Category: Propaganda

A look at propaganda around the world and across human history.

Putin propagandists pick up ex-Pentagon PSYOPpers

In an irony that illustrates the contrast in value that Russia and the U.S. place on sound information strategy, the Russian government’s international propaganda service has hired American PSYOP professionals left jobless after congressionally mandated program cuts. RT/Sputnik hired at least four contractors from the US Special Operations Command’s Trans Regional Web Initiative (TRWI), which Congress shut down last year....

How a hostile foreign regime targeted a US company with propaganda

Many foreign governments target U.S. companies with hostile propaganda for political and financial reasons. A cache of secret emails among a South American strongman and his inner circle show how even small countries can run propaganda campaigns against some of the largest U.S. corporations. These attacks can be costly to the companies’ reputation and bottom line – and damaging to...

Kyiv Post: Ukraine’s secret weapon

Ukraine has a secret weapon that it can deploy to defend itself against Russian aggression and subversion, and to deter further Russian hybrid hostilities against other countries. I discuss “Ukraine’s Secret Weapon” in a guest piece published April 7 in the Kyiv Post. Here’s the text: Like no other country, non-aligned Ukraine has an untapped capability to defend itself against...

‘How to identify misinformation’ – A reprint of the guide that the State Department purged

The US Department of State used to maintain a page on its website to advise people “How to identify misinformation.” The site, launched on March 9, 2005, has since been taken down and scrubbed from the State Department’s electronic archive. The URL was http://usinfo.state.gov/media/misinformation.html. An image of an archived State Department page that contains the text of a May 31, 2005...

In Forbes: Die-hard KGB men are still planting forged documents to pollute our thinking

“A once-feared KGB general now sits on suicide watch in a Vienna jail, a tawdry end to terrible tale. His strange story—worthy of a thriller—is a case study of how the former KGB uses forged documents to influence Western reporters, diplomats and politicians.” That’s the lead of my piece in Forbes, published September 3, which focuses on a former KGB...

Lithuania: One of the few NATO allies that ‘gets it’

As a collective defense alliance, NATO is made up of members with their own strengths and weaknesses – mostly weaknesses. However, where NATO as an organization is terribly weak – defense against hostile propaganda and subversion – there is one ally that can add value far beyond its small size. That ally is Lithuania. I visited Lithuania this week as...

See you at the public diplomacy event at Heritage

On January 24, I’ll be speaking at the Heritage Foundation at noon today with Amy Zalman of the National War College, and Ariel Cohen and Dean Cheng of Heritage, on global public opinion as a force for change and how to harness it. The presentation is to be webcast live. Longtime co-conspirator Helle Dale is chairing the event. The title...

Huffington Post & CNBC ran paid Russian propaganda

The Huffington Post and CNBC ran paid propaganda placements of the Russian government, without informing their readers and viewers. ProPublica.org, a public interest journalism site, reports on November 16 that Russia paid a single Washington propaganda PR firm $40 million between 2006 and 2012: “Several opinion columns praising Russia and published in the last two years on CNBC’s web site...

BBC and CNN air faked Hamas injury report

Both the BBC and CNN aired staged Hamas footage of a Palestinian man who faked an injury from an Israeli counterattack, and whom collaborators whisked away as if he was wounded. CNN’s Anderson Cooper re-broadcast a BBC-originated video feed on November 15, even after the BBC feed had been exposed as a fake. The falsehood was not reported in the...

When is the truth deception? When is deception the truth?

This question came up in my foreign propaganda class: When is the truth deception, and when can deception be the truth? Sometimes metaphors can be the best means of explanation. Even fiction, well-presented, can boil down complicated or philosophical issues to something that everyone can understand. Let’s let Captain Jack Sparrow answer the question for us, in this shot from...