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Pentagon Orders Audit of How It Conducts Secret Psy-Ops

'We are committed to enforcing those safeguards... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) The Pentagon will review its psychological operations policies and procedures after Facebook and Twitter removed fake pro-Western accounts that coordinated with each other to spread propaganda, the Washington Post reported.

The social media companies determined that the pro-Western accounts violated their policies against unified, inauthentic messaging campaigns but refused to comment on whether the accounts belonged to the American military or federal government.

Some accounts posted anti-Russian propaganda that denounced the Kremlin’s “imperialist” war against Ukraine and the NATO allies. These psychological tactics likely constitute foreign election meddling—the very claim that the Biden administration has launched against Russia for years.

Another account posted a tweet claiming that Iranians had harvested organs from deceased Afghan refugees.

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A defense official said that if the organ harvesting tweet originated in the Pentagon, it would “absolutely be a violation of doctrine and training practices.”

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl ordered the audit that will require military leaders to catalogue and present information about their psy-op initiatives.

The Biden administration and the Defense Department wanted the audit completed, but it is unclear who will review the results or whether they will become public information.

Two social media analytics groups, Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory, revealed that Facebook and Twitter have removed about 150 US-linked social media accounts in the past three years with pro-NATO, pro-Western and pro-Ukrainian messages.

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Graphika and SIO found that the propaganda accounts failed to gain significant followings while overt anti-Russian and pro-Western accounts had more traction.

Two anonymous sources told the Washington Post that the U.S. Central Command, which oversees unified military operations in 21 countries, is subject to the audit.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said the American military’s psy-op campaigns “support our national security priorities” in accordance with federal law and Pentagon policies.

“We are committed to enforcing those safeguards,” he said.

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