Heather Wokusch: NSA Leaks, Obama Prosecuting Under 1917 Espionage Act, the TPP, TTIP and more

by Heather Wokusch
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Heather Wokusch
July 4, 2013

Heather Wokusch Jul 3, 2013

From the NSA leaks and revelations about widespread surveillance to massive trade agreements being negotiated out of the public eye… government secrecy is an important topic. This ‘rant’ provides background and interesting connections not found in mainstream media. Continue reading

Beyond Sicko: What you really need to know about health-care reform by Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Heather Wokusch
August 2, 2009


Part 1 of Beyond Sicko: What you really need to know about health-care reform. This four-part series was recorded at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network in mid-July 09 and discusses what is wrong with the current US health-care system and concrete ideas about how to fix it – as well as tips for effective activism. Part 1 covers WHO study putting USA at #37 internationally and how ideas from other countries can benefit the US health-care system. Host: Heather Wokusch, Guest: Beth Hart, Producer/Director: Gloria Messer.

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You’re Scaring Me, Obama: Let the Bush Years Die By Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Heather Wokusch
Nov 21, 2008

To be honest, Obama, you lost me when you voted for the PATRIOT Act reauthorization in 2006. You lost me again when you voted for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) amendment in 2008. And you lost me every single time you voted for yet more war funding.

Don’t even get me started on your vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

I cast a ballot for you in November, but I just can’t share in this moment of collective euphoria over your election.

So, if your transition team really wants feedback on “where President-Elect Obama should lead this country,” here’s a Top Five list:

1. Dump the Bush Doctrine and don’t start more wars

You’ve made it clear that the US has to “take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights” and you’ve argued for “more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.”

What exactly does that mean?

Take troops out of Iraq and shove them into Afghanistan? Further destabilize Pakistan?

The whole idea of preemptive war (a.k.a. the Bush Doctrine) has no place in a civilized society and must be laid to rest, along with those sacrificed in Bush’s military adventurism these past eight years

Yet your approach to preemptive war, Mr. Obama, is nuanced at best.

During the January 2008 Democratic presidential debate, you said that if the US had “actionable intelligence” and Pakistan didn’t “take on Al Qaida in their territory,” then “I would strike.” You added, “And that’s the flaw of the Bush doctrine. It wasn’t that he went after those who attacked America. It was that he went after those who didn’t.”

No, the flaw of the Bush Doctrine is that it’s just plain wrong. We’ve learned that the hard way.

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Breaking the Nuremberg Code: The US Military’s Human-Testing (videos)

Dandelion Salad

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Part 1 of Heather Wokusch discussing “Breaking the Nuremberg Code.” Covers Edgewood Arsenal, Project 112/SHAD and Stratton VA. Continue reading

Breaking the Nuremberg Code: The US Military’s Human-Testing Program Returns By Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
6 March, 2008

The Pentagon is slated to release a suspected toxicant in Crystal City, Virginia this week, ostensibly to test air sensors.

The operation is just the latest example of the Defense Department’s long history of using service members and civilians as human test subjects, often without their consent or awareness.

Gas chambers in Maryland

Wray C. Forrest learned about the US military’s human-testing program the hard way. In 1973, the Army sent then 23-year-old Forrest to its Edgewood Arsenal chemical-research center in Maryland, promising patriotic service and a four-day work week.

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Anti-Bush Facebook Group Hits Million, Massive Book Giveaway by Heather Wokusch

Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
27 January, 2008


The Facebook group “I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who dislike George Bush!” will reach one million members soon. As a proud member and bestselling activism author, I will give away free downloads of my books for two weeks to encourage ongoing “armchair activism.”

Note: this isn’t just for Facebook members.

Here is the link for the book giveaway: www.progressiveshandbook.com/1000000/


From my Books page:

The Progressives’ Handbook: Get the Facts and Make a Difference Now

by Heather Wokusch

heather wokusch vol 1

Vol. 1: US Weapons of Mass Destruction, Women’s Issues, Education, Mainstream Media

Order the book

Vol. 2: Elections & Voting, Environment and Foreign Policy

Order the Book

Kucinich Links Education with War Spending by Heather Wokusch (+ video)

Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
1 January, 2008


Kucinich is the only Democratic Presidential candidate directly linking war spending to education funding. He also is the only Democratic Presidential candidate who voted against the Iraq war authorization in 2002 and every war-funding measure since then.

Added: January 01, 2008

Hey Iowa, Only One Candidate Links Education with War Spending…

“If we cut the Pentagon budget 15%, $75 billion will go into a universal pre-kindergarten program so our children ages 3, 4 and 5 will have access to full-time day care and more money would go into elementary and secondary education. Our college-age students need to know that with a Kucinich administration they’re guaranteed a two- or four-year college, tuition free, and it’ll be paid for by the government investing in our young people. That’s the kind of approach I’ll take to education.” – Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Oct 30, 2007, Democratic debate at Drexel University

In a Gallup poll released on December 10 2007, Education scored a respectable #12 for the issues determining Americans’ choice of president in 2008. Education even scored above Terrorism, Environmental Issues, Employment Issues and World Peace.

So it’s no wonder that Democratic presidential candidates have aggressively criticized No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Bush administration’s disastrous excuse for an education policy.

Obama said the law was “demoralizing our teachers” and Clinton promised to “do everything I can as senator, but if we don’t get it done, then as president, to end the unfunded mandate known as No Child Left Behind.” Of the law’s emphasis on standardized testing, Edwards told Iowans, “You don’t make a hog fatter by weighing it.

But only one presidential candidate has connected the dots from Baghdad to our nation’s classrooms: Dennis Kucinich. In calling for 15% of the Pentagon’s budget to fund education instead, Kucinich stands alone in promising books, not Army boots, to the nation’s youth.

Doing the math on Bush’s education disaster is easy. Opinions may differ about the merits of NCLB, but on one point there is little disagreement – it hasn’t been funded properly.

Soon after signing NCLB into law in early January 2002, Bush released his 2003 education budget which not only cut 40 educational programs but also came up short on funding his own program.

As of 2004, Bush had allocated NCLB $27 billion less than Congress authorized, with programs for disadvantaged students underfunded by a full $7.2 billion. Things just got worse from there.

For FY 2005, Bush’s budget underfunded NCLB by $9.4 billion, and other crucial partner programs were cut altogether. Among those on the 2005 chopping block: Even Start (reading program for poor families), Javits Gifted and Talented Program (for gifted students who are minorities, disabled or who speak limited English), Dropout Prevention, Foreign Language Assistance, and Arts in Education. All in all, the Bush administration’s 2005 budget proposed cutting $1.4 billion from the education budget and axing 38 federal education programs.

Bush’s proposed FY 2006 budget was even more extreme, underfunding NCLB by a full $12 billion, or roughly 33% of its authorized amount. Also slashed were programs for disadvantaged students and those with special needs.

The FY 2007 proposed budget similarly underfunded NCLB by over $15 billion and eliminated numerous critical educational programs.

Factoring in the $14.8 billion underfunding slated for 2008 in Bush’s budget request, NCLB is left with a cumulative funding gap of $70.7 billion.

How can schools be held accountable for failing to reach NCLB goals if the federal government isn’t held accountable for meeting its funding promises?

Meanwhile, the states have faced a one-two budgetary punch as the weak economy has driven down tax revenues yet simultaneously increased demand for social services. All of this has led to across-the-board cuts in education, combined with increased pressure to shell out money on standardized tests.

Doesn’t help that the costs for war have simultaneously skyrocketed. Just last week, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) estimated that the US presence in Iraq was costing almost $15 billion per month. 15 billion dollars per month.

Connecting the dots here is simple, but most Democratic candidates are avoiding the elephant in the classroom. They criticize NCLB and promise more educational funding but don’t say where that money will come from.

Voters know better. In the December 2007 Gallup poll, respondents listed the War in Iraq as the most important issue determining Americans’ choice of president in 2008. It’s worth noting that Kucinich is the only Democratic Presidential candidate who voted against the Iraq war authorization in 2002 and every war-funding measure since then.

He also is the only Democratic Presidential candidate directly linking war spending to education funding.

The Des Moines Register (which used a ridiculous technicality to exclude Kucinich from their presidential debates) is predicting that first-time voters could determine the winner of Thursday’s Iowa Democratic caucus.

Obama is aiming for younger votes.

Clinton is targeting women.

Both demographic groups should take another look at Kucinich, and his plan to put the nation’s youth in college, not in Baghdad.

Note: Originally published: January 2, 2008


Kucinich, top-rated Democrat, excluded from Des Moines Register debate + Action Alert

Kucinich: Drexel U Debate + Post-debate Interview (videos)

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo


Pope Versus President By Heather Wokusch (video)

Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

7 October, 2007




Pope Versus President

By Heather Wokusch

(this article originally appeared in Foreign Policy in Focus)

The Vatican’s recent snub of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is only the latest salvo in the battle between Pope Benedict XVI and President George W. Bush. This tug of war has profound implications for both U.S. foreign policy and the critical Catholic vote in 2008’s presidential race.

On issues ranging from the war in Iraq to global warming, the Vatican and Washington have not seen eye to eye. With the popularity of U.S. foreign policy at record lows around the world, however, the Vatican’s diplomatic approach is more consistent with global public opinion.

Overlapping Agendas

Things haven’t always been tense between Bush and Benedict. They share similar views regarding abortion, gay marriage, and other hot-button conservative issues. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (as Benedict was known before becoming Pope in April 2005) even helped Bush secure the White House for a second term.

Specifically, after Bush visited the Vatican in June 2004, complaining that “Not all the American bishops are with me,” Ratzinger sent a letter to US bishops, ordering them to refuse Communion to “a Catholic politician … consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” – a thinly-veiled reference to John Kerry. Ratzinger added that any person even voting for this Catholic politician “would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion.” Probably no surprise, then, that Bush increased his margin among Catholics by 6% from 2000 to 2004.

In an interesting twist, Ratzinger also partnered with George W. Bush’s brother Neil in a foundation “to promote ecumenical understanding and publish original religious texts” in 1999. Oddly enough, business credit reports listed the foundation as a “management trust for purposes other than education, religion, charity or research,” leaving the true nature of the Neil Bush/Cardinal Ratzinger venture unclear.

In 2005, Ratzinger was named as a defendant in a U.S. lawsuit suit accusing him of conspiring to cover up the sexual abuse of minors. At the center of the controversy was a May 2001 confidential letter he had sent Catholic bishops across the world ordering them to keep evidence of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy secret until 10 years after the child had reached adult status.

Soon after becoming Pope, however, Ratzinger was dismissed from the case. A US federal judge decided the lawsuit would be “incompatible with the United States’ foreign policy interests.”

Disagreements Multiply

On many contentious issues since then, Pope Benedict XVI has disagreed with the Bush administration’s policies, but only politely and indirectly. For example, Benedict has spoken in favor of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is often at loggerheads with Bush administration foreign policy.

Similarly, Benedict’s Vatican has taken a firm stance against global warming, even acquiring a carbon offset forest to make the Vatican the “first entirely carbon neutral sovereign state.” He has called for greater international co-operation to fight ozone depletion, yet not overtly criticized White House foot-dragging in that area.

The gloves came off, however, regarding the war in Iraq. In a May 2003 interview, Ratzinger said, “ There was not sufficient reasons to unleash a war in Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a ‘just war.'”

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was similarly contentious for former Pope John Paul II, who sent a special envoy to the White House in March 2003 in an effort to prevent an attack. The papal envoy’s pleas fell on deaf ears.

Vatican criticisms of the Bush administration’s military intervention in Iraq have continued unabated. French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, told an Italian magazine in August 2007, “The facts speak for themselves. Alienating the international community (with the U.S. push for war) was a mistake.” Tauran, who has referred to the invasion and occupation as a “crime against peace,” also said that Christians in Iraq “paradoxically, were more protected under the dictatorship” of Saddam Hussein.

Rice Rebuffed

As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that Benedict failed to honor Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s urgent request for a private meeting last month. The Italian periodical Corriere della Sera reported that Rice was hoping to capitalize on the Pope’s moral authority by having a papal audience focused on the Middle East. Instead, Rice was told that Benedict was on holiday and had to settle for a telephone conversation with a lower Vatican official.

The ongoing tensions between Bush and Benedict over Iraq put America’s over 75 million Roman Catholics in a tricky position for 2008. By supporting candidates hawkish on the Bush administration’s Iraq policies, are they defying the Pope and the Catholic Church?

For its part, the powerful United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has taken a firm stance against the US presence in Iraq. In a July 2007 letter to House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), USCCB noted, “The current situation in Iraq is unacceptable and unsustainable, as is the policy and political stalemate among decision makers in Washington . our nation must have the moral courage to change course in Iraq.”

Dissent is swelling up from the grassroots as well. In August 2007, an alliance of religious groups calling itself Catholics for an End to War collected 10,000 signatures for an online petition “urging leaders to commit to a responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops.” Sister Simone Campbell of the national Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK said, “Church leaders and individual Catholics have opposed U.S. policy in Iraq since before the war began,” adding that the petition “lets thousands of Catholics unite to speak out even more strongly for an end to the violence and occupation.”

In other words, being dovish on Iraq might help the next Democratic presidential contender win Roman Catholic votes. Whether the current front-runners qualify for that distinction, however, is another matter.

Note: Originally published: October 6, 2007

Bush Is Turning the USA into a Subprime Borrower By Heather Wokusch (video) (updated)

Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

27 August, 2007


Much in the same way that US investor… Much in the same way that US investors were “steered” into rip-off mortgage loans, the entire country has been “steered” into an economic crisis. The question is how to get out of it.

How the Bush Administration Is Turning the USA into a Subprime Borrower

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

27 August, 2007

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”- George W Bush

Much in the same way that US investors were “steered” into rip-off mortgage loans, the entire country has been “steered” into an economic crisis. The question is how to get out of it.

In the subprime loan scandal, unscrupulous brokers conned home buyers with poor credit histories into deals designed to profit lenders and bleed borrowers. Contract “teasers” hid ballooning monthly payments while a lack of regulation allowed the scam to continue unabated. Millions more Americans now face losing their homes.

The Bush administration similarly used promises of cakewalks and increased security to con the US public into wars with Iraq and Afghanistan. US taxpayers have spent over $450 billion on Iraq alone, while Bush/Cheney cronies continue making a killing from military contracts. Meanwhile, global security has degenerated and over 4,100 US service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with an untold number of coalition troops, contractors and civilians.

Bush’s military adventurism, not to mention his administration’s exorbitant tax cuts for the wealthy, gutted the surplus of $128 billion Clinton handed him in 2001 into a deficit of well over $200 billion today. And Bush has simultaneously increased the national debt by over $3 trillion to roughly $9 trillion, effectively nailing each and every US citizen with a bill for almost $30,000.

While heavy borrowing from Asia has mopped up some stateside red ink, there’s an inherent threat: China, for example, has an estimated $900 billion in US bonds and can increasingly call the shots on the US economy and foreign policy.

Just weeks ago, Beijing warned that if the Bush administration pushed for a revaluation of the Chinese currency, then Beijing would sell dollars, thereby threatening the greenback’s reserve currency status. Washington backed down. It had little other option.

In other words, the US itself has become as vulnerable to its lenders as any other subprime borrower.

Overall, the US debt situation looks so dire that the non-partisan Government Accountability Office Comptroller recently warned, “America is on a path toward an explosion of debt. And that indebtedness threatens our country’s, our children’s, and our grandchildren’s futures. With the looming retirement of the baby boomers, spiraling health care costs, plummeting savings rates, and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks.”

Financial analysts say credit markets are facing a Minsky moment – the inevitable downward spiral when over-leveraged investors have to sell valued assets just to pay back their loans. Some analysts have even coined a new term, suggesting we are in a “Minsky meltdown” – the prelude to a wider market crash.

But it looks more like a “Minsky massacre,” not an unavoidable economic downturn but rather a coldly-calculated hit, with the intention of transferring wealth from the lower and middle classes to an unaccountable few at the top.

Bottom line, this economic downturn isn’t hurting everyone. Select brokers and lenders made a fortune off the backs of subprime borrowers, and now that the related hedge funds are collapsing, well-leveraged private equity firms can buy assets at fire-sale prices.

And as Jim Hightower recently noted, a “hands-off regulatory ideology” is complicit: “There are no less than five financial agencies at the federal level that could have protected people, yet the subprime surge was allowed to proceed …. The Federal Reserve Board, for example, has direct authority under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act to ‘prohibit acts or practices in connection with mortgage loans that the board finds to be unfair, deceptive or … associated with abusive lending practices, or that are otherwise not in the interest of the borrower.’ The Fed simply ignored this law.”

The US has been down this road before. The Savings and Loan (S&L) crisis of the late 1980s was also characterized by loose lending requirements, lax regulation, obscene profits for the few – and US taxpayers left holding the bag for $125 billion.

Ironically, the Bush family was involved in that scandal too, with Bush Jr.’s brother Neil serving on the board of the disgraced Silverado Savings and Loan, which went bust and stuck US taxpayers with a $1.3 billion debt. Regulators accused Neil of “multiple conflicts of interest” but he never did jail time – thanks at least in part to the S&L bail out engineered by his father, Bush Sr., who happened to be President at the time.

Just as in the S&L crisis, the poor and middle class have borne the brunt of the current subprime disaster, an especially nasty fact given the nation’s huge wealth gap. As Inequality.org points out, “The richest one percent of U.S. households now owns 34.3 percent of the nation’s private wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent. The top one percent also owns 36.9 percent of all corporate stock.”

It’s probably no coincidence that terms associated with both corporate and developing country indebtedness are being used to discuss the US subprime meltdown (payment defaults, vulture funds, distressed debt, etc). Perhaps the US hasn’t reached banana republic status yet, but the increasing wealth gap, not to mention ballooning budget deficits, low capital spending and reliance on foreign capital are disturbing signs.

Doesn’t help either that the Federal Reserve stopped releasing M3 money-supply data in 2006. M3 data (covering Eurodollars, repurchase agreements and large-denomination time deposits) is critical in determining how fast the Fed is printing money, which in turn impacts inflation.

So, what further fallout from the subprime scandal can be expected? Millions more Americans will lose their homes, and as The New York Times recently reported, “for the first time since federal housing agencies began keeping statistics in 1950,” the median price of homes in the US will fall.

Ratings agencies, such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, will take some heat for their role in the scandal, but the Bush administration will focus on bailing out predatory lenders rather than helping Americans keep their homes. Congress and most presidential candidates will protect financial services campaign donors by not pursuing true reform.

Meanwhile, Asia and Europe will continue “decoupling” from increasingly volatile US markets, threatening the dollar’s reserve currency status even more. Fresh off its recent war games with China and four Central Asian republics, Russia will more actively confront the US on the world stage. The Bush administration will move closer to a war with Iran.

Of course, these dire predictions don’t have to materialize – we can regroup and fight back. One avenue is by urging Congress members to take action, such as changing foreclosure rules to protect homeowners and supporting Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act (H.R. 2895). Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) push to have the Fed start releasing M3 data again (H.R. 4892) is also urgent.

At the very least, we must frame the Bush administration’s war-making as a direct threat to the US economy, not to mention national security, and just like maxed out home buyers, confront our nation’s culture of debt.

Action Tips:

1. For online videos about the subprime issue and “Money as Debt,” visit Brasscheck TV.

2. Check out two groups working on affordable US housing: the Community Land Trust (“to encourage affordable resident ownership of housing and local control of land and other resources”) and the National Housing Trust Fund (“a dedicated source of funding for the production, preservation and rehabilitation of 1.5 million affordable homes in 10 years”).

3. Learn more about “America’s growing economic divide” at Inequality.org.

4. Concerned about predatory lending? So is The Center for Responsible Lending (“a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices”).

Note: Originally published: August 27, 2007

Welcome to the Jungle: US Military Psychological Operations by Heather Wokusch (video + article)

Dandelion Salad

August 12, 2007
From: HeatherWokusch

Interesting background on how US Psyc… Interesting background on how US Psychological Operations are used domestically. Covers Rumsfeld’s Information Operations Roadmap and current Pentagon plans to create a digital “parallel universe” to test PSYOP.


Welcome To The Jungle: US Military Psychological Operations And You

Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

12 August, 2007

also posted:

“…the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”-
Benjamin Franklin, on the Constitution, 1787

They say that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately jump out, but that if you raise the pot’s heat gradually, the frog won’t react.

The US public has been on a slow boil since 2001. This administration’s rollbacks have been so consistent and so egregious that it’s no surprise many Americans feel apathetic.

And that begs the question: What exactly would it take to get the US public spurred into action?

Sentient World Simulation (SWS) may have an answer. It’s a computer-based project designed to “generate alternative futures” and no surprise, the US Defense Department is actively involved.

According to one of the project’s developers, Purdue University professor Alok Chaturvedi, “SWS will consist of a synthetic environment that mirrors the real world in all it key aspects – Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure.” The goal is to copy each person on earth into the SWS parallel universe, and then see how they respond to external events such as natural disasters or political upheavals.

The concept paper Chaturvedi co-authored additionally notes, “SWS provides an environment for testing Psychological Operations (PSYOP),” to help the military “develop and test multiple courses of action to anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals, and partners.”

To anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals, and partners.

Blurring the lines between military and civilian Psychological Operations is nothing new. In 1989, US forces in Panama blasted Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” into the Vatican Embassy during negotiations for the handover of General Manuel Noriega, and from 1998-1999, US military PSYOP personnel interned at both CNN and NPR.

More recently, a 2003 Pentagon document called Information Operations Roadmap detailed the US military’s approach to exploiting information in order to “keep pace with warfighter needs and support defense transformation.” Personally approved by former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the document was declassified in 2006 and covers everything from the Pentagon’s plans for Computer Network Attack (“We Must Fight the Net”) to beefing up the use of Psychological Operations (“We Must Improve PSYOP”) to manipulating information through means including: “Radio/ TV/Print/ Web media designed to directly modify behavior and distributed in theater supporting military endeavors in semi or non-permissive environment.”

While The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 forbids US propaganda intended for foreign audiences from being used domestically, Information Operations Roadmap acknowledges that “information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP, increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience and vice-versa.”

The 2003 Pentagon document adds, “the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences becomes more a question of USG [U.S. government] intent rather than information dissemination practices.”

Perhaps that’s why a top US general ordered public affairs to be joined with combat PSYOP into one “strategic communications office” in Iraq in the summer of 2004.

Domestically, it doesn’t help that SWS and other developments in military Psychological Operations are accompanied by rollbacks in the right to dissent and bipartisan support of government surveillance of American citizens.

Makes you wish our cyberspace clones could tell us how best to fight the Matrix.

At the very least, we must become more vigilant about the ongoing use of military PSYOP and misinformation – the Pat Tillman case is a perfect example. Holding the Defense Department and media accountable for every mislead regarding the Bush administration’s military adventurism is more important than ever.

Action ideas:

1. For a great database on the Bush Administration’s misleads about Iraq head over to Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s, “Iraq on the Record.” (http://oversight.house.gov/IraqOnTheRecord/)

2. One Defense Department group particularly especially interested in these topics is The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The site of its Information Exploitation Office, for example, is focused on “shaping the battlespace before conflict” and filled with snappy computer graphics reminiscent of militaristic video games (http://dtsn.darpa.mil/ixo/). Your taxpayer dollars hard at work.

3. For media watchdog groups, visit Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (www.fair.org) and Media Matters for America (http://mediamatters.org).

4. Had enough? E-mail, call or write the President, Congress or state and local government at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/


Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale By Mark Baard