A recent report from the Canadian Forces revealed that the military’s top brass considered using propaganda techniques among citizens during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report disclosed that the propaganda techniques that are to be used among Canadian citizens are similar to those tapped and deployed during the Afghan war. Moreover, the whole project would be overseen by the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), which used to be led by Lieutenant-General Michael “Mike” Norman Rouleau.
It was also divulged that the CJOC neither obtained the federal government’s go signal nor the cabinet’s authorization to apply the said propaganda techniques amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retired Major-General Daniel Gosselin, one of the consultants brought in to help investigate the matter, related that the military higher-ups who orchestrated the whole thing seemed to believe that they did not need the blessing of higher authorities to realize their plan.
This plan mostly involved the exploitation and “shaping” of information.
In a different yet similar initiative, Canadian Forces intelligence officers have gathered information from social media accounts whose users are based in Ontario. Related information gathering activities have also been conducted on Black Lives Matter (BLM) gatherings and their respective organizers.
The BLM organizers subsequently questioned the move and emphasized that they faithfully followed COVID-19 protocols and only held assemblies in the designated areas.
The senior military officers involved with the initiative countered that the data gathered will be used to guarantee the success of Operation Laser, which is mainly focused on providing assistance and facilitating the distribution of vaccines among long-term care (LTC) homes and similar communities that are significantly hit by the pandemic. What’s noteworthy is that there were no BLM gatherings held in the vicinity of LTC homes when the information gathering initiative was ongoing.
Fortunately, former defense chief Staff Gen. Jon Vance shut down the idea of applying propaganda techniques among citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic after several of his advisers stressed the patent lack of ethics and legality behind it.
After conducting his investigation, Gosselin recommended that there should be a “comprehensive review” of the information operations directives and policies of the Canadian Forces, especially on matters that can potentially “impact any activities for domestic missions.”
However, at the end of it all, one question still remains: how many of these “initiatives” are still not out in the open?