USA Today: Online Pentagon Payback Campaign Targeted Us | Danger Room | Wir

USA Today

by Katie Drummond,
April 20th 2012

In another instance, someone allegedly created a Wikipedia entry that accused Vanden Brook of “misreporting” facts during the 2006 . A fake Twitter account was also created in Vanden Brook’s name, and then bizarrely defended the integrity of Vanden Brook’s reporting in response to fake Twitter accounts. A handful of message forums and blogs were also dotted with posts that accused the staffers of being “in bed with the Taliban,” among other remarkably unconvincing insults.

The military has been quick to deny involvement in any smear campaign. “We’re not aware of any participation in such activities, nor would it be acceptable,” Lt. Col. James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesperson, told the paper.

On the off-chance that the smear campaign was the work of some random troll unconnected to the Pentagon, that would be merely a massively toolish thing to do. But if the amateurish initiative really was the work of Pentagon staffers or contractors, it’s a flagrant attack on freedom of the press and possibly illegal, since “information operations” are never supposed to target Americans.

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