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back to article US Spec Ops operates psywar websites targeted at UK

The secretive US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has awarded arms globocorp General Dynamics a $10m contract to set up a network of psychological-warfare "influence websites" supporting the Global War On Terror. France and Britain are specifically included as "targeted regions". SOCOM is principally famous for its large …

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Unhappy

Special relationship?

Whats that then?

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Pirate

Beyond reach?

Lewis will tell you all sorts of 'truths' that we tell him as 'insider information', and you won't know any the wiser!

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Big Brother

Tin foil hat time

For some reason that article made me think of Google.

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FAIL

PSYOP is the dissemination of truthful information

BWAAAAHAHHAHAHAHAAAAHAHAAHAAAAAA STOPPIT YER KILLING ME!

roflmao ah yes, their truthful information is propaganda, but our propaganda is truthful information!

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Go

Militirised astroturf AKA good ol' propaganda via new media.

Nothing new here, just the outsourcing of what has been done for years. I'm not surprised the Obumbler administration is so calm about releasing this info on a military astroturf campaign, it must be from long-term exposure to people like David Axelrod. And for all those posters that will ask why would the US be looking at us in the UK, do you really need reminding where loons like Richard Reid came from?

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Black Helicopters

Is Page a plant?

Certainly Lewis trots out the "buy American arms" line often enough to make me suspect a hidden US Military Industrial Complex agenda...

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Coat

Found 'em

"It would appear that any UK media site or channel which appears to be functioning without any visible means of support appropriate to its expenses may in fact be a tentacle of US Special Ops psywar command."

Facebook? Twitter?

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Silver badge

Better late than never, Uncle Sam ...... although PAR for your course, some would say.

Let the Games begin .... although being light years behind in the Genre is a disadvantageous starting point, guaranteeing newbie status and constant elementary errors for vulnerability exploitation and/or Red Team BetaCrashTesting.

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FAIL

British English?

What's the point?

Anyone in the UK who wants to read news on-line can just go to the BBC.

Are the US likely to be able to tempt enough people to read their site to make any difference? I sincerely doubt it. I'm pretty sure it will be the same for other languages too.

Anyone who reads a "news" website and doubts the validity, accuracy or impartiality of the information can quite easily look elsewhere. If it seems more impartial (or more in keeping with their worldview) then they will soon stop reading US propaganda/fud.

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Me please for some terror money

I'm up for running a pro-war-on-terror website focusing on quilting, bicycle repairs, greyhound racing and veal-and-ham pie recipes. I think this will catch the attention of several key communities.

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Black Helicopters

Page 3?

Just wondering, since they say they'll be acting as a "normal web-media" site. I would expect racy Flash ads, nude, or semi-nude girls, "security alerts" and malware.

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Stop

I see no mention of the UK.

I do see a reference to "but also French, and "English (British dialect and spelling)". Which would be handy if you were targeting former colonies (ours or the Frogs').

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Black Helicopters

Blowback

just wanted to be amongst the first to blow it back!!!! If I recall correctly, confirming Matt's comments, they've all been at this for years. Massive budget. search for "Blowback" as one of the only illegal things about psyops.

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Bronze badge

Etiquette

I thought it was considered bad form to try and influence the "political process" of ones allies?

Mind you, to twist some of Maggie Thatchers words: Being the target of American propaganda is as threatening as being savaged by a lamb.

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LOL

Nothing anywhere will make me like Americans. I am not against the country, it is the "We are right, you listen." attitude that I can't stand. People will support America when it starts actually asking (and caring) before telling someone their opinion.

Still a few million quid in my bank account and I will quite happily believe them (not actually support them). If for no other reason than I am easy like that. :)

Otherwise our government will role over, have it's belly tickled by their owners - and let it happen. Nothing new to this, nothing shocking, same old sad sorry tale of UK government bends over for American bosses.

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US Special Ops

Tossers in uniforms.

I'd take them all on with a small horse and a stick of wet celery ...

AC of course.

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omg

Interesting...

Slashdot doesn't have any ads, does it....

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Stop

Yup, that's right...

...Richard Reid did indeed come from Britain, yes. But then where did the Oklahoma bombers come from? And who funded the IRA?

It doesn't seem to have occurred to SOCOM that the reason they need sites like this to try and convince *everyone* that they're right is because *everyone* thinks they're wrong. Maybe they should look into that instead, or perhaps military authorities prohibit anyone from thinking they might be wrong themselves?

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dissemination?

"PSYOP is the dissemination of truthful information"

dissemination

n. dispersion, spreading, distribution, diffusion

I am sure that they intended the synonym distribution but with things like this it's more likely to be diffusion in that by the time they've finished the truthful information will be very thin indeed.

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Bronze badge

Nothing new...

Google on the WW2 career of Seftom Delmer and "Aspidistra".

Are they planning a website for Soldatensender Calais?

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Anonymous Coward

English (British dialect and spelling)

... is that to help address the target/audience, or to help identify the target/scapegoat?

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dialect and spelling?

well, that'll make them stand out a mile: just look at any website were the speling is done proper.

As for dialect: last time I looked we had a language - surely dialects are for the people who mangle it into their own variations.

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Thumb Up

I think you guys are missing the point...

If you haven't figured it out, if you're reading this, you're not the target audience.

I am a little disappointed that it took this long for the US and British military/government wonks to figure out that they need this.

You have to look at it from this perspective.

Al Queda et al are spreading their 'message' via the web where they encourage recruits.

Psych Ops should have ramped up a set of counter sites years ago to counter the message from these so called Jihadists.

Its all part of winning the hearts and minds of the brainless twits who are willing to become terrorists because they don't even grok their own religion.

Its actually a good thing.

Oh and while I'd love to see the US military taking over the Page 3 stuff, I don't think that their targeted audience would be interested in that sort of thing. :-(

(Yet another reason to call these terrorists a bunch of mindless twits. What red blooded guy wouldn't want to look at and objectify a beautiful woman? Besides being gay?)

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EC

Catching up with the Ruskies?

Well its can't be less convicing than the mind bend stuff on freeview's RussiaToday channel.

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Joke

supporting Global War On Terror requirements

Isn't that called Fox News?

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Anonymous Coward

If you want the "truth"

just watch Fox News.

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Silver badge

Insider Info ......

Spookily enough, the UKGBNI Office of CyberIntelAIgent Security is offering a Parallel Program for Life to Clients for $12,812,744....... which is much better bargain.

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Grenade

Dualshocks at the ready

SOCOM : PSYOP - Catchy title, but I don't think it makes a good premise for a game.

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@Ian Michael Gumby

Thank you for disseminating that truthful information.

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CP

I, for one, commend them on creating 4chan and the miriad distractions it holds for me.

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Gates Horns

FUD: Microsoft derive everything

PSYOP is the dissemination of truthful information to Linux audiences in support of MS policy... these activities are not forms of force, but are force multipliers that use nonviolent means in often violent environments... they rely on logic, fear, desire or other mental factors... The ultimate objective of MS psychological operations is to convince Linux, platform agnostic, and MS fans and forces to take action favorable to MS...

Their purpose can range from gaining support for MS operations to preparing the battlefield for combat.

FUD, FUD, FUD

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Silver badge

Bah!

in the 1980s we had the $800 ashtray.

Twenty years later we have the $1 million website. Or perhaps the $6 million dollar website if we're really unlucky.

[4 Pete2] Whereas the bin sin eyesore thee?

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Happy

Dialects...

....ha ha haaaaa

Good luck, lets start with the Black Country..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blackcountry/features/2002/12/accents/a_b.shtml

That should keep them going for a year or two...

Then move onto say Geordie,

http://www.geordie.org.uk/

and then Glaswegian

http://clyde-valley.com/glasgow/dialect.htm

No point doing cockney as all English people speak that anyway, according to Hollywood at least.

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Silver badge

Fabulous idea

They'll be sending squaddies off to watch Mary Poppins to ensure they have a perfect grasp of English (British dialect).

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They speak "British" English in India and Pakistan!

... among other places. An obvious reason why they would want that capability.

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WTF?

Truth?

Has the word "Truth" ever been more misused and tarnished than in the past 10 years?

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Black Helicopters

Ahhh so now I know.....

why the hell Twitter was created! ;) I can see the decimation of truth now. Ooops I meant dissemation!

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Big Brother

"to take action favorable to the United States"

I can't help thinking that could also include US commercial goals, so not just limited to the War On Terror(tm).

"dissemination of web-based influence products and tools in support of strategic and long-term U.S. Government goals"

Yep, I'm still thinking, possibly also includes US commercial goals. (But then the War On Terror(tm) has also already been hugely profitable for some companies (and governments) and just think of all the extra strings its bought the governments to play with for years to come).

Just one problem, they should rename the group running it, the Ministry of Truth.

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Stop

Counter for threats from unemployment

This "operation" is not to counter terrorism ala Al Quaeda, but the terror of unemployment. Since unemployment is still going up, this is really to create employment for people who would otherwise be watching TV. Look at the real requirements: speak with a British accent? Eh, what? Maybe I should apply. Lord knows I've watched Dr. Who way too much.

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FAIL

Working well...

Seems to be working well for them apart from the fact that they're still hated, the "war on terror" is still regarded as a waste of time and that we're still quite happy with our NHS compared to a US based system.

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Pint

SOCOM

They couldn't organise a PSYOP in a brewery.

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Headmaster

@Matt 21 - that lamb is mutton

> to twist some of Maggie Thatchers words: Being the target of American propaganda is as threatening as being savaged by a lamb.

That wasn't Margaret Thatcher, that was Denis Healey, said of a verbal attack on him from Geoffrey Howe: "...like being savaged by a dead sheep", in the House in June 1978.

Jimmy Edwards for the contemporaneous pedantry.

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H 5
Big Brother

Unsurprising...

Ag the good ol' Ministry of Truth.

Propaganda, everyone has it, everyone says there telling you the truth.

Hardened cynics can rejoice in their disbelief.

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WTF?

it's called Fox news. At least in the US.

But wait a minute, Murdock is a Brit. I am so confused.

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Troll

Minitrue

I tire of the warnings about how close we're getting to Nineteen Eighty Four; an organisation for the "dissemination of truth" suggests they're taking the joke and running with it.

Oh well, from now on, whenever I encounter someone being Wrong on the Internet, I can accuse them of working for SOCOM.

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FAIL

"Being the target of American propaganda is as threatening as being savaged by a lamb."

Tell that to the people who were first targeted by propaganda, then by death squads coached/financed from within various US embassies. Ah yes, Reagan was a Great Communicator.

Nice lamb. Wait.. is there a wolf underneath??

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Coat

why do the bother?

You search for the WMD's, you conveniently "find" the WMDs, there is an "accident" with the WMDs that both takes care of the target, errr, aggressor and in the process proves both that they had WMDs and how dangerous they were, and you have everyone kissing your ass for years for saving theirs.

mines the one with a suitcase nuke and a ticket to an oil rich country in the pocket.

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Flame

Everyone calm down

"...ghosted websites that are protected by username and password..."

Our government has already proven on more than one occasion that this first hurdle will be insurmountable.

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Big Brother

Propaganda

So psyops is the new word for propaganda; just like collateral damage was the 'new word' for slaughtering innocent civilians.

I wonder where the whale music will take us next...

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Grenade

You know what?

Best way to tell a fake website is if the pro war idiots always use retired military people as pundits.

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