Propaganda Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The Govt Infiltration of US Media

Propaganda Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The Govt Infiltration of US Media

The US Government pays $500 million to PR firm for fake news propaganda on Iraq as intelligence agencies rationalize the impersonation of journalists in a reboot of Operation Mockingbird.

The idea that there is no such thing as objective journalism is nothing new. The late Hunter S. Thompson wrote in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 that the phrase itself was a “pompous contradiction in terms.”

The PR Campaign to put Goebbels to shame


However, the US government went way beyond oppressing anything that could be called journalism or a free press, objective or otherwise, when it paid over $500 million to a UK PR firm to produce fake news about the Iraq War.

The US government lied to the public from Day 1 about the WMD intelligence leading to the invasion of Iraq, and it continues to deceive the world through a Joseph Goebbels-inspired propaganda machine that keeps the public uninformed, enraged, and in a constant state of fear while engaging in secretive black ops abroad.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the Pentagon gave over half a billion dollars to the the PR firm Bell Pottinger to create “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.”

Almost all of the propaganda material was signed-off by former General David Petraeus, who later became the CIA director in 2011 before he resigned after he leaked classified information to his biographer mistress.

Behind the social technology fueling the fake news stories coming out of Iraq, the US intelligence agencies took a page right out of Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda by Leonard W. Doob, which states:

Propaganda must affect the enemy’s policy and action.

  • By suppressing propagandistically desirable material which can provide the enemy with useful intelligence
  • By openly disseminating propaganda whose content or tone causes the enemy to draw the desired conclusions
  • By goading the enemy into revealing vital information about himself
  • By making no reference to a desired enemy activity when any reference would discredit that activity

The above references describe almost exactly what was labeled as the most sensitive Black Ops mission of the propaganda campaign in Iraq.

It called for taking video footage from al Qaeda, editing it down into 10 minute videos with a specific format, and putting the videos on CDs with encoded tracking software.

When US marines would raid houses, they would stealthily drop-off the manufactured, fake-news and al Qaeda recruitment CDs among the ransacked chaos for the occupants to find.

Once the CD was found by the occupants and then played using Real Player, which requires an Internet connection to run, their IP addresses were then broadcast to US military command.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Intelligence agencies can legally impersonate journalists


Last month, the US Justice Department issued a report entitled “A Review of the FBI’s Impersonation
of a Journalist in a Criminal Investigation,” in which it was concluded that “Department and FBI policies in effect in 2007 did not prohibit agents from impersonating journalists or from posing as a member of a news organization, nor was there any requirement that agents seek special approval to engage in such undercover activities.”

The conclusion completely compromises the Freedom of Press, and it discourages people from talking to the media for fear of being turned over to the authorities while it is the authorities themselves who are committing the crimes. In a so-called “free society,” the intelligence community is willingly and actively violating the Constitution.

The Inspector General and the Justice Department recommended that the FBI continue with its adopted interim policy from June 8, 2016, which states that the practice impersonating journalists must first be authorized by both the FBI Deputy Director and the Deputy Attorney General.

“Under this new policy, FBI agents may only represent, pose, or claim to be members of the news media when authorized by the FBI Deputy Director, after consultation with the Deputy Attorney General, as part of an undercover operation reviewed by the Undercover Review Committee (UCRC). The policy expressly prohibits FBI employees from engaging in such activity if it is not part of an undercover operation,” according to the report.

No matter how they try to rationalize it, it is still perfectly legal for intelligence agencies to impersonate journalists, and there is no way of telling whether the media reports “real” or “fake” news.

Operation Mockingbird

The impersonation of journalists is a continuation of the controversial and allegedly-defunct Operation Mockingbird – “a covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) campaign to create a mass media echo chamber during the Cold War.”

In July of 2013, The New York Times dropped a truth-bomb, which blew the lid off Operation Mockingbird.

“The Times reported that at least 22 American news organizations, including CBS News and Time, Life and Newsweek magazines, as well as The Times itself, ‘had employed, though sometimes only on a casual basis, American journalists who were also working for the C.I.A.,’ and that ‘in a few instances the organizations were aware of the C.I.A. connection, but most of them appear not to have been.'”

The CIA would plant false news and propaganda to “knowing and unknowing reporters who would simply repeat the falsehoods over and over again.” The idea behind this is if you repeat something often enough, even if it completely false, it will generally be accepted as truth.

US Senator Frank Church wrote in 1976 about the takeover of the American media by the CIA:

“The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.”

In 1983, there were about 50 companies that had a stake in the mainstream media. That number has now dwindled to about six.

It is reported that Comcast, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS control 90% of all the news in US. Comcast took over General Electric’s spot on the “Big 6” after mergers and acquisitions between NBC, GE, and Comcast.

With such a consolidation of power in the media industry, coupled by the infiltration of intelligence agencies, there is no such thing as “fair and balanced.” Once a government begins “assisting” the media in balancing its investigations, it is no longer journalism. It is propaganda from the government that is being relayed as “actual news” from the so-called “independent” media.

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Tim Hinchliffe is a veteran journalist whose passions include writing about how technology impacts society and Artificial Intelligence. He prefers writing in-depth, interesting features that people actually want to read. Previously, he worked as a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa, and Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co

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