Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

The Rise and Fall of the Office of Strategic Influence  

"James Dao and Eric Schmitt of The New York Times broke the story on..." Read | Discuss
Clippings  12.5.03
Pentagon and Bogus News: All Is Denied
Eric Schmitt @ NYTimes
In March 2002 the InfoTechWarPeace Project launched this InfoIntervention on the rise and fall of the Office of Strategic Influence, one of the Pentagon's more blatant attempts to manage the perceptions of foreign media and policymakers through an infowar campaign of dissimulation and deception. We questioned its officialdemise, and it now appears that our suspicions have been confirmed by Eric Schmitt, who writes this week (12/5/03) in the New York Times. 12.5.03 Read | Discuss
Still Open to Winks and Nods
Andrew Marlatt @ Washington Post
"Following Tuesday's announcement that the Pentagon had closed the controversial Office of Strategic Influence, which some media reports alleged was created to spread false information abroad, the agency said it has been unable to convince OSI employees to stop reporting for work..." 3.3.02 Read | Discuss
Believe It or Not
Todd S. Perdum @ New York Times
"When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld announced last week that the Pentagon's new Office of Strategic influence would be disbanded after reports that it might plant false news items to influence foreign opinion, he said flatly: "The office is done." Of course, you say, he would say that. He would practically have to, since the essence of disinformation is that truth and falsehood are made indistinguishable by design..." 3.3.02 Read | Discuss
Pentagon's Silver Lining May Be Bigger Than Cloud
Norman Solomon @ FAIR
"The Office of Strategic Influence went from obscurity to infamy to oblivion during a spin cycle that lasted just seven days in late February. Coming to terms with a week of negative coverage after news broke that the Pentagon office might purposely deceive foreign media, a somber defense secretary announced: "It is being closed down." But for Donald Rumsfeld and his colleagues along the Potomac, the inky cloud of bad publicity has a big silver lining..." 2.28.02 Read | Discuss
Rumsfeld Kills Pentagon Propaganda Unit
Thomas E. Ricks @ Washington Post
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld emphatically killed the Pentagon's new Office of Strategic Influence, saying yesterday that inaccurate news reports had damaged the new propaganda coordination office beyond repair..." 2.27.02 Read | Discuss
U.S. Planting False Stories Common Cold War Tactic
Tabassum Zakaria @ Federation of American Scientists
"Recognizing that sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword, the CIA has a colorful history of planting false information in media outlets overseas, with results ranging from irritating the Soviet Union to paving the way for a coup in Latin America." 2.26.02 Read | Discuss
Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
Eric Schmitt @ New York Times
"The Pentagon may eliminate a new office intended to influence public opinion and policy makers overseas, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today. Proposals from the new agency, the Office of Strategic Influence, have caused an uproar in Congress and elsewhere in the government..." 2.25.02 Read | Discuss
White House Angered at Plan for Pentagon Disinformation
Mike Allen @ Washington Post
"In a rare airing of disagreement within the Bush administration, White House aides were furious about a Pentagon proposal that could have led to the feeding of false stories to foreign journalists, officials said yesterday. The Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence was created in November to oversee military propaganda and other information- related operations, which could have blurred the line between public relations and covert actions..." 2.25.02 Read | Discuss
New Agency Will Not Lie, Top Pentagon Officials Say
James Dao @ New York Times
"Senior Pentagon and administration officials say new Pentagon office will not be allowed to tell lies to promote American views overseas; office has come under criticism; Defense Sec Donald H Rumsfeld defends Pentagon's need to conduct secret activities intended to deceive adversaries during times of conflict..." 2.21.02 Read | Discuss
Defense Dept. Divided Over Propaganda Plan
Thomas E. Ricks @ Washington Post
"At the center of the controversy is a new Office of Strategic Influence, created in recent months to more directly influence foreign public opinion about U.S. military operations. Just what the new office will do remains unclear, and its tentative plans have not been approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said one Pentagon official. "There are some proposals, suggestions and ideas being talked about," he said..." 2.20.02 Read | Discuss
Pentagon Plans Propaganda War
Tom Carver @ BBC
"The Pentagon is toying with the idea of black propaganda. As part of George Bush's war on terrorism, the military is thinking of planting propaganda and misleading stories in the international media. A new department has been set up inside the Pentagon with the Orwellian title of the Office of Strategic Influence..." 2.20.02 Read | Discuss
Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad
James Dao and Eric Schmit @ New York Times
"Pentagon's new Office for Strategic Influence is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries; seeks to broaden longstanding practice of information warfare against hostile nations in Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe..." 2.19.02 Read | Discuss
The Roving Eye: The Power of Lies
Pepe Escobar @ Asia Times
"As bin Laden's whereabouts are still the main plot in the ongoing No 1 global soap opera, an increasingly infuriated Pentagon is busy planning its new war of disinformation - supposedly to win back public support around the world for America's war on terrorism..." 2.2.02 Read | Discuss
Office of Strategic Mendacity
Maureen Dowd @ NY Times
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'Reality TV' Eagerly Marches Off to War
Elizabeth Jensen
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