Simon P. Worden

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Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden is a former US Air Force general who was closely involved in the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative in the 1980s and early 1990s, and headed the short-lived Pentagon propaganda unit, the Office of Strategic Influence under George W. Bush.

As of 2009, Worden was director of NASA's Ames Research Center.[1]

Contents

Air Force Career

Worden was commissioned in 1971 after receiving a B.SC from the University of Michigan. He entered the Air Force in 1975 after receiving a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Arizona.[2]

Star Wars

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Worden was closely involved in the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative. He twice served in the Executive Office of the President, and was a staff officer of the National Space Council under George H. W. Bush.[3]

Office of Strategic Influence

The New York Times reported in February 2002, that the Office of Strategic Influence, under Worden's command, was circulating classified proposals for covert propaganda campaigns:

General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from black campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to white public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said.[4]

Worden reportedly decline to be interviewed for the article, which added:

General Worden has close ties to his new boss, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, that date back to the Reagan administration, military officials said. The general's staff of about 15 people reports to the office of the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, which is under Mr. Feith.[5]

The New York Times reported further details on 25 February:

Though the office's mission and plans are still under review at the Pentagon, the program's director, Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden, envisions projects in friendly as well as unfriendly nations, particularly in the Islamic world, military officials said.
General Worden has also proposed that the office coordinate activities from issuing public press releases to waging secret information warfare.[6]

On 25 February, the New York Times' reported that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was distancing himself from the Office:

But the office's assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former Army colonel and psychological operations officer, said at a recent industry conference that General Worden had briefed Mr. Rumsfeld on the purpose and goals of the office at least twice, and that Mr. Rumsfeld had given his general support.[7]

Other Positions

According to his NASA biography, Worden also held the following other positions during his Air Force career:

Dr. Worden commanded the 50th Space Wing that is responsible for more than 60 Department of Defense satellites and more than 6,000 people at 23 worldwide locations. He then served as Deputy Director for Requirements at Headquarters Air Force Space Command, as well as the Deputy Director for Command and Control with the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations at Air Force headquarters. Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Worden was responsible for policy and direction of five mission areas: force enhancement, space support, space control, force application and computer network defense.[8]

Worden retired from the Air Force in 2004. His final position was Director of Development and Transformation, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.[9]

post military career

After leaving the Air Force, Worden worked as a Professor of Astronomy at Arizona University and a consultant to the Defence Research Advanced Projects Agency.[10]

During the 2004 Congressional session, he was an advisor on space issues to Republican Kansas Senator Sam Brownback.[11]

Notes

  1. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director, NASA, accessed 7 September 2009.
  2. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director, NASA, accessed 7 September 2009.
  3. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director, NASA, accessed 7 September 2009.
  4. A NATION CHALLENGED: HEARTS AND MINDS; PENTAGON READIES EFFORTS TO SWAY SENTIMENT ABROAD, by James Dao and Eric Schmitt, New York Times, 19 February 2002.
  5. A NATION CHALLENGED: HEARTS AND MINDS; PENTAGON READIES EFFORTS TO SWAY SENTIMENT ABROAD, by James Dao and Eric Schmitt, New York Times, 19 February 2002.
  6. A NATION CHALLENGED: HEARTS AND MINDS; New Agency Will Not Lie, Top Pentagon Officials Say, by James Dao, New York Times, 21 February 2002.
  7. A NATION CHALLENGED: HEARTS AND MINDS; Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office Of Influence, by Eric Schmitt, New York Times, 25 February 2002.
  8. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director, NASA, accessed 7 September 2009.
  9. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director, NASA, accessed 7 September 2009.
  10. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director, NASA, accessed 7 September 2009.
  11. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director, NASA, accessed 7 September 2009.
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