Pentagon Documents Indicate Security Detail for Top Officials Extends to Anti-Bullying Online

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS

Based on an Army procurement document dated September 1, 2022, it appears that the Pentagon is now tasked with protecting it’s top brass against “assassination, kidnapping, injury or embarrassment” with an emphasis on online “embarrassment” or as some would see it, ‘online bullying’.

The procurement document, published in redacted form on an online clearinghouse for government contracts, was reviewed without redactions by SxHx News. According to the document, one purpose of the Protective Services Battalion is “to mitigate online threats (direct, indirect, and veiled), the identification of fraudulent accounts and positive or negative sentiment relating specifically to our senior high-risk personnel.” The expansion of the Protective Services Battalion’s purview comes at a time when the mechanics of public relations and propaganda have become largely dependent on social media.

Protective details have, in the past, generated controversy over questions about their cost and necessity. During the Trump administration, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s around-the-clock security detail racked up over $24 million in costs. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt ran up over $3.5 million in bills for his protective detail — costs that were determined unjustified by the EPA’s Inspector General. The document says, “The PSIFO/PIB — Protective Services Field Office/Protective Intelligence Branch — needs an Open-Source Web based tool-kit with advanced capabilities to collect publicly available information.” The toolkit would “provide the anonymity and security needed to conduct publicly accessible information research through misattribution by curating user agent strings and using various egress points globally to mask their identity.”

Suffice to say, there will be no roasting of high-ranking military officials on Reddit or severe ownage of such on Twitter. When chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley retires from his post later this year he will do so with the lifelong perk of security detail up to and including immediately knowing everything about anyone that proves to have an inability to keep his name ‘out of their mouth’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x