The Associated Press reported today that the Army is changing the name of their “Psy Ops” division, short for Psychological Operations. AP quoted Alfred H. Paddock, Jr., a retired colonel who was Director for Psychological Operations in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1986 to 1988, said the term has always had some baggage and been difficult to explain.
“Somehow it gives a nefarious connotation, but I think that this baggage can be overcome,” said Paddock, who also served three combat tours with Special Forces in Laos and Vietnam.
It seems that whenever an organization makes a bad name for themselves through unsavory actions, they simply change their name and hope we’ll forget. Blackwater being the most recent example, but there are others like Wackenhut (private prisons lobbying for minor offenses to land people in the clink), and we can expect to see British Petroleum and Monsanto change their names soon as the public grows more aware of their dirty deeds.