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Well if the USGOV/DoD is hiring…

…I am still looking for work!

From Danger Room:

A study, written for U.S. Special Operations Command, suggested “clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers.”

Oops…I missed the word “prominent” the first time I read it!

Lessons for Counterpropagandist

The Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group continues its valuable work, this time covering Counter-Propaganda techniques: Direct refutation, Indirect refutation, Diversion, Silence, Restrictive measures, Conditioning, Forestalling, Minimization.

Note: These do not have to be done by the government. Any budding Strategic Citizen/5GWer/Irregular Psyop Auxiliary can do this on their own with or without other like minded Strategic Citizens.

“The OSS Morale Operations Branch in Action, 1943-1945”


The OSS Morale Operations Branch, unlike the U.S. Army or the OWI, practiced covert strategic and tactical morale operations based on deception and subversion. The types of campaigns conducted and the methods used supposedly closely resembled Nazi fifth-column activities of the 1930s and early 1940s. The OSS used whatever means gained results, and its members believed that Nazi psychological warfare had been extremely successful. The belief in the efficacy of Nazi methods indicated how firmly OSS policymakers supported a propaganda of realpolitik in which, as in Nazi Germany, scruples, ethics, and universally accepted agreements and decencies were morally relative if not totally discarded to obtain national goals. As MO output was covert, it could act without fear of damaging America’s reputation or moral standing.
In the early days rumors were used to disseminate MO propaganda which consisted of simple, brief, concrete, and vivid stories, purporting to come from inside sources concerning familiar persons and events. Successful examples were easy to remember, had a plot, concerned current events, and appealed to emotion and sentiment. Rumors were intended to subvert and deceive, to promote fear, anxiety, confusion, overconfidence, distrust, and panic. Once created and cleared by the OSS and PWE, up to twenty rumors were disseminated each week by agent, radio, and leaflet and through plants in enemy and neutral newspapers. Success was gauged by a “comeback,” or mention of the rumor ill the foreign, neutral, or Allied press or by Allied or enemy intelligence services. According to OSS tallies of comebacks, rumors were extraordinarily effective.
Forged documents, letters, and poison-pen letters were MO staples and were used to create dissatisfaction, anxiety, and confusion, to intimidate collaborators, to terrorize soldiers and civilians, and to harass the Gestapo. In one operation, based on the 1944 capture of Generalmajor Karl Kreipe by British commandos, MO hoped to convince enemy soldiers that their officers were surrendering to save themselves.
The Sauerkraut and Ravioli missions exemplified perfectly the willingness of the OSS leadership to use whatever means were necessary to defeat the Nazis since these operations were in violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention and the U.S. Army Rules of Land Warfare, both of which applied to the OSS. William Casey was a major proponent of using expendable POWs for MO work and for equally dangerous SO and SI missions. He assured OSS member J. Russell Forgan of the full cooperation of the U.S. Army’s provost marshal’s office, which had guaranteed the OSS an unending supply of POWs. 30 The idea of using POWs, partisans, and Allied agents for OSS work spread to Northwest Europe after D-Day. The most famous infiltration teams there were commanded by Maj. Paul Mellon, a relative of OSS leader David Bruce and heir to the Mellon family fortune, and Maj. Stacey Lloyd; both men were U.S. Army officers attached to the OSS. MO field teams operated in France after August 1944 and initially consisted entirely of Americans divided into three teams of eight officers, seven enlisted mew and six civilians. One team was eventually attached to each army of the Twelfth Army Group. The teams conducted sixty operations behind the lines, disseminating rumors, leaflets, stickers, stencils, and forged letters in mailboxes, under the doors of dwellings, in railroad cars and stations, in taverns, and by word of mouth.
Forgeries were always a staple of OSS black propaganda. MO developed postage stamps bearing the likeness of Himmler rather than Hitler, to give Germans the impression that der Fuhrer had been ousted in a secret coup d’etat. In conjunction with PWE, MO produced counterfeit ration cards and forged civil certificates, forms, vouchers, military travel orders, and sick leave and furlough passes. The OSS Planning Group even considered counterfeiting German currency to destroy the Reich’s economy. In another plan, to increase the likelihood of troops picking up MO material, it was suggested that propaganda be printed on the back of counterfeit banknotes or that special offers of rations or privileges be guaranteed to a person bearing the note when surrendering. 36 In cooperation with the OSS R&D Branch and Britain’s PWE, MO developed a variety of unusual gadgets intended to lower morale, such as the exploding ink pen. At one point, Jack Daniels suggested producing ammunition in enemy calibers that contained high explosives rather than smokeless powder, which could then be smuggled into the Wehrmacht supply system. When the device was fired, the resulting explosion would destroy both weapon and owner
It is difficult to assess the effectiveness of OSS Morale Operations accurately. The relatively small scale of branch activities, when compared with propaganda campaigns carried out by the U.S. Army and the OWI and with the United Nations’ conventional warfare efforts, seems insignificant. MO, unlike the army, lacked the personnel to conduct major postwar studies, and few surveys were completed describing the number of Germans who were exposed to or influenced by MO work.

Is there a comprehensive History of the OSS available?

The “Court Jester Effect” – Using Comedy and Ridicule

Here is a thought:

Imagine Muslim comedians actively ridiculing Jihadists for all the contradictions in their ideology, their living standards, ideas and practices be they with regard to women, other Muslims or as in the case of Ahmed Ahmed the whole “martyrdom gets you 72 virgins” line we hear so often about. In his skit, Ahmed wonders whether you get help in choosing the right terrorist group (there being so many of them) and ponders whether these try to recruit people to their side by promising more benefits than the others. Ahmed imagines the Muslim Brotherhood telling a kid that he should join them and not al Qaeda because unlike al Qaeda, they offer not only 72 virgins, but also 1 whore, and a goat.

Hearing the laughter the joke above elicited, from a primarily Muslim audience, it seems that comedians would become the most fear enemy of Jihadists, because nothing rattles a true believer more than to see his ideology mocked and made to seem ridiculous. Anyone remember the uproar on the right following Stephen Colbert’s act at the Correspondents Dinner? The reason for it, was that in very direct terms he took what President Bush considered his strengths, and turned them into objects of ridicule; from “thinking from the gut” to his “stay the course” mentality. It upset many people, so much so that Colbert was not invited back the next year. [Link: New Yorker in DC]

The post has youtube links to the performances which were pretty funny.

The post is well written showing how comedy and ridicule can be used as part of a war of ideas – something the US seems to be bad at for now.

The post author uses the term”Court Jester Effect” which I rather like.

“They’re beautiful and can strip a rifle”

This is how you do white propaganda.

Tom Friedman Says Something Stupid

You may think Guantánamo Bay is a prison camp in Cuba for Al Qaeda terrorists. A lot of the world thinks it’s a place we send visitors who don’t give the right answers at immigration. I will not vote for any candidate who is not committed to dismantling Guantánamo Bay and replacing it with a free field hospital for poor Cubans. Guantánamo Bay is the anti-Statue of Liberty.[Link]

The American Left’s hatred of the US will win out over whatever views and beliefs that they might have. In their mid, all US capabilities and actions must be thwarted.

I don’t care if those who hate and are opposed to the US hate us more because we lock up terrorist at Gitmo. I don’t care if the enemies of my country want the prison closed.

If the world thinks that Gitmo is a giant torture chamber, that is partially fault of the left-leaning American press led by the Friedman’s own New York Times.

A divided America cannot win a global 4GW.

Here is What Ridicule Info Warfare Should Look like

I found this on HotAir. Why can’t the US do things like this? Oh that’s right, the US Gov sucks at this sort of thing. Anyways, watch this video to see the power of ridicule in information warfare. I hope there are also versions in Arabic, Fasi, Pastun,etc.

US Strategic Influence Capability Sucks…

…and Mountain Runner suggests Karl Rove is the man to fix it:

Today, the direct impact of bullets and
bombs is often much less than the propaganda opportunities and
perceptions they create. A famous dead Prussian once said war is a
continuation of politics, but the reality today is that war is politics
and nearly every act is an attempt to gain strategic influence over
friends, foes, and neutrals. YouTube, blogs, and all forms of other
media and connectivity everywhere means every GI Joe and Jihadi gets at
least a bit part in the theater of information, for better or worse.

imagine Karl Rove takes this to heart and instead of the US telling
foreign audiences what we want our own people to hear, we tell them the
truth about their false idols?

coups like Abu Gharib and even the Urban Tourniquet aren’t met by
American messaging (I dare not use the P-word for in America thou
taints thyself on use) based on facts. In fact, they aren’t met by
anything at all. Remember the “blooper” video of the “fearsome” Zarqawi
unable to handle his gun while wearing his spiffy white New Balance
shoes? What an opportunity to mock the man, but we were limited because
the US had built him up to be something he wasn’t (or at least much
more than the thug he was). And then there’s Sadr and his childlike
rants to his subordinates?

Hopefully someone like him at least.

The US really has to do something about Strategic Communication / Strategic Influence / Political Warfare. It needs this as a significant capability.

“PSYOP Auxiliaries”: The Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group as Proto-5GW

There is a budding practical 5GW-ish thinker in the form of something called the Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group:

PSYOP Auxiliaries must use all available assets to collect the wide variety of opposing information and propaganda existing in media. Avoid being lured by the obvious propaganda and missing the more subtle and potentially effective propaganda being disseminated.


For about three years I have been carrying this idea of volunteer civilian infowarriors around in the back of my mind…


We’re going to have to counter the propaganda ourselves.[…] We are going to have to blog swarm and harness the collective wisdom of Been There Done Thats to directly refute the misinformation and disinformation our own Main Stream Media partners with the enemy to deliver to us. They must be fisked, debunked, discredited, exposed, relentlessly between now and September, so that when the enemy pulls off their big mass casualty event just in time for General Petraeus’ Dog & Pony Show for Congress, we have already done an IO Preparation of the Battlefield and conditioned the target audience to be sceptical of the doom and gloom quagmire schtick.


This war is fought on so many levels. We can help our troops my waging our own counter-propaganda here in the states. Smith-Mundt doesn’t apply to us. Democrat Senators can’t deny us promotion. The House Armed Services Committtee can’t defund our program. We’re irregulars, and we do this on our own time, for free.


Well, here’s your chance. There is no ASVAB, no PT test, no tickets you have to punch to be a volunteer civilian irregular information defense group operator performing distributed IO in denied battle spaces. All you have to be able to do is recognize bullshit when you see it and point it out to as wide an audience as you can reach.


IF we are to avoid another psychologically paralyzing loss of will like 1975, and it’s a big IF, the enemy’s supporters must be engaged, discredited, humiliated and silenced. We the People, those of us not subject to military justice, not vulnerable to having our promotions stalled by vengeful politicians, and not constrained by law from targeting domestic audiences, will have to perform the counter-PSYOP mission.


Are not the 101st Fighting Keyboardists a volunteer militia geek battalion? Could concerned citizens with computers not disrupt domestic anti-war, anti-military, defeatist, seditionist, fifth column message boards and websites that are protected from DoD response? Could a volunteer Army of Davids, unconstrained by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, the Hatch Act, or fear of being passed over for promotion, in coordination with but not under the control of the DoD PA/IO apparatus, actually be useful auxiliaries in the infowar?

[Cross-posted to Dreaming 5GW]