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Riffing off revelations by Earthworks' Texas Sharon that the fracking industry is using military tactics in shale gas communities, today DeSmogBlog posted an excellent story explaining what military psychological operations are and how they've been used in our communities.

You should read the whole thing.  But some highlights:

What if the same techniques that the Army used to weaken the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan are being used by the gas industry to intimidate U.S. citizens in Pennsylvania? Of course they wouldn't need the Black Hawk helicopters, the U.S. Postal Service can drop letters just fine. But the tactics of using financial incentives and disseminating propaganda designed to pit neighbor against neighbor?

They then document in detail a case study of them doing exactly that.

DeSmogBlog then goes on to discuss the implications of the use of these tactics:

Range [claims], “As one of America’s leading natural gas producers, we are committed to responsibly develop this resource and to being open, honest and transparent.”

Range’s rhetoric is admirable, but does it match the reality of its practices? It appears that Range’s use of psychological warfare tactics on U.S. citizens may mean that it is violating the [law].

One has to wonder, though, how frequently and to what depth are these immoral tactics being used by the gas industry on American citizens? It is certainly worthy of an in-depth examination.