A US military news website reported last month that former Democratic congresswoman and conservative media pundit Tulsi Gabbard gave a guest lecture to students at the Army’s psychological warfare school last week on several topics, including disinformation. According to the military.com report:
November 22, 2022 Gabbard, who has long been criticized by members of both major political parties for peddling pro-Russian talking points including disinformation, was acting in her role as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. She also discussed psychological operations more broadly, including how to improve lawmakers’ understanding of it, according to internal 1st Special Forces Command communications reviewed by Military.com. On Thursday, Gabbard was speaking at an event at the John F. Kennedy Auditorium at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, discussing social media’s impact on democracy, information warfare and disinformation, for students at the Army’s 43-week psychological warfare school. Two soldiers who were there said she briefly expressed concerns over disinformation polluting American discourse and the need to get U. S. society back to a place “where people trust one another.” No phones were allowed in the briefing. Read Next: Lost Years and Missed Opportunities: How the Pentagon Squandered the Chance to Combat Brain Injuries “LTC Gabbard spoke about her personal experiences and perspectives as a Civil Affairs Officer in the Army Special Operations community and her understanding of strategic level policy making. It was not about any one specific topic,” Maj. Rick Dickson, a spokesperson for the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School told Military.com in a statement. “There was a Q&A period after her remarks where students asked many different questions on a wide variety of topics.” Psychological operations soldiers are a key asset for Special Forces, serving as a tool for the organization’s mission of growing guerrilla armies. Psyops focuses on propaganda efforts targeting adversaries, media manipulation, messaging and other unconventional communications tactics on a battlefield. Gabbard has long flirted with and outright promoted disinformation and conspiracy theories, sometimes while in uniform.
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The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported in November that Gabbard had announced she was leaving the Democratic party, accusing the party of being “under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers, driven by cowardly wokeness:” That post also provided further details on Gabbard’s role as a “darling of Russian propagandists and the American far-right” as well as her pro-Russian conspiracy theories on Ukraine and her political campaign support from a Putin apologist and an accused Russian spy.