The men who stare at goats: Top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan accused of using mind tricks on Senators


While no goats we know of were harmed in this alleged operation, Lt. Col. Michael Holmes, the leader of the U.S. Army’s psy-op “information operations” unit, told Rolling Stone that Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general, ordered Holmes to gather information on distinguished visitors to Afghanistan and to use mind tricks to get more funding from Washington for the war.

“How do we get these guys to give us more people?” Caldwell allegedly said to Holmes. “What do I have to plant inside their heads?”

Among those that the whistleblower, Holmes, claims to have manipulated include Adm. Mike Mullen and Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., Carl Levin D-Mich., and Al Franken, D-Minn.

“My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” said Holmes to Rolling Stone. “When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.”

Deployed to Afghanistan in November of 2009, the five-man team under the command of Holmes thought they were there to analyze the effect of U.S. propaganda on the Taliban. Little did they know that they would be using their training against U.S. citizens, something that Holmes could not stomach.

In the article, Holmes allegedly showed his discomfort with what he was being asked to do, but his concerns were quickly silenced.

Shortly after Holmes got into a heated exchange with one of Caldwell’s staff, Holmes was struck with an investigation with allegations that included using Facebook too much, leaving the base in civilian clothes, and drinking alcohol.

While Holmes was formally reprimanded, his team was “ignored” until their tours were over and on June 15th of 2010, Holmes and his team received memos stating that the information operation unit would act as public relations experts, educating an international audience, abandoning from what they had been doing since November.

And get this – in January, Caldwell’s command asked the Obama Administration for an additional $2 billion to train 70,000 more troops. The person who voiced his approval the loudest – Carl Levin, one of the senators that was allegedly manipulated.

“More of this is true than you would believe.” – title card from The Men Who Stare At Goats.

Full Article: via Rolling Stone