Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Can’t Handle The Truth!

That famous line was spoken by Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan R. Jessep in “A Few Good Men” (see

Now we have another good man, Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen essentially saying that Osama Bin Laden was not a threat to the Seals who raided his compound.

While we could speculate that the objective behind ‘leaking’ information about the book, “No Easy Day” ( which fueled the NY Times on August 29, 2012: “Book on Bin Laden Killing Contradicts US Account” (see

The issue from a PSYOP perspective is not whose account is correct, but the impact on the world audience seeding yet more doubt about the US and our motives.

Clearly a killing in self-defense, even on a raid that some (like the Pakistani government for example) believe was illegal is a better story than a murder. US policies and motives are already under attack from a variety of quarters. Nation states and non-state actors are all posed to strike at the US while a large junk of the world population is trying to make up its mind.

There was a book written in 2002 called “World Without Secrets” by Richard Hunter which stood for the proposition that in today’s world nothing can stay hidden for a long period of time especially if there are people with time and resources who want that information. This rule clearly holds true in major world events. Sooner or later ‘facts’ get out. At first the facts may be convoluted or incorrect, but ultimately other details seep out.

A core principle of PSYOP is that the truth needs to be the core of what we do. If Bissonnette’s facts are credible and discredit the White House, especially a couple of months prior to the election, learning this lesson will come at a steep price.

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