Report: Army deployed "psy-ops" on US Senators, for more war funding and troops

Michael Hastings in Rolling Stone: "The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in 'psychological operations' to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned - and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators."


  1. That’s the kind of thing that should at least cost those responsible their jobs and their pension.

    What terrible judgement these warriors have shown. Time to call them back in for help.

    1. It’s stories like these that makes me believe that “The Men Who Stare At Goats” is in fact a true story.

      I liked the phrase they opened the movie adaptation with. Not “based on a true story” or “inspired by real events,” but “more of this is true than you would believe.”

      1. The funny thing is that the details that were changed for the movie are the least outrageous ones, like making the reporter American.

        I suggest you watch Crazy Rulers of the World by Jon Ronson (The author of Men Who Stare at Goats) to see some of the real people interviewed. It is both funny and disturbing.

        I found this edited segment of Crazy Rulers of the World. I am sure you can find an unedited video with a little googling.

        In context of the spectacular craziness of that kind of thinking, the revelation that psy-ops are being misused is not at all surprising.

  2. More communist propaganda… they haven’t stopped since they infiltrated Roosevelt’s brain and got him to worry excessively about that concoction, the “military industrial complex”. Can’t wait to see those senators sent to Guantánamo for cleansing…

  3. Not that I don’t appreciate the irony in your comment, but the term ‘military-industrial complex’ was coined by Eisenhower.

  4. From article: “the use of propaganda and psychological tactics to influence emotions and behaviors – are supposed to be used exclusively on “hostile foreign groups.” Federal law forbids the military from practicing psy-ops on Americans”

    So why is legal for them to do it on Fox News?

    1. Because For is a private organization, this law applies to the government and the military specifically. Otherwise running a political campaign would essentially be illegal.

  5. I suppose the part that I’m most amazed by is that a lower-ranking soldier would actually refuse to follow an order by a commanding officer, regardless of its legality.

    meta-comment: this does not encourage me.

  6. Why would they waste their time doing that?

    I know the military has been broke ever since we started building all this awesome infrastructure and alternative energy and ended poverty, but come on guys!

  7. Sorry folks, but this might be much ado about nothing. Seems some general asked for background information on some visiting senators from the psy-ops guys. He wanted to plant the idea in their head of more funding. Not psychic, but by using knowledge about them to be persuasive. e.g. “Know your audience.”

    You can disagree with his goals, but his methods sound like common sense.

  8. DR/TL…BUT — isn’t it understandable that they wanted more forces committed to Afghanistan? Didn’t a lot of Right Thinking People feel that way? As in, if we’re in there, let’s do it right, oh, and let’s catch that Osama guy. Instead of fighting that other war that was 100% phony.

    If he’d just gone to his PR guy or Congressional liaison or whatever, instead of “PsyOps” (which as described sounds like Advertising 101) and asked for *exactly the same thing*, we would not be having this discussion.

  9. Propaganda = marketing = advertising = public relations = psy ops? Are these synonyms more or less? I’m sure there are some important distinctions there which are lost on me.

    1. Some of those things sell products or services: some sell ideas and provide information: some try to change your thinking or feelings about something.

      Some are overtly seeking to sell you a physical product or service: that’s advertising or marketing.

      The others are seeking to persuade you to take or adopt of a political viewpoint or stance; or adopt a favourable or unfavourable opinion as to some person or policy or company.

      That’s public relations (if undertaken for a private firm or corporation or person), or propaganda (if undertaken by the State, directly or not).

      Election ads specifically are the ones which are difficult to place, as they partake of both natures: both the selling, and the persuasion of thought.

    2. Or if you prefer, think of ‘psy ops” as weaponized advertising….and this is much kinda like the army attacking politicians, no?

    3. But you are correct to perceive the commonality: they seek to persuade.

      So I guess you’d find a lawyer’s address to a jury difficult to distinguish from those things too, as that too seeks to persuade.

      But no: they are all distinct each from the other.

      Do not over-emphasize their common element of persuasion.

      Look closer, and think about why the a exercise is being undertaken, why the energy is being spent to persuade you.

      Do they want your money? vote? support? hatred? action? love?

      1. Don’t worry, I’m not downgrading “psy ops” to some innocuous level that most people think advertising or marketing are. If anything, I think advertising and marketing seem potentially as dangerous as propaganda or psy ops.

        The distinctions still don’t seem important, or are still lost on me. Convincing commercials for a Double-Down sandwich could be more deadly to more people than “psy ops” used to convince a congressperson to increase military spending or troop levels.

  10. Oh wait, one other kind of ad, a species of persuasion, I haven’t mentioned: the recruitment ad. The Government ads that try to persuade you to enlist in the Armed Forces…a type of employment “want” advertisement, they’re not political per se, nor commercial in aim, nor are they political propaganda: but as with all of those things, they seek to persuade you, in their case, specifically to take to a course of action: sign up!
    Join the Army!

    1. Thanks a lot. My wife caught me watching that link. What’s with all the 18-year-olds wearing monokinis?!

  11. Why would the Army need some hypnotic psy-ops technique to win over McCain and Lieberman? And is a report that Al Franken is a sucker for knock-knock jokes an illegal use of data?

  12. Don’t think we need much more evidence that top elements of our military are run by traitors who are rat bastards who betray the American public and only serve their masters within the military-industrial complex for profits above honor and serving their country.

    The whistleblower is an American hero standing up to evil. I hope more of you soldiers who want to serve your country, YOUR people, YOUR families… will STOP serving the corporatists and bring honor BACK to our armed services. COME FORWARD with honor and dignity and quit hiding like cowards and covering for these complete pieces of shit.

    We need YOU. Be a real hero. Fight these motherfuckers.

    And… here’s the interview with the badass writer (I love what he says towards the end about “think tank” pissing matches).

    Seriously, isn’t it time to flush out the traitors within the American military leadership who are nothing more than war mongering profiteers? Soldiers, get on the right side of history and serve your country.

    It’s the HONORABLE thing to do.

    BY THE WAY… If any traitor lackey coward puts a bullet in my head for saying this, then good, there will be more and more that will REPLACE ME, MOTHERFUCKERS. This isn’t going to go well for you. The jig is up.

    Psy-op THIS bitches… and have a nice day you fucking traitors. I have faith that more and more honorable men and women WILL come forward and serve their country.. instead of you traitors.

    Defense and honor should be why we fight. Not to line your fucking pockets, you absolutely evil fucks.

    Sorry, but the rage against your machine will spread. Your time is over. Good riddance. How many soldiers have died for your sins? How many?!! Rot in hell.

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