Rolling Stone: Army psy-ops targets Levin for war support
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) — a strong backer of funding for the Afghan war — is among the politicians that were illegally targeted by a U.S. Army psy-ops unit at Camp Eggers in Kabul last year, according to a new report.
Rolling Stone reports that three-star general Lt. Gen. William Caldwell directed the “information operations” unit at Camp Eggers to compile detailed dossiers on the attitudes and preferences of visiting politicians as part of an effort to spin civilians into supporting the war.
The list of targeted visitors was long, according to interviews with members of the IO team and internal documents obtained by Rolling Stone. Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister, and a host of influential think-tank analysts.
According to [whistle blower and IO unit leader Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes], the general wanted the IO team to provide a “deeper analysis of pressure points we could use to leverage the delegation for more funds.” The general’s chief of staff also asked Holmes how Caldwell could secretly manipulate the U.S. lawmakers without their knowledge. “How do we get these guys to give us more people?” he demanded. “What do I have to plant inside their heads?”
MLive points out that Levin has responded to the report by reiterating his support for the war and calling on the Pentagon to investigate allegations of Army propaganda violations.
“For years, I have strongly and repeatedly advocated for building up Afghan military capability because I believe only the Afghans can truly secure their nation’s future,” Levin told the Washington Post. “I have never needed any convincing on this point. Quite the opposite, my efforts have been aimed at convincing others of the need for larger, more capable Afghan security forces, and that we and NATO should send more trainers to Afghanistan, rather than more combat troops.”
Last month the Army asked Congress for an additional $2 billion to train Afghan troops.