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(DV) Whitney: The Pentagon's War on the Internet







The Pentagon’s War on the Internet
by Mike Whitney
February 14, 2006

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The Pentagon has developed a comprehensive strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information. The plan appears in a recently declassified document, “The Information Operations Roadmap,” which was provided under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and revealed in an article by the BBC.


The Pentagon sees the internet in terms of a military adversary that poses a vital threat to its stated mission of global domination. This explains the confrontational language in the document, which speaks of “fighting the net,” implying that the internet is the equivalent of “an enemy weapons system.”


The Defense Department places a high value on controlling information. The new program illustrates their determination to establish the parameters of free speech.


The Pentagon sees information as essential in manipulating public perceptions and, thus, a crucial tool in eliciting support for unpopular policies. The recent revelations of the military placing propaganda in the foreign press demonstrate the importance that is given to co-opting public opinion. 


Information warfare is used to create an impenetrable cloud around the activities of government so that decisions can be made without dissent. The smokescreen of deception that encompasses the Bush administration has less to do with prevaricating politicians than it does with a clearly articulated policy of obfuscation. “The Information Operations Roadmap” is solely intended to undermine the principle of an informed citizenry. 


The Pentagon’s focus on the internet tells us a great deal about the mainstream media and its connection to the political establishment.


Why, for example, would the Pentagon see the internet as a greater threat than the mainstream media, where an estimated 75% of Americans get their news?


The reason is clear: because the MSM is already a fully integrated part of the corporate system providing a 24-hour a day streaming of business-friendly news. Today’s MSM operates as a de facto franchise of the Pentagon, a reliable and sophisticated propagandist for Washington’s wars of aggression and political subterfuge.


The internet, on the other hand, is the last bastion of American democracy, a virtual world where reliable information moves instantly from person to person without passing through the corporate filter. Online visitors can get a clear picture of their governments’ depredations with a click of the mouse. This is the liberalization of the news, an open source of mind-expanding information that elevates citizen awareness of complex issues and threatens the status quo.  


The Pentagon program is just one facet of a broader culture of deception; a pervasive ethos of dishonesty that envelopes all aspects of the Bush White House. The “Strategic Intelligence” Department is a division of the Defense establishment that is entirely devoted to concealing, distorting, omitting and manipulating the truth.


In what way is “strategic intelligence” different from plain intelligence?


It is information that is shaped in a way that meets the needs of a particular group. In other words, it is not the truth at all, but a fabrication, a fiction, a lie. 


Strategic intelligence is an oxymoron, a tidy bit of Orwellian doublespeak that reflects the deeply rooted cynicism of its authors.


The internet is a logical target for the Pentagon’s electronic warfare. Already the Downing Street memos, Bush’s bombing threats against Al Jazeera, the fraudulent 2004 elections, and the leveling of Falluja, have disrupted the smooth execution of Bush’s wars. It is understandable that Rumsfeld and Co. would seek to transform this potential enemy into an ally, much as it has done with the MSM.


The Pentagon’s plans for engaging in “virtual warfare” are impressive. As BBC notes: “The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks.”


The enemy, of course, is you, dear reader, or anyone who refuses to accept their role as a witless cog in New World Order. Seizing the internet is a prudent way of controlling every piece of information that one experiences from cradle to grave; all necessary for an orderly police state. 


The Information Operations Roadmap (IOR) recommends that psychological operations (Psyops) “should consider a range of technologies to disseminate propaganda in enemy territory: unmanned aerial vehicles, ‘miniaturized, scatterable public address systems,’ wireless devices, cellular phones and the internet.” No idea is too costly or too far-fetched that it escapes the serious consideration of the Pentagon chieftains.


The War Dept. is planning to insert itself into every area of the internet from blogs to chat rooms, from leftist web sites to editorial commentary. The objective is to challenge any tidbit of information that appears on the web that may counter the official narrative: the fairytale of benign American intervention to promote democracy and human rights across the planet.


The IOR aspires to “provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum” and develop the capability to “disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum.” (BBC)


Full spectrum dominance.


The ultimate goal of the Pentagon is to create an internet paradigm that corresponds to the corporate mainstream model, devoid of imagination or divergent points of view. They envision an internet that is increasingly restricted by the gluttonous influence of industry and its vast “tapestry of lies.”   


The internet is the modern day marketplace of ideas, an invaluable resource for human curiosity and organized resistance. It provides a direct link between the explosive power of ideas and engaged citizen involvement. (a.k.a. participatory democracy)


The Pentagon is laying the groundwork for privatizing the internet so the information-revolution can be transformed into an information tyranny, extending to all areas of communications and serving the exclusive interests of a few well-heeled American plutocrats.


* Note: The Associated Press reported on 2-13-06, “The government concluded its ‘Cyber Storm’ wargame Friday, its biggest-ever exercise to test how it would respond to devastating attacks over the Internet from anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers.




“Participants confirmed parts of the worldwide simulation challenged government officials and industry executives to respond to deliberate misinformation campaigns and activist calls by Internet bloggers, online diarists whose ‘Web logs’ include political rantings and musings about current events.”


“Misinformation campaigns”? “Political rantings”? “Musings about current events”?


The administration’s resolve to foreclose on free speech has never been stronger and continues apace.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state, and can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com.

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