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New Space-Age Paradigm Invitation - Pentagon Disinformation - Lori Update

19 February 2002

The ninety-day action plan for "peace in space" kicks off this weekend on February 23, 2002. The Institute for Cooperation in Space and Global Citizens for Sustainable Existence Now are sponsoring a program with Dennis Kucinich in support of the ban of all space-based weapons in 2002. This campaign is not a day too soon. President Bush and his administration's aim to expand the arms race must be stopped. The only way this could possibly happen this year is from a powerful grassroots campaign, an inspired Congress and international support to transform the weapon building industry into functioning in a world without any weapons in space. This could have an immediate peace dividend for sustainable technology projects and for international cooperation, strengthening conventional military forces committed to the eventual enforcement of the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction. This new direction for peace, prosperity, and environmental protection can be the new paradigm shift in consciousness.

1) A Cooperative World Space Industry
2) A Propaganda War of Lies
3) Peru Supreme Court Upholds 20-Year Sentence for Lori Berenson


1) A Cooperative World Space Industry

An Invitation to Transform the World
February 23, 2002; Malibu, California

A Cooperative World Space Industry vs Star Wars

The Institute for Cooperation in Space (ICIS) is inviting leaders for peace, newsmakers and celebrities, who are committed to shifting consciousness, to join them for an initiation of a 90-day action plan that includes the goals of the Space Preservation Act of 2002, H.R. 3616. Find out why Life on this planet could shift dramatically after June 13, 2002, from the current US administration's aim to weaponize space to a new beginning of arms control and a realistic approach for the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction before it is too late.

Join ICIS during the evening of Saturday, Feb. 23rd and find out details on how this issue can be transformed, while creating a grassroots movement to shift the new space-age paradigm to a new way of thinking and functioning that is beyond fear and war consciousness. Get inspired and join leaders of this campaign to help transform the weapon industry to an industry supporting a peace dividend that can be lasting.

Speakers for the February 23rd event include:

* Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Chair of the House Progressive Caucus and Co-Chair of the House Space and Aviation Caucus. Meet an emerging national progressive leader of the Democratic Party. On January 23rd he introduced a national bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 3616, the Space Preservation Act of 2002 to ban space-based weapons.

* Carol Rosin, President of Institute of Cooperation in Space, International speaker and leading the way in transforming the weapons and war based economy and security system into a cooperative world space industry and program.

* Daniel Sheehan J.D., General Counsel of ICIS, was legal counsel for Pentagon Papers, Karen Silkwood, Iran Contra & Three Mile Island. Sheehan will identify immediate steps that need to be taken and guide us through creating a successful movement to preserve space and the domination of Earth from space based weapons.

* Lindsay Wagner, actress and advocate for human potential has stepped up to the plate to be a voice and advocate for others to be a call to action.

Learn about immediate things you can do to create awareness and activate the people in your spheres of influence.

Find out about an event that will provide education and a call to action with entertainment from top celebrities. Saturday, March 30th 2002 and is being sponsored by Season for Nonviolence.

The February 23rd event will begin around 6pm, speakers begin at 7pm, and doors will close at 6:45pm. The location is PCH and the Big Rock turnoff in Malibu; get specific directions when you RSVP to the office of Carol Rosin 805/641-1999 or email to

Sponsored by Institute for Cooperation in Space and Global Citizens for Sustainable Existence Now!


2) A Propaganda War of Lies

Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad
February 19, 2002

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 - The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said.

The plans, which have not received final approval from the Bush administration, have stirred opposition among some Pentagon officials who say they might undermine the credibility of information that is openly distributed by the Defense Department's public affairs officers.

The military has long engaged in information warfare against hostile nations - for instance, by dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages into Afghanistan when it was still under Taliban rule.

But it recently created the Office of Strategic Influence, which is proposing to broaden that mission into allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe. The office would assume a role traditionally led by civilian agencies, mainly the State Department.

The small but well-financed Pentagon office, which was established shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was a response to concerns in the administration that the United States was losing public support overseas for its war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic countries.

As part of the effort to counter the pronouncements of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and their supporters, the State Department has already hired a former advertising executive to run its public diplomacy office, and the White House has created a public information "war room" to coordinate the administration's daily message domestically and abroad.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, while broadly supportive of the new office, has not approved its specific proposals and has asked the Pentagon's top lawyer, William J. Haynes, to review them, senior Pentagon officials said.

Little information is available about the Office of Strategic Influence, and even many senior Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides say they know almost nothing about its purpose and plans. Its multimillion dollar budget, drawn from a $10 billion emergency supplement to the Pentagon budget authorized by Congress in October, has not been disclosed.

Headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations.

The new office "rolls up all the instruments within D.O.D. to influence foreign audiences," its assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former Army colonel and psychological operations officer, said at a recent conference, referring to the Department of Defense. "D.O.D. has not traditionally done these things."

One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with foreign media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with the proposal said.

General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said.

"It goes from the blackest of black programs to the whitest of white," a senior Pentagon official said.

Another proposal involves sending journalists, civic leaders and foreign leaders e-mail messages that promote American views or attack unfriendly governments, officials said.

Asked if such e-mail would be identified as coming from the American military, a senior Pentagon official said that "the return address will probably be a dot-com, not a dot-mil," a reference to the military's Internet designation.

To help the new office, the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington-based international consulting firm run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. The firm, which is being paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.

Officials at the Rendon Group say terms of their contract forbid them to talk about their Pentagon work. But the firm is well known for running propaganda campaigns in Arab countries, including one denouncing atrocities by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The firm has been hired as the Bush administration appears to have united around the goal of ousting Mr. Hussein. "Saddam Hussein has a charm offensive going on, and we haven't done anything to counteract it," a senior military official said.

Proponents say the new Pentagon office will bring much-needed coordination to the military's efforts to influence views of the United States overseas, particularly as Washington broadens the war on terrorism beyond Afghanistan.

But the new office has also stirred a sharp debate in the Pentagon, where several senior officials have questioned whether its mission is too broad and possibly even illegal.

Those critics say they are disturbed that a single office might be authorized to use not only covert operations like computer network attacks, psychological activities and deception, but also the instruments and staff of the military's globe- spanning public affairs apparatus.

Mingling the more surreptitious activities with the work of traditional public affairs would undermine the Pentagon's credibility with the media, the public and governments around the world, critics argue.

"This breaks down the boundaries almost completely," a senior Pentagon official said.

Moreover, critics say, disinformation planted in foreign media organizations, like Reuters or Agence France-Presse, could end up being published or broadcast by American news organizations.

The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are barred by law from propaganda activities in the United States. In the mid-1970's, it was disclosed that some C.I.A. programs to plant false information in the foreign press had resulted in articles published by American news

Critics of the new Pentagon office also argue that governments allied with the United States are likely to object strongly to any attempts by the American military to influence media within their borders.

"Everybody understands using information operations to go after nonfriendlies," another senior Pentagon official said. "When people get uncomfortable is when people use the same tools and tactics on friendlies."

Victoria Clarke, the assistant secretary of defense for public information, declined to discuss details of the new office. But she acknowledged that its mission was being carefully reviewed by the Pentagon.

"Clearly the U.S. needs to be as effective as possible in all our communications," she said. "What we're trying to do now is make clear the distinction and appropriateness of who does what."

General Worden, an astrophysicist who has specialized in space operations in his 27-year Air Force career, did not respond to several requests for an interview.

General Worden has close ties to his new boss, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, that date back to the Reagan administration, military officials said. The general's staff of about 15 people reports to the office of the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, which is under Mr. Feith.

The Office for Strategic Influence also coordinates its work with the White House's new counterterrorism office, run by Wayne A. Downing, a retired general who was head of the Special Operations command, which oversees the military's covert information operations.

Many administration officials worried that the United States was losing support in the Islamic world after American warplanes began bombing Afghanistan in October. Those concerns spurred the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence.

In an interview in November, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained the Pentagon's desire to broaden its efforts to influence foreign audiences, saying

"Perhaps the most challenging piece of this is putting together what we call a strategic influence campaign quickly and with the right emphasis. That's everything from psychological operations to the public affairs piece to coordinating partners in this effort with us."

One of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence is the Army's Psychological Operations Command. The command was involved in dropping millions of fliers and broadcasting scores of radio programs into Afghanistan encouraging Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers to surrender.

In the 1980's, Army "psyop" units, as they are known, broadcast radio and television programs into Nicaragua intended to undermine the Sandinista government. In the 1990's, they tried to encourage public support for American peacekeeping missions in the Balkans.

The Office of Strategic Influence will also oversee private companies that will be hired to help develop information programs and evaluate their effectiveness using the same techniques as American political campaigns, including scientific polling and focus groups, officials said.

"O.S.I. still thinks the way to go is start a Defense Department Voice of America," a senior military official said. "When I get their briefings, it's scary."

Original article posted:


3) Peru Supreme Court Upholds 20-Year Sentence for Lori Berenson

Monday, February 18, 2002
To All Friends and Supporters of Lori Berenson


After months of delay, Peru's highest appeals court upheld the conviction and 20-year sentence imposed against Lori last June 20. The five-judge panel turned down her appeal that she was innocent of all charges and was imprisoned solely for her beliefs. Dr. Sandoval, Lori's lawyer, had argued that during the course of the civilian trial that commenced on August 28, 2000 there were numerous violations in fundamental due process and that no evidence was presented nor did any witness testify that would warrant a conviction. Dr. Sandoval said that the judges relied extensively on the tainted evidence taken from other prisoners under duress and threats of torture during the original 1995-6 military tribunals. Dr. Sandoval had also pointed out that Chief Judge Ibazeta had prejudiced Lori two years earlier but refused to recuse himself from the case and that the media, now known to be corrupted by the discredited Fujimori-Montesinos regime, had built up a strong negative public image of Lori that was impossible for her to overcome and that there was never one moment where she was presumed innocent requiring the State to prove guilt.


We are not surprised at the decision by the Peruvian Supreme Court and are prepared to continue our efforts to bring Lori home. We remain convinced of Lori's innocence and the decision of the Supreme Court today only indicates that the Peruvian judiciary is still in need of reform. The anti-terrorism laws under which Lori was convicted have been universally condemned and need to be changed. Lori is but one of hundreds who wrongfully remain in Peruvian prisons because of this injustice.

As to Lori's future, we remain optimistic. We believe in the strength of the rule of law and we expect Lori to be released. First, we will call upon President George W. Bush to right this wrong, to use his power under U.S.C. 22, Section 1732 and come to the rescue of a U.S. citizen who has been wrongfully held in a foreign country. Second, we hope that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, which has had Lori's case under review for four years and which has already publicly condemned the Peruvian laws under which she was tried, will now be ready to call for Lori's release. And third, we call upon President Alejandro Toledo to pardon Lori. She was a victim of the Fujimori-Montesinos dictatorship that used her as a political pawn for their personal gains. Given that Lori has already been held for more than six years under extremely harsh conditions that have caused permanent damage to her health, we ask him to pardon her immediately.

For more information, see

Please call the White House Comment Line
In support of President Bush's support to strongly encourage the President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, to pardon Lori. ["Given that Lori has already been held for more than six years under extremely harsh conditions that have caused permanent damage to her health, we ask him to pardon her immediately."]

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