, really doubt your wife uses any tactics on schoolkids like those the Army was using on visiting politicians.

Re:No rule of law in America (4, Informative)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301938)

Having spent some time in the Army, and having had some exposure to PsyOps attempts... I have concluded that PsyOps earns its stripes at the strategic level, not the tactical level: they don't really mold minds on an individual basis.

Steering whole units OVER TIME with ruses, not a room-full of VIPs in a few afternoons with jedi mind tricks.

If you really think that PsyOps is some jedi mind trick bullshit, you've watched too many movies. At best it is some pogues in the woods with loudspeakers on thier HMMWV trying to make the enemy scouts tell their commander that they hear tanks when there really aren't any.

These aren't psychologists, hypnotists, or jedis... they operate based on very basic ideas and techniques. And already /. is filled with comments from pasty basement dwellers who love Clancy books and SciFi movies, commenting with wild-eyed amazement at the thought of such amazing intrigue.

Re:No rule of law in America (1)

rbollinger (1922546) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301626)

Yes I did read the whole article? Would you care to point out which broken law you are referring to and which other 'Psy-Ops' techniques are forcing our Senators to vote a specific way? In the article, they only refer to getting background information on the Senators and adjusting their presentations. The article implies that they are doing something more nefarious but in reality there is nothing else added to the article to back up this claim.

It all makes sense now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301280)

At first I was curious as to what the linkage between this article on influencing US policymaking and, well, you know, "news for nerds". Then it occured to me: The article has so many abreviations and buzzwords that is incomprehensible to the uncouth masses.

This article is psy-ops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301312)

He asked them to provide him with background on the senators and a methodology to convince them to support the war. This guy did less than McDonalds does to sell a big mac, and the guy who "blew the whistle" has an overinflated view of his "skills and training".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My 0.90 rupees

This article is psy-ops (5, Interesting)

astrodoom (1396409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301332)

He asked them to provide him with background on the politicians and a methodology to get them to support the war. This guy did less than McDonalds does to sell a big mac, and the guy who "blew the whistle" has an overinflated view of his "skills and training".

Re:This article is psy-ops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301412)

sounds like military to me

Re:This article is psy-ops (3, Insightful)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301736)

Actually, it's more like conning than selling. Do you actually think that they are required to tell the truth when coercing them? Also, one of the biggest proponents of the 11 billion that the country has pissed away was influenced by the unit, so I'm assuming it may have had at least a little impact. What's also scummy about this is that he explicitly used a unit meant only for the enemy on US citizens (which is EXACTLY what the law says NOT to do). On top of that, in order to can his case, they ruined the career of a female major under him, saying she had inappropriate relationships with him.

Hatch Act? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301356)

Did we not read the linked Wiki page? Applicability to U.S. military personnel [wikipedia.org].

However there is an order basically stating the same thing. I don't know if this means the military can cheat their own order, though.

Re:Hatch Act? (1)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301794)

"The Hatch Act of 1939 is a United States federal law whose main provision is to prohibit federal employees (civil servants) from engaging in partisan political activity."

I think it's a little bit of a stretch to call "requesting more resources to do your job" a "partisan political activity." The things that usually fall under that are stuff like campaigning for a presidential candidate or something.

Re:Hatch Act? (1)

rbollinger (1922546) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301888)

Technically the Hatch act doesn't apply to these Soldiers either. Based on the link above, they follow DoDD 1344.10 instead, which basically says you can't force your subordinates to vote for something, and you can't officially endorse a candidate in your role as an Officer. Either way id doesn't apply to whats going on in the article.

You mean lobbying? (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301374)

FTFA

According to Holmes, the general wanted the IO team to provide a "deeper analysis of pressure points we could use to leverage the delegation for more funds." The general’s chief of staff also asked Holmes how Caldwell could secretly manipulate the U.S. lawmakers without their knowledge. "How do we get these guys to give us more people?" he demanded. "What do I have to plant inside their heads?"

It might not be ethical, but how is this different than organizations that lobby congress? This seems blown up. Would it be ok if instead of being called "Psy-Ops" they were called "Public Relations?"

Re:You mean lobbying? (2)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301440)

See, the fact that they call it "Psy-Ops" instead of "Public Relations" is a pretty good argument that they're not very good at it.

Re:You mean lobbying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301494)

Psyops team has infiltrated slashdot. trying to make the operation look like a bunch of bumbling retards.

Golly gee, how could we do that? sounds really hard! *playfully kicks sand with boot* we're no good at anything! look at how easily these nerds make fun of us, we're so weak!

Re:You mean lobbying? (3, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301472)

It might not be ethical, but how is this different than organizations that lobby congress?

Well, in terms of being unethical, it clearly isn't any different from organizations that lobby congress. I'm not sure how that makes it OK.

Your honor, I realize I killed that guy in cold blood, but people with more influence than I get off on technicalities all the time, so you should let me go too...

However, if it makes you feel better, I'm fine with banning lobbyists as well.

Re:You mean lobbying? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301534)

Generally speaking, the purpose of PR is to make people feel good about an organization. Psy-Ops does that kind of work ("winning hearts and minds," to use a phrase popular in a previous failed guerilla war) but they also try to scare the shit out of other people. The general idea is to convince neutrals that you'd make a good ally, allies that you're steadfast and capable, and enemies that you're invincible and the best thing they can do is surrender right now. That last bit may be the ultimate goal of a lot of PR in the civilian world, but the methods are by necessity very different.

Re:You mean lobbying? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301640)

Other organizations that lobby Congress aren't trained in psychological operations and federally barred from using that training on American citizens.

Re:You mean lobbying? (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301792)

That was my first reaction as well but reading further into the article about how they (seem to have) tried to set him up to be the fall guy and rename his unit something that sounded more PR-ish, makes it definitely appear something fishy was going on here.

In the grand scheme of things it seems kinda SOP, and certainly not the most nefarious misuse of resources I've ever seen. (Sun Tzu would snooze through an idea like this). Nervertheless, at the very least this looks like it warrants an investigation into all those involved by neutral 3rd parties. The mere fact that they openly re-assigned and renamed a psy-ops unit to PR should raise an eyebrow or two. These guys are supposed to be the best of the best, the top brass representing our interests as a nation. If the Taliban/Al-qaeda reconstitutes while these generals and fscking around hosting PR events, they are dishonoring their accomplishments and rank. Still I don't want to pre-judge as it's hard to say from the limited hard evidence of what they psyops actually entailed, nor is my armchair-monday-morning-quarterbacking really a good perspective.

Not what it seems... (1)

enaso1970 (759924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301384)

...the army manuals were missing a whole section on blowhards and pinhead lawyers. Good to see such dedication to thoroughness.

Civil Rule (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301496)

The US Constitution is not as formally human right center as some other constitutions, but the one thing it does do is solidly center the rule on a civilian government. The only standing military force that has any constitutional legitimacy is the Navy. The president controls all military operations, and the military essentially has no rights at all. All military rights are centered on the people, who have the freedom to defend themselves from a a priori corrupt military.

The civilian government is defined by three co-equal branches of government, which, many forget, incudes the judiciary who have all rights to govern as any other branch of government. They may not be directly elected, but so was the case of the executive branch when the Constitution was written.

The problem is that the Military has become too big for it's britches. They think they matter, they think that they can throw temper tantrums and not follow orders and directive from the civil rulers simply because they do not want to. They think that somehow their confort is more important than the comfort of the taxpayers that fund their livelihoods. Sure they have a tough and dangerous jobs, but they made a choice. Many of us had made equivalent choices. The military is voluntary, if one person is not willing to the job they are paid to do, then some one else will. Hell, we have people who are willing to earn the money they are paid but are prevented to do so due to bigotry.

We have to fund the people who protect us. The fact that we have a tax cut exactly when our solider were dying due to lack of equipment is something this country is never going to live down. Anyone who voted to send our troops into battle then voted to not fund them has an issue with basic human decency. OTOH, the military has to respect civilian rule even if they don't agree with it. They do not have the freedoms of a civilians to effect rules.

Oh noes! (1, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301512)

Officer: Jones, I want you to be the guy from your unit that talks to the Senators when they mingle with troops to get a feel for things.
Jones: Why me? I'm psy-ops, and I'm not supposed to do any Jedi mind tricks on US citizens.
Officer: You also happen to be the most articulate person in the unit, and have an actual understanding of how to communicate a position based on local experience and observations, and even know what the word "rhetoric" actually means when someone wants to know your boiled-down opinion about a complex, topic.
Jones: OK, what's my opinion?
Officer: You tell me! Do we need more troops, materials, and support in order to get this whole thing moving along faster, and with fewer casualties?
Jones: We always do. It's the nature of this sort of activity, period.
Officer: There you have it. Our people in the field have a direct interest in that point being very, very clear to anyone who's sitting on the fence.
Jones: So, no Jedi mind tricks, just be a soldier with an informed opinion and the conviction that more support for the mission is better than less.
Officer: Is that propoganda?
Jones: Not if it's true.
Officer: Is it true?
Jones: Yes.

... or ...

Officer: Jones, I want you to give the visiting people false information, convincing them that more support for the mission would help accomplish the mission.
Jones: That's false information?
Officer: It is if Rolling Stone says it is, m'kay?

Reed didn't need any subliminal help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301520)

I live in his home state and he loves to spend money we don't have, on things we don't need. Here's his voting record:

http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=27060

Success! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301632)

It looks like this was one of the most successful operations in our military's history.

Just so I'm clear (1, Informative)

SteelKidney (1964470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301650)

A historically sensational and anti-military publication prints an article vaguely detailing something "bad" that one guy said happened, while making no attempt at looking at the other side. Since this is Rolling Stone, it must be fact. After all, it's not like they're Fox News.

Another fine Slashdot summary (1)

Sparrow1492 (1962256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301758)

While the use of Psy-Ops troops on visiting delgations is certainly questionable, the Hatch Act reference is ridiculous. The intent of the Hatch Act is so that gov't employees, in this case uniformed soldiers, do not participate in patisan polital issues. It means that you can't run down to your local Republican or Democrat rally in uniform and support your guy. The reason is that it is implied support by the government for one candiate or party over another which the govenrment as an entity cannot do. It does not mean that when the congress who pays your bills comes to you that you cannot express shortfalls to them in hopes of gaining support for your mission.

How is it different? (1)

billy8988 (1049032) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301762)

When a senator visits NASA or NIH headquarters, they openly ask for more money or new projects..how is it different?

No 'Manchurian Candidate' references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301766)

Really?

Well... that explains McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301808)

Now we know why John McCain is so confused and surly. They probably put LSD and Viagra in his turkey soup to simultaneously soften and harden him.

I'm Impressed, Weezul (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301852)

If anyone had ever asked me "what is the magazine least likely to be read by a Slashdotter" is, I think I'd have picked Rolling Stone.

And this is different from...? (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301890)

How is this any different from a commander including a room full of water-damaged equipment during a congressional visit, to highlight the need for funding roof repairs in a critical facility that is too old to get maintenance/upkeep funding through normal procedures?

Really, the military can't fund or equip itself so whenever the people who DO fund and equip the military come by for a visit, you can bet your ass that the military commander will attempt to tell his story to the visitors. This is the way it is in an all-volunteer military that gets its orders from a chain of command that has no ability to actually provide money to accomplish those orders. The military takes its lawful orders, and does what it can to get funding to carry them out.

If anyone has a problem with this, they need to take it up with the SecDef, Commander in Chief, and chairmen of the military oversight committees in congress. Those people need to get their crap straight before anyone goes pointing fingers at the military folks who are stuck with orders to accomplish unfunded missions without enough personnel.

Defending the nation against domestic enemies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301928)

Well, the soldiers do take an oath to defend the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Many people here on slashdot seem to regard Congress as enemies. Therefore, the Army was merely fulfilling its oath to defend against domestic enemies.

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