Virtual War Lord John of Argghhh! made a post based on comments Jack Holt, Chief, New Media Operations, DoD New Media, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and I made on a previous post which included a press release from CJTF-101 that starts out like this:
16 Afghans dead, 58 Afghans wounded in Khowst province suicide attack Sunday
KABUL, Afghanistan – One of Public Affairs’ primary responsibilities is to ensure factual reporting of events to the public and to counter enemy propaganda.
which caused my ears to perk up and motivated me to ask in John’s comment section
if counterpropaganda is a pa primary responsibilty, do we get to bust on pa when we see it uncountered in our own media? a big stink was made recently over colocating pa with io at isaf so they backed off of that. who does counterprop for the domestic ta?
PA, while jealously guarding their virginity, are in danger of becoming pinch-faced old maids with little legacy other than a good name and societal irrelevancy – vice figuring out how to be, for lack of a better analogy, a Mother Theresa of Information – chaste, but willing to go out and get things done.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have expended a fair amount of key strokes on this topic over the last couple years:
PSYOPS are being run on the American domestic target audience. Hostile media are IO operators for the enemy. DoD IO and PAO are not allowed to target domestic audiences. So who does domestic counter-PSYOPS?
Who can do it, legally?
The Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group volunteer cyber militia can do it. Think Minutemen.
Who does domestic counter-PSYOPS? Hostile media are the enemy’s psywar operator’s, but the PA side won’t engage them as such. The center of gravity of this war is the will of the American people, half of whom are ready to quit right now.
. . . an unconscionable amount of what we in the press have been feeding the American public regarding the war in Iraq is fashioned by the propaganda arms of our enemies.
The MSM and the Jihadis are in it together. One needs bleeding and leading, the other needs publicity. This mutualism makes the American MSM a willing purveyor of Jihadi propaganda and Democrat defeatism. They are protected from prosecution because the Bush Administration and the Gonzales Justice Department chooses not to expend the political capital and endure the pain to fight that battle. But they are not protected from us.
The usual suspects won’t let us use it and they don’t want us to counter it. But they don’t mind disseminating the enemy’s.
The word itself has become a perjorative and negatively blocks our thinking on what is is, how to use it, and how to defend against it. The word “propaganda” stimulates a Pavlovian response in Americans to disbelieve and distrust any overt use of it, particularly by the American government or military. That’s a psychological warfare coup the Nazis and Soviets bequeathed to the Islamicists.