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Military to Investigate Whether Caldwell Ordered Improper Effort to PsyOp Lawmakers

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Bring them Home

Looks like the Army has access to Rolling Stone magazine, on the web at least, and is going to issue a press release in a couple of weeks. If I was a betting person, I’d lay money on the “nothing happened”, “nothing to see” side of the investigation getting top billing.

The American commander in Afghanistan will order an investigation into accusations that military personnel deployed to win Afghan hearts and minds were instructed over their own objections to carry out “psychological operations” to help convince visiting members of Congress to increase support for the training mission there, military officials said Thursday.

A brief statement issued by the military headquarters in Kabul said Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Afghanistan, “is preparing to order an investigation to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the issue.”

The investigation was prompted by an article released Thursday by Rolling Stone magazine that described an “information operation” or “psychological operation” ordered by Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, who is in charge of training Afghan security forces.

The article said that General Caldwell and his senior aides ordered a team of specialists to gather information about distinguished visitors and create a campaign to sway, in particular, traveling American lawmakers to endorse more money and troops for the war. When the officer running the team resisted, saying that it would not be proper, he was ordered in writing to make this his priority.

Under pressure, the article said, quoting the officer and numerous documents, the team eventually gathered biographies and things like the guests’ voting records — a standard task for headquarters staff before visits by Congressional delegations. The article quotes a spokesman in Kabul denying that the command used an information operations cell to influence high-ranking visitors.

(click here to continue reading Military to Investigate Whether General Ordered Improper Effort to Sway U.S. Lawmakers – NYTimes.com.)

Not Only Warriors Of the Air

and more stating of the obvious:

This is not the first time that military officers have developed information or persuasion campaigns viewed as improper by members of Congress.

The New York Times reported in late 2007 that Ellen O. Tauscher, during her tenure as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from California, visited Iraq and found that a biography compiled by military communications officers was distributed to Iraqi officials and American troops before her meetings.

The material highlighted her critical remarks about the Bush administration’s war strategy — but did not mention her sponsorship of legislation requiring more time at home for combat troops or support of financing for armored vehicles. Ms. Tauscher, now serving as under secretary of state, said the document left her “feeling slimed.”

Written by Seth Anderson

February 25th, 2011 at 11:18 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

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  1. […] doesn’t prove it at all, just denies the evidence, and the New York Times dutifully reports it. Were you surprised? I wasn’t. Notice also Michael Hastings’ article isn’t linked to in this story: you aren’t supposed to […]

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