Particularly for government, the situation is worse in Western nations, especially in the United States. When the United States illegally invaded Iraq after 9/11, the country’s government used clandestine tactics to get the media under its control.
In fact, after the invasion, numerous stories emerged from both known and anonymous sources, revealing that the United States government had secretly embedded journalists within the military, who were responsible for dictating how the news of the war was reported back home to the public.
Now, 13 years after the unlawful invasion of Iraq by the United States, more sickening and messy details are emerging. To what end will the United States continue to aggressively invade countries, plundering their resources and leaving behind chaos and bloodshed?
In the latest news, a joint investigation by the Sunday Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed that the United States defense headquarters, the Pentagon, paid a Public Relations (PR) firm based in the United Kingdom over half a billion dollars to make fake terrorist videos in Iraq, as part of an enormous propaganda campaign.
The PR firm was identified as Bell Pottinger. According to the investigation, Bell Pottinger fabricated short Television segments designed to imitate Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos, which could be used to track the people who watched them. In fact, it was a former employee of Bell Pottinger who confirmed this damming act by the Pentagon, to the investigators.
High-ranking military officials from the Pentagon worked with employees of Bell Pottinger in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, at a location known as Camp Victory, creating anti-terrorism propaganda to imitate the real thing.
A central figure in the diabolical plan of the Pentagon was Bell Pottinger’s former chairman, Lord Tim Bell. Lord Bell confirmed to the investigators that he collaborated on a “covert” military operation covered by various secrecy agencies, and reported to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, and the National Security Council, all of whom were very instrumental during the invasion.
According to the investigation, Bell Pottinger was brought to Iraq, and began working shortly after the United States first invaded the country. The task given to Bell Pottinger was simple: It should portray Al Qaeda negativly in the videos, and when the videos are distributed, it should track people who watched the propaganda videos.
The investigation revealed how the White House and General David Petraeus, then commander of coalition forces in Iraq, signed off on the program. This means the then president, George W. Bush was well aware of the diabolical program.
“In the first media interview any Bell Pottinger employee has given about the work for the US military in Iraq, video editor Martin Wells – who no longer works for the company – told the Bureau his time in Camp Victory was ‘shocking, eye-opening, life-changing’,” the investigation said.
Investigators tracked the United States Army contracts, records of federal procurement transactions, reports for the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Inspector General, corporate records from Bell Pottinger, and more. This enabled investigators to discover the extent of the program.
One anonymous military contractor told investigators that there were three types of labels given to media operations, or Ops, used in Iraq during that time. The anonymous military official said: “White is attributed, it says who produced it on the label. 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.”
According to the investigators’ records it reviewed, the operation involving Bell Pottinger cost well over $100 million each year. In total, the investigators 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 former Bell Pottinger employee, Martin Wells told investigators he had no idea what the job was about when he came on board in 2006. He said he was only working under strict instructions from his agent.
“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.”
For the ‘grey ops’ portion of the work, the employees crafted television commercials showing Al Qaeda in a negative, and others involved making segments designed to look as if they were created by Arabic TV, Wells revealed.
Bell Pottinger film crews went on location to tape low definition bombings by Al Qaeda, which would then be edited appropriately for believability, voiced over in Arabic, and distributed to TV stations in the region – though the outlets weren’t always made aware of the American involvement in such segments.
Investigators said: “The third and most sensitive programme 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.’”
Those CDs were made to play using Real Player, which connects to the Internet to operate, and, as Wells told investigators, the team embedded a code into the CDs , linking to a Google Analytics account, giving a list of IP addresses where the CDs had been played. He explained that only three people had access to who was tracked.
Investigators said when they contacted the Pentagon about the videos, it confirmed that Bell Pottinger did work for the DoD under the Information Operations Task Force, insisting that the videos it distributed were “truthful.”
But of course, the Pentagon will never admit to what it has done. That is how the Pentagon wastes America’s tax payers’ money. The Pentagon is indeed, living the American dream on the world’s behalf!