October 9, 2009
A recently leaked ‘Defence Manual of Security’, classified as “restricted” and issued by the British Ministry of Defence back in October of 2001, describes investigative journalists and members of the general public as serious threats to national security.
“Government assets”, the report asserts, “are under threat from a variety of sources beyond those traditionally regarded as hostile or otherwise of significance in terms of national security. (…). The main threats of this type are posed by investigative journalists, pressure groups, investigation agencies, criminal elements, disaffected staff, dishonest staff and computer hackers.”
Notice that investigative journalists are being mentioned in the same breath as criminal elements.
Under chapter 17 ‘Strap Security Guidelines’ the “enemy” is being defined as “unwelcome publicity of any kind, and through any medium.”
This just about covers the entire free press- especially alternative media outlets. Although already known that the free press is under threat of an out-of-control tyrannical system, it is now being reconfirmed by this MoD manual, plainly considering journalists as “the enemy”.
‘The threat to operations against these targets is less likely to arise from positive acts of counter-espionage, than from leakage of information through disaffected of staff, or as a result of the attentions of an investigative journalist, or simply by accident or carelessness.”
In volume 3, issue 2, the report states: “An Annual Threat Assessment (ATA) is issued to all Government Departments giving generic statements as to the main sources of Threat. This will include personnel who may be from or influenced by Foreign Intelligence Services (FIS), authorized users who, for whatever motive, may seek to gain access to official information they have no “need to know”, subversive of terrorist organizations, and investigative journalists.”
Under the header “Origins Of The Threat”, the report includes “The Media: investigative journalists are increasingly interested in State IT systems, particularly those operated by the police and the Security and Intelligence agencies. There has been evidence of premeditated attempts to acquire protectively marked information from IT systems.”
Concluding the report mentions not only investigative journalists, but also “members of the public” as potential threats:
“The threat from subversive and terrorist organizations, criminal activity, investigative journalists, and members of the public cannot be discounted.”
Also, “malicious software from many sources” is mentioned, “such as (from) disaffected staff, foreign intelligence services, investigative journalists or terrorists.”
Military reports on the supposed threats formed by journalists are not new. In 2008, WikiLeaks made available a leaked “Joint Doctrine Publication” from 2007 titled “Media Operations”. In this document, published by the Ministry of Defence, strategies were outlined to manipulate public opinion by utilizing the media and opinion leaders. The document mentions as the “principal target” for the media operation those who “hold disproportionate influence on the direction of government”, such as “politicians, (…), newspaper columnists, (…) and journalists.”
Purpose of the operation was to influence those who wield influence on public opinion. It seems that those who are not yet been targeted by media operators of the MoD, such as many investigative journalists, are now being branded as “the enemy” and a significant threat to national security.