Information operations

Camille Chidiac, Co-Founder of Leonie Industries, Does the Honorable Thing


Ribbon of the Distinguished Honor Award

Breaking News – 24 May 2012

Camille Chidiac, on his personal blog, is accepting full responsibility for any information actions appearing to target two USA Today reporters, here.

I take full responsibility for having some of the discussion forums opened and reproducing their previously published USA Today articles on them.  Even though the USA Today articles written about my family included unfair personal attacks and false statements by the reporters, it did not motivate me to post anything personally nor did I encourage anyone to post anything that was untrue or defamatory in any way.

Mr. Chidiac also posted an apology for hurting “Leonie and the US military.”

Camille Chidiac, co-owner of Leonie Industries, LLC, is selling his shares of Leonie Industries to his sister, Rema C. Dupont, soon to be sole owner of Leonie Industries. Divestiture procedures have only just begun.

In the USA Today story written by Gregory Korte here, Pentagon press secretary, George Little, publicly and incorrectly extrapolates  Camille Chidiac’s private actions to Leonie Industries.

We were deeply disappointed to read this disclosure from Leonie Industries. Smear campaigns — online or anywhere else — are intolerable, and we reject this kind of behavior.

A statement released by Leonie Industries appeared on their website, here.

Background

At some time in late 2011 or early 2012 Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker began an investigation for what turned out to be a damning story about the Information Operations community, specifically against Leonie Industries.  Leonie Industries became aware of the story on 3 January 2012 and responded honestly and openly to questions submitted by the two reporters, according to Ed Negrelli, President of Leonie Industries, here.

It is highly likely that a competitor, hoping to unseat Leonie Industries from a current contract as the incumbent, fed Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker ‘insider’ information intended to harm the reputation of Leonie Industries in the original investigation.  The story, “U.S. ‘info ops’ programs dubious, costly“, was published in USA Today on 29 February 2012.

In the 29 February 2012 USA Today story it was revealed that Rema C. Dupont, owner of Leonie Industries, and Camille Chidiac, co-owner of Leonie Industries, together owed $4 million in personal back taxes to the US government.  All personal back taxes have been paid off as of March 2012, source: here.

In response to the investigation two websites intended to “create open dialogue in an open forum related to the reporters past articles” were established.  Many thought, however, their purpose was to reduce the credibility of the two USA Today reporters.

According to the Gregory Korte story in USA Today, here,

Chidiac’s attorney said the Twitter and Wikipedia entries were created by someone else with “absolutely no relationship or connection with Leonie Industries,” whom he did not name.

The USA Today article makes an incorrect statement that these actions may violate the Smith-Mundt Act, whereas the act only applies to the Department of State and not the Department of Defense or contractors acting on their behalf. I have been told the statement regarding the Smith-Mundt Act may be removed from the article. For full disclosure this has been an ongoing debate for decades within the Department of Defense and has been highly contentious. For in depth research and argument, please go to MountainRunner.us.

According to informed sources, Camille Chidiac is separating himself from Leonie Industries in an effort to take the ‘heat’ off of Leonie, allowing work there to proceed.  Camille Chidiac is taking all responsibility for any information actions that appear to originate from Leonie, targeting the two USA Today reporters – Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker.

Rep Hank Johnson, D-GA, submitted an amendment and promptly withdrew an amendment removing $120 million from “Information Operations”.  This action supposedly targets a Leonie’s Information Operations or MISO/Psychological Operations contract.

Senators Carl Levin, D-MI, and John McCain, R-AZ, of the US Senate Armed Services Committee have called for an investigation of MISO contracts, meaning Leonie will come under US congressional scrutiny for their MISO or Psyop contracts by way of a GAO investigation.  The issue is the effectiveness of MISO.  Within the IO, MISO or Psyop communities this is know as Measures of Effectiveness or Measures of Performance.

What this means

By assuming all responsibility, Camille Chidiac opens himself up for a libel suit from the two reporters. The two websites were established as ‘fansites’, so let’s see if this fizzles out or not. Rep Hank Johnson seemed adamant about an investigation, we shall see.

What I think

In my opinion, accepting fully responsibility for unfavorable actions is a lost art in today’s world.  This is doing the honorable thing, doing the right thing. The younger generation and many of today’s leaders, should take note – this is what you do when you make a mistake.

I believe a third party company is responsible for feeding information to Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker, to unseat Leonie Industries as the incumbent on a current contract.  One name has surfaced as a guilty party at least twice, but this would be considered only hearsay.

The Outcome

Three parties will suffer to varying degrees.

  • Camille Chidiac will take the hardest hit, by his own design.
  • Leonie stands to lose its reputation and most likely quite a few contracts.  It needs to hire a reputation repairman quickly.
  • The Information Operations and Psychological Operations communities are suffering yet another blow to their already battered reputation.  These two relatively nascent arts are not quite sciences, not by a long stretch, but they might not receive adequate resourcing to do proper research, development and employment of new knowledge and tools unless these two smear campaigns are publicly labeled as they really are: personal and minor attacks albeit very publicly.
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