If you are a journalist writing about or a person concerned about issues like Free Speech, read or write in alternative media or news, Occupy movement, Ferguson, Gaza, Ukraine, Russia, police brutality, US interventionism, fair government, homelessness, keeping the government accountable, representative government, government intrusions like the NSA is doing, or you are liberal, progressive, libertarian, conservative, separation of church and state, religion, …
If you have a website, write, read, or like something in social media that strays outside the new lines the war isn’t coming, it’s now here.
What would we do? Disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive, corrupt, usurp or destroy the information. The information, please don’t forget, is the ultimate objective of cyber. That will directly impact the decision-making process of the adversary’s leader who is the ultimate target.”- Joel Harding on Ukraine’s cyber strategy.
Welcome to World of Private Sector IO (Information Operations)
IO or IIO (Inform and Influence Operations) defined by the US Army includes the fields of psychological operations and military deception.
In military IIO operations center on the ability to influence foreign audiences, US and global audiences, and adversely affect enemy decision making through an integrated approach. Even current event news is released in this fashion. Each portal is given messages that follow the same themes because it is an across the board mainstream effort that fills the information space entirely when it is working correctly.
The purpose of “Inform and Influence Operations” is not to provide a perspective, opinion, or lay out a policy. It is defined as the ability to make audiences “think and act” in a manner favorable to the mission objectives. This is done through applying perception management techniques which target the audiences emotions, motives, and reasoning.
These techniques are not geared for debate. It is to overwhelm and change the target psyche.
Using these techniques information sources can be manipulated and those that write, speak, or think counter to the objective are relegated as propaganda, ill informed, or irrelevant.
Meet Joel Harding – Ukraine’s King Troll
According to his own bio Joel spent 26 years in the Army; his first nine years were spent as an enlisted soldier, mostly in Special Forces, as a SF qualified communicator and medic, on an A Team. After completing his degree, Joel then received his commission as an Infantry Officer and after four years transitioned to the Military Intelligence Corps. In the mid 1990s Joel was working in the Joint Staff J2 in support of special operations, where he began working in the new field called Information Operations. Eligible Receiver 1997 was his trial by fire, after that he became the Joint Staff J2 liaison for IO to the CIA, DIA, NSA, DISA and other assorted agencies in the Washington DC area, working as the intelligence lead on the Joint Staff IO Response Cell for Solar Sunrise and Moonlight Maze. Joel followed this by a tour at SOCCENT and then INSCOM, working in both IO and intelligence. Joel retired from the Army in 2003, working for various large defense contractors until accepting the position with the Association of Old Crows.
According to TechRepublic -The career of Joel Harding, the director of the group”s(Old Crows) Information Operations Institute, exemplifies the increasing role that computing and the Internet are playing in the military. A 20-year veteran of military intelligence, Mr. Harding shifted in 1996 into one of the earliest commands that studied government-sponsored computer hacker programs. After leaving the military, he took a job as an analyst at SAIC, a large contractor developing computer applications for military and intelligence agencies.
Joel Harding established the Information Operations Institute shortly after joining the Institute at the Association of Old Crows; he then procured the rights to InfowarCon and stood it up in 2009. Joel is an editor of “The IO Journal”, the premier publication in the field of IO. Joel formed an IO advisory committee, consisting of the 20 key leaders from Us and UK corporate, government, military and academia IO. Joel wrote the white paper for IO which was used as background paper for US Office of the Secretary of Defense’s QDR IO subcommittee.
For ten years the Association of Old Crows has been the Electronic Warfare and Information Operations Association, but there has been no concerted effort to rally the IO Community. This has changed, the IO Institute was approved as a Special Interest Group of the AOC in 2008 and we have already become a major player in the IO Community. This is especially important with the recent formation of the US Cyber Command, with the new definition of Information Operations coming out of the Quadrennial Defense Review, with a new perspective of Electronic Warfare and a myriad of other changes. The IO Institute brings you events, most notably InfowarCon. Our flagship publication is the IO Journal, already assigned reading by at least two military IO educational programs. IO classes are integrated with Electronic Warfare classes to educate, satisfy requirements and enable contractors to be more competitive.
When you look at the beginning of the NSA’s intrusive policies you find Joel Harding. Harding helped pioneer the invasive software used by government and business to explore your social networks, influence you, and dig out every personal detail. In Operation Eligible Receiver 1997 he used freeware taken from the internet to invade the DoD computers, utilities, and more. It’s because most of it is based in “freeware” that NSA snooping has a legal basis. If you can get the software for free and use it, why can’t the government use it on you?
Ukraine-Bringing it into Focus
Looking back at Joel Harding in 2012 seems like a different man. This is the same accomplished professional described above before Maidan. Here’s how he describes the Russian, Chinese, and American experience before his involvement in Ukraine.
“…These experiences, and the fact that I spent nine years in Special Forces and that kind of thing, caused me to think. Then I began to wonder. How much of what we read and what we see is propaganda? Not foreign propaganda, but domestic? How much of that domestic ‘information’ is propaganda? …We are being smothered in one lie after another. All in the name of politics. It seems to me that these politicians are almost complacent with us behaving like suckling pigs, absolute ignorant morons…Free, unfettered, uncensored information exposes the lies their governments prefer to feed them, allowing their citizens to know and understand the truth. Authoritarians, like dictators, communists, fascists and many sectarian or religious governments, are said to enhance their authority over their citizens with the use of filters.”
So I ask you, do you see more lies and propaganda here than I saw in China or Russia? I would say it depends on your perspective. I see more lies aimed at us from our own politicians than I have ever seen anyplace else in the world… you tell me. Are Americans more susceptible to propaganda?”
Joel Harding has quite a different opinion in 2014 after taking control of Information Operations (IO) in Ukraine.
Part of USIA formed what is now called the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the BBG, who oversee VOA, RFE/RL, RFA, MEBN, Radio Marti and other international broadcasting bureaus – their mission is to broadcast “fair and objective” reporting to what I called ‘denied areas’, such as Russia – Harding
Febuary 22nd 2014 marks Harding’s first involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. “Yesterday I agreed to help present the information of this situation, bringing in representatives from many of the sources cited above. It is time International Broadcasting is examined.”- Harding
On February 28th 2014 he was announced director of the NSE Strategy Center. Harding reached out immediately to the IO community to see what information anyone had on current Russian cyberspace operations. On March 1st 2014 Harding announced cyber options for Ukraine.
In early March 2014 US President Barrack Obama issued an executive order stating anyone challenging the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian government was subject to US sanctions including US citizens. The way it is written journalists in the US wondered if they would be put on a terrorist list.
On March 3rd, only a few days into the new job Harding’s advice was “Now I have a thought bouncing around inside my head, which actually makes sense. But the repercussions are wild, off the charts, bloody and may destroy a nation. ..If one looks at that graphic, natural gas pipelines run through Ukraine. If one had the talent, one could close valves in any of those pipelines and shut down a major part of Russia’s exports and, therefore, a source of money, another kind of power which Putin must truly understand.
Bumping this up one step, blow up those pipelines, although that is going to make one helluva mess.
This would result in a Russian invasion. End of story? No. Imagine trying to defend thousands of miles of pipeline. Ukrainian insurgents would make Russia devote dozens of divisions of soldiers…” At the time Victoria Nuland was trying to court Pravy Sektor into legitimacy by offering money and support.
That same day Harding noticed:
“Suddenly I have 510 people in Ukraine following this blog. That is a.. let’s see, 510 divided by four, multiplied by 100 is a 12,750 percent increase in one day! Gee, I wonder why?”
On March 16th Dimitri Yarosh answered. Yarosh threatened gaslines across Ukraine. The advice Harding gave threatened one of the only remaining sources of income remaining in Ukraine for the Kiev junta.
From that moment on Harding geared his public writing to Ukraine. He provided military advice, the unified press stories Ukrainian media put out, IO cyber tactics, military manuals, psy-op manuals, and unified the large international press cover the Eastern European emigre populations provided. Behind the scenes beyond creating new government ministries it’s easy to fathom the impact he is having.
“For all you Ukrainian intelligence officers about to put the lives of your soldiers at risk, I urge you to take a few hours and study this book, from cover to cover…Be professional, be calm, and do your absolute best. No matter what the circumstances. Good luck.”- Harding
Throughout the past year Harding and others fleshed out the Ukrainian version of democratic “free speech” based on how he has concluded it should be in the USA. On December 12th 2014 Harding wrote “Ukraine is a bright shining star. They approved a Minister of Information Policy. They received a National Information Strategy and are working on a counter propaganda center. Hopefully they are going to remove the paywall at KyivPost.com.” – Kiev Post did just that. They Read Joel Harding?
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic is critical of Kiev’s decision to create the new ministry.
Dubbed “the Ministry of Truth” the new Ministry of Information Policy forbids journalists to write anything that is critical of the government policy.
“Wonderful news out of Ukraine. I submitted some papers to this end. I personally believe a few of my words survived. I know others involved in other parts of this effort…Minister of Information Policy Yuri Stets has five missions…”-Harding
On February 23rd 2015 Harding tweeted the creation of the i-army. The next day it was announced to the world. “This effort is geared to contain what they call Russian propaganda in the west. “In late January, Ukraine’s Minister of Information Policy, Yuriy Stets, promised to create an “information-army” to fight Russian propaganda…”
War on Western Journalists, News sites, and Americans
On January 11th the peacemaker website went live with a mission to “…In the future the Peacemaker site will be similar to the site of the Viennese Simon Wiesenthal Center, which since the late 1940s has been focused on tracking and catching Nazi war criminals. In the case of Ukraine, these will be criminals who destroyed the Ukrainian people — the traitors, collaborators, Russian and other mercenaries, and military personnel taking part the undeclared and therefore illegal war by Russia”, he concluded…
Under Ukrainian law journalists that disagree with Kiev’s policies are collaborators. They are subject to any mechanism Kiev can devise to stop them. In the case of RT Ruptly or the Guardian this means developing a strategy to ruin their reputations. The Interpreter was developed to that end. Kiev has gone so far as to petition the UK government to censure the Guardian for its coverage of events in Ukraine hoping to bully the publication into line. US broadcasters (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) have put RT on the same list as ISIS.
Who is a Propagandist?
Since Harding’s definition of propaganda is “any news coming out from your opponent”, a propagandist would be tightly defined as the enemy operative that writes the news. In this view any journalist or news outlet; both mainstream and alternative that publishes articles or video going against his agenda is propaganda or worse -active measures.
It is the term “active measures” below that needs to be keyed in on. Almost all of Joel Harding’s professional career has been devoted to Information Operations and developing a cyber offense to combat terrorists. A person employed in “active measures” according to its definition is committing political warfare against the USA , is a terrorist, and their writing is just short of a hot war.
The writings of 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire fit the bill describing a terrorist that is working to overthrow the US government because she writes about the injustices done in Gaza, and Syria.
“Just by reading the titles it is obvious she is completely biased – anti-American, anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian and pro-Syria. She is entitled to her opinions but an educated reader will note her consistent bias. Shades of Soviet, now Russian, Active Measures. Ask a well established distinguished person to write not slightly skewed, but highly biased articles bashing America and Israel. I would guess if someone were to investigate Global Research.ca they would find funding leading right to PressTV. I wouldn’t even be surprised to find a link to Rossiya Segodnya, RIA Novosti, Voice of Russia or RT. Welcome to Propaganda 101, 21st Century style.”- Harding
Private citizen Joel Harding has used both his connections and training as an SF to create a private foreign IO army which today is over 40,000 strong with the sole purpose of destroying publications, journalists, and people that “he deems” as supporting Russian propaganda and people engaged in “Russian active measures.”Add into this that Harding wrote the white paper the doctrine of US Army Cyber Defense is based in, he pioneered the field of cyber warfare, developed the means and methods of the NSA and you have one of the most formidable practitioners on the planet. People spread throughout mainstream media that came after him were taught or mentored by him, his colleagues, and belong to the groups and associations he leads.
Long story short, if you write about social justice like Mairead Maguire, you are a targetable terrorist. It has been decided by private citizen Joel Harding. Today Ukraine is his project and if you are writing about it that’s what you stepped into.