Thursday, December 2

On Lying in Wartime

Orrin Kerr over at the Volokh Conspiracy writes of a deliberate misinformation ploy used by the US Military during the Fallujah campaign. In this ploy, CNN was used as the dupe to pass misinformation to the enemy about our attack plans. The issue that has come up is whether the US Media is valid tool for our PsyOp corps. CNN argues that it is not. I tend to disagree.

CNN's argument is that this will reduce our trust in information released by the military. This is disingenuous at best. The type of information released concerned tactical information about an operation and when an assault was scheduled. This kind of information is different then the sort of data for which we hope to trust out military. It is also the kind of information which will not lead to poor information in our historical records of the campaign, so studies trying to learn from our experiences will not be colored by this type of misinformation.

Also, it is well known that our enemy uses the world (and specifically our) press to its every advantage. In fact, from where I sit, many of the CNN and MSM reporters have been actively trying to find fault with our campaign, have not been bringing back any stories of a positive nature from the front, and in fact can be argued to be on the side of the enemy. I think it is the fault of our MSM that the relationship between our media and the military has been an adversarial one, I might wish that to be different, but if wishes were wings, I could fly. If the relationship were different, I would imagine that CNN would not be deceived but be party to the deception. Thus I would blame any fault for the necessity of deception not on the military but on the press.

(HT: David Mobley of A Physicists Perspective)