[post2wm at freenet.de: [rael-science] Pentagon spying on anti-war groups - Report]

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Dec 21 10:22:40 PST 2005

Source: Al  Jazeera

Pentagon spying on anti-war groups - Report


A Pentagon document shows that the U.S. army is monitoring and collecting
information on anti-war activists across the United States, NBC reported.

The network obtained a classified Pentagon document which lists four dozen
anti-war meetings or demonstrations that took place in the U.S. over a
10-month period.

The document also included anti-nuclear protests staged in Nebraska on the
50th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki.

The Pentagon describes all of these events as threats, says William Arkin,
the former Army intelligence officer, who obtained the secret documents.

According to NBC, the document says that the U.S. military is even
monitoring Internet traffic. The network quoted one Pentagon briefing
document, stamped "secret", as saying: "We have noted increased
communication and encouragement between protest groups using the Internet."

Correspondents say the revelation shows how Washington stepped up
intelligence collection since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

American citizens have been wary of any monitoring of anti-war groups since
the Vietnam war when the Pentagon spied on anti-war and civil rights
organizations. In the 1970s, the Congress recommended tough restrictions on
military spying inside the United States.

Following the NBC report, the Pentagon said it ordered a review of the
military intelligence program, indicating, but not admitting, that some of
the gathered information had been handled improperly.

A Pentagon spokesman said that "the Department of Defense uses
counterintelligence and law enforcement information properly collected by
law enforcement agencies.

"The use of this information is subject to strict limitations, particularly
the information must be related to missions relating to protection of DoD
installations, interests and personnel," he said, according to Reuters.

The Pentagon has already acknowledged the existence of a
counterintelligence program known as the "Threat and Local Observation
Notice" (TALON) reporting system, which the military says is aimed at
gathering "non-validated threat information and security anomalies
indicative of possible terrorist pre-attack activity."

     * "Psychological war"

USAToday reported that the Pentagon has a $400 million psychological
warfare campaign that includes plans to plant pro-American stories in
global media outlets.

One of the army officials involved in the program was quoted as saying that
the operation is aimed at altering foreign audiences' perceptions to back
American policies.

The program, run by psychological warfare experts at the U.S. Special
Operations Command, would operate throughout the world, the report said.

According to Reuters, one of the three firms handling the campaign include
the Lincoln Group, a company under investigation by the Pentagon for paying
Iraqi newspapers to run pro-American stories.

Pentagon officials involved in the program say that they don't plan to
secretly plant false stories in foreign media outlets. But Mike Furlong,
deputy director of the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element, told
USAToday that the army would not always reveal its role in distributing
pro-American messages.

"While the product may not carry the label, 'Made in the USA,' we will
respond truthfully if asked" by reporters, he said.

USAToday said Furlong refused to give examples of specific products, which
he said would include articles, advertisements and public service

Copyright 2005 Al Jazeera Publishing Limited

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