I really did try to read Mikey's latest breathless prose, but honestly? I just couldn't get past the first few paragraphs to know that, once again, this 'award-winning "journalist" is so intent on claiming another scalp, and yet more notoriety, he doesn't do his homework.
Fortunately, others in the military community did manage to read all of Hastings' latest, and they are firing back on all cylinders (or whatever the appropriate military metaphor is):
First out of the gate was War on Terror News:
Friday, February 25, 2011
Hastings Battles Generals on the Pages of Rolling StoneBut there are some things that don't add up in the LTC's story. He claims that his role is "PsyOps," but one insider has called him out on it. Evidently, the officer was assigned in an "Information Operations" (IO) role, and does not appear to be involved in a "psychological operations" position at all. There is a crucial distinction between the two, and an important truth. The US Army places a premium on Truth, so even when it conducts "PsyOps" against the enemy, it uses the truth in order to maintain believability in current and future operations of the kind. While IO is designed to get the truth publicized across the spectrum, psyops (now called MISO) is designed to be used against the enemy. It would be illegal and immoral for psyops to be used against Americans, even though it is still the truth. IO is important though, because the MSM is not getting the full story out. IO is designed to publicize the atrocities of the enemy and the good deeds of Our Own Troops, which seems to be the opposite of what the MSM wants to spotlight...[emphasis mine]...
When Michael Yon attacked Generals Menard and McChrystal, his readership soared. When Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone magazine published disparaging remarks by General McChrystal's staff, their hits peaked at 943,000 the day after, 600% of their norm. Their American readership soared from 100k to 753k that day. There's no telling how many copies of that issue were sold. The General was fired within hours for daring to note that the POTUS had hardly given him the time of day. Hastings got an award from his fellow journalists for taking down the General. Their online revenue likely hit 6x the norm as well.
So, it's little surprise, that Hastings and Rolling Stone have decided to try to replicate those numbers. This time, they're going after LTG Caldwell IV, and relying on hearsay and "he said, she said," with a zeal reminiscent of the Inquisition. He's aligned himself with an officer with a bone to pick: LTC Holmes (a married man) was investigated for inappropriate relations with a subordinate and evidently took issue with orders given him by the General, his boss. Hastings decided to get the hackles of Senators up, by implying they had been played.
WOTN has much more here, as they continue to dissect Hastings' contribution to 'truth' and the msm. WOTN presents facts - those pesky things that the msm generally, and Hastings' specifically here - choose to ignore.
A Soldier's Perspective is next, and CJ Grisham, currently serving in the US military, continues to educate peons like Mikey Hastings:
*Gasp*! 'Based on experience'????? CJ does go point by point, and Hastings would do well to read it here, before writing his next ' scoop.'
Matt, from Blackfive, already beat me to writing this, so some of what I say may parrot what's already been written there. But, I know LTC Caldwell and I can't sit silent and let RS get away with stupidity.
Rolling Stone – I'm glad I ended my subscription YEARS ago – alleges that LTG William Caldwell violated laws and regulations by using "psychological operations" against American, specifically Senators and Congresscritters.
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.
The incident offers an indication of just how desperate the U.S. command in Afghanistan is to spin American civilian leaders into supporting an increasingly unpopular war.
Like Blackfive, I wouldn't be surprised if this LTC is out for vengeance and swinging wildly trying to pass the buck. I have worked and do work very closely with Psy-ops units for years and they all know the rules. Being in the military, I see exactly what is happening from this article, but the uninformed that have never served a day in uniform will assume the worst. [emphasis mine] I'm going to try and break this down allegation by allegation in the hopes that it makes sense. Some areas I CAN'T directly respond to by virtue of my access and duties and this is NOT an official response by any means – just my personal opinions based on experience. I will completely ignore those....
The BlackFive column CJ refers to?:
And yes, you know there is more - here - as yet another military veteran takes Hastings' to the woodshed, and continues his education. Hello, Mikey??? You detecting a theme here yet? May I *suggest* that you widen your list of sources before you rush to print? Hmmmm?
Not to be outdone, left out of the fun of pointing out the error of his ways to Mikey, (who is apparently a legendary 'military expert' in his own mind,) This Ain't Hell enters the fray, and attempts to contribute to Hastings' education:
February 24th, 2011
Yes, it’s actually news for the pot heads at the Rolling Stone that DoD tries to convince Congressmen to finance their projects. But, apparently the military has a secret mind-manipulation process that doesn’t work so well on detainees (see Tony Camerino posts) but is easily adapted to influencing congressmen...
Who did they target?
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.
Really? Al Franken? They could brainwash him with a used wet nap if they could find the BB-sized organ.
How much convincing would it take for McCain, Lieberman and Mullen? Aren’t they all pro-victory in the first place?
I wonder if Rolling Stone even suspects that they’ve just been the subjects of a counter-intelligence operation...
An informed analysis here. And yes, TAH has other columns up that I recommend that Hastings read.
Susan Katz Keating also has her 2 cents' worth to add:
Friday, February 25, 2011
Rolling Stone Journo to Get Nick Meo Award? Go, Team PsyOp!
Meanwhile, speaking of things that make you reach for the nice tall mug of Whiskey Tango Etcetera...
It appears as if Rolling Stone scribbler Michael Hastings has emerged as front runner in this year's Nick Meo Awards for Journalistic Rectumtude (uhhh... my Spellcheck is broken, so I may be a bit off on my wordsmithery, but you know what I'm trying to say).
Hastings is awesome. First, he wrote the article that likely was a reverse psyop allowing Gen. Stan McChrystal to bug out of Afghanistan. Now, Hastings has unearthed a secret project in the grand old tradition of MK Ultra and other covertness, aimed against... JSM himself, and other Senators! Or so he claims....
WTF indeed! SKK has much more to share with Hastings here. If you don't know who Nick Meo is, you have been reading in all the wrong places, and/or not paying attention. Google him.
All in all, I'd say Michael Hastings need to rethink his approach to serious journalism, that is if expects his 'work' to be taken seriously. Yet again, maybe not, since just these excerpts alone prove how inadequate he is, when set against REAL military experts.As WOTN points out, for Hastings, Rolling Stone, and yes, most msm, any story is all about the ratings, readership, and by extension advertiser dollars. Based on just this one story alone, no reader looking for facts could/should look to pieces like Hastings' latest for truths. It surely isn't coincidence that while msm numbers continue a downward spiral, online blog sites' readership continues to climb.
It is all about credibility. Once again, Hastings proves that he is more than a tad short in that department. Once again, when it comes to military facts, stories, our military shows people like Hastings up for the inept tools that they are. Of course, I could suggest that Mikey Hastings get together with that other intrepid 'journalist' - Mikey Yon - and compare notes. They both seem to subscribe to the same school of journalism: never let the facts get in the way of a 'good' story.
Meanwhile, our real military experts continue to set the record straight. Pay attention, Mikey!