The only reason we know of Lt. General Caldwell’s attempted brain-washing of his civilian bosses, senators and other VIPs, is that, fortunately, his command mutinied over such an illegal order. That the army is still made up, by and large, of professionals who are willing to suffer the sort of retaliation one gets from being vulnerable and stationed in Afghanistan, is a heartening thought. But that yet another general feels it is OK to jerk with the civilian authority to pursue his goals (ala MacCrystal) has a smell of something in the morning, but it ain’t victory. Maybe more like desperation. Or, I dunno, treason.
This, yet another fantastic piece of reporting by Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings, who is quickly showing the establishment media journalists to be a bunch of suborned hacks, should be the lead story in every newspaper and news program. That the top brass of the army, rather than give a sober assessment of conditions to Congressional investigators chose rather, not to simply mislead them, but to play with their minds is a bigger story than even the Pentagon papers. It is a quiet coup d’etat, and it is deeply disturbing. In fact, the psy-ops unit tasked to engage in this obvious illegality were ordered to conduct such propaganda efforts even on Admiral Mike Mullen, the Joint Chief of Staffs, i.e., their own command structure! It is not only the obligation, but the sacred duty of a soldier to report honestly their assessment of the military conditions on the ground to his/her superiors, but General
Francisco Franco’s Augusto Pinochet’s David Petraeus’ military team thinks that it’s better to mindfuck the alleged government in the way that only they can to support the endless supply of men and money for this interminable occupation.
If you are getting that Seven Days in May feeling, maybe it is long overdue. It is several years, for instance, since no one has been arrested for running a Pentagon-directed propaganda effort to infiltrate and structure the media environment on the war. (It should be noted the ultimate architect of that effort, Donald Rumsfeld, is out hawking his book and getting semi-polite interviews rather than sitting in prison for the various domestic laws broken in this effort to propagandize the public [though of course there was a whitewash–now scrubbed from the DoD website–that absolved Rummy in the last days of the Bush Administration]). The Wisconsin Governor can muse, over the phone, on the efficacy of seeding pro-labor protests with agents provocateur in the crowd and the national media muse over how he could fall for a prank phone call (no, it was no prank, he was punk’d. I wish the alleged journalists in the establishment media would actually enter the 1990s). Peaceful mosques are regularly infiltrated and manipulated by the FBI in entrapment operations to justify invasive spying. So it shouldn’t surprise us, really, that information operations were being run out of Kabul on sitting U.S. Senators (for those unfamilar with this arcane world, an information operation is an effort to procure compromising material on a subject to blackmail him or her). The fact that Senators such as Levin and Kerry rolled over so easily on the Afghan “surge” might just as well be explained by their being shown a “file” with their names on it as a sudden ideological conviction for the cause. Hell, makes you wonder how thick the file is on Joe Biden.
And what was it all for? Well, certainly not defeating the Taliban. His own people–who resented this obvious politicization of their mission–called this “Operation Fourth Star.” Caldwell and his crew wanted career advancement and they didn’t give a damn about the body count or the legality of doing it. Caldwell’s mouthpiece, Col. Gregory Breazile, had the nerve to tell the officer in charge of psy-ops, Col. Holmes, to ignore established military law on brainwashing domestically by screaming, “It’s not illegal if I say it isn’t!” Col. Breazile’s temper tantrum could serve as the motto of the American elite.
This is no joke, though. Powerful operatives in the American military are using military assets to engage in political subversion. That is, to put not to strong a word for it, treason. Caldwell should be on the first flight out of Kabul into a brig at Quantico immediately to face military court martial. And Senator Carl Levin should probably fire up an Armed Services Committee investigation to see how deep the rot goes. But then again, given the likely thickness of the file marked with his name, perhaps he prefers to “look forward, not backward.”
Please read the whole article–there may not be a more important piece of journalism published this year.