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October 31, 2006

Pentagon steps up blog monitoring program

The Pentagon is stepping up what it calls its 'media war' unit (aka its online propaganda efforts):

The US defence department has set up a new unit to better promote its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet. The Pentagon said the move would boost its ability to counter "inaccurate" news stories and exploit new media. [...]

The unit would reportedly monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ "surrogates", or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.

Officially, the Pentagon is primarily interested in monitoring the blogs of foreign insurgents rather than than domestic political critics. I'm glad they emphasized that because otherwise I would have suspected that the new "media war" unit might be some kind of domestic spying. Or an excuse to flood YouTube with tax-payer funded propaganda clips about how great things are going in Iraq. It's illegal for the government to produce propaganda for domestic consumption, but I bet it's perfectly legal for the Pentagon to put out propaganda on the internet and claim it was directed at foreign audiences.


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The Defense Dept is supposed to protect us.

It isn't supposed to persuade us.

These people still believe, apparently, they can stave off a catastrophic defeat with tactics lifted from Madison Avenue. Who's going to tell them reality doesn't give a shit how slick their propaganda is?

When the military has to persuad people that usually means that what they are doing is all screwed up or wrong.

I guess they're taking that media war unit out for a test run now so that it's fully up to speed in time for the Iran war... "> Some Halloween thoughts about the specter of another senseless, unnecessary preemptive war. The way they're talking about Iran in Washington these days bears a spooky resemblance to the Iraq war buildup -- similar missteps, similar players, similar bipartisan congressional negligence. Washington is haunted by the mistakes of the past and seems bound to repeat them, spurred on by the fantasies of the neocons and their enablers.

It's yet another proof why laws discriminating between domestic and foreign speech make no sense. If encryption is legal domestically, it can already be used internationally, even if exported in the form of electro-chemical brain signals (i.e. memories in a person's brains). If international propaganda is legal, then so is domestic propaganda, de facto.

Domestic propoganda is illegal?

as long as they identify themselves in their propaganda.... i mean news stories.. then as bush says, "bring it on" here is the cnn video:

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