Wargames open with clandestine broadcasts.

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Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Wargames open with clandestine broadcasts

Propaganda: Psychological assault led by 'RadioTikrit'

Brian Whitaker
Tuesday February 25, 2003
The Guardian

A voice in Arabic crackles over the airwaves: "This is Radio Tikrit." It sounds like an Iraqi station broadcasting from Saddam Hussein's home town, but it isn't.
Though the shooting war with Iraq has not yet begun, Radio Tikrit is just one sign that US psychological operations against the Baghdad regime are well under way. Inside Iraq, senior figures have also been bombarded with subversive emails and phone calls, and telephone lines have been hacked to give bogus instructions to the military.
When Radio Tikrit was launched early this month, it appeared to be just another regime-run station. It mocked the US and its efforts to win Arab support for a war. There was even a programme called Open Dialogue which praised "Saddam Hussein's Iraq".
The only clue that Radio Tikrit's mix of news, music and features might not have been what it seemed came when the station omitted to play the Iraqi national anthem either at the beginning or end of its broadcasts, as all government-run stations do.
By February 15, however, Radio Tikrit began to change its tune. This time the Open Dialogue programme talked about Iraqi citizens who were so poor they had to sell doors and windows from their homes in order to get money for food.
Then the station urged members of the Republican Guard to desert their posts "before it is too late".
On February 19, according to the BBC monitoring service, it told officers in public security to refuse the "orders of the tyrant" and "be brave before it is too late".
"This seems to be what is technically known as a black clandestine operation," said Andy Sennitt of Radio Netherlands.
"A station starts by pretending to be one thing when it's actually something else. It's a well-established procedure for psychological warfare."
Unlike the "black" variety, "normal" clandestine broadcasts start as they intend to carry on.
Traditionally, black clandestine broadcasts are launched at the beginning of military action. Radio Tikrit may have surfaced prematurely because of unexpected delays in the UN security council.
But there may be another explanation. Listeners have been intrigued by the station's horoscopes, which some believe may be passing coded instructions to undercover operatives inside Iraq.
The station broadcasts for two hours a night on 1584 kHz and, according to a radio enthusiasts' website, dxing.info, its signal is so strong that it dominates the frequency, even in parts of Europe.
Its transmissions were first logged outside Iraq by Bjorn Fransson, an enthusiast in Sweden, on February 3.
There is little doubt among experts that Radio Tikrit is an American station, with programmes produced by the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and broadcast from a CIA-controlled transmitter in Kuwait.
According to an Egyptian listener, Tikrit's main male announcer also appears on Information Radio, an overt anti-Saddam propaganda station whose launch was announced by the Pentagon last December.
At least some of Information Radio's broadcasts come from airborne transmitters on American EC-130E Commando Solo aircraft that were previously used for the same purpose in Afghanistan. They are also capable of broadcasting television programmes.
Radio Tikrit comes from Kuwait, where two Iraqi opposition stations, al-Mustaqbal and Twin Rivers Radio, broadcast from the CIA's transmitter. Radio Tikrit's broadcasts start at 7pm GMT when Twin Rivers shuts down. They end at 9pm, when al-Mustaqbal starts up.
The signal from all three stations is the same strength and they are obviously coming from the same transmitter, experts say.
The US is also using cyber-warfare, with an email assault directed at Iraq's political, military and economic leadership, according to the New York Times. The messages urge them to break with President Saddam's government.
Selected officials in Iraq have also received calls on their private mobile phones, officials at the Pentagon and in the regional central command told the paper.
According to an independent source in Baghdad, phone numbers of all top officials were changed by the Iraqi authorities at the beginning of February in response to hacking of telephone lines a few days earlier.
When Iraqi air defence units picked up their phones, instead of a dialling tone, they heard a male voice speaking in Arabic. It told them not to use chemical or biological weapons, not to offer resistance, and not to obey commands to attack civilian areas, the source said.

Airborne – in the air
Bogus – false
Clandestine - tajny
To crackle – giving an unclean sound, trzaskac
To mock – udawać (majac na celu osmieszenie)
Overt – not secret, jawny
Prematurely – too early, przedwcześnie
Subversive – wywrotowy


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