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Excerpt: "The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda program in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal."

Still image from ISIS propaganda video. (photo: PA)
Still image from ISIS propaganda video. (photo: PA)

Pentagon Paid Millions to Create Fake Terrorist Videos

By Crofton Blackand and Abigail Fielding-Smith, The Daily Beast

02 October 16


A controversial foreign PR firm known for representing unsavory characters was paid millions by the Pentagon to create fake terrorist videos.

he Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda program in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal.

Bell Pottinger's output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.

The agency's staff worked alongside high-ranking U.S. military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters as the insurgency raged outside.

Bell Pottinger's former chairman Lord Tim Bell confirmed to the Sunday Times, which has worked with the Bureau on this story, that his firm had worked on a "covert" military operation "covered by various secrecy documents."

Bell Pottinger reported to the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Security Council on its work in Iraq, he said.

Bell, one of Britain's most successful public relations executives, is credited with honing Margaret Thatcher's steely image and helping the Conservative party win three elections. The agency he co-founded has had a roster of clients including repressive regimes and Asma al-Assad, the wife of the Syrian president.

In the first media interview any Bell Pottinger employee has given about the work for the U.S. military in Iraq, video editor Martin Wells told the Bureau his time in Camp Victory was "shocking, eye-opening, life-changing."

The firm's output was signed off by former General David Petraeus - then commander of the coalition forces in Iraq - and on occasion by the White House, he said.

Bell Pottinger produced reams of material for the Pentagon, some of it going far beyond standard communications work.

The Bureau traced the firm's Iraq work through US army contracting censuses, reports by the Defense Department's Inspector General and federal procurement transaction records, as well as Bell Pottinger's corporate filings and specialist publications on military propaganda. We interviewed half a dozen former officials and contractors involved in information operations in Iraq.

There were three types of media operations commonly used in Iraq at the time, said a military contractor familiar with Bell Pottinger's work there.

"White is attributed, it says who produced it on the label," the contractor said. "Grey is unattributed and black is falsely attributed. These types of black ops, used for tracking who is watching a certain thing, were a pretty standard part of the industry toolkit."

Bell Pottinger's work in Iraq was a huge media operation which cost over a hundred million dollars a year on average. A document unearthed by the Bureau shows the company was employing almost 300 British and Iraqi staff at one point.

The London-based PR agency was brought into Iraq soon after the U.S. invasion. In March 2004 it was tasked by the country's temporary administration with the "promotion of democratic elections" -a "high-profile activity" which it trumpeted in its annual report.

The firm soon switched to less high-profile activities, however. The Bureau has identified transactions worth $540 million between the Pentagon and Bell Pottinger for information operations and psychological operations on a series of contracts issued from May 2007 to December 2011. A similar contract at around the same annual rate-$120 million-was in force in 2006, we have been told.

The bulk of the money was for costs such as production and distribution, Lord Bell told the Sunday Times, but the firm would have made around £15m a year in fees.

Martin Wells, the ex-employee, told the Bureau he had no idea what he was getting into when he was interviewed for the Bell Pottinger job in May 2006.

He had been working as a freelance video editor and got a call from his agency suggesting he go to London for an interview for a potential new gig. "You'll be doing new stuff that'll be coming out of the Middle East," he was told.

"I thought 'That sounds interesting'," Wells recalled. "So I go along and go into this building, get escorted up to the sixth floor in a lift, come out and there's guards up there. I thought what on earth is going on here? And it turns out it was a Navy post, basically. So from what I could work out it was a media intelligence gathering unit."

After a brief chat Wells asked when he would find out about the job, and was surprised by the response.

"You've already got it," he was told. "We've already done our background checks into you."

He would be flying out on Monday, Wells was told. It was Friday afternoon. He asked where he would be going and got a surprising answer: Baghdad.

"So I literally had 48 hours to gather everything I needed to live in a desert," Wells said.

Days later, Wells's plane executed a corkscrew landing to avoid insurgent fire at Baghdad airport. He assumed he would be taken to somewhere in the Green Zone, from which coalition officials were administering Iraq. Instead he found himself in Camp Victory, a military base.

It turned out that the British PR firm which had hired him was working at the heart of a U.S. military intelligence operation.

A tide of violence was engulfing the Iraqi capital as Wells began his contract. The same month he arrived there were five suicide bomb attacks in the city, including one a suicide car bomb attack near Camp Victory which killed 14 people and wounded six others.

Describing his first impressions, Wells said he was struck by a working environment very unlike what he was used to. "It was a very secure building," he recalled, with "signs outside saying 'Do not come in, it's a classified area, if you're not cleared, you can't come in.'"

Inside were two or three rooms with lots of desks in, said Wells, with one section for Bell Pottinger staff and the other for the US military.

"I made the mistake of walking into one of the [U.S. military] areas, and having a very stern American military guy basically drag me out saying you are not allowed in here under any circumstances, this is highly classified, get out-whilst his hand was on his gun, which was a nice introduction," said Wells.

It soon became apparent he would be doing much more than just editing news footage.

The work consisted of three types of products. The first was television commercials portraying al Qaeda in a negative light. The second was news items which were made to look as if they had been "created by Arabic TV", Wells said. Bell Pottinger would send teams out to film low-definition video of al Qaeda bombings and then edit it like a piece of news footage. It would be voiced in Arabic and distributed to TV stations across the region, according to Wells.

The American origins of the news items were sometimes kept hidden. Revelations in 2005 that PR contractor the Lincoln Group had helped the Pentagon place articles in Iraqi newspapers, sometimes presented as unbiased news, led to a Department of Defense investigation.

The third and most sensitive program described by Wells was the production of fake al Qaeda propaganda films. He told the Bureau how the videos were made. He was given precise instructions: "We need to make this style of video and we've got to use al Qaeda's footage," he was told. "We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner."

US marines would take the CDs on patrol and drop them in the chaos when they raided targets. Wells said: "If they're raiding a house and they're going to make a mess of it looking for stuff anyway, they'd just drop an odd CD there."

The CDs were set up to use Real Player, a popular media streaming application which connects to the internet to run. Wells explained how the team embedded a code into the CDs which linked to a Google Analytics account, giving a list of IP addresses where the CDs had been played.

The tracking account had a very restricted circulation list, according to Wells: the data went to him, a senior member of the Bell Pottinger management team, and one of the U.S. military commanders.

Wells explained their intelligence value. "If one is looked at in the middle of know there's a hit there," he said. "If one, 48 hours or a week later shows up in another part of the world, then that's the more interesting one, and that's what they're looking for more, because that gives you a trail."

The CDs turned up in some interesting places, Wells recalled, including Iran, Syria, and even America.

"I would do a print-out for the day and, if anything interesting popped up, hand it over to the bosses and then it would be dealt with from there," he said.

The Pentagon confirmed that Bell Pottinger did work for them as a contractor in Iraq under the Information Operations Task Force (IOTF), producing some material that was openly sourced to coalition forces, and some which was not. They insisted that all material put out by IOTF was "truthful".

IOTF was not the only mission Bell Pottinger worked on however. Wells said some Bell Pottinger work was carried out under the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (JPOTF), which a US defense official confirmed.

The official said he could not comment in detail on JPOTF activities, adding "We do not discuss intelligence gathering methods for operations past and present."

Lord Bell, who stood down as chairman of Bell Pottinger earlier this year, told the Sunday Times that the deployment of tracking devices described by Wells was "perfectly possible", but he was personally unaware of it.

Bell Pottinger's output was signed off by the commander of coalition forces in Iraq. Wells recalled: "We'd get the two colonels in to look at the things we'd done that day, they'd be fine with it, it would then go to General Petraeus".

Some of the projects went even higher up the chain of command. "If [Petraeus] couldn't sign off on it, it would go on up the line to the White House, and it was signed off up there, and the answer would come back down the line'.

Petraeus went on to become director of the CIA in 2011 before resigning in the wake of an affair with a journalist.

The awarding of such a large contract to a British company created resentment among the American communications firms jostling for Iraq work, according to a former employee of one of Bell Pottinger's rivals.

"Nobody could work out how a British company could get hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. funding when there were equally capable U.S. companies who could have done it," said Andrew Garfield, an ex-employee of the Lincoln Group who is now a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. "The American companies were pissed."

Ian Tunnicliffe, a former British soldier, was the head of a three person panel from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)-the transitional government in Iraq following the 2003 invasion-which awarded Bell Pottinger their 2004 contract to promote democratic elections.

According to Tunnicliffe, the contract, which totaled $5.8m, was awarded after the CPA realized its own in-house efforts to make people aware of the transitional legal framework ahead of elections were not working.

"We held a relatively hasty but still competitive bid for communications companies to come in," recalls Tunnicliffe.

Tunnicliffe said that Bell Pottinger's consortium was one of three bidders for the contract, and simply put in a more convincing proposal than their rivals.

Iraq was a lucrative opportunity for many communications firms. The Bureau has discovered that between 2006 and 2008 more than 40 companies were being paid for services such as TV and radio placement, video production, billboards, advertising and opinion polls. These included US companies like Lincoln Group, Leonie Industries and SOS International as well as Iraq-based firms such as Cradle of New Civilization Media, Babylon Media and Iraqi Dream.

But the largest sums the Bureau was able to trace went to Bell Pottinger.

According to Glen Segell, who worked in an information operations task force in Iraq in 2006, contractors were used partly because the military didn't have the in-house expertise, and partly because they were operating in a legal "grey area".

In his 2011 article Covert Intelligence Provision in Iraq, Segell notes that U.S. law prevented the government from using propaganda on the domestic population of the U.S. In a globalized media environment, the Iraq operations could theoretically have been seen back home, therefore "it was prudent legally for the military not to undertake all the...activities," Segell wrote.

Segell maintains that information operations programs did make a difference on the ground in Iraq. Some experts question this however.

A 2015 study by the Rand Corporation, a military think tank, concluded that "generating assessments of efforts to inform, influence, and persuade has proven to be challenging across the government and DoD."

Bell Pottinger's operations on behalf of the U.S. government stopped in 2011 as American troops withdrew from Iraq.

Bell Pottinger changed ownership after a management buyout in 2012 and its current structure has no connections with the unit Wells worked for, which closed in 2011. It is understood the key principals who were involved in this unit deny any involvement with tracking software as described by Wells.

Wells left Iraq after less than two years, having had enough of the stress of working in a war zone and having to watch graphic videos of atrocities day after day.

Looking back at his time creating propaganda for the US military, Wells is ambivalent. The aim of Bell Pottinger's work in Iraq was to highlight al Qaeda's senseless violence, he said-publicity which at the time he thought must be doing some good. "But then, somewhere in my conscience I wondered whether this was the right thing to do," he added.

Lord Bell told the Sunday Times he was "proud" of Bell Pottinger's work in Iraq. "We did a lot to help resolve the situation," he said. "Not enough. We did not stop the mess which emerged, but it was part of the American propaganda machinery."

Whether the material achieved its goals, no one would ever really know, said Wells. "I mean if you look at the situation now, it wouldn't appear to have worked. But at the time, who knows, if it saved one life it [was] a good thing to do." your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+33 # indian weaver 2016-10-02 09:21
Am I surprised? Unfortunately, no. This is exactly what I expect of a fascist regime that continuously and 100% lies to We The People, of the entire world. That is what Obama is: a coward who lies to cover / compensate for his cowardice. The Genocidal - Maniac - In - Chief has given me reason to never again vote for any president under the fascist regime, which is now permanent and accelerating in world and domestic Crimes Against Humanity. Thank God Putin and China serve as somewhat of a buffer against the American regime destroying all life on our great mother, We The People of what was once a country instead of a corporate MIC, and then destroying my planet too.
+14 # jsluka 2016-10-02 11:51
Unfortunately, you are deluded if you think Russia and China aren't just as anti-Earth, anti-people as the USA is. They do not in any way provide any sort of "buffer against the American regime destroying all life on our great mother Earth" - they are totally complicit in this process. Don't be fooled; this is the nature of the crisis we face.
+16 # newell 2016-10-02 15:33
Agree. It is greed that does not keep it in the ground and wants an eternal growth of consumers--whet her it's capitalist, communist or socialist. The 1% is the problem. Can we all agree on that?
+28 # RMDC 2016-10-02 12:28
i.w. Yes, no one is surprised. And we knew most of this all along but it is good to have the direct comments of someone on the Inside.

The CIA was deeply involved with al Qaeda videos way back in the 1980s. These showed recruits training in what looked like obstacle running courses.

The ISIS beheadding videos were also probably made by the CIA/Pentagon.

This article is a bit too timid in talking about Americans as the intended audience. But propagandizing Americans is the #1 priority of the CIA and Pentagon. As was made very clear in the documentary "Weapons of Mass Deception" by Danny Schecter, the war that Americans saw was a total fabrication by CIA and Pentagon media teams.

The truth about America's wars does mostly finally come out but it comes too late. Here's a good piece finally on the Korean war and the death squads employed by the US to ideologically cleanse the South of communism and nationalism. These campaigns of mass murder of left-leaning South Koreans was the real reason behind the war. The North tried to stop the US massacre of civilians.
+8 # MidwestTom 2016-10-02 12:56
If you have not seen this, this s a very informative tare about Syria, please listen to the whole thing:
+7 # RMDC 2016-10-02 18:46
Midwest -- thanks for this link. I"m astonished this guy is a politician from Virginia. He gets it.

Here is the WaPo's character assassination of Richard Black.
+5 # RMDC 2016-10-02 19:00
Here's another good video on Syria --
-5 # Krackonis 2016-10-02 13:59
They are faked.... Look at the production values.
+5 # Radscal 2016-10-03 15:35

Is it time for USians to remember that the ISIL videos of beheading Western journalists were found by experts hired by the UK Telegraph to have been “staged” and not to actually show any beheadings?

Is it time to seriously question why one woman (Rita Katz) has been able to discover and release all of these ISIL videos BEFORE ISIL releases them?—_Fake_ISIS_video_exposed/41539/0/38/38/Y/M.html

And could this leaked video of a staged beheading being filmed actually show one of these faked videos being produced by Bell Pottinger?
+17 # hipocampelo 2016-10-02 16:26
indian weaver: As William Randolph Hearst
said, "We don't need news. We can write
our own." So true.
+12 # crispy 2016-10-02 17:48
wait Indian weaver, this was 100% under Bush as far as the article tells...
+22 # sharag 2016-10-02 09:28
"It wouldn't appear to have worked"....Real ly? You think?
+45 # guomashi 2016-10-02 10:04
The pentagon and the CIA need to be castrated if US is to survive.
+21 # PeacefulGarden 2016-10-02 10:24
Gou? Are you Chinese? If you are, you must know that here in the United States of America we do not castrate men for crimes like this.

We promote them! We give them bigger balls! Balls so big they need a wheel chair to fuck us to death with their endless fucking bullshit.

No, it is worse, they serve us their balls in a sandwich and we eat it, and then they grow more balls. Then we eat what ever they serve us.

Then they meet women who make babies who grow up and serve shit sandwiches to our children. And they are really rich so congressman shit bird does what ever mr. big balls wants him to do because congressman shit bird believes in bible, especially the garden of eden, where a snake had balls, balls the size of apples, no melon balls, not the small melon balls at parties, balls the size of water melons. Oh, congressman shit bird, you rule!
+18 # guomashi 2016-10-02 10:44
I am not chinese.
I am aware of what you say.
I can not accept it.
Fortunately for US, I have almost reached my 'use by' date, so they can soon continue without my input.
+6 # PeacefulGarden 2016-10-02 11:15
Then why Guo Ma Shi? I don't understand.
+6 # guomashi 2016-10-02 12:02
That's what they called me when I worked in China.
+4 # PeacefulGarden 2016-10-02 13:57
When did you work in China? Did you work in Guangzho?
+2 # guomashi 2016-10-02 15:56
I worked in the western mountains.
+2 # Skyelav 2016-10-02 16:08
[quote name="guomashi" :(... You too, eh?
+9 # hipocampelo 2016-10-02 16:35
guomashi: Please extend your "use by" date.
Your input is valuable.
+7 # guomashi 2016-10-02 18:05
Thank you for your kind words.
I'm doing the best I can on a number of fronts.
+9 # librarian1984 2016-10-03 01:18
g, your posts are bitter and funny simultaneously. I, too, hope you will help keep us honest for a long time to come. Your bs detector is superb. I believe you have called me out, justifiably, once or twice :-D

(I loved your comment about people unlucky enough to live in 'the vicinity of oil'.)
+8 # RMDC 2016-10-02 18:43
Yes, count me in, Keep it going, Guomashi. Your comments are valuable.
+29 # Anonymot 2016-10-02 10:26
Hillary will love this sort of thing. Exciting. It's why she and the CIA were/are so close and why she so admires Creepy Petraeus.
+10 # Billy Bob 2016-10-02 10:39
This title doesn't have "hillary" or "bernie" or "donald" in the title, so you're less likely to be attacked by red thumbing trolls. The rest of the articles appear to be a good place for the rest of us to hide out from the Clin-trolls who've hijacked the site, and made RSN totally powerless to defend itself (to the point of no longer even trying).
+10 # guomashi 2016-10-02 10:50
The pandemonium of parroting Clinton-bought bots only seems to land on Reich articles for the most part.

Really, they are quite amusing to students of non-sequiturs and other forms of statistical randomness.

I don't think they have a script for this topic.
+9 # librarian1984 2016-10-02 15:06
:-D This is like a secret clubhouse!

I used to talk to Radscal and economagic on international articles. Trolls don't care about foreign policy. Obviously.

Geez, g, there's an article where you have almost a hundred reds! And it wasn't an unreasonable post.

BIG push on now, for compliance.
+15 # guomashi 2016-10-02 16:01
I'm shooting for quadruple digits.
Denial is the first step towards enlightenment and acceptance.
+7 # librarian1984 2016-10-03 01:25
I think you can do it!

On the next Reich article you should post a comment using all their most hated memes. :-)
+16 # Billy Bob 2016-10-02 10:44
It's stuff like this that throws a wrench in the works for thinking human beings who still love this country.

What are we supposed to believe?

In truth, we can't believe anything at all, because, like the Clinton trolls who've infected and hijacked this site, our entire country has been infected, and hijacked by right-wing lunatics who don't believe in ANYTHING about America - especially not our Constitution.

Since they have absolute control, we no longer have the luxury of being able to trust ANYTHING our government and news media feed us as "truth".

I guess they owe a debt of gratitude to the KGB and Pravda.
+11 # jdd 2016-10-02 11:45
Reminds one of the bogus and crude video of OBL confessing responsibility for 911 supposedly found in a cave. after he had repeatedly denied being the mastermind. Funny how Obama made sure he'd not be taken alive, and thus never to stand trial. Unfortunately for Obama, thanks to congress's override of his JASTA veto. the actual Saudi sponsors of that atrocity, such as Prince Bandar bin Sultan, will not be afforded that luxury.
+11 # futhark 2016-10-02 12:14
Yeah, the actor playing OBL in that video was carrying about 40 pounds more weight than the real guy and was wearing a gold ring, strictly forbidden by Islam. Curiously enough, it was still on the CIA's website in 2009, long after it had been debunked.

Prosecution of the Saudis for the 9/11 attacks will test their allegiance to the Deep State. If they could bring forward evidence of the real perpetrators that could possibly get them off the hook, but they would lose their best American friends and backers in the process.
+7 # Radscal 2016-10-03 15:50
jdd, please try not to hang so much of your hope on the "28 pages" and any lawsuits that might actually succeed in digging deeper into that limited hangout.

With 15 of the 19 patsies all identified as Saudis, it should be clear that shifting the blame to Saudi Arabia once the bin Laden/al Qaeda story wore out was baked into the original plan.

Sure, some of the checks were written by Saudis, but no Saudi could have shut down US air defenses, and especially the Pentagon defense systems that include ground to air missiles.

Saudis couldn't have taken over the security of the WTC complex, and ensured the 3 high rises would "collapse" into their own footprints, and blow up Building Six and half of Building Five.

Saudis couldn't have controlled the 911 Commission and steered them away from all the crucial evidence.

And Saudis couldn't have controlled both corporate and most "alternative" media for the past 15 years to ridicule and forestall serious investigations.

Like any other crime, all investigation should begin with the question "Who Benefits?"
+2 # librarian1984 2016-10-05 09:18
And who has done things like this before?
+15 # futhark 2016-10-02 12:09
The Deep State operatives have well studied George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four not as a warning against a manipulative tyrannical government, as Orwell intended, but as a manual for organizing and perpetuating such a system through false flag attacks, official targets of hate, and reports of fictitious threats and attacks (Saddam Hussein's WMDs, etc.).
+15 # uuzul 2016-10-02 11:11
Notice in the above posts it's Clinton, Obama, Hillary. Ummm.... Iraq and Afghanistan were baby Bush's wars (Cheney actually and Rumsfeld because baby Bush was probably too high on coke to do much 'deciding'). If the money is tracked back, you will most likely find Cheney or Rumsfeld signed off on the checks for the propaganda about Al Queda - a CIA funded operation. Of course, the whole Mid-east, now world-wide terrorist/ war operations are created by the CIA and Pentagon just as the FBI creates terrorist 'threats' in the US. That Obama so easily capitulated and continued the US military's agenda of world war is the true horror during his reign. Profit above all.
+18 # Billy Bob 2016-10-02 14:08
But how do you explain the continuation and expansion of bush's policies in the last 8 years?

How do you explain Hillary's "tough talk", which go even further than anything Cheney ever said?

Bush and Cheney owned this quagmire, until Democrats refused to stand up against them and the oil industry.

NOW - BOTH parties own it.
+13 # librarian1984 2016-10-02 15:16
What bb said. AND look at the list of HRC's GOP endorsers. It includes Paul Wolfowitz and many other architects of the Iraq War. It's as compelling evidence as anything else that the two parties are one and they're controlled by the cia/mic.

Look at us. The only thing we're good at is war, violence, death -- and we're not that good at that. Is this what America puts out into the world now? Is that what you WANT US to be about?

They're afraid of Trump because he's not part of that cabal.
+6 # Skyelav 2016-10-02 16:13
[quote name="librarian1984"

They're afraid of Trump because he's not part of that cabal.
HELLO and thank you..
+11 # guomashi 2016-10-02 18:08
Indeed, the main criticism of Trump is that "no one knows what he will do!"
Shock, horror, we can't predict if he will do our wars for US!!!

No worries about Clinton, we know exactly what she will do.
+5 # Capn Canard 2016-10-03 08:12
I don't think we need worry about Trump... at all.

Keep in mind that SCOTUS didn't trust the law to be followed during the 2000 election process and then promptly stopped all vote counting.

I propose that if Trump were to get more votes, SCOTUS and/or other powerful pols will stop the process and declare either Hillary President, or martial law with Obama remaining in "power."

Long story short the Banksters and all other uber wealthy interests will remain in control until/unless the dollar completely collapses and leaves them as bankrupt as the mass of those formerly middle class.

(however such wealthy criminals will simply move to Africa or South America)

Make no mistake, this will be an interesting November.

-3 # NAVYVET 2016-10-03 08:30
Capn Canard:I am looking forward to reading your dystopian novel when it comes out.

Your plot is rather cliched, but I do like the idea of wealthy criminals fleeing to Africa or South America, which is not so overused.
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-03 15:56
No matter what happens immediately before and during the election, I expect November 9th to be a very "interesting" day.
+5 # RMDC 2016-10-02 18:53
librarian -- yes, I think you've said it very succinctly. This is what we are up against. Trump is just odious but Hillary is part of the neo-con cabal that is committed to permanent and global war. If you are against war (as I am), then there can be no voting for Hillary no matter what Trump is.

Many people on this board, including Noam Chomsky, say they will hold their noses and vote for Hillary. But why not hold one's nose and vote for Trump? That would be a much more rational position to take. No amount of holding one's nose can occlude the smell of Wolfowitz and and the host of Bush era neo-cons now behind Hillary. Bush's daughter was at a fundraiser for Hillary yesterday.

It is possible to hold one's nose and vote Trump. But we can all vote Green and smell the clean air.
+4 # librarian1984 2016-10-03 01:31
Agreed. I'm in a swing state and will vote for Stein. (I don't agree that one should vote with their conscience only if it's 'safe'.)

My next agonizing decision is what to do if it looks like the state is close. I am considering voting for Trump if that is the case, so I hear you and agree completely that that is the rational circumstance under which one would be holding one's nose.

I intend to vote for Stein. I may have to vote for Trump. I will NEVER vote for a Clinton or a Bush.
+9 # RMDC 2016-10-03 06:43
Personally, I think the oligarchs have chosen Hillary (a long time ago) and that is who we will have. Trump is not a good candidate but he is nonetheless being torn apart by the media machine of the oligarchs. Hillary will be their lackey in the White House just as Obama has been.

Most Americans say that the nation or government is going in the wrong direction. Hillary has been promising to continue in the same direction as Obama. Obama has taken the same direction as Bush. If there were free, open, and informed elections, Hillary would lose to any lame candidate who promises anything different. But she will win. And she will do the work of the oligarchs.

In short, nothing will change because of the thoughtlessness of people like Eve Ensler, Noam Chomsky, Robert Rubin, Paul Krugman and the 1000s of other so-called intellectuals who have been boogiemanned and scared away from change and into the arms of the puppet of the oligarchs.
+5 # librarian1984 2016-10-03 07:29
My political heart has been broken many times. I expect it will be again in a month.

As someone who's been around the acreage a few times I know the drill. Plus, I really do believe the primary was stolen, so I have no doubt they plan to steal this one too. And surprisingly (yawn) DT won't protest at the blatant theft. (yawn yawn -- oh, are we doing THAT again? pass the caviar.)

Still I am blessed (or cursed) with a ray of optimism -- and once in a while it's vindicated. Maybe hackers* will make the election honest. (And I fully expect they'd be prosecuted too.) Maybe hackers* will make Bernie the winner or Bugs Bunny, so we had to throw it out.

Do you think Hillary would have an Alexander Haig moment, running out and screaming, 'I won! I'm president! I'm in charge!'? If her behavior after various primaries is any indication I expect so.

What a tragic, sad figure she is. I would have more sympathy, though, if she weren't simultaneously dragging us down.

Fracking?! When we KNOW how dire things are? The Republicans are ignorant, but what's her excuse? Climate change has to be addressed YESTERDAY and she's forcing fracking on the world -- which also causes earthquakes!

Why do we even talk about her as an option? It's like Madison Avenue is on us 24/7 that we're voting for Omar Shariff as Attila the Hun when we really are voting for Attila the Hun. Or Genghis Khan. Which one was the good bookkeeper? I KNOW somebody here knows.
+4 # librarian1984 2016-10-03 14:21
*Of course I do not encourage anyone to hack the election computers in order to save us from this criminal duopoly.
+5 # Radscal 2016-10-03 16:09
Drumpf has been warning his fans for some time now that the election will be rigged. Just yesterday he called for the "right kind of people" to station themselves at every polling station in the country and told them "you know what to do."

If he loses, his fans will be VERY unhappy.

And we've already been shown what to expect from that "basket of deplorables" when they're not happy.

No matter what happens, November 9th is going to be a very "interesting" day (in the Chinese curse sense).
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-03 16:04
RMDC, as many here know, I've been one of the commenters who thinks it likely that Drumpf was chosen by the Clinton Machine to snatch the Republican nomination, and then lose to HRC in the General Election.

But Loren Bliss has gotten me thinking that the 0.01% - who would clearly be happy with HRC - may actually hope they could install Drumpf, whose "strong man" "Law and Order" image could serve as the figurehead for a more conventional fascist regime.

I don't think any of us believe Drumpf really has any moral values or deeply held ideological convictions. He's in it for the wealth and fame. So I could see him being quite happy to discard his Realty TV role as "You're Fired" and take the Reality role of "You're Fucked."
+3 # Navrongo80 2016-10-04 08:07
There is little doubt she was the DNC anointed one.

I can't give names - but this story is true.

The Clinton campaign came to a person in MA that had done some big time fund raising for Obama and asked if he would put something together for Clinton.

He scheduled a fund raising dinner in a private compound in ME for some high rolling Dems. HRC was at the dinner. After dinner it was time to get the check books out. The invited group ponied up about 500K

After dinner the MA organizer guy was talking to one of HRC campaign guys when HRC stormed up. She said (a little license, but close), "You brought me to f#&king ME for a lousy 500K. This is bulls&$t" Then she stormed out.

The MA guys swears that he will never do anything for HRC again
-2 # Phillybuster 2016-10-04 11:55
Another guy - I can't name him - told me that he attended the same event and that the "MA organizer guy" told him that the scenario you are relating never happened, either in MA or ME.
-2 # NAVYVET 2016-10-03 08:28
Aha--TROLL ALERT! Someone above wrote that the trolls wouldn't infest this site, but they hadn't read it all.
+8 # Skyelav 2016-10-02 16:11
[quote name="uuzul" Cheney actually and Rumsfeld because baby Bush was probably too high on coke to do much 'deciding').

Interesting because the PD in Houston arrested Baby Bush for possession with intent back in the day. Apparently he was the go to boy for anything you could possibly want.. (got this first hand)
+8 # GoGreen! 2016-10-02 12:29
Is anyone pleased with the government of the United States? I don't know any one, but the people I talk to plan to vote for Hillary or Trump in spite of thinking both are bad---but one, they think, is worse than the other.

Our only way of of this mess is to CHANGE OUR GOVERNMENT. Do not, please! vote for either a Democrat or a Republican.
-1 # Krackonis 2016-10-02 13:59
I told ya.
+8 # librarian1984 2016-10-02 15:02
"generating assessments of efforts to inform, influence and persuade has proven to be challenging across the government and DoD"

Translation: Nobody can justify this but we don't want to lose the funding. We have little human intel and we have bungled the whole thing badly. But we still want the money.

This was the same corrosive abuse the D!ck & W show pulled on print journalists, planting stories and citing themselves -- and Obama kept it going until 2011. Informative.

Kudos to Wells for going public. An interesting look at how our kids' schools' money is being spent.

I would like to have heard about specific content. What did Americans see that was fake?

Good to know the military's solution to restrictions is to skirt it through outsourcing. Salute!
-4 # NAVYVET 2016-10-03 08:35
AMAZING. The last several comments reveal that the authors are either trolls for that unspeakable fascist, Drumpf, or utterly and brainlessly naive.

I used to think that the comments on RSN were intelligent. I was obviously wrong.
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-03 16:20
As you know, HRC is NOT a great candidate.

For most of us, choosing between HRC and Drumpf is a matter of choosing the least worst.

People of good will can disagree on which of those two would be the worst. I see one comment above that is actually pro-Drumpf. I see a couple that assess him to be less dangerous.

You assess HRC to be less dangerous.

From my perspective, people who see HRC as less dangerous are mostly concerned about domestic policy, while people who see her as more dangerous are mostly concerned with foreign policy (and relatedly, the survival of the entire species).

But you've been around RSN long enough to know that most of us are sincere and thoughtful individuals. If we're still around in a year, I hope we will not have permanently burned down the bridges that join us together.
+8 # laborequalswealth 2016-10-03 09:46
While I watch our children and their friends struggle under tens of thousands of dollars in student debt - for an education which the older generation OWED them - my so-called "government" pisses away HALF A BILLION $$$$$ to pour out useless propaganda.

Even more revolting: "The firm's output was signed off by former General David Petraeus", who BTW, was NOT canned for merely having an affair with the journalist who wrote a virtual hagiography of him and gushed about Betrayus while she was "embedded" with him - literally.

Oh no. What finally got this wormy kiss-ass canned was his TURNING OVER HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL TO HIS OTHER PARAMOUR. And then, in one of the most amazing feats of incompetence in American history, this useless creep, the HEAD OF THE CIA no less, COULDN'T EVEN KEEP HIS OWN ILLICIT AFFAIR SECRET. Get that? THE man charged with keeping state secrets.

If ever there was a useless wealth sink-hole, it is the American military - which hasn't been on the winning side of a war since 1945 and, given its record in the last 50 years, can't fight its way out of harem, DESPITE bilking the American people of an ADMITTED 2/3 of a TRILLION $$$$$ EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR.

+2 # librarian1984 2016-10-03 14:24
THAT was delightful!
+4 # Radscal 2016-10-03 16:24
Nicely framed and expressed.

I would say, however that the propaganda was clearly VERY successful. Most USians really do believe that ISIL is a serious threat and not the semi-controlled CIA/MI6/Mossad asset that most evidence shows it to be.
+4 # oakes721 2016-10-03 14:08
The first thing the White House squatter G.W.Bush did with an unfolding 9/11, was to go directly to Hollywood make up propaganda to construct the most damaging lie ever told.
+3 # elkingo 2016-10-03 14:20
Right, what fascist mind-control horseshit! Behind the wrong cause. Orwell again.
+1 # elkingo 2016-10-03 14:24
laborequalsweal th: you are pointing, obliquely at least to something of the hugest significance: WWII was to defend civilization, al since to defend capitalism.
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-03 16:26
And since the fascists won, I'm not so sure about WW II either.
+2 # librarian1984 2016-10-03 16:06
Okay, people, it is UGLY out there and I am escaping to this thread for a brief respite.

Can you believe it? Not only the trolls but the articles! Are we going to get this for a month? How depressing. I can see why people leave.
+2 # John S. Browne 2016-10-03 23:19

And with evidence of false-propagand a put out by the U.S. government and military, most of you still doubt that the bin Laden "confession" videos and audio tapes were fakes as well? The above evidence makes it very clear that the U.S. government and military are capable of just about any evil; and, thus, we shouldn't at all doubt that they're guilty of far worse evil.

All evidence for same shows that the bin Laden "confession" videos are fakes, as well as the non-video audio recordings where he allegedly "admitted" involvement in 9-11 (even after he denied it). He was involved in the sense that he still worked for "al CIAduh(!)"; and, because he was dying of kidney failure, was a willing patsy and fall-guy to blame 9-11 on, or he became such whether he liked it or not [uninformed that the PTB who were really behind 9-11, including "al CIAduh(!)", were going to use him in that way]; but he was not the coordinator of 9-11 as we were falsely led to believe, anymore than KSM was either (a "dim-bulb" who couldn't coordinate his way out of a paper bag, and is just another patsy/fall-guy).

(Continued below)
+2 # John S. Browne 2016-10-03 23:20

Look at how quickly and conveniently, without any evidence being provided to the American people or the world proving it, the U.S. government blamed bin Laden for the entirety of 9-11. How could they have possibly known so fast that he was definitely the leader of the 9-11 attacks? Bin Laden hadn't "confessed" to it right away, so they couldn't possibly have known for sure that he was ultimately responsible for 9-11.

In addition, how did the U.S. government supposedly find out so quickly, and how could they possibly have done so, that the alleged "nineteen hijackers" were involved in perpetrating 9-11? It was obviously all much too convenient; and thus it is clear that they had all of this so-called "evidence", including putting "responsibility " for carrying out 9-11 completely on bin Laden, all previously prepared for public propaganda dissemination and consumption, in particular to get attention far away from pointing at those who had to be the real coordinators and perpetrators of 9-11, "al CIAduh(!)", the deep state shadow government factions of the U.S. and global government, and others.

(Continued below)
+2 # John S. Browne 2016-10-03 23:21

No one should trust anymore at all anything what the U.S. government and its mainstream media propaganda ministry tell us, especially about such monumental events as 9-11. The evidence keeps coming out, such as the evidence in this article, that the U.S. government and its allies produce fraudulent propaganda, not only to dupe their conquered enemies, such as in Iraq, but also to dupe the American people, other Western peoples, and the people of much of the world at large. Thus, everything they claim and/or report to us is suspect, and should be met with complete suspicion and refusal to trust anything they say at face value, just as millions of Americans immediately distrusted and were suspicious of, for what have obviously been proven to be very good reasons, the 9-11 official story, aka official conspiracy theory.

+4 # Radscal 2016-10-04 16:41
Yep. CIA actually admitted to having made at least one fake bin Laden video meant to discredit him in the eyes of religious Muslims.

Bin Laden released about a dozen tapes and statements after 9/11. Some were recruiting ads where he bragged about al Qaeda's "successes" like the USS Cole and African embassy bombings.

Yet he never mentioned 9/11 as an al Qaeda operation. One would think that a man already wanted for capital crimes who is bragging about what a terrific "terrorist organization" he runs would want to mention the single most "successful" terrorist operation of all time.

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