Friday, February 25, 2011

Military Used "Psy-Ops" on American VIPs

Jack Stuef points to an article in Rolling Stone by Michael Hastings (the guy who wrote that big McChrystal piece last summer) which describes a somewhat rogue-sounding effort by Lt. Gen. William Caldwell. Caldwell is ostensibly "in charge of training Afghan troops" but he seems to have spent much of his time thinking about how to persuade visiting members of Congress and others at that echelon to keep pouring money into Afghanistan.

Somehow, I am left feeling less than outraged. For one thing, it's hardly unheard of for anyone in a bureaucracy to lobby for more resources to do his or her job, even as such lobbying wastes time that would be better spent doing the job. The article points out, for example, that there is another, separate branch ("public affairs") that is specifically charged with running dog and pony shows for the John McCains of the world. For another, it's not as though the overwhelming majority of Congresscritters need sinister techniques of mind-control directed at them to persuade them to borrow and spend gobs more money on useless military endeavors. These days, you have only to ask Why do you hate The Troops? and pretty much anyone holding office in the US will knock you down in haste to sign the next appropriations bill.

The most disturbing part for me was the retaliation directed at Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, who attempted to blow the whistle on what he considered overstepping by Caldwell. And in turn, this perhaps suggests to me that there was something more wrong going on than I gathered from the article. So, it's probably worth a look.



Bartender Cabbie said...


Brendan said...

Thank you for what is to all appearances your kneejerk reaction to reading the post title only.

Bartender Cabbie said...

Well it happens.

Brendan said...

The irony quotes in the title weren't enough to make you wonder whether something was up?