Does Video Quality Really Matter?

Does Video Quality Really Matter?One of my favorite military sources, “Task & Purpose” featured an article “North Korea Blasts US Arsenal in Fresh Propaganda Video with TerribleGraphics” (see: by e-mail&utm_campaign=tp-today&utm_content=button; which is the photo source.) You can also read in this area the video in the Japan Times at: can find the nearly three minute video at: Sorry to say it’s in Korean with no subtitles, a likely intelligence indicator of who the target consultation for the video is. After watching the sepia toned mélange of photos and clips, it seems to me that the consultation is like to be North Koreans.While not being able to be with you the dialogue, it seems to me that the intent of the video is to convince the view that the North Koreans will prevail hostile to the meagre weapons of the decadent West. While the quality is supposed to be the same as ‘professional’ news organizations, it would not likely pass for a product from an advanced news agency such as the BBC or US outlets.Does that matter?In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter. The North Korean viewing public is a captive consultation and likely has lower standards in terms of video production that those outside the country who have access to other news sources.Another principle at work here is that it is harder to change someone’s mind than it is to reinforce an existing opinion.  North Koreans have been conditioned to acknowledge government information as truth for generations so that the government can control the content and flow of information that their citizens receive.The same work product would likely have small effect on Western Viewers who are able to explore a variety of different sources including www.defense.govand military defense contractors such as or their competitors such as: BAE Systems, Boeing, Cassidian (Airbus Military), Dassault Assemble, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, Finmeccanica, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Panavia Aircraft GmbH, Raytheon, and SAAB AB.Reader feedback welcome as always.

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Next PSYOP Combat Badge: Social Media?

Next PSYOP Combat Badge: Social Media? DOD has hired its first Digital Media Director. Defense One (see: reported that Stephanie Dreyer will be the Pentagon’s first “director for digital media and strategy, will be tasked specifically with strategizing around the use of social media” to foster communication between the SecDef and the Public. Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I reported to ROTC Summer Camp at the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, affectionately known as IGMR, I remember being told that every man is an infantryman.Today every soldier, especially MISO personnel is a social media warrior. If a stodgy and incredibly large organization such as DOD recognizes that social media is a vital shape resource, it follows that each of us in the Community needs to be capable of firing that weapons system just as we are capable of firing our personally assigned weapons.This implies that all personnel within DOD receive some level of training and guidance on the use of social media. We have all seen the OPSEC implications of providing too much out there, but not many of us have been fortunate sufficient to have a ‘rabbi’ to teach us the in’s and outs of social media.Personally, I reckon I’m sweet excellent at FaceBook and LinkedIn, but frankly I haven’t given a ‘tweet’ in this area the others. Perhaps this kind of self-examination is appropriate considering that this is my 400th Blog entry since the start of the Regimental Blog.While I don’t’ get much in the way of communications from Fort Bragg or the USAR units, I try to provide useful material and references for the community as best as I can.I’d like to thank you as readers and especially those of you out there who have been interested sufficient to send me your comments.Input as to prospect postings is welcome.Thanks for your help!

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The Shoemaker’s Children Are Barefoot – Reprise

The Shoemaker’s Children Are Barefoot – Reprise On November 20, 2012 I wrote in this area how one of the MISO Contractors was in the spotlight and not in a excellent way. The source of that article was an article on the Rendon Assemble. On May 23, USA Today ran “Report raps military propaganda hard work as ineffective” (see– which is also the photo source)Once again, USA Today is selling papers at the expense of our Community. This time they are using a GAO Report as the source. After a bit of Googling I found what I believe is the text version of the report at: as PSYOPers (MISOoers just doesn’t sound right) let’s deal with the perception the article is likely to make rather than what the actual text does or does not say.The key points of the article can be plugged into a couple of major topics.1.       Measures of Effectiveness and ROI“Pentagon propaganda programs are inadequately tracked, their impact is unclear, and the military doesn't know if it is targeting the right foreign audiences.” While the report says some of the military's propaganda teams have succeeded in the 22 countries, "it is unclear whether MISO activities are effective overall." The Pentagon can't rate the effects of propaganda programs well sufficient to know where to allocate funding.2.       Management and PlanningThe Pentagon and Congress "do not have a complete picture" of the hard work and the funding used to pay for the programs.Lacking goals, the Pentagon does not have "reasonable assurance" that it is putting resources into countries that need it."websites have the potential to unintentionally skew U.S. policy positions or be out of step with other government hard work in a particular country."3.       ResourcesIt also relies heavily on contractors to produce advertising, leaflets and telephone system broadcasts, many of them unattributed to the U.S. government because locals do not trust western shape, senior military officers told USA TODAY last year.The report also pointed out that its reserve forces may not be adequately trained or equipped.What of this is new news?MOE – still chasing that rabbit down the rabbit hole. MOE is hard especially in combat areas and when your goal is long range change of behaviors. MISO in today’s world is a bottom up endeavor inside and outside the MISO chain of mandate. This being the case it is no wonder that DOD doesn’t have a notion of the huge picture – there isn’t any. There is on overall “Corporate” Shape Plot under which the lower echelons are supposed to nest.WRT resources, DOD cannot possibly personnel up to provide every kind of shape help in every language in all media, consequently there is a need for contractors. The real issue is given the byzantine nature of government contracting are we doing as best as we can to manage the contractors?As for the RC, hopefully the path to place them back under the SOF umbrella is well under way.Reader input encouraged.Thoughts on what to tell a PSYOP Graduating Class are welcome as well.

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MISO Billets and the Army National Guard

MISO Billets and the Army National Guard Searching for the right slot is always a challenge for MISO (PSYOP) personnel. Anyone intent on moving up in rank has to balance a digit of factors when looking for their next slot. Geographic location, rank and MOS are high on the list. I was pleased to receive the 4th QTR FY 12 issue of the MISO Advocate published by the Joint MISO Proponent Personnel at USSOCOM.I was intrigued by the article “72 MISO Billets at NGB Maneuver Units” written by long time PSYOPer Phil Krigbaum. Just as the line between AC and RC is fuzzy, the line between USAR and NG can be even somewhat more mysterious.During my 27 year career I came into contact with a few NG units because the USAR unit I belonged to was “Capstoned” to the NG Unit. I still fondly recall one weekend with the Dixie Brigade of the Alabama National Guard in Tuscalosa, AL. The Captstone designation  meant while we never trained together or perhaps even known very much in this area each other, we were destined to go to war together if ‘the balloon’ ever went up.Just as the AC perhaps looked askance at the RC, my view of the NG was not entirely neutral. Quick forward to April of this month when I became caught up with the DOD Employer Help to Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program and was immersed into the Guard world.For surpass or worse, we (those serving) are all in the same boat.The article indicates that the NG assignments are for a 2-3 year duration. The type of unit varies. SF Brigade, Brigate Combat Team, Infantry Division MP Brigade, and Fires Brigade seem to be the most common. Pay grades ranged from 04/05 and the range of NCO paygrades: E6, E7 and E9.Locations were just as varied – Los Alamitos, CA; Rosemont, MN; Columbus, GA; Fort Belvoir, VA, Camp Douglas, WI and some fascinating ones like Cheyenne, WY; Tupelo, MS and Boise, ID.If were still serving and could apply for one of these slots I would. It’s not quite the glamour associated with a joint billet like Naval Unique Combat Assemble or an Air Force Cyber unit, but it could prove to be a fantastic learning opportunity, and perhaps, just perhaps an different way to complete one’s service before retirement.There are some ‘issues’ that continue income when an Officer or NCO transfers from one component to the other and you need to carefully assess the possibilities. Perhaps there would be a way to try a slot by drilling with the NG but processing the paperwork as if you made up a USAR drill.As always, y’all are closer to this than I am and comments are more than welcome.

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Bad Arson Science Frees Mom After Serving 16 Years

What a nightmare. In 1996, Kristin Bunch was 21, pregnant and income in a mobile home with her three year ancient. A sudden fire engulfed the trailer, killing her three year ancient. The police said it was arson and claimed she went into her son's bedroom, doused it with a liquid accelerant like kerosene or diesel fuel and set it on fire. She was exciting and convicted of felony murder and arson and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Arson investigators testified at her trial that burn patterns indicated the fire was arson. After 16 years in prison, she was released on bond today pending a retrial, and went home with her jubilant mother and now 16 year ancient son (whom she gave birth to in prison.) In March, the Indiana Court of Appeals set aside her conviction, finding it was based on invalid, outdated science and the prosecutor had withheld vital evidence at her trial. (Fantastic work by Kristin's post-conviction team, including the Center on Wrongful Convictions.)[More..} The opinion is here. The court bases its ruling on both new fire victim toxicology evidence and the state's withholding of evidence. We conclude the fire victim toxicology evidence does constitute newly-learned evidence and the post-conviction court clearly erred in denying Bunch relief on this claim. We also conclude the State‟s failure to turn over a report from the ATF testing of stump samples violates Brady and the post-conviction court also clearly erred in denying Bunch relief on this claim. Because either of these two errors warrants a new trial, we need not address the remaining issues. We reverse and remand for a new trial. The opinion is 48 pages, here are the highlights: At the jury trial, no witness testified to seeing Bunch set the fire or hearing her talk in this area doing so; there was no evidence Bunch had bought a liquid accelerant and no evidence of flammable liquid on the clothes she was wearing; and there was no testimony regarding a motive for her setting the fire. The State‟s case relied largely on expert testimony describing two points of origin for the fire from visual inspection and testing of stump samples showing evidence of a liquid accelerant. ...There was no direct evidence at Bunch‟s trial that she set multiple fires in the mobile home through use of an accelerant. No one saw her set the fire or heard her refer to setting the fire, there was no evidence she had bought a liquid accelerant, and there was no motive existing for her to intentionally set a fire. McAllister‟s testimony shows the State‟s theory of fire purposefully set in an open room could not have caused the injuries from which Tony was shown to have died. McAllister‟s conclusion is, if not entirely consistent with the eyewitness testimony, at least not inconsistent with it: that several witnesses testified they saw fire on the stump does not mean the fire started there; testimony regarding large amounts of thick smoke and evidence Tony inhaled soot is consistent with an under-ventilated fire; and testimony that there was no fire on the income room stump in the early stages of the fire is consistent with an accidental fire beginning in the ceiling in the south bedroom. The largely circumstantial evidence at trial did not overwhelmingly prove Bunch‟s guilt ... [Defense witness ]McAllister‟s fire victim toxicology analysis evidence, although not definitively able to disprove that Bunch committed a crime, at least makes a reasonable doubt that she committed the crime with which she was exciting: knowingly using an accelerant to start a fire in the income room of her mobile home. ...The State‟s evidence was largely circumstantial, none of Bunch‟s statements are really inculpatory, and the toxicology evidence supports her defense of innocence. We conclude it is probable this evidence would produce a different result if existing on retrial. In addition, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy testified at trial that the toddler died from smoke inhalation “within reasonable medical certainty.” The fire victim toxicology evidence presented in the post-conviction proceeding showed that wasn't the case. He died from the fire itself. In order to get a new trial based on newly learned evidence in Indiana, a defendant must meet 9 hurdles. It must show: (1) the evidence has been learned since the trial; (2) it is material and relevant; (3) it is not cumulative; (4) it is not merely impeaching; (5) it is not privileged or incompetent; (6) due diligence was used to learn it in time for trial; (7) the evidence is worthy of credit; (8) it can be produced upon a retrial of the case; and (9) it will probably produce a different result at retrial. The appeals court found: ....Bunch has met her burden of proving the fire victim toxicology analysis evidence meets all nine requirements of newly-learned evidence. We therefore hold the post-conviction court clearly erred in denying her petition for post-conviction relief on this claim. On the Brady issue, the state disastrous to turn over the complete ATF file which contained exculpatory evidence. It didn't tell the ATF Laboratory’s bench clarification, which contradicted the ATF chemist’s testimony as to 2 of the samples. The State asserted at oral argument that it is the State‟s right and obligation to shape what evidence in its possession is favorable to the accused and therefore required to be turned over to the defense in discovery. We do not disagree that it is initially the State‟s call, but we note that the State then has to live with the consequences of its choice. The State has the affirmative duty to turn over exculpatory evidence even in the absence of a specific request by the defendant. The Court found the state suppressed the complete ATF file; the suppressed material was covered by Brady; and it was material. The State concedes it has the obligation to turn over Brady evidence and concedes it did not turn over the entire ATF file to Bunch prior to her trial; it therefore disastrous to satisfy its obligation in this case. We conclude the State suppressed the complete ATF file. ...the State proceeded primarily on the theory that there were multiple fires in the mobile home, and because multiple, non-communicating fires are more likely than not to be incendiary, Bunch was responsible for setting the fires. ...The undisclosed evidence directly contradicts Kinard‟s trial testimony supporting fires originating in two places. Thus, there is a reasonable probability that but for the prosecutorial failure to tell this evidence favorable to Bunch, the result of the trial would have been different. The court said these two issues, the new fire victim toxicology evidence and the Brady violation, are sufficient for a new trial -- so even though Bunch had additional opinion, it wasn't necessary to assess them. The post-conviction court clearly erred in determining Bunch was not free to a new trial on the basis of the fire victim toxicology analysis evidence, as the evidence meets each of the nine requirements to be newly-learned evidence. The post-conviction court also clearly erred in determining Bunch was not free to a new trial on the basis of a Brady violation by the State. It took from March until today for Kristin Bunch to be released on bail pending retrial. Is the state really going to retry her? It says it will, but I suspect (and hope) it thinks surpass of it. How will it get a conviction based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt when the fire is of undetermined cause? The end result: A mother who lost her 3 year ancient due to a tragic accidental fire was accused and convicted of murder and spent 16 years in prison, during which time she gave birth to another outcome who was then taken from her. A 16 year ancient has grown up lacking the presence of his mother. "It's kind of hard growing up lacking a mother," Trenton Bunch said. "I'm just really excited." As her lawyer said today: The court of appeals made it very clear in its ruling that they believe that on the evidence that was presented in this courtroom a couple of years ago, that it was likely that a jury would acquit," said attorney Ron Safer. "I would hope the prosecutor's personnel would have accepted the appeals court's ruling." Is anyone else humming, "In an Indiana town.... on an Indiana night. Welcome home, Kristin. Read more