Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators

Michael Hastings is the author of the profile of Stanley McChrystal that ended his military career. Now, Hastings offers a brilliant and revealing look into Lt. General William Caldwell, who devised and implemented a plan to use psy-ops against U.S. senators and congressmen when they visited Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Source: Rolling Stone

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as "information operations" at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

"My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave," says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. "I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Rolling Stone.

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