February 24th, 2011
12:25 PM ET

Rolling Stone: Army manipulated visiting VIPs in Afghanistan

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is ordering an investigation into a scathing Rolling Stone magazine report that says the Army ordered soldiers trained in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting lawmakers to secure more troops and funding for the war, the military said Thursday.

A lieutenant colonel told the magazine that a military team at Afghanistan's Camp Eggers was ordered by Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops, to perform psychological operations on visiting VIPs over a four-month period last year.

When the team devoted to what is known as information operations refused on grounds that it was illegal, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation, the magazine said.

"My job in psy-ops is to play with people's heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave," Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the head of the "information operations" unit, told Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings, who also wrote an article last year that led to the dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

"I'm prohibited from doing that to our own people," he said. "When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you're crossing a line."

Holmes said he was reprimanded for refusing to carry out orders.

The military statement Thursday said Petraeus would order a probe but said that "it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time."

The report said that among those singled out in the campaign included Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services, said he was "confident the chain of command will review any allegation that information operations have been improperly used in Afghanistan."

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Filed under: Daily Developments
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. DV

    Although It's important to stress that the chain of command will review any allegations of improper use of information operations, the fact that the situation is in the spotlight already weighs heavily on public perception. I am confident in the process of the court of military law. Nonetheless, the court of public opinion will always play a significant part in how future issues will be dealt with.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Meade Mann

    There is a vast difference between Military Information Support Operations (MISO) and public affairs. DOD public affairs is committed to being transparent, truthful and forthcoming with information. Fortunately, I've never experienced anything akin to what was published in this account.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Navy// Army-proud "Mom"// Navy-wife

    First, I would like to salute our military men/woman:

    Being with military over 30 years and from my experiences, our goverment in Washington (DC) is being dormant
    of what our military needs and our frustruations to make it better in our jobs.

    Our politicians should listen and experience our inviroment that we live-in or sent to, or what is needed.
    Our military and our military men are our 'jewels' and the global watch and trainers of the 'World' phenomena: "It should be well eqquiped"

    Politicians, these are some voices of our military-jewels: "wake-up"

    Ask for:
    More Military Expenditures:
    Better Millitary Pay
    Better Hospitals Care
    Better Education.
    Better Veterans Affairs

    Watching our military jewels,
    J. Florida

    February 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Too much costly. We have no more money.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Navy// Army-mon// Navy-wife

    Being with military over 30 years and from my experiences, our goverment in Washington (DC) is being dormant
    of what our military needs and our frustruations to make it better in our jobs.

    Our politicians should listen and experience our inviroment that we live-in or sent to, or what is needed.
    Our military and our military men are our 'jewels' and the global watch and trainers of the 'World' phenomena: "It should be well eqquiped"

    Politicians, these are some voices of our military-jewels: "wake-up"

    Ask for:
    More Military Expenditures:
    Better Millitary Pay
    Better Hospitals Care
    Better Education.
    Better Veterans Affairs

    Watching our military jewels,
    J. Florida

    February 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MasterK

    Don't be jealous just because we are the most technically, tactically and professionally proficient ARMY in the world! at least we don't kill no women or children that's why the world loves to see us on streets rather than any of you blood suckers!

    February 25, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dean

    There is no such thing as brain-washing...there is no such thing as brain-washing...there is no such thing as brain-washing...

    February 25, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Scotty

    The Army has psychics? How did they teach these soldiers to read minds? Some type of drug that allows them to see clearly into others minds is suspose.

    February 25, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. salerno

    Psyop is used against US citizen too. Even against the US soldiers. You can never outsmart the politicians.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. therapy

    the most effective psyops is to tomahawk the head and fondle the brain.

    general caldwells' staff of "disturbing" agents are phony soldiers.

    vive le terror

    February 25, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dennis

    Bogus statements due to RS reporters ignorance of the military. Information Operations are NOT psychological warfare, its more equivalent to propaganda, not psy ops. The whole basis of this article is bogus on that alone.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cliff Stasek

    VOODOO 6, (my call sign in Iraq)
    I am a retired PSYOP officer who had the honor to command a separate detachment of PSYOP soldiers in Iraq '05-'06. Lets state a few facts up front...
    1. The LTC that is being interview and quoted is NOT a PSYOP officer, he is a National Guard officer that most likely took the correspondence Information Operations course to pick up IO as a secondary branch qualifier, and then a 40 hour PSYOP familiarization course. HE is a IO officer , NOT PSYOP. This is supported by his own statements in his interview with AC/360. More importantly he stated that he was trained to manipulate the truth. IO's job is to coordinate and use synergy between PSYOP, Civil Affairs, and PAO.
    ANSWER: That he tried to hide behind the standing order that we can not PSYOP Americans is a total cop out. He is not a PSYOP officer. There are NO PSYOP in the National Guard, only in the Reserves or on Active Duty. This may not be an important point to the average person but to any one who has served it helps clarify what he is and is not.
    The first and most important thing that is drilled into you in the 8 WEEK (not 40 hours) PSYOP branch qualification course at FT Bragg NC. is to NEVER Lie. If you do you will eventually get caught and then your credibility is OVER, and from that point on you would be combat ineffective. Which to any soldier means as good as dead.
    Any officer can be asked by a superior officer to brief incoming dignitaries. To ask the guys in IO to get all the facts on someone whom they will be briefing, is no foul. Know your audience, if the dignitary can directly affect the out come of your mission and that includes giving your soldiers who's lives you are RESPONSIBLE for a better chance of succeeding and living more support. THIS IS A NO BRAINIER... My job is not to moralize what ever mission I am on, but to do everything that I can, with clear moral limits, to accomplish or help accomplish my mission or the mission of the command that I am supporting.
    This LTC clearly did not get that. I want to talk to the real PSYOP officer (I might know him) and find out why he is not talking, and why is this LTC is talking to ROLLING STONE (that is a real unbiased towards the military news organization). I was not there but it seems pretty straight forward why the LTC was reprimanded, he owns it. He could have fought this through internal channels if he felt singled out.
    VOODOO 6 out.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric 9th POB 1991-1995

      I tried to post basically the same thing as the Officer here. I was a Psyop enlisted Sgt deployed in Somalia, Haiti, German and Russia. Psyop mission is not to lie, but to use the truth or parts of the truth to influence behavior of your target. Anderson, no offense but this story is beat. Talk to some real Psyop soldiers and call out this imposter. Put him in his place it's an insult to those of us who served our country and performed our duties to be represented by this "soldier" I use that term loosely.

      February 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. speedlimit55

    Not only is this scary, the general and his cohorts should all be arrested and charged for treason. This is treason. I know Fake News will call this guy a hero but then again those "military veterans" at Fake News and they are so many, lol, will keep their idiot viewers into believing that this was the liberals fault. These guys need to be arrested. This is a crime.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Maurice

    Eisenhower warned of the American Industrial Complex and he was right. What do you think "defense industry stocks" are? Everything in our military is made by privately owned corporations. They bribe the politicians to keep weapons programs alive even after officials in our military even say that we don't need whatever it is they are pushing for at the time. Why? $$$$$$$. Why else do you think that 53% of our taxes goes to the way over bloated military budget? Over half of our taxes goes to the military and we always talk about how we are supposedly for "peace"? Pretty oxymoronic no? Weapons and War are big money makers and the USA is a true testament to that fact.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. tcaros

    All the more reason to probe the intelligence agencies. We need to stop this practice.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. navylt

    I just saw this little worm Rolling Stone reporter and loser FORMER National Guard dork on Anderson Cooper. The child reporter was accusing the military of this and that. What could he possibly know about the military, how they operate or how they should operate? 15 minutes of fame fellows. Thank God we are at 14.

    February 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Monte

    Ahhh .. This is news? What do you think the Press does each day? What about lobbyists?

    February 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Chris in WI

    I was a 37f (psyop specialist) in the army and boy do you guys have no real understanding of what psyop does. Psyop (not psi-ops) is a force multiplier. We do things like drop leaflets saying things like, 'we are going to bomb this place tomorrow'... then after doing that several times we gain credability. This allows us to "mislead" (but not outright lie) the enemy at key moments.

    We may jam radio and tv broadcasts and broadcast our own. We print newspapers in the local language and deliver the news we want them to see.

    We do not use chemicals, we do not use mind control devices. The closest thing to a mind control device a psyop soldier has is a loudspeaker (aka bullet magnet). When you turn it on and say in their language to 'stop resisting' you tend to become a target fast... thank god{or allah/mother nature/flying spaghetti monster/et al} it has a long cable between you and the speaker so you can get some cover ;p

    Psyop is politics... using information to your advantage, and it is clearly stated that psyop assets are not to be used on US citizens. But to think that Senators are going to be vulnerable to what a 20 something soldier can come up with (psyop officers don't develop products) is unrealistic. You have to be pretty smart to get into 37F (and able to learn a language in as short as 4 months... and jump out of planes/choppers) but you don't have the stuff to outsmart 20 year Senators.

    It's actually a shame psyop is not used more because when it's used right you can save alot of US and afgan lives by influencing their minds instead of shooting their bodies. Win the hearts and minds is more then a catch phrase. (go team 2 A co 1st POB (a)!)

    February 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • navylt

      Good for you Chris. I am so tired of all of these "armchair experts" who have never served yet know how everything is supposed to work. Thanks for your service!

      February 25, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Chris – You psyops are funny. You claim to mislead the enemy at key moments? Why did you not mislead Osama at Tora Bora ?? I think he did mislead you !!

      February 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Paulie

    CNN its psy-ops as in psychological not psi-ops as in pounds per square inch.

    February 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Weallhaveone

    Seems that they already succeeded, just listen to your elected officals.

    February 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Golden Rule

    Treat people the way you want them to treat you

    February 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Psy Clops

    Having worked psy ops in Vietnam (chieu hoi leaflets, loudspeakers, money to the locals) I laughed out load at this idiotic LTC thinking his psy ops techinques would have any real affect on any congressman. Me thinks he takes his job way to serious. Sounds to me like lobbyist or community organizer techniques.

    February 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  22. karatekiddin

    I can't stop laughing at this post. Why is this news and who didn't know or expect this was going on? US culture is such that marketing with all the skills we have and the art of selling is our biggest export to the world. Capitol Hill runs on lobbying so these soldiers lobbied lawmakers in their own fashion... not all that unclean compared to aggressive lobbying firms in DC. Everyone has to lobby for DC's moolah, and even churches and universities have to hire lobbyists... how is this different? and what is lobbying but a psy-op by another name?

    February 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Forreal

    you guys are the worse news reporting agency it is Psyops you guys s#$%

    February 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  24. RaisinCain

    It's Psy-ops idiot.

    February 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  25. the_punnisher

    It's nice to see that " Riders of the Storm " ( AKA ) " The American Way " is still relevant today...

    People might want to check it out...If you can find it....

    February 24, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Ash

    Let us sell the states of Montana, Dakotas, Texas and Arizona and fund the military... better still let us remove all police, fire, ambulance services in US and privatize them to Haliburton... just so these defense companies do not have to bury us in trillions of dollars in debt... It is a pity the average American is now in the same mindset as most people in Third World.... we will face crisis when we get there.. why bother now... when it costs $7 to buy a gallon of gas and you pay 45% of your earnings as taxes, you will know what I am talking about. Between the defense contractors, healthcare industry and public employees and US's arbitrary foreign policy led spending, we are bankrupting our nation.... plainly put our only hope is that China does not dump our currency because they have so much of it! because if they do, you will see an instant collapse of the American way of life....

    February 24, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Mary

    ARe you kidding? I WOULD LOVE TO USE PSYCHOLOGICAL TACTICS ON OUR SENATORS and other so called VIPS to get them to shut the hell up unless they actually know what they are talking about.

    February 24, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Pligga Nease

    19 guys with box cutters
    why would I want to throw more money down the drain called defense
    we already have enough bombs to blow up the world 100 times
    yet with all the money we throw at defense......we can;t defend shlt

    February 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Jack

    Hmmm ... you sure it's "psi-ops" and not "psy-ops?"

    February 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Aaron

    Psyops commanders don't report to pencil pushing pansy Generals that wear blue flashes... Unless they are CAPOC or USASOC, their opinions don't matter... Good for the LTC... Tell the General to go to hell

    February 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Gil

    I've said it for years that our military is out of control and this is just further proof of that. However, it doesn't take much to get the right wing republican militarists to agree to anything a general says. Stop the wars Now!

    February 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  32. John

    Psyop troops have not been trained in propaganda development in years. They are information dissemination teams these days. Furthermore, it is the job of military Public Affairs personnel to convince the visiting brass to cough up the money for body armor, ammo and fuel.

    Furthermore, there is no real magic to either job. A lot of the guys from Psyop units moved over to Public Affairs as they got older and liked jumping out of airplanes less and less. Both jobs entail telling the target audience what the commander wants them to know and not mentioning the things the commander doesn't want mentioned.

    February 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  33. John

    Does this mean more than that the visiting politicians were given a dose of spin? Surely they expected that part. Or is there more to this story?

    February 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Guy

    Sounds like the spin the politicians put on the public on a daily basis, so what's the problem with it?

    February 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  35. forfun

    psy ops.. don't they stare at goats?

    February 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Kandid1

    The real story is that anyone can influence any official to do anything constructive.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  37. LTC

    Everyone uses "Information Operations" to "manipulate" others every day. So a General asked his staff to help him convince the politicians that they need more resources to properly support our troops. How awful. Of course, it's much more interesting if you make it a sinister plot instead of an honest effort to the do the right thing to help soldiers get the resources they need.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  38. HiDsrtGrrl

    Really, Rolling Stone thinks it's a news magazine now? Gross.
    PS – It's Psyops...not Psi-Ops.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  39. drinky

    So now our elected officials are not only controlled by a handful of wealthy elites, but the military as well. Rome circa 400AD here we come.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  40. rob

    best equiptment? does anyone know about the history of the m-16 in vietnam? as for psy-ops, the propaganda war began in earnest during ww1 using sears/roebucks ad-hoc men. the nascar bit isnt supprising, considering the demographic.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  41. ED FL

    Mccain and Lie-berman should sue for taking advantage of old and senile senior citizens, then again we have to remember they are Politicians and will listen to anything that they think will bring attention to them no matter how stupid the content.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  42. lgny

    I don't see much specifics in the news story or the comments to indicate exactly what specific psy-ops were requested. Until there are specific facts on what types of actions were requested, this could be anything from illegal to standard public relations work. As the NYTimes put it:

    "But a range of Pentagon and military officials said that it would not necessarily be improper for an information operations cell to gather publicly available biographical material on high-ranking visitors. The central question likely to be under scrutiny is the commander’s intent behind that effort, and whether the material was used in a manner that violated military regulations."

    February 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Googenheim

    Is this really a surprise? This is how America has operated it's foreign policy for a good century if not longer. Make the new territory favorable to the conquerors and their visitors or colonizers. Stamp out any opposition, like making people disappear. America didn't invent that, but they have perfected it and taught it to third world nations. This is really just the tip of the iceberg in the nasty things we've done abroad.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Celeste

    The real question is – why would any member of the military talk to Hastings?

    February 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Dave NY USA

    Uh, it is Psy Ops, you CNN geniuses.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Smokey Waterz

    Does this have anything to do with staring at goats, by chance?

    February 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  47. bootstrap

    I love America!

    February 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Bill

    William Caldwell is a dangerous man. Very ambitious.I hear he will be nominated for his 4th star.

    He once worked for Paul Wolfowitz and apparently learned that blind support for Israel can be beneficial to one's career. While he was at Ft. Leavenworth Caldwell led an effort with Israeli officers to develop "lessons learned" from Israel's incursions into Lebanon and Gaza. He also invited the likes of Caroline Glick to address students at the Command and General Staff College.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If this happened John McCain wouldn't know because if he did he would never ever have selected Palin.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Rambosky

    Perform "psychological operations" on them? Is that like conjuring up a curse or something? Maybe like casting a spell?

    February 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  51. MMM

    The targets would have to have a mind to be effectively influenced......Al Franken should not be concerned then....

    February 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  52. VANewsMan

    I find it very hard to believe that anyone would care enough to try to manipulate what Al Franken thinks. In any case, politicians try to manipulate what we think all the time. It's funny to think that someone would actual try to give them a test of their own medicine.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Rambosky

    It's Psy Ops not Psi Ops. They can't get their facts right. Why should I believe anything else they write?

    February 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  54. MarcusMACV

    This is hilarious. America, you do know that military spending and fighting wars we cannot afford is precisely what caused the old Soviet Union to break up. They just couldn't afford their Satellite States and their military too. Bread, Butter or Bombs, guess which we have chosen.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Rod C. Venger

    At best, this "Lt. Colonel" – if he's actually in the army and not just some poseur with nothing better to do...could have spread a little disinformation or shaded his assessments to the VIP's. It's not hard to overstate the facts and politicians do this to us on a daily basis. No way would this guy have been able to "get inside their heads" during a 2 hour to 2 day visit and get them to do anything. Every White House press conference is full of such mind bending propaganda fests. They tell us what they want us to hear to get what they want. This "Lt Colonel" was being asked to do likewise...period.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Rambosky

    It's Psy Ops not Psi Ops. Shows you that they don't know all the facts and shouldn't be printing mis-information themselves.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |

    I just farted. Shooooo : )

    February 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  58. JC

    This is just about the scariest thing I have read. Not surprising, just scary

    February 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  59. CdnJim

    And yet Americans find it odd that they've never won a war on their own, War of 1812- got whupped, Vietnam – whupped, Afganistan and Iraq – still getting whupped. Lots of expensive equipment and millions of tons of armour and a guy in a bathrobe still whupps ya.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  60. terrapin

    It's PSYOP, not psy-ops, Psi-Ops, or psyops.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Bill

    Why would anyone listen to, let alone believe, anything that idiot writer Hastings has to say? Such a jerk and a liar.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Tom

    We do it with TV to millions of people a day. What's the difference?

    February 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  63. bill

    Holmes is shooting off his mouth and acting like a big wig, but he knows that psyops is directed at the enemy army and population. I don't believe him at all.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Corbijn

    There are valid reasons why we have to spend so much to maintain our military. If we decide to cut back our military to a size that rivals countries like England or other European nations then we should expect some kind of Pearl Harbor and the repercussions of that again. The biggest reason why we have a huge military is deterrence, not just for right now but also for what may happen in the future. No one could have expected the US to go to war prior to WW2 and the cold war after. We were pushed into WW2 and it bankrupted the county to fight it but in the long run the US pulled through. What if we go to war with some other industrialized nation? Do we need to go through the same process as WW2? Would this generation of Americans be able to deal with the same sacrifices my grandparents made?

    I don't believe in saber-rattling or most of the stupid military engagements the US has conducted since the Korean war. Most were just political blustering. There will be one day when the most important military asset we have right now, aircraft carriers will be obsolete. The US for good or bad has to keep that edge so the US can handle whatever happens down the road. Maybe the next frontier to fight in won't be utilized by the oceans but maybe in orbit. If say in 40 or 50 years some nations have the ability to place troops and military power in orbit so they could simply drop where they wanted. Aircraft carriers wouldn't be of any use. 100 years ago airplanes were just being utilized as a military weapon then rocket power and look where we are now. What if we sat back and said "we can't do that because of a budget"? We would be as big of a superpower as Mexico. Necessity is the mother of invention and we probably wouldn't be having this discussion on the internet right now if the US had not maintained a military.

    What we should be doing with the military is using the money we let the military have more wisely. I would bet that if the US decided to be more progressive with the military then these things like people living in space and on the moon would be commonplace. Maybe cures for cancer, cities in the ocean, trains that move faster underground than any flight, communications better than computers or cell phones, an end to world hunger and all that happy utopia stuff that technology provides because the military takes advantage in it progression.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarcusMACV

      No we have a large military due to the MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX. When JOBS are dependent upon fighting an unending war guess which our politicians will chose? Boeing laid off 1000 workers in Southern California, according to the Orange County Register. The move comes just a day after Boeing agreed to a $19 billion dollar deal with China to produce 200 airplanes for the country. The layoffs affect workers in the company's Long Beach, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach facilities. The bulk of the layoffs will occur in Long Beach, where 900 will lose their jobs. Now CNN says Boeing is awarded a $3.5 billion Pentagon contract, which ultimately may be worth $35 billion, to build Air Force tankers. But 900 employees are being laid off? What's wrong with this picture? Can we say "PROFITEERING".

      February 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  65. DickJones4

    ... 'PSI – Ops' – really??? someone at CNN is HIGH! -lol / (psy-ops)

    February 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Just me!!!!

    "These aren't the Droids your looking for"......... "These aren't the droids were looking for".......... "Give us your money"...... Give them your money"..... "Move along, move along"..........

    February 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  67. BradleyKC1

    Can anyone EVER, just tell the truth?
    Military, Congress?

    February 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Len


    February 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Mark

    "Excuse me, but all the money we give all those foreign countries are going to bankrupt us, not the military."

    And how much money is that as a percentage of the total budget? A Democracy is only as good as the people. A Democracy needs and informed and educated polity. Why is it that we do not get that.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Genius

      Cause we are a republic. Durf

      February 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  70. goldfalcon82

    Hey, CNN, change the headline link on the main page. It's "Psy-Ops", not "psi ops."

    February 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bates

      Apparently, they thought it had something to do with a fraternity. Whatever happened to editors, proof readers and fact checkers?

      February 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      You mean PSYOP (no s, all caps, one word abbreviation).

      February 26, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  71. windrider2

    We have spent more on our military than the rest of the world combined. And yet for all those trillions of dollars, we have not won a single war since WWII. In fact, we're still stuck in three of the last four wars: Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan; we lost Vietnam but just finally declared victory and went home. Meanwhile, we have warmongers who want war with Iran and nutjobs like Palin who wanted us to send troops into Egypt and has demanded that Obama establish a no-fly zone over Libya...hello, on whose authority and with what military? We've worn out our troops with repeated deployments to wars that we cannot ever win militarily.

    I don't blame the military for trying to get support for the Afghanistan effort because Bush/Cheney starved the only legitimate war effort and put everything into invading and occupying Iraq purely for ideological reasons (which included removing an annoying thorn from Israel's side). But Afghanistan has proved itself to be a graveyard for every empire that tried to subdue or civilize it. If we'd thrown everything we had into that justified war from the beginning, we might have contained al-qaeda instead of scattering it to the winds like a metastasizing cancer. We're no safer (and in no more danger) than we were since 9/11. We've wasted trillions of borrowed dollars, and thousands of lives on another impossible-to-win military misadventure. Trillions of dollars wasted in the Middle East when the peoples themselves have shown themselves quite willing to perform their own regime changes, thank you very much. The world neither wants nor needs America as the Big Bad Military Brother meddling in everyone else's affairs. We need to take care of our own country within our own borders. It's time to spend more of those dollars on American citizens whose lives have been destroyed by this Bush Depression.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Wise words, windrider. I think even war in Afghanistan is wrong, but Iran would be a complete non-sense as this peaceful nation never attacked another country.

      February 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annunaki

      Amen to that, wise words indeed! But there certainly are profiteers in this game, and they are clearly pushing their agenda past the eyes of a sedated public.

      February 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • proud army grandma

      amen windrider2. we need to stop spending trillions of dollars on something that we have no business doing. we should have gone into afghanistan with just cia and /or special forces and found and killed bin laden and whoever was with him. we should never have gone into iraq. that was all lies. bush et al should be arrested and charged with cirmes against humanity.

      February 25, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        proud army grandma – very good. You can be proud for your wisdom.

        February 27, 2011 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
  72. adampeart

    Honestly CNN, what idiots do you have working for you? It's referred to as "Psy-ops" not, as you put it, "Psi-ops." I'd do much better work than who you've got, but I don't have a $50,000 piece of paper that says I'm smart so....

    February 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  73. stu

    I really enjoyed watching MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS. I spoke with several who saw the movie and didn't like it, but I thought it was hillarious.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bates

      I'm with you Stu – very funny movie!

      February 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Robin Bray

    But it's OK to do it at home with jet fly overs at ball games, God Bless America at the 7th inning stretch, Hanging flags on every overpass around Washington and ads on TV showing people in airports worshipping GIs in airports. George Washing and Jefferson would want to puke.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smokey

      Have you ever noticed all of the armed forces commercials on NFL games? Talk about your target audience....

      February 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  75. deuce

    Here's a good question for them: was it easier to mind control the enemy or politicians? Tough one to figure out...

    February 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  76. bigfoot

    This is just TOO f-ing over the edge. Recall ALL military troops. Get the f- out of there NOW. What the f- are we doing there?

    February 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Arlon

    what none of you realize, is when we leave Iraq at the end of this year, as the President has been saying we will, all the "wasted" money on the war in Iraq will no longer be spent, that's billions in savings right there. If every politician were to take a 50% pay cut, there would be millions more. True, the politician's tax cut does not seem like a lot by itself, but added in with other cuts, as they say, every little bit helps. Also, I think it was recently figured that the deficit is at approx. $4k per citizen right now. Why not set up a way of people donating money, where if you donate more than $4k, once we eventually have an adequate surplus, whoever donated extra would receive that extra back.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moises

      you are so naive

      February 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • stu

      no, before the bailout and Obama, the deficit was about 35K per person. Obama has blown that number through the roof.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texy

      There is a way for those concerned to donate toward paying off the public debt. If they want it back later...that's called a savings bond. If they don't want it back, you can simply send a donation to the Bureau of Public Debt. I wonder how many of those who spout off hate to the Pressident and claim to be worried about the debt will actually send money......

      As for the military. First, they shouldn't be sent to fight wars in places we have no business being. But once they get sent, they should have the best money can buy, these are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers....and anyone that wants to take the things that keep them alive and bring them home....ought to be given one of those unloaded 9mm weapons with no ammnition, and sent out to defend our country themselves. I imagine they'd whine about funds then, right up until they took a bullet that one of our honorable soldiers wouldn't have to take for them

      February 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • proud army grandma

      no it is 45K per person. and no obama did not run up the trillions that good old george bush and his cronies did. he just never showed it in his budget. yet we still hear repugs screaming about the deficit...do you think we would be hearing one word about if macain/failin won?? never.

      February 25, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  78. muhrvis

    If this is true, some soldiers should be put on trial for treason and shot. Period. Any soldier who would try to brainwash an elected official is attempting to overthrow democracy and those elected by the people.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arlon

      Did you even bother to read the article? The article clearly stated that the Lt. Colonel said "we are not allowed to use our techniques against our own people." and that he was reprimanded for failure to follow orders. Therefore, at least those mentioned in the article, did NOT commit such acts.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Smokey

        Yeah, but on the video accompanying his words, he was winking HARD....kidding!!!

        February 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      How is this different than a paid lobbying? Special interests jam millions of dollars into the pockets of lobbiests to influence our politicians. Only difference is that the psy ops guys are on the front lines making low grade pay, and the average lobbiest is sitting in a posh restaurant off Pennsylvania avenue ordering his third bottle of $400 wine with the Senator... Seems to me that we have a greater scourge at home than we do in Afghanistan. But, with only a PhD and a CPA certification, I'm likely to be too dumb for this forum to agree with...

      February 24, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Kent Brockman

    I, for one, welcome our psychological operations overlords.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  80. The Messiah

    Back in the day we called this Sorcery.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Ronnie

    Well that explains the republicans glee over both failed wars !

    February 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      How do you figure 2 failed wars? Last I recall in Iraq we toppled a dictator, created a new government that elects their own leaders and are now in the process of leaving Iraq. In the case of Afghanistan we toppled a dictator, created a new government that elects their own leaders and now aggressively pursuing the group that caused 9/11... I think both wars are successful

      February 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        The group that caused 9/11 is unscathed. Violence is still in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        February 28, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  82. horf

    Interesting, if disturbing, article. How many times have they done that and not gotten caught? Wonder if we will ever find out. If they did their job well, we won't,

    February 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Jerad

    The military contractors are the biggest waste we have. At the local base, we have a combat engineering unit that spends its days bulding and tearing up roads for training, but when the base actually needed to replace a permanent road, they let out a $35 million dollar contract for a private company to do it. The worst of it is that engineering unit probably tore up, built and tore up twice as much pavement in as much time. Logistics is the worst though. We train and pay soldiers to manage equipment, food preparation, repairs, records, etc. and have them train endlessly, but when we actually need it done, the contract is sent out to KBR, Raytheon, Boeing, or some other company to actually do the work. It's time to put our soldiers to work rather than have them report for pt, go home shower, come back, sit in on a class, and then maybe go to the range once or twice a week.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Silly

      More true words were never spoken.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Dan Halen

    It's called marketing.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Dean

    I think Franken did more than just stare at goats.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Ethan Nelson

    With a general congressional approval rating of under 20 percent, I think this is a completely justified course of action. It is sort of like asking a Judge, "permission to treat the witness as hostile." Ok, so that's a little tounge in cheek, but seriously you have to expect this kind of thing to happen when the congress has so badly lost the trust of the people.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Hugh

    Who could be so insane as to make such an order – it's like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. Brainwashing senators, are you kidding me?

    February 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You mean like crashing a plane into a government building in DC? Cruise missile assassinations? Are you kidding me?

      February 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  88. uscitizen

    I think that the Military has every right to promote themselves and sponcer Nascar Drivers to have their logos on cars. I think that there are a lot of fans that are younger as well as older and this is one way to promote it to the younger crowd. With new drivers in their 20's things will change for Nascar fans. However I do feel that they may over pay in sponcership and may have to cut down on the cost but still be a sponcer. It is my feeling of discrimination towards our own military to not allow them to find ways of recruitment. Would you like someone at your door trying to recruit your family to join the military 24/7 or would you rather see it advertised on t.v. After looking at costs of things. I have a question. How much do we have to pay for our own President to travel all over the states and world to make himselve look like he is doing good when we have to pay for it? I think that the U.S. is going to be having a tougher time now with all the fighting in the Middle East and it is not going to be a pretty picture that the U.S. is going to see here on our own turf for awhile. Seeing gas prices is only going to be the start that is going to affect us, next prices for USPS and any delivery company as they will have to raise prices, companies again wil have to lay people off and the cost of food, ect. will go up with it. It is sad to see how countries can affect us. I only hope that we make it though and keep living.

    February 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Maybe Nascar promotion can explain the large number of recruits who arent educated enough to pass the entrance exam to get into the armed forces. I mean, hell, the test isnt that hard. I met a guy who got in with a score of 32 (thats for an artillery operator) out of, what, a possible 140 or so?

      Jebus...people are just getting dumber and dumber.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • kEL

        yeah no, the max score on the ASVAB is 99.
        I got a 96, and they put me in supply... efficient...

        February 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  89. keith

    just some officer trying to make a name for himself, for which it will severely backfire on. His military career is probably done

    February 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  90. General Mills

    I believe every bit of this.......we have met the enemy....and they are us.

    February 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • yo

      speak for yourself. They are the left-wing commies in this country and their media pals.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        No, you are the enemy too, Yo. Scared little children afraid they are going to get bombed (by commies? LOL) and are nothing more than right-wing extremists, our very own version of Al-Qaeda.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  91. tankrothchild

    "I'm prohibited from doing that to our own people," – being prohibited doesn't necessarily mean you don't do it. I mean after all it was exposed there was pysop soldiers worked closely with CNN.

    February 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  92. David

    Bye-bye General Caldwell.....

    February 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  93. ficheye

    Why don't these folks stop losing money? The 2.3 TRILLION dollars that the pentagon lost to contractors gets very little attention now days. But it happened. And let's face it... the military has always been a great place to hide dubious financial records and transactions. All so we can make more things to blow brown people up with. USA??? USA!!! USA!!!!

    February 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  94. LiberalNN

    The Men who Stare at Goats should have stared harder at the politicians.

    February 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  95. ObiWan

    These are not the droids you are looking for...

    February 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • haremettle

      "Do not fail me again Admiral"

      February 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Rhymeskeema

    Wow, I didn't know there was a psyops dvision. Now I can't feel as smug and self-righteous telling people to put on their tin foil hats while I casually dismiss their POV as conspiracy theories. I guess there's a lot of stuff I don't know, so maybe I ought to just shut the hell up.

    February 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arlon

      you obviously didn't see the movie "The Men Who Stare At Goats"...

      February 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Tyhouston

    Switch out Psi-Ops with "Public relations" and you have every org trying to get visitors to only see the good bits...

    Your point? This is how the worlds always been...

    February 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Finally, an intelligent remark. However, perhaps this military unit was asked to do more than the usual PR hocus pocus. This article does not provide enough detail.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  98. jayjay

    Maybe if they were to use the money they are supporting NASCAR with they wouldn't have to rely on psy-ops to get them what they need. Please read the below link and post it whereever you can in support of the Congresswomans cause. http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/02/ap-auto-racing-military-sponsorship-questioned-022311/

    February 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      The sponsorship could be worse, The airforce sponsors Tosh.0!

      February 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Arlon

        And yet the Navy sponsors the X-Games, which celebrates a culture that would be less likely to try to join...

        February 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christian

      Yea...I am sure those marketing/recruiting dollars were wasted when the US Army car was leading the Daytona 500 this past weekend.

      February 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        ...and if you fall for such a simple minded, irrelevant advertising ploy, ie. "the army nascar car was out in front at daytona", then I guess you are exactly what the army is looking for...undereducated, can barely pass the test soldiers...ummm, yay?

        I mean, honestly...what the hell does the military have to do with nascar other than looking for these absolutely under-qualified candidates. They can barely get people to pass the test to get into the military, maybe we should start advertising somewhere where smarter people gather rather than looking for the lowest common denominator.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank


      February 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  99. salerno

    I am not worried as psycological manipulations are effective against the ignorant average american (including soldiers and pilots) in making him believe the usual lies about unintentional killing, human shields, terrorism threats, WMD, training camps.
    The lawmakers are not stupid and understand that the budget must be cut.

    February 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry P

      Oh yeah, then why did they leave $200 Million for "troubled foreign countries?" Both the Dems and Republicrats are more concerned about getting re-elected than what's good for the country. IF they were REALLY concerned, they would volunteer to take a 50% pay cut (from $174K) until the country is back on its feet! How many American workers make $174,000.00 plus perks for doing nothing but fight with each other and get nothing done?

      February 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • natdatil

        That's completely moronic. What would saving $38M a year on congressional pay do for us? Really, in a multi-trillion dollar budget, you think this is going to help? No, it would make simple minded morons feel better about the politicians. Nothing more.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • George

        a little goes a long way, nat

        February 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • I Know

        Back to Terry P. and his pay reduction. Seriously?? Are politicians not to be treated the same as us? They are away from their families more than most people I know and regardless of what they are doing, spend more time than most people living their occupation. Most people work to live, not live to work, Politicians, though not always appearing to look out for our best interests, are living to work and base their lives around democracy, debatable on issues or not, they do not deserve to have their pay cut. Show me someone that can take the time, effort, organization and drive to take their seat and tell me they deserve to have their pay cut. As for PsyOps – this type of propaganda has been used since WW1 and I see no reason why soldiers should NOT push to have more funding and personnel when it can save lives overseas. If you havent lived in the position of being afraid for your life every second of every day for a year +, then there should be no comments on any of our military personnel and the "campaigning" that they do, its not like they were slipping the senators LSD for more funding.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dean

        You have illustrated the point exactly – the politicians are not stupid, they are simply corrupt. They *know* that they have to lie, cheat and steal to get re-elected. Who would elect a politician that told the truth? Nobody, because the average American simply cannot understand anything that is more complex than a 30-second sound bite, and it would take hours and hours to explain even simple issues. So they just cater to those who have the money to influence the American citizen. For them, that is very smart.

        February 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rhutrho

      So where are these "not stupid" lawmakers? I would bet they are in Washington and that they are the same ones that helped drive the deficit to the current level!!!!! Salerno....... You're an Idiot!

      February 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Me idiot ??? The US deficit was wrong for the part wasted in senseless wars, but it was also a necessity to drive the US economy out of recession, through the fiscal stimulus and the financial aid to the banks. The corruption inside the banks was the problem, now the US taxpayers have to pay twice, for the wars and for the banks wrongdoing.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill, Bloominton IL

      So you mean the Muslims when you say Human Shields, Terrorist, and Training Camps. If you dont like the U.S. then leave. In this country, you are free to leave so use your freedom.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        I like the US, but not the militarization of the country. US military bombed Iraq for ten years, occupied basis in S. Arabia, bombed Sudan,Lebanon, supported Israel occupation and you are wondering why something 9/11 occurred ?

        February 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      @salerno, thank you for the best laugh I've had all day. Perhaps I could take your comment seriously if you could spell psychological. You insult the military by inferring that they are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, then state that our lawmakers are NOT stupid? Too funny . . .

      February 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Denizen – I am glad to make you laugh. I think and smell you are linked to the military.
        If you believe the story your politicians are telling you, it is because you are not very smart. Don't you have a suspect the reason I pointed out above are the motivation for 9/11 ??

        February 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • DeniZ

        You MUST be a yes girl! ! !

        February 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Funny how you claim that all those things are false, yet WE who were THERE AND SAW THOSE THINGS found all true, save the WMD debacle.
      And SOMEHOW, it's the military's fault for that!
      Yes, CUT THE MILITARY BUDGET AND KILL OUR SERVICE MEMBERS! Let's get MORE buildings blown up! Let's have MORE civilians dead and ground into hamburger by the buildings coming down on them!
      It'll stimulate the economy, blowing up office buildings, so we should thank the terrorists! Thank you, terrorists! You stimulated the construction sector and opened up new jobs, replacing dead US citizens, including my cousin!
      Now, get your traitorous butt out of my country and never return, you seditious piece of filth!

      February 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Wzrd1 – It is not just your country, so you have no right to tell me so. I blame us policy for 9/11. This is why US was targeted and not other countries. To save life US should change his policy. I understand that if you lost someone you want some revenge, but you were unable to catch the responsible through military operations. Terrorists do not need Afghanistan and can hide in any country. Just very few organized 9/11, but many lies were spread to support the war.
        Training camps were in US territory, human shields are a lie to silence your concience, as you used WMD to destroy entire houses instead of other weapons. Understood ??

        February 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • DeniZ

        WooHoo, got UR AZZ wet when they told you to, huh? You wouldn't know sedition if it jumped in your lap and called you "Daddy".

        February 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Carole Clarke

    Welcome to the real world! While they were right in refusing to carry out such orders, it's also true that the military has always, always been concerned about not getting enough funding, enough equipment, enough training for our troops. I'm a 68-year old Army Brat and it was true back then too. The politicians always kept us short, made us keep coming back to beg for what we needed. They enjoyed having that power over us. If it resulted in troops coming home in body bags I wouldn't be surprized. The politicians didn't give us what we needed to complete the task back in the Revolutionary War, Union profiteers connected to powerful politicians were allowed to sell shoes to the Union Army that fell apart after a few wearings. There's a story that General Patton got spare parts from Sears and paid for it himself because he couldn't get parts thru the military. So I don't blame whoever it was that thought up this caper, they just should've done it better.

    February 24, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jc Ohio

      Thats funny since we spend more on our military than the next 6 biggest military spenders do combined.

      February 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • DgC

        We also have the largest, most technically advance military in the world. That doesn’t come cheap.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wzrd1

        Yes, the most expensive military, with equipment all made by the lowest bidder.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chas in Iowa

        "Most technically advanced",....so advanced we can't even track a man walking into Pakastan from Aphganistan.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aubrie

        Not to mention the continuous reports of the $250 Mr. Coffee machines, and $500 wrenches.....

        February 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gorrt

        Oops. I'll try that again.
        Praise be to simpsons, simpsons be praised. Ulululululu!!!

        You are a wiener.

        February 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Osama

        And it's pointed at you!

        February 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob

        And we need the largest, most technically advanced military in the world so we can maintain our hundreds of army bases in other countries and continue invading foreign nations while we bankrupt ourselves, IN ADDITION TO supporting dictators in other countries, which is what creates our enemies in the first place. Makes perfect sense..... for common sheeple.

        Do you know how much waste is in that budget? How many research projects that cost millions that go nowhere, and how many products are purchased that never get used? It's enlightening when you see the numbers.

        R.Paul 2012

        February 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joshua Ludd

        Yet we only seem to be interested in third world countries full of brown people. Hmmm...
        And why in the world would a country surrounded on two sides by huge oceans with two large countries at its borders that are very very strong allies need the most expensive, most advanced, most powerful army the world has ever known? Oh yeah.. to bomb poor brown people.

        February 24, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • aaron

        GPS, Unmanned drones, 13 aircraft carriers, groups, Raptor, and not a single attack on the U.S. by any government. Priceless.

        February 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • MS

        In addition to bombing brown people, the military has been the first to respond to nearly every natural disaster in the world.

        February 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • aatami

        DgC – Big effin deal! Who cares! The biggest most advanced millitary in the world doesn't help the fact that our population can't compete in terms of education and or tech development never mind the fact that the population is fat and stupid. You are just the kind of individual who is living in la la land and you don't have a clue about the reality of the world but unfortunately you have a vote which you obviously don't deserve.

        February 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • justin

        We should definitly cut the budget on our huge military....should work wonders for our unemployment rate

        February 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • please.

        aaron, tell the families of the 9/11 victims how proud you are that no government has attacked us (at least not since Pearl Harbor). I doubt they'll find it as priceless as you.

        February 24, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Drew

        @aaron I presume that that's a statement of success. The ultimate measure of a military is how often irt is used on defense. Deterrence works!

        February 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom

        when I was a boy we used to put tacks on the teachers chair and eventually should would stop being a pain in our butts.. he he he

        February 25, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      We used to order brass props and shafts and sell them as scrap so we could get $$ to buy parts at the local marine supply store because GAO wouldn't let use buy stainless steel hose clamps for our landing craft.

      February 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • SKyle

        Frank, this is one of the most interesting posts I've read in weeks. Could you elaborate?

        February 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • wonderwall

      When the military needs money for a weapons system, they get a fat check. When they need money for anything else support-wise they have to jump through hoops or do without.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wzrd1

        I remember Special Forces teams having to borrow 9mm ammunition to go on patrol in Afghanistan.
        But, the military don't need extra funding, nah. War in a budget is a GOOD thing, huh?

        February 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • George

        Wzrd, thats outrageous!. SOF should have the best equipment in the military, they handle the most delicate missions. Doesnt the chain of command understand that? Why would they want to send their best people into a proverbial meat grinder without making sure they can at least fight back? Im believe what your saying is true, im just curious because it seems no one cares about our military or our mission anymore

        February 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • TinKnight

        Wzrd1, I doubt that very much, at least in Afghanistan.
        The 9mm doesn't have the punch nor the range to be relevant in any combat environment there, let alone those in which the various Special Forces operate.
        The mountains, hills, and valleys there create such long firing ranges that even the old standby 5.56mm rounds don't maintain lethality, which is why old & new 7.62mm rifles have been used heavily.
        There aren't many urban environments...there are caves, but the approaches to those caves have such long lines of sight that you would need a long-arm (ie, rifle-caliber weapon) in order to "safely" approach them.
        Special Forces also typically use .45 caliber sidearms.

        Not saying Special Forces (or the military in general) don't have constraints on their budgets that can lead to extreme measures, but I think the specific details you're mentioning are off.

        February 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • GettingToTheTruth

        That's interesting, especially when all of my friends in the military tell me Special Ops carries large amounts of cash with them so they can buy whatever they need and/or want. The rest of the guys scavenge whatever Sp. Ops. leaves when they move on.

        February 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric 9th POB 1991-1995

        WZRD 1 Chances are that that SF soldier was using a non-issue weapon. Therefore he would not have ammo for that weapon. And if that wasn't the case, it may have just been a short term issue. He was assigned a mission and wanted all the ammo he could get. You can't have enough if your life is on the line. Lets not make a mountain out of a mole hill. SF gets what they need.

        February 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Jesus, thats called being a good public speaker, how else did obama get into office? They have a politically correct name for public speaking now? people arent psycic, a psy ops unit studies the enemy, gathers intelligence, and makes a decesion on what the appropraite way to combat them will be. my god, whoever is blaming the army for wanting better equipment and more troops to help complete the mission is the real traitor here.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dean

        Um. Psy-ops means 'psychological' not 'psychic'.

        February 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • whatnext

        The usual inaccurate headline. "Army manipulated visiting VIPs," when the article says an order was given, but refused.

        February 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • duts

      Whatever, seriously do you believe this garbage, DC is just covering there a$$ as usual while blaming a soldier for their transgressions. No General in his right mind is going to do something so stupid as to dick with a Senator like that.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • dcskeptic

        Did you read Taibbi's article on Afghanistan military brass? They had utter contempt for congressmen. I don't doubt this at all, especially considering the general in charge said of psy ops said it happened. He's essentially canceling his career admitting it.

        February 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • FedUp2

        A Lieutenant Colonel is not even close to being a General. Reread it again.

        February 24, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • hecklers

      Tail wagging the dog. We have been warned against the military-industrial complex. The taxpayers do not invest in the training and development of an army to have that army used against the taxpayer's government. The officers were right, and reflected the best of our republic, when they refused the order. Of course they were probably also being smart, knowing that if the shinola ever hit the fan they would be hung out to dry while the ring-knockers walked away scot-free.

      February 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladi

      Your Brain is My Puppet

      February 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shorn

      Anyone thinking we need to spend more on this bloated, inefficient military is certifiable. Cutting it in half would still leave too much. Get this – we're still building and maintaining nuke subs. This is obscene.


      February 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dean

        That's 'nuclear powered' subs – do you have a more efficient power source in mind for something like this? I guarantee the military is interested if you do.

        February 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Common Sense

        What do you think would happen without a nuclear deterrent? Do you believe the Soviet Union was the only threat? Go research China, who we are at odds with all the time. Also google "nuclear blackmail". Without a deterrent that would be our reality.

        I followed your link too. Interesting read. Best part, there is a link halfway down on the words "new submarine" that seems a glitch. If you follow it links to the Navy website and a file on a 1797 warship. The cost ($302k) is listed. Put that into a calculator and you come to $10 billion in US 2011 dollars. It is actually one of the most expensive vessels ever built.

        No one cried back then about cost. It was necessary. And it still is.

        February 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • tonyS

      Yeah, reality bites.

      February 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walker


      In the civil sector, manipulating viewpoints and opinions is called, "persuasion," "negotiation," and "politics." The power brokers on the Hill hire expensive consultants and big-ticket speech writers to move opinion polls a couple of ticks.

      And yet, in the eyes of Rolling Stone (cough) and CNN, the exact same kind of behavior by our military leaders trying to win a war is a sinister, underhanded maneuver.

      Anybody else see a pattern?

      February 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Roger Bills

        Psychological Operations to get the enemy to surrender due to fear is ok. Psychological Operations by our own Army to change the way Americans vote, or the way our leaders lead is a crime. It's stealing your governement. Treason. It would be the Army taking over, not asking for more funds, but deceiving Americans into giving more. The General who asked should be relieved and then tried for attempting to overthrow your government.

        February 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mark

        Roger, what the bleep, taking over the country? you must be a bagger; he was trying to convince the politicians to spend more on the war, there is NO mention of any treason, get a clue. Demoted yes, and now that it is in the public light they'll likely turn his career inside out, but charged? with what exactly? not too bright are you.

        February 25, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
      • h

        someone needs to check their reading comprehension skills.... (cough walker)

        February 25, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Patriot

      The psy ops unit is an offensive and defensive asset of the US military. Yes, funding is always a military concern and they are always manipulating to get funding but this is different. This is a US military officer turning a military weapon on civilian leadership in order to attain a military objective of increased funding. They used to be a punishable offense, but I think Carole's comments outline the complacency of most of Americans so if you have the money and the power you can do about whatever you want in this crazy oligarchic military complex we live under...

      February 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Adam PA

        PSYOP is one of the most inexpensive and essential components of special operations. The information compaign has greater effects at achieving goals (whether they're diplomatic or military) than any multi-million dollar deterrence system.

        February 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Big

      Carole ... you are an idiot.

      February 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Well if we had few FAKE wars for economic gain, then we'd have enough money for LEGITIMATE military ops and just as important , DOMESTIC needs right here at home.

      February 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • bruce Heinemann

      No thanks, Carole... That's something right out of Hitler's SS.

      How many people died defeating this fascist madman? The ends don't always justify the means. Thanks for your service, but the rest of us can do without your fascist sentiments...

      February 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      Yeah. The U.S. spends more money on our military than the next 28 nations combined. We literally bleed cash into the military, and yet you are not satisfied with funding? I would really like to know what planet you live on in your head.

      February 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArmyMom

      I agree totally. When my son was due for his tour in Iraq back in 2004, the gear used for protection was so ridiculous that his father and I spent $8,000 of our own money to make sure he was sufficiently supplied with gear that would stop more than just small arms. Many of the guys in his unit would borrow his gear when they had to go out on patrol and he didn't. And I would do it again to protect my son. This country's military budget may be tremendous but our soldiers aren't getting the goods fast enough or some of it not at all.

      February 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • proud army grandma

        yes but take a look at the year you are speaking of. george bush and donald rumsfeld tried to do iraq on the cheap. remember, the iraqi oil was going to pay for the war. remember it was going to be over in, "6 days, 6 weeks or 6 months". boy we are still over there bleeding money and in afghanistan, for what?? nation building and oil. thats what this has always been about.

        February 25, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I'd be very interested to learn what tactic the PSYOP soldiers were being asked to perform. I've worked with them, and I can't think of anything sinister they'd be able to pull on American congressman.

      February 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      And yet I have seen Aircraft Carriers jetison tools, equipment and vehicles off of catapults because they hadn't used all of their budget. Their reasoning was if we don't use it then we won't get the money next year. The amount of waste in the military is ridiculous.

      February 25, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Why waste money on psychological training? Just put the money into the bribe fund. That will get the DC legislators on your side quicker than anything else.

      February 25, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • funnystuff

      Well I would think Psi Ops requires a functioning brain to manipulate so that means eat least Al Franken would have been safe!

      February 25, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      That's nothing.

      February 25, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |