December 13, 2004


The NYT reports on Pentagon debates about the use of disinformation to "influence opinion abroad," which could involve "deceptive techniques endorsed for use on the battlefield to confuse an adversary and adopt them for covert propaganda campaigns aimed at neutral and even allied nations." As the Times suggests, information purveyed in some strategically chosen overseas location is not going to stay put: "in a modern world wired by satellite television and the Internet, any misleading information and falsehoods could easily be repeated by American news outlets."

Obviously, we are concerned about how the enemy's false information is used to manipulate public opinion:
"In the battle of perception management, where the enemy is clearly using the media to help manage perceptions of the general public, our job is not perception management but to counter the enemy's perception management," said the chief Pentagon spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita.

Yet telling the truth is intrinsically part of the message that one is fighting for a free society. Lying, you make that message incoherent.

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