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Profile: Simon P. Wordon

 
  

Positions that Simon P. Wordon has held:

  • Head of the Office of Strategic Influence


 

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Simon P. Wordon actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Shortly after September 11, 2001      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       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 [New York Times, 2/19/02] , an astrophysicist with experience in space operations and missile defense. [Washington Post, 2/20/02] His assistant is Thomas A. Timmes. [New York Times, 2/19/02] 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. [New York Times, 2/19/02; New York Times, 2/27/02; London Times, 2/20/02] 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.” [New York Times, 2/19/02] 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). [Washington Post, 2/25/02]
People and organizations involved: Thomas A. Timmes, Simon P. Wordon, US Department of Defense, Office of Strategic Influence
          

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