COLUMN: You want to obey me

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By KEVIN KOELLING, Managing Editor

Using mind tricks on your bosses to get the things you want?

(I could use a raise.)

That’s absolutely brilliant!

(My cubicle should be bigger.)

The Army’s psychological-operations experts, according to Rolling Stone magazine, have been turning their tactics on senators, who can give them large sums of cash. I’m not talking wallets thick with dead presidents, here. They were asking for billions!

(You’re becoming very receptive to my suggestions.)

“Psy-ops – the use of propaganda and psychological tactics to influence emotions and behaviors – are supposed to be used exclusively on ‘hostile foreign groups,’ “ Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings wrote. He quoted a veteran practitioner of the psychological arts as saying, “everyone in the psy-ops ... community knows you’re not supposed to target Americans. It’s what you learn on day one.”

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe day one was too long ago for many of the soldiers to remember.

(It’s nice that the company gives me a day off for my birthday, but my anniversary is special too, don’t you agree?)

One of Hastings’ best lines was this one: Instead of fighting the Taliban, Holmes and his team were now responsible for using their training to win the hearts and minds of John McCain and Al Franken.

McCain endured much as a prisoner of war. I think we should probably respect anyone who can work their mind games on him. After we prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, of course, and employ Hannibal Lecter-level security measures to secure them.

And Al Franken? The satirist and author of “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them; A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right?” One would think someone who has survived by his wit, as Franken has, would be impervious to such things.

He issued a statement, saying, among other things that while briefings he received from the thought-shifters “provided me with a helpful update on what was happening on the ground, I knew that I would have to crosscheck their assessment by talking to other military officials, diplomatic officials, outside experts and troops in the field, and I always raise skeptical questions when discussing this topic.”

Oh, those people are good. That’s exactly what you’d program someone to say in the event you were caught playing in people’s brains.

(Did I mention I could use a raise?)