Information warfare is one of the instruments of power, beside combat, diplomacy, and economic sanctions. PsyOp (Psychological Operations) are among its most conspicuous tools. Information warfare is effective and inexpensive compared to combat, and would fit the needs of “Service/DoD proponency” named in Ziehmn’s memo above.
The military specifies the structure and methods of Information Operations that engage behavioural science, mass media and high technology [Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1987; Headquarters, Department of the Army, 1996]. US Department of Defense (DoD) targets foreign nations and groups, including foreign governments. DoD actions “convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning; and to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels.” DoD management of the foreign perceptions, “combines truth projection, operation security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.”
According to NATO [Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1996], their PsyOp target “enemy, friendly and neutral audiences in order to influence attitudes and behavior affecting the achievement of political and military objectives.” NATO countries’ military and media act like clones of Pentagon. Critique comes mainly from outside the Pact. It seems that the only audiences that yielded to Pentagon and NATO DU propaganda were allies in the North Atlantic Pact.
Information Warfare integrates several types of special services when needed. A joint command of US Special Operations is then engaged to assemble teams of experts in different fields and services to suit a mission. Attacks on anti-DU activist, Dr. Doug Rokke, former Pentagon expert on DU, were likely steered by US Special Operations in a broader campaign of “fighting” the truth about DU. The military and government authorities forged death certificates of Balkan DU military victims. In March 2001, “unknown criminals” broke into the home of Mrs. Riordan, the widow of a Canadian veteran of the Gulf War, destroyed her computer and stole medical certificates of uranium presence in the body of her husband. Police refused to investigate, because the criminals “did not leave any traces.”
With the emergence of uranium weapon issues into the public arena, the propaganda applies simple, often ridiculous, ideas and phrases that nevertheless have public appeal. The process exploits two rules: (i) a repeated lie becomes accepted truth; (ii) the public accepts outrageous lies more readily. Propaganda plays with words bred in PsyOp bureaus. The words, phrases and contexts are then uttered by authoritative persons, proving the speakers and their controllers are either criminally negligent or are consciously contravening humanitarian and war laws. Former NATO political chief Javier Solana perhaps broke a record of DU nonsense. While heading an ad hoc “investigation” to prove Kosovo DU was no danger, he stated, “The evidence points in the other direction.” “Is DU a health benefit?”, wondered a reader in a January 22, 2001, letter to Washington Times. Lord Robertson, supposedly an educated man, defended the “proven [DU] technology that has been independently tested […] We cannot possibly act on the perceptions of people or on the view of a word such as ‘uranium’.” Bein and Zoric  assembled other statements, deceptive nomenclature and phrases concerning DU and uranium.
Some countries exploited NATO DU propaganda for their own agendas. For example, Switzerland has played a role in suppressing information about DU. Operation Allied Force brought many Albanians from Kosovo to a sizable community of compatriots in Switzerland, at a time when Swiss immigration policy tightened up. Swiss scientific contractor AC Laboratorium-Spiez (ACLS), a firm known to work for NATO, was sent to probe Kosovo and southern Serbia with the best equipment, and found, to no surprise, hazardous radioactivity. Fearing that detection of uranium contamination in Kosovo would deter immigrants from returning home, the Swiss government suppressed reports about unsafe radioactivity levels in Kosovo and instead declared it would fund additional studies by international organizations – perhaps in order to control the results. ACLS became a research contractor in all DU studies in the Balkans. In another cynical move the Swiss government offered money to Albanian émigrés if they would return to Kosovo.
(c) Copyright Piotr Bein and Karen Parker, 2003. All rights reserved.
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