Pentagon rapid response operation

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The Pentagon rapid response operation was a propaganda initiative by the United States Department of Defense (a.k.a. The Pentagon) to "quickly respond to news media stories critical of ... the war in Iraq, as well as other stories the Defense Department leadership doesn't like."[1] The operation was created in October 2006 and lasted to mid 2007.[2]

A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit would "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to "correct the record".[3] The unit would reportedly monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ "surrogates", or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.[3]

Model Used[edit]

The Rapid Response Operation was modeled after a political campaign's, such as that made famous by Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential race, that use "Rapid Response" action to answer opponents' assertions quickly.[4]

Information Branches[edit]

The operation had four branches, According to an Oct. 3 2006 memo from Dorrance Smith. The branches, according to the memo, are:[5]

  • New Media: Covering the Internet, podcasting, DVDs and Web sites, including YouTube.
  • Rapid Response: Covering letters to the editor.
  • TV and Radio Booking: Covering civilian and military guests for cable network and radio programs.
  • Surrogates: Covering analysts who speak publicly, often on behalf of the Pentagon.

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