We need someone in the United States government, some entity, not like the old USIA . . . I think this agency, a new agency has to be something that would take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that exist today. There are multiple channels for information . . . The Internet is there, pods are there, talk radio is there, e-mails are there. There are all kinds of opportunities. We do not with any systematic organized way attempt to engage the battle of ideas and talk about the idea of beheading, and what's it's about and what it means. And talk about the fact that people are killing more Muslims than they are non-Muslims, these extremists. They're doing it with suicide bombs and the like. We need to engage and not simply be passive and allow that battle of competition of ideas.
What would this agency actually do? Hard to say, but Rumsfeld referred approvingly back to when the Army paid reporters to plant stories in the local press in Iraq. He still thinks that was a good idea (and blames the U.S. press for screwing it up).
In Rumsfeld's view, the free press can co-exist with government sponsored/produced/paid news. "It doesn't mean we have to infringe on the role of the free press, they can go do what they do, and that's fine," says Rumsfeld.
"Well, it's not fine, but it's what it is, let's put it that way."
Washington to wage e-war on terror?
Thu, 24 Jan 2008 22:03:02
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the US must fight global terrorism by waging 'information warfare' through the internet.
Addressing an information warfare conference, Rumsfeld said the United States is losing in its battle against terrorism because it is 'sitting on the sidelines' and 'barely competing'.
He claimed that Washington needs a 21st century agency of global communications which uses modern methods to spread the United States' message on the importance of democracy and freedom.
"The US military can't fight the war on terrorism alone. It needs help from a host of other US government agencies, including a new one that should be created to use the Internet to wage an information offensive against Muslim extremists," the former Defense Secretary stated.
He urged the government to help regain 'a valued tool to help tell the story of a nation (US) that was carved from the wilderness and conceived in freedom'.