Oct 142021

A word document, copy of the article below,  you might be able to use for copying:

2021-09 A plan devised by the Canadian Military uses covid to hone propaganda skills

Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques
on Canadians, Forces report says. Ottawa Citizen

A plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command relied on

propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war.


David Pugliese  •  Ottawa Citizen

Sep 27, 2021

Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes.


The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, then headed by Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau.


But military commanders believed they didn’t need to get approval from higher authorities to develop and proceed with their plan, retired Maj.-Gen. Daniel Gosselin, who was brought in to investigate the scheme, concluded in his report.


The propaganda plan was developed and put in place in April 2020 even though the Canadian Forces had already acknowledged that “information operations and targeting policies and doctrines are aimed at adversaries and have a limited application in a domestic concept.”


A copy of the Dec. 2, 2020, Gosselin investigation, as well as other related documents, was obtained by this newspaper using the Access to Information law.


The plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, also known as CJOC, relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war. The campaign called for “shaping” and “exploiting” information. CJOC claimed the information operations scheme was needed to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic.


A separate initiative, not linked to the CJOC plan, but overseen by Canadian Forces intelligence officers, culled information from public social media accounts in Ontario. Data was also compiled on peaceful Black Lives Matter gatherings and BLM leaders. Senior military officers claimed that information was needed to ensure the success of Operation Laser, the Canadian Forces mission to help out in long-term care homes hit by COVID-19 and to aid in the distribution of vaccines in some northern communities.


BLM organizers have questioned why military officials gathered information on their initiative, pointing out they followed pandemic rules and did not hold any gatherings outside LTC homes.


Then chief of the defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance shut down the CJOC propaganda initiative after a number of his advisers questioned the legality and ethics behind the plan. Vance then brought in Gosselin to examine how CJOC was able to develop and launch the propaganda operation without approval.


Gosselin’s investigation discovered the plan wasn’t simply the idea of “passionate” military propaganda specialists, but support for the use of such information operations was “clearly a mindset that permeated the thinking at many levels of CJOC.” Those in the command saw the pandemic as a “unique opportunity” to test out such techniques on Canadians.


The views put forth by Rear Adm. Brian Santarpia, then CJOC’s chief of staff, summed up the command’s attitude, Gosselin noted in his report. “This is really a learning opportunity for all of us and a chance to start getting information operations into our (CAF-DND) routine,” the rear admiral stated.


The command saw the military’s pandemic response “as an opportunity to monitor and collect public information in order to enhance awareness for better command decision making,” Gosselin determined.


Gosselin also pointed out CJOC staff had a “palpable dismissive attitude” toward the advice and concerns raised by other military leaders.


The directive for the propaganda plan was issued by CJOC on April 8, 2020, but it took until May 2 of that year before Vance’s order to shut it down took effect.


Gosselin recommended a comprehensive review of Canadian Forces information operations policies and directives, particularly those that may impact any activities for domestic missions.


There is an ongoing debate inside national defence headquarters in Ottawa about the use of information operations techniques. Some public affairs officers, intelligence specialists and senior planners want to expand the scope of such methods in Canada to allow them to better control and shape government information that the public receives. Others inside headquarters worry that such operations could lead to abuses, including having military staff intentionally mislead the Canadian public or taking measures to target opposition MPs or those who criticize government or military policy.


Military propaganda training and initiatives within Canada over the last year have proved to be controversial.


The Canadian Forces had to launch an investigation after a September 2020 incident when military information operations staff forged a letter from the Nova Scotia government warning about wolves on the loose in a particular region of the province. The letter was inadvertently distributed to residents, prompting panicked calls to Nova Scotia officials who were unaware the military was behind the deception. The investigation determined the reservists conducting the operation lacked formal training and policies governing the use of propaganda techniques were not well understood by the soldiers.


Yet another review centred on the Canadian Forces public affairs branch and its activities. Last year, the branch launched a controversial plan that would have allowed military public affairs officers to use propaganda to change attitudes and behaviours of Canadians as well as to collect and analyze information from public social media accounts.


The plan would have seen staff move from traditional government methods of communicating with the public to a more aggressive strategy of using information warfare and influence tactics on Canadians. Included among those tactics was the use of friendly defence analysts and retired generals to push military PR messages and to criticize on social media those who raised questions about military spending and accountability.


The Canadian Forces also spent more than $1 million to train public affairs officers on behaviour modification techniques of the same sort used by the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica, the company implicated in a 2016 data-mining scandal to help Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election campaign.


The initiative to change military public affairs strategy was abruptly shut down in November after this newspaper revealed details about the plan. A military investigation determined what the Canadian Forces public affairs leadership was doing was “incompatible with Government of Canada Communications Policy (and the) mission and principles of Public Affairs.” None of the public affairs leadership was disciplined for their actions.


Several months ago, Acting Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre and DND deputy minister Jody Thomas acknowledged in an internal document that the various propaganda initiatives had gotten out of control. “Errors conducted during domestic operations and training, and sometimes insular mindsets at various echelons, have eroded public confidence in the institution,” noted a June 9, 2021, message signed by Eyre and Thomas. “This included the conduct of IO (Information Operations) on a domestic operation without explicit CDS/DM direction or authority to do so, as well as the unsanctioned production of reports that appeared to be aimed at monitoring the activities of Canadians.”



  6 Responses to “2021-09-27 Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians, Forces report says. Ottawa Citizen”

  1. From: David
    Sent: September 28, 2021
    Subject: Re: Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians

    Hey Sandra, you would enjoy this woman’s YouTube channel. See link below.. She’s Canadian (Mississauga, ON) really smart , funny as hell, anti-woke, and red-pilling like crazy! Good stuff!

    WhatsHerFace –
    VERY outspoken about the vax / mask issue….with good research to back everything up.
    Here’s her channel – click on videos to see the thumbnails pop up. 👉

    (1) WhatsHerFace – YouTube

    – We have not experienced the current kind of internal control-type propaganda in the West so much – but the East Bloc countries did in the 20th Century… with Pravda, Isvestia and other State Media in the satellite countries – here’s part of a note I wrote to a guy the other day about it: 👇

    – I know some (now) old people who had escaped to The West from Hungary, Poland and East Germany – and they have harrowing tales to tell.
    Pressures to conform were enormous, propaganda was powerful & inescapable, no other messages were allowed, outside media from Europe and America was banned, secret police esp. the Stasi in East Germany were absolutely everywhere…their agents could be your neighbor, your shopkeeper, your doctor, nurse, your children’s teacher.

    – Around 1990 I worked with an older woman at the U of S – her and her husband and young children escaped from East Germany back in the late ’60s by trekking through the countryside, forests, etc. in the middle of the night to a friendly neighboring country.

    But they could not tell their children beforehand because the kids would have told their teacher, and thus the parents would have been arrested.

    Yes, the kids would have been so brainwashed they would believe it to be the correct thing to do.
    The snitch-line had become that established, pervasive and normalized.
    Even family members could not be trusted.
    An ideology, a belief system, had become more important than a family!

    Moral of the story for us in The West in 2021: keep a constant vigilance. It can happen here all too easily.

    – Sandra, thanks for the info & links – always great material! Dave

    • Sent: September 28, 2021 9:18 AM
      To: David

      Muchas gracias, Dave!

      A friend attended, in Saskatoon, last weekend, a meeting – – 400 people.
      PPC candidate (not many candidates doing that AFTER the election!)
      2 lawyers were the presenters: Enforced vaccination vs Canadian law – – I suspect the lawyers know the Nuremberg Code and Canadian Constitutional Rights law.

      To me, listening to what happened, it was like a university class with 400 students in attendance.

      The friend likes and thinks the PPC fellow is a good guy, intelligent, well-spoken. It sounds to me as though his mission is to help stop this descent into a police/ propagandist state.

      Out here, there is a wild mix of people against mandated vaccination.
      Probably the same where you are. So it’s good when you have something positive for people to speak about (like the actual law). The imaginings are then less bizarre or wild! Perhaps the worst part: they divert a lot of energy and attention away into unrealistic pursuits when there is no time to waste – – we require a lot of PRODUCTIVE, ACTUAL, good-natured working together.

      If you repell other people, you are ensuring that we will not succeed. Get real. The stakes are too high to be in the hands of angry, disempowered people who discredit the work being done.

      There are some people out here who have packed up and left Canada. The number will not be large – – but
      it’s not just talk. I spoke personally with one of them, an older guy – – unwilling to stay. He had studied carefully. French accent. Getting too close to the Europe you speak of (Hungary, Poland, the communist bloc, add Italy under fascism, Germany under naziism. French underground resistance to the Vichy government set up when the Germans invaded. According to him there are 6 countries that are possible to get into; he’s packed up and going.

      A year ago I mulled over the question, wondering what it would be like, if faced with the question of getting out before it’s too late. As happens. So now, here we are! I have written in the past: world war 2 didn’t HAVE TO BE fought. Not if people had stood up, spoken up, and taken action BEFORE it was too late. Before the tipping point. I think my theory is being tested! Ha ha!

      – – this latest, outrageous – – on military use of covid to hone their skills on propaganda has to help open some eyes and convert. We need the opened eyes to stay and fight. The 400-person meeting, one with sound leadership provided, is encouraging.

      The journalist, Dave Pugliese from the Ottawa Citizen who wrote the article about the military propaganda – – he’s 63; I connected with him at least 8 years ago over Lockheed Martin. He’s an excellent journalist. I don’t know if Canada has any others who report on the military on the same level as Pugliese. Thank God Pugliese is good.

      Take care Dave 🤓

      • From: David
        Sent: September 28, 2021 10:34 AM

        Yes in Saskatoon there is a wild mix of people at the vaccine-skeptical events. A couple are so off-the-wall (and loudly so!) digressing into all kinds of other personal things… that regular people, like me, don’t want to attend.

        So the events have really shrunk in size.

  2. From: Sandra Finley
    Sent: September 28, 2021 1:47 PM

    Yes, I understand the urge to, sometimes I’d like to be a totalitarian / dictator! Ha ha!

  3. From: Brendan
    Sent: September 28, 2021 5:22 PM

    Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians,
    Forces report says, Ottawa Citizen

    I saw the headline the other day. Skimmed through the article. Sadly, I was not surprised…

  4. From: Andrew
    Sent: September 28, 2021 4:44 PM

    Doesn’t look like the civil disobedience they were trying to avoid worked all that well.

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