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Profile: Simon P. Wordon

Positions that Simon P. Wordon has held:

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Simon P. Wordon was a participant or observer in the following events:

The Pentagon creates a secret office to coordinate military information operations aimed at improving the United States’ image abroad. The office, named the Office of Strategic Influence, or OSI, is headed by Brigadier General Simon P. Wordon (Dao and Schmitt 2/19/2002) , an astrophysicist with experience in space operations and missile defense. (Ricks 2/20/2002) His assistant is Thomas A. Timmes. (Dao and Schmitt 2/19/2002) Worden reports to Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. (Rich 2006, pp. 32) OSI is a small, but well-funded operation and there are reportedly plans to provide it with an annual budget of as much as $100 million. (Dao and Schmitt 2/19/2002; Whitworth 2/20/2002; Schmitt and Dao 2/27/2002) Many of OSI’s functions are contracted to private public relations firms such as the Rendon Group, whose client list includes the CIA, the Kuwaiti royal family, and the Iraqi National Congress. (Rich 2006, pp. 32) Soon after the office is formed, a proposal is floated to produce and disseminate disinformation. The New York Times will report: “[T]he new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations.… One of the office’s proposals calls for planting news items with foreign media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon.… General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from ‘black’ campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to ‘white’ public affairs that rely on truthful news releases.… ‘It goes from the blackest of black programs to the whitest of white,’ a senior Pentagon official said.… Another proposal involves sending journalists, civic leaders and foreign leaders e-mail messages that promote American views or attack unfriendly governments.” (Dao and Schmitt 2/19/2002) When OSI’s classified proposals are leaked to the press (see February 19, 2002), White House officials say they are “furious” that the use of disinformation is being considered and then a few days later announce that the office has been shut down (see February 26, 2002). (Allen 2/25/2002)


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