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Pentagon Reveals News Correction Unit

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the propaganda-juggernauts dept.

757

Jonas Wisser writes "BBC is reporting that a newly created Pentagon unit has a mandate to fight 'inaccurate' news stories. From the article: 'The Pentagon has set up a new unit to focus on promoting its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet. [...] A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit will "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to "correct the record". A spokesman said the unit would monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ "surrogates", or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.'"

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757 comments

Hello (5, Funny)

I kan Spl (614759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654877)

1984 called... It wants it's news story back.

Re:Hello (3, Funny)

gigne (990887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654891)

China called, and it wants it's PR dept back. (I'm prime too)

Re:Hello (2, Funny)

antek9 (305362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655183)

It's called, and it wants both your and the GP's it's back.

Re:Hello (1)

h15n (904962) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655007)

Ministry of Truth.
But, take care!
Someone's sniffing the glue that keeps internet together!

Well, obviously... (4, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654881)

Well, obviously this is a blatant attempt to . Anyone can see that!

Re:Well, obviously... (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654913)

Ahem... That was supposed to read: "Well, obviously this is a blatant attempt to -edit- bring the truth to the people about the fair and democratic actions of the legally elected administration of the United States of America -edit-, anyone can see that!" Erf... obviously my previous message was censored! How bizarre!! Looks like they ARE ensuring the truth is told! Note to self: preview posts...

Re:Well, obviously... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654939)

I thought the mistake post was funnier.

In related news (0, Offtopic)

Dex1337 (913242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654885)

In related news, CmdTaco has been taken prisoner today

Re:In related news (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655137)

Is that what it'll take for people to wake up?

It's getting pretty insanely ridiculous. Our government runs military detention camps in other totalitarian regimes, simply to skirt the law requiring trials in America. Congress has allowed our spy agencies to watch American citizens without probable cause. The Executive branch has condoned and practiced torture of untried suspects -- torture to any person with senses intact, which the perpetrators would never submit to themselves -- and half of the American public has gladly cheered them on.

Now we've suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus and given the President the power to deploy troops domestically. Is it really any surprise there are agencies paid with our tax money to spread pro-government propaganda?

The only thing surprising is that so many Americans are still looking up with worshipful puppy eyes -- at the leaders who pretend to protect them while stealing their wealth, liberty, and lives.

1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654889)

Well, it was nice while it lasted. 12 years later and we now finally have rewriting of the news. Like controlling the news (fox etc) wasn't enough....

Of course if this is a genuine attempt to get the truth (highly fucking unlikely) to be broadcast, then this is a good thing. IF!

But then how much more truth can you have than explosions, body bags and civil war?

Re:1984 (3, Interesting)

GodLogiK (650517) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654917)

so what's to be done? We always knew this would happen. What can we do about it?

Re:1984 (0)

Inverted Intellect (950622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655241)

Seems to me like you're assuming that this is a bad thing. I've yet to see anything to indicate that this unit will have the function of censoring news items. Since that is (arguably) already being done, I see little reason to worry.

Maybe its actually just for correcting factual errors.

Or is that unjustified good faith on my part?

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654961)

22. It's 22. 2006 - 1984 is 22 years.

Are you not even old enough to think you're older than 12 but were born after 1984?

Astonishing (3, Insightful)

locokamil (850008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654907)

Clearly, the US military now officially has its spending priorities correct. Who gives a damn about winning the bloody war, or setting Iraq's forces straight so that they don't get knocked up like cheap hookers every time they set foot outside their barracks?

No-- this is more important by far. The Pentagon really does need to be fighting a press war with hairy-assed, unemployed bloggers operating out of their mothers' basements. They also need more lobbyists and politicians on their payroll, because if they don't win the war for the US, nothing else can.

Astonishing. Just astonishing.

Re:Astonishing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654993)

I want to know what you have against hairy-arsed people. Are they not contributing members of society? Do employed, non-bloggers not have hairy-arses? And if not, do you think that hairy-arsed unemplyed bloggers spread government propaganda better than their smooth arsed counterparts?

Waiting earnestly,
AC

Blame Newsweek (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655179)

Who says the news has no effect on winning the war? Newsweek published a false report in its May 1, 2006 about the Koran being flushed down the toilet.

Result?

Rioting in a number of countries, at least 15 people killed, countless wounded, insurgent attacks increased and the American public goes haywire (again) not knowing who to believe (the news media which has lost most/all of its legitimacy or the government whom everyone considers to be in a 1984 state at the moment?).

Re:Blame Newsweek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655307)

Are you implying the news media are always lying and therefore the accusations that the government is a 1984 state are untrue?

The other war (1, Informative)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655191)

The propaganda war is probably just as important as the "hot" war itself, so yes, the Pentagon probably really is getting its priorities right.

The terrorists' objective is to hold out as long as possible, and make things messy enough that the Americans lose their will to stick it out. It's happened before: Vietnam, Beiruit, Iraq the first time around, Somalia, etc.

They're doing everything they can to convince Americans to leave, and their willing accomplices in the media are glad to oblige, because they don't like George Bush.

Well we can't leave again. There's no choice but to make them blink first.

Re:The other war (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655229)

Well we can't leave again.

Either you leave or you die, you fascist american bastards.

Re:Astonishing (4, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655197)

And to think they criticised Hugo Chavez for using government funds to promote his own social policies. Talk about not seeing the beam in their own eyes.

Re:Astonishing (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655209)

Who gives a damn about winning the bloody war

They have never given a damn about the actual war, only about its effects on their own power. If they can get those without actually fighting the bloody expensive thing, and without risking bad news being reported back, why not just make people believe they are fighting it, and winning? All you need is a "great firewall of the US". It will not be visible from the moon. Not on the pictures americans will see, anyway.

Re:Astonishing (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655323)

Clearly, the US military now officially has its spending priorities correct. Who gives a damn about winning the bloody war
IMHO, "winning the war" can only be achieved thru total annihilation of the Iraqi population. And even if they do, jihadists will continue to pour into the country to resist the occupation.

Let me recollect; Iraqis were already suffering under the reign of Saddam before the first Gulf war. They made sure any real opposition is suppressed by strangling the countrie's economy for 12 years. Then, they rescue the dictator while bombing and killing his victims. Now, if you were an Iraqi, wouldn't you devellop a formidable hatred toward the US?

Ministry of Truth (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654909)

The Ministry of Truth, perhaps?

Next target will be all those inaccurate history books in the libraries.

Uh... it's spelled 'Truthiness' (1)

thecampbeln (457432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655177)

The Ministry of Truthiness [wikipedia.org] ... but we'll let it slide this time =)

Either way, you're screwed (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654911)

Either you're someone who already believes what's on the news or you're someone who already distrusts the media.

So if you're the first type, this is no big change. Your disinformation now comes directly from the source.

If you're the second type, you won't be able to believe anything on the DailyKos and other "contra-news" sources since you will believe that they have been infiltrated as well.

Any attempts to route around damage will lead you to either the BBC (but how long can you trust Bush's lapdogs?) or totally foreign sources like Al Jazeera (CIA counter-intelligence operation).

Naturally, this is not really that big of news. This has been going on since Eisenhower and bringing it into the open is just another way to manipulate the populace.

Re:Either way, you're screwed (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654957)

``Any attempts to route around damage will lead you to either the BBC (but how long can you trust Bush's lapdogs?)''

Bush has lapdogs inside the BBC?

Re:Either way, you're screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654967)

Yes.

Re:Either way, you're screwed (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655049)

No British government has ever liked the BBC. Thatcher and co always called them the Bolshevik Broadcasting Collective. Labour think they suck up to the Tories.

IMHO that's the way it should be. Once a news service begins pandering to the government, you are already too far down the road to 1984.

Re:Either way, you're screwed (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655097)

Exactly, that's what I thought. We know that Blair and Bush are allies and have covered each other's backs, but the BBC seems to set its own course, no matter what anyone else says.

Re:Either way, you're screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654969)

Um, there is a 3rd type: the type that gathers news from different sources and can use better judgement to figure out what is true and isn't. If you can't, you are a parrot whether or not you believe "the media", which you seem to think is some sort of monolith.

Re:Either way, you're screwed (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654991)

I didn't say it was a monolith. The media aren't in a conspiracy with each other. They are in a conspiracy with the government. How do you think the American public was sold the Iraq War?

As for gathering news from various sources, you're still in the same boat. You get a majority of news agreeing with each other and a couple whackjob wingnuts with a totally different interpretation of the same event. So do you trust the majority (government controlled) or the whackjob wingnuts (thus putting you firmly in with them)?

There is no third type.

Re:Either way, you're screwed (1)

wrcromagnum (902396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655037)

At least those who fall into the first category can choose whether to get their partisan bs from Fox or CNN. I don't like the current situation of dumb@ss Americans being shepherded by Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner but I am absolutely petrified when I think of them being directly fed information by the military-industrial complex that so many of our own American heroes have warned us against. On the other hand the top armed forces brass doesn't seem to happy with the current administrations policies in Iraq so who knows what the pentagon will put out right now? How ironic would it be if this program was actually an attempt to notify the public of just how bad the Iraq war is and how global warming is a serious threat to our national security.

Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654925)

Nazi Germany embraced Nitsche. The Bush administration seems to have embraced George Orwell's 1984 as source to model a government from.

Re:Not surprised (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655201)

Nazi Germany embraced Nitsche.
This is a bit unfair on Nietzsche I think, but considering you can't even spell his name I'll assume you've never actually read any of his books.

Bring on the war! (4, Insightful)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654927)

President Bush has said recently that terror groups were trying to influence public opinion in the US, describing their efforts as the "war of ideas"

What, are we afraid of ideas? Is a war of guns and bombs better? If the people of the world are trying to influence our thinking, should we ignore them or should we listen? Who knows better about the problems of their part of the world than them? Do the Generals in the Pentagon know whats better for people across the world than their own leaders?

Re:Bring on the war! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655017)

Get ready for the war on ideas. After all, the feather is mightier than the sword, and the logic consequence is that ideas are more dangerous than guns.

Re:Bring on the war! (3, Insightful)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655039)

Ah, so nice to see that even if Soviet Russia (apparently) failed miserably, its ideas live on strong and spread to its former enemies. Heck, I thought Romania was so-so ok under Communism as long as you kept your mouth shut (hey, I was 12 years old at the time, so what did I know), apparently now USA is heading the same way. Slowly, but surely.
And they have the guts to "condemn" China for the "great internet firewall" ? Talk about hypocrisy.

Just goes to show, in all human forms of gov't, whoever HAS the power is the one least worthy to HAVE it in the first place.

Re:Bring on the war! (0, Troll)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655279)

The above post is a complete troll, guns and bombs never killed anyone, its people that killed people! And of course people are motivated by ideas, so the only thing you really can declare war on is an idea, such as terrorism. I think the Generals in the Pentagon have our best interests at heart, regardless of what unsavoury methods might be used to achieve those goals. The question to ask is, whether you would prefer a war of words, or a war of guns and bombs?

This message was brought to you by Dick Cheney's lapdogs, in the name of president pubes.

The rise of Minitrue - Doubleplusgood!!! (4, Funny)

Cordath (581672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654933)

I, for one, have been plagued by crimethink. Historically I have been unable to bellyfeel the blackwhite of this administration. No longer! May this glorious new program free us *all* from the perils of oldthink!

Speaking of Doubleplusgood... (1)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655055)

As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a 'categorical pledge' were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.

As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, he clipped his speakwritten corrections to the appropriate copy of The Times and pushed them into the pneumatic tube. Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames.
In other news, the Pentagon's News Correction Unit's first telegram is reported to contain the cryptic sentence "times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling."

Re:The rise of Minitrue - Doubleplusgood!!! (1)

Jeconais (115460) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655213)

I forget, are we at war with Oceania or Eurasia?

Re:The rise of Minitrue - Doubleplusgood!!! (3, Funny)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655325)

I forget, are we at war with Oceania or Eurasia?


It's Eastasia we're at war with. We've always been at war with Eastasia.

Yep. (0, Flamebait)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654953)

America seems to be steadily drifting towards Fascism, or a dictatorship at the very least.

"Land of the free", my ass.

Re:Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655207)

The barely regulated gun ownership and violent, individualist, media offerings and tendencies are looking like pretty good ideas in this current context aren't they?

How the last President fare on 24? And the CAPTCHA is scorched :) [slashdot.org]

Yeah right! (2, Interesting)

demon_2k (586844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654963)

You mean that they keep track of what people know and seal the leaks?

Nice idea, but ... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654981)

Well, it would be very good to have inaccuracies and falsehoods reported in the media corrected. In the end, we all benefit from good information.

However, the conflict of interest (the agency is run by the state, and will have to correct messages about the state) leads me to doubt that this will lead to actually correct news.

The unit will also (4, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654983)

Correct the misunderstanding that Iraq did not have WMD
Correct the misunderstanding that the Iraq war did not actually end when GB said it did
Correct the misunderstanding that Iraq is not a nice place to be now
Correct the misunderstanding that several US interrogation techniques are actually torture
Corrent the misunderstanding that there are not hordes of rabid terrorists queueing up to kill each and every last one of us

And we used to laugh at the attempts of TAS to 'enlighten us'

Re:The unit will also (4, Insightful)

LQ (188043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655045)

Correct the misunderstanding ...
that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11.

Re:The unit will also (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655249)

>that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11.
But every fule knows that it was Saddam that orchestrated 9/11, trained the terrorists, paid for everything etc. Oh hang on, sorry, I was on the wrong channel.

Re:The unit will also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655071)

"Correct the misunderstanding that Iraq did not have WMD"

Is this ironic? Iraq did have WMD.

Re:The unit will also (1)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655087)

I suppose sand, oil and people count as WMDs then ?

No they did, well traces, erm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655347)

They had WMD, Cheney says so, and Cheney never lies.

Re:The unit will also (0)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655135)

Corrent the misunderstanding that there are not hordes of rabid terrorists queueing up to kill each and every last one of us

The rate they're going, there will be hordes of rabid terrorists.

The sad thing is watching Blair jump on this bandwagon, when it was Blair's party which has brought the closest thing to peace Northern Ireland has had for years. Prior to that, the Tories were the best recruiting officers the IRA had ever had.

Is Foley a Democrat??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655243)

Did Sadam order Uranium from Nigeria?
Will Iran have Nuclear weapons in 3 months from March 2006 (i.e. June 2006)?

Re:The unit will also (5, Insightful)

knipknap (769880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655329)

Corrent the misunderstanding that there are not hordes of rabid terrorists queueing up to kill each and every last one of us

Well, there may be soon, the administration is working on it. Terrorists are too helpful to ignore, they have worked beautifully in their favor before.

I am a German, and we still get to see a LOT of information on the history of the second world war in school, including videos of the propaganda machine of that time, political strategies, and their mindless followers.
Now what is happening in America is beginning to remind me more and more of the propaganda machine that I saw in those videos from before the second world war. It is a trend that has gained intensity over the last couple of years. Whenever you tuned into US national news during the Iraq war, it's been a display of the technological advancement of the war machinery and one-sided government-friendly reporting. 50% airtime for one side, 50% for the other? It simply does not happen in popular media.

My point is: The goverment has now started to broaden the definition of terrorism, so these things will give them even more power. If you control public opinion, democracy is not much different from a monarchy. When more power is given to anybody, the greed for more power will grow. In my opinion, it is not a question of whether the power will be abused. It is a vicious circle and only a matter of time.

In becoming our enemies in order to fight them... (4, Insightful)

Filik (578890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654985)

...we are effectively loosing.

This rapid walk away from democracy in the name of democracy is frightning .

"They" WANT this. (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655051)

Do you think that those in power in democratic nations want to keep democracy? Possibly the only part of democracy they want to keep is the appearance that the populace have any influence in government.

These units, as pointed out elsewhere, have always existed. The revealance of this unit is probably intended as a sop to the sheeple - if we public admit that we have a propaganda corps, then we can't have anything to hide on that front, right? They're on "our side", right?

Re:"They" WANT this. (1)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655119)

"Possibly the only part of democracy they want to keep is the appearance that the populace have any influence in government."

Excuse me, but since WHEN did "the people" have ANYTHING to say in any government of a "large" country, ever ?
Even today, the most self-acclaimed democracy (USA) is NOT a "democracy" at all, but a democratic REPUBLIC.
The difference, ever so subtle, is that "the people" can only "elect" those they want to SPEAK FOR THEM, instead of speaking for themselves.

So the more you keep the façade of "democracy", the better it seems to be for the people.
In reality, democracy is a critically flawed concept, even more flawed as communism (and we all know how that ended).

The only true freedom is anarchy, and nobody really wants that.
There is no freedom, there is only the ILLUSION of freedom.
And as long as that holds, nobody really complains.

Re:In becoming our enemies in order to fight them. (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655113)

But who says you're becoming your enemies in order to fight them? Couldn't it just be a power grab for the sake of doing a power grab, with the whole "War on Terror" thing just being the excuse used to get away with it? If that's the case, there's a very good reason to make sure the "War on Terror" is never won, because that would take away the excuse for grabbing power.

Re:In becoming our enemies in order to fight them. (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655231)

"We've always been at war with terror !"
- minitruth

You can't win a modern war without propaganda (4, Insightful)

citanon (579906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654997)

Has there been any instance in our nation's military history where we've won a war without a successful propaganda effort? From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to WWII and Vietnam, we have won wars where propaganda was relatively successful and lost when it was not.

People who think that the military doing propaganda is wrong/evil/unprecedented have never taken an honest look at history.

Get over it people, this is not 1984, this is trying to do a much scaled back version of what we have always done in the past.

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655057)

The question is, though, whether this "war" is supposed to be won or if it's supposed to be running. The war on (insert idea) cannot be won. You can't wage a successful, finite war on an idea. A "war" on terror or drugs is a "war" that you cannot win with firepower.

That's what is being suggested, though. People are sent to the place where whatever idea is fought, they die there and nothing is gained. You can't gain ground in this battle. There is no big leader, no key figure, no enemy headquarter to be conquered to end the battle.

Ralleying your population behind a war against a common enemy is a necessity. But this time the war has become an end in itself, it's not the means to the end. The war on (idea) is not fought to end (idea), because it cannot end it. The goal is simply to strengthen the economy, to reduce unemployment (as hard as it sounds, but killing people (or having them killed) reduces your workforce...) and to distract the population from other problems.

And a war with these goals cannot be won. It never was in history.

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

quigonn (80360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655253)

A "war" on [...] drugs is a "war" that you cannot win with firepower.

You can. You just need to take the right ones. Speed [wikipedia.org] has been quite successful in the past, and Modafinil [wikipedia.org] seems to be the latest fad.

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655065)

``From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to WWII and Vietnam, we have won wars where propaganda was relatively successful and lost when it was not.

People who think that the military doing propaganda is wrong/evil/unprecedented have never taken an honest look at history.''

Well, it depends. Maybe some wars _shouldn't_ be won?

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

MathFox (686808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655069)

From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to WWII and Vietnam, we have won wars where propaganda was relatively successful and lost when it was not.
Are you applying for a job at the "Pentagon counterinformation service" or did they allready hire you?

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655151)

That would be all fine and dandy (actually, it wouldn't, since wartime propoganda still propagates racism and jingoism), except that we aren't at war. We haven't been since 1945, and no, Congress authorizing use of force is not a declaration of war. If the justification for war (or "war" in this case) isn't good enough for the people to support it then that indicates that the people making the decisions have motives contrary to the wellbeing of the people. The secrecy and "correction of falsehoods" just serve to obscure the big picture.

They already have a department for that. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655215)

They already have a department. Its called PSYOPS.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_operati ons_(United_States) [wikipedia.org]
http://www.iwar.org.uk/psyops/ [iwar.org.uk]

Some of thier articles are quite interesting.

The point is that the US military already spout/counter proproganda. The only reason I can think of that they are claiming they are creating a new office is to distract from the fact that PSYOPS are doing the same thing they claim to be fighting.

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

Milton Waddams (739213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655219)

True, propaganda has such a negative connotation. Propaganda is defined as "the organized circulation by a political group, etc of doctrine, information, misinformation, rumour or opinion, intended to influence public feeling, raise public awareness, bring about reform, etc.". So, given that definition, anything communicated publicly by the Government is propaganda.

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655227)

Sort of agree but another angle is that in the past, your average Joe had very little access to media/news sources other than the daily papers so feeding them propaganda was easier and less obvious.
Now anyone can google up a whole bunch of views on an event and see the spin a government or company put on something. The result is we're all far more savvy about this things, resent being manipulated so obviously and less trusting of the Powers That Be overall.

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655245)

"you can't win without propaganda" is... propaganda. Because you give the impression, without saying it, that propaganda is a somewhat important factor, the truth being: everyone does at least a little propaganda to keep morale high against the bad effects of a war, and one of the factions usually wins.

History? fascist italy and communist bloc, FULL of full time propaganda, were fast to convert to being friends of USA and capitalism. So, your theory is wrong. Not that it's a theory, it's just saying "the end justifies the means".

And, once you do what you criticize in the enemy, what makes you the good guys?

Pentagon modded you insightful ;D

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655257)

Has there been any instance in our nation's military history where we've won a war without a successful propaganda effort? From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to WWII and Vietnam, we have won wars where propaganda was relatively successful and lost when it was not.
Helloooo ! You are not at war.

Just in case you didn't know.

Using your troops as an occupation/"police" force doesn't qualify as a war. There is no opposing nation. And nobody ever declared war, on one side or the other.

Re:You can't win a modern war without propaganda (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655321)

> Vietnam

The US temporarily managed to justify that, until the number of deaths became too great and enough people said "what the hell are we doing in Asia, killing civilians". So yes, propaganda is important if you want to try and fight people's natural urge to respect the right of civilians not to be bombed, poisoned, shot and raped, but it's only so effective - eventually the sheer number of reports is too great and reality breaks through.

ALL inaccurate stories? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655001)

Does that mean editors for Fox News should put their lawyers on speeddial?

Dayorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655025)

CNN 10.31.06 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons
rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

True Picture About Iraq (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655027)

FTFA:

``The Bush administration does not believe the true picture of events in Iraq has been made public, the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says.''

Well, I don't believe so, either. If the true picture had been made public right from the beginning, popular support for the war would probably have been so low that the government wouldn't have dared to go to war in the first place.

lets start with the carpet bombing of fallujah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655349)

and the subsequent ringfencing of the city to make sure no-one gets in to see what happened.

Scary (1)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655041)

All I can say is this is Really, Really, Scary.... Even for Halloween.

Its news not law (2, Insightful)

el_womble (779715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655043)

I'm all for this. As long as they don't demand that newspapers publish their stories and only their stories (or more likely that the major netwoprks get lazy and just go to them to get their stories) or make it illegal to believe anything else, this is democracy and freedom in action.

Knowing what the military want you to think is fascinating, providied its balanced by the free press. Having the news delivered by different agendas is what makes watching modern history unfold so exciting and makes it easier to get down to the facts and through the bullshit.

Exactly! (0, Offtopic)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655127)

Your comment is spot on! I'd mod you up, but I already posted in this thread.

Protection from terrorists (1)

seasunset (469481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655047)

We will only be completely protected from terrorists when the corrections are mandatory to be published with at least as much impact as the original terrorist version.

Better yet: Publishing news should only be allowed after screening from an anti-terrorist correction unit.

We have to protect our society from dangerous terrorists, who are attacking our way of life everyday and in every front.

Freedom of press is an hurdle that we can live without, it either that or the terrorists might succeed in attacking us! Fear the terrorists, Fear, Fear, Fear...

Re:Protection from terrorists (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655077)

Fear the terrorists, Fear, Fear, Fear...

Are you a terrorist? Because that is the goal of terror, to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies.

Thinking about it, isn't that what certain news outlets tell us? Are they in with the terrorists?

God, I'd be a great McCarthy.

1984? (0, Redundant)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655081)

We have never been at war with Eurasia^H^H^H^H^H^H^HIraq.

"Movie at 11" (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655083)

Governments involved in military operations organise to produce media in support of said operations?! Holy shit, say it's not so! We should name this most recent phenomenon after a mid 1980s German electropop outfit!


That said, the Pentagon has more-or-less admitted "Yes, we are actively making... stuff named after a mid 1980s German electropop outfit" which in the eyes of many destroys all credibility of anything they produce (true or not). They may well have shot themselves in the foot.


In the meantime, I'll stick to Cryptome.

A few things come to mind here. (1)

a_karbon_devel_005 (733886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655103)

Firstly, the fact that terrorists and insurgents can make stuff up faster than we (and here I mean "we" as in the US or just, in general, non-terrorists and non-insurgents, for sake of argument) can counter with fact is probably a true statement. It's MUCH tougher to actually back things up with facts than just wild accusations and propoganda. That's for sure.

However, the idea that insurgents (note the lack of the word "terrorist" in D. Cheney's rhetoric, they've finally lost that argument) are using the internet to disrupt US this upcoming election is rather ballsy.

So what, Mr. Cheney, people voting for Democrats this time around are in league with insurgents and terrorists? These "new media" channels that influence insurgents so much are actually the mainstream media as well that are giving US citizens information?

I think it's a bit simpler in nature. I think that insurgents hate the US and they hate the US military and they HATE westerners in general because their economy is a quagmire of shit and it's easier to hate wealthy nations than it is to reform a poor government run by corrupt theologues. I think that the Bush Administration has simply put US citizens in the line of fire, for right or wrong, and US citizens don't like that.

Trying to correct fiction with fact is all good and well, but the "voting for Democrats is supporting terrorism" rhetoric is childish.

great (4, Insightful)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655111)

This has been a great eight years! I always wanted to know what it was like to live in China, and now we keep getting closer every day! :)

Re:great (1)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655157)

In other news, European Union representatives claim they will no longer automatically accept political refugees from the former US of A, on the grounds that "the French hate them too much already".
A triage process that will include the stereotype pannel of one Frenchman, one Brit and one German asking the typical "oh no, yet another American" questions will separate those that can file for refugee status from the ones forwarded to India instead.
[/sarcasm]

Well what the hell did you expect? (1)

smitingpurpleemu (951712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655153)

The Americans are occupying Iraq. They are clearly not welcome there. What does every occupying power need to try to do to keep themselves there? They need to make people happy with them, and one way to do it is by propaganda.

Sure it's promulgating misleading and/or false information, but the intent is to counter the effects of videos that Al-Qaeda and groups like the Mujahideen Shura Council release (remember the one that got on CNN with the snipers?) If you think Pentagon stuff is going to be biased... well I guess you haven't seen the stuff that the Pentagon is trying to shout down. Even Al-Jazeera is pretty biased, and they have to try to put up some level of objectivity.

In short, the fact that the Pentagon wants a propaganda machine is not news. It's standard operating procedure when invading and occupying a country. What is news is the fact that right now they're sort of being shouted down by the terrorists.

Re:Well what the hell did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655297)

You have completely missed the point of the article. Of course the military use propaganda in their warfare against "enemy" nations, but the article is referring to the fact that
they are setting up a new unit to bombard the US's own citizens with propaganda.

That would be all of them (1)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655159)

BBC is reporting that a newly created Pentagon unit has a mandate to fight 'inaccurate' news stories
I've never known a news story where I was personally involved to be reported accurately. I don't mean political bias, but basic things like names, dates, and the order of events.

Journalists are especially bad at reporting quotes accurately and "harden them up" by missing out important reservations. Journo: "Will this disaster happen?" Interviewee, "Well, yes, if nobody does anothing to fix things." As reported in the paper: 'Interviewee said, "Disaster will happen!"'.

Re:That would be all of them (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655193)

I concur! It happens all the time, also on occasions where I had prime facie evidence that the facts were reported... let's say, inaccurately, to put it mildly.

Amazingly, it very seldom happens out of malice or bad intentions. Nearly every time news reporters distort the facts out of sheer incompetence and pure carelessness. Sometimes time constraints (time to publish or time to broadcast) also contribute: rushing out a story becomes much more important that double checking (or single cheking!) one's sources and news.

Ministry Of Truth (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655167)

A number of corrections needed in this thread but can we put this on a fairly low priority for amendment ( readership is generally apathetic
and without influence ). Particular attention to claims this is a new department ( change to show its nothing new and has always been here ) also a number of incorrect statements about the glorious leadership require revision.

Thanks, update the log once the work is completed and flag for on-going sporadic monitoring and retroactive corrections.

Mr Smith.
Dept Of Truth

Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655173)

These guys are already on the job [studentsfororwell.org] .

I've always trusted them to interpret the news for me, and I have no complaints.

As a member of the newly formed unit (0, Offtopic)

Inverted Intellect (950622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655195)

I would like to point out that the above story contains the following factual errors:

fnord

If Hollywood made a film (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655205)

And this was a plot line, we'd all think 'What a bunch of crap, that would never happen here.'
Inch by inch, week by week, something very scary is happening and more worryingly, nowhere near enough people are noticing or even care.

shades of "1984" (1)

proudhawk (124895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655269)

that is starting to look like one of the many ministries
(as written about in the classic George Orwell book "1984").

the ministry in question: the Ministry of Truth (which actually
dealt with misinformation or propaganda). interesting, no?
 

BBC source? (2, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655339)

Are there any American media stories about this or have they already been corrected?

It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655353)

It's about time. The MSM has it's agenda, and it certainly isn't reporting the truth.

Awaiting the hordes of slashdotters/sheep who will explain to me that CNN, MSNBC, the NYT, and Newsweek report 'the truth'. :/

in other words (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655363)

a local branch office of foxnews. :)

They are not afraid to tell it like it is. That everything is alright.
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