By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 10/27/19 |
Recently the Wall Street Journal released an article alleging that ISIS terrorists are using the popular social media app TikTok to post videos of terror-based propaganda, some featuring corpses and beheadings.
Coincidentally, or maybe not so much, the corporate media had just predicted a week or so prior— the second President Trump decided to pull American troops away from the Syrian/Turkish border—that these exact terrorists would break free from their cells and go on a killing spree. A matter of days later, here we are. ISIS is on the loose, innocent people are reportedly being beheaded in Syria, and the western media is clamoring to spread that terror to their viewer and readership.
Now, for any agency within the military industrial complex adamant for American troops to reenter Syria, be it intelligence, military brass, big oil, weapons manufacturers, or their Wall Street investors, these videos aimed at horrifying the western public couldn’t be more convenient, or useful.
Well, that’s exactly why some are suspecting these propaganda shorts to have actually been spearheaded by the CIA—then pushed by the corporate media they direct—in an attempt to justify more war in Syria, where the plan since far before America’s invasion has been to destabilize the region and remove the Assad regime from power, as this originally classified 2012 Pentagon paper and former senior CIA official Graham Fuller confirm.
In fact, not only has ISIS been proven time and time again to have been funded and armed by the American government, both directly and through their allies in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, but the very rebels who freed the alleged ISIS fighters in the TikTok videos were also American backed.
This begs the question: Does the CIA use mainstream media to transmit staged propaganda terrorist videos in order to sell war?
To formulate a researched answer, we must examine the historical evidence.
CIA Control Over the News
First and foremost we need to get one thing straight: The CIA fully commands the western media. This is not a conspiracy ‘theory’. This is documented fact.
We’ll begin in 1975, when journalist Seymour Hersh released an explosive piece of reporting on abuses of citizens’ rights committed by the CIA through secret programs of domestic surveillance. This led to a number of investigations into the corruption of US intelligence agencies.
A tremendously important segment of information that came out of one of those investigations—that of a Senate select committee led by Frank Church—was that the CIA not only had dozens of assets in the American news media, but also ‘several hundred foreign individuals’ working for them, all tasked to ‘influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda.’
The year after the Church committee completed its report (1977), award winning investigative reporter Carl Bernstein (of Watergate fame) wrote an article in Rolling Stone outlining a long history of intelligence control over the major news media since the early 1950’s; an operation first spearheaded by then director of the CIA, Allen Dulles.
Two years later, in 1979, in a biography of Katherine Graham, inheritor of the Washington Post, author Deborah Davis detailed the existence of what is known widely today as ‘Project Mockingbird,’ corroborating Bernstein’s conclusion that the CIA had in fact infiltrated the major news agencies, and up until that time had been feeding them strategic propaganda to spread to the public since at least the early 1950’s.
Skip ahead a dozen-or-so years to 1991 and we see the CIA grip on the news increasing evermore. A then-classified letter to the head of the CIA from the Task Force on CIA Openness makes clear that the agency ‘has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation.’ These ‘relationships’ allow the CIA to direct journalists to ‘postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories’ at their will, thus controlling the narrative for the benefit of the intelligence and war apparatus.
“Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis.”-Professor James Tracy, 2015.
There is really no doubt about it. The media in America has been compromised for at least seventy years straight. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Anderson Cooper worked for the CIA before becoming the biggest reporter of news in the country. It’s just how it works. When you’re watching or reading the corporate news, you’re voluntarily ingesting CIA propaganda. Plain and simple.
That being established, let’s look at some of the things the CIA has used the media for.
CIA Videos of Saddam and bin Laden Lookalikes Raping Underage Boys
It would be an understatement to say what we’re about to go over is reprehensible, so prepare yourself.
Many years ago now the Washington Post released an article that spelled out the truly disgusting lengths the US war machine is willing to go to sell their violent invasions.
In the article, two agents of the CIA outline an operation (which never came to pass) in which videos were to be made and released to the public depicting a Saddam Hussein lookalike having sex with an under-aged boy, in turn triggering across the board rage and contempt for the Iraqi leader.
‘It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,’ the agents explained, ‘very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.’
Seriously bear this in mind. I repeat, the CIA was willing to provide an underage boy to be raped by a grown man on camera in order to sell the Iraq war to the world. A project ‘which also included inserting fake “crawls”—messages at the bottom of the screen—into Iraqi newscasts.’
These same CIA sources divulged details about fake Osama bin Laden videos as well, where the actors playing bin Laden and his cronies would be ‘swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys.’
The actors involved, he said, would be ‘drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees.'”
1/2 Billion Taxpayer Dollars to One PR Firm for Fake al Qaeda Videos
These propaganda projects are by no means cheap, either. One such initiative to create ‘fake al Qaeda videos’ involved the hiring of PR Firm Bell Pottinger, who were ‘paid more than half a billion dollars’ to produce the films.
This story was originally cracked by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists, when former employee of Bell Pottinger, Martin Wells, came forward about the secret dealings. The bureau then confirmed the claims ‘through US army contracting censuses, federal procurement transaction records and reports by the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General, as well as Bell Pottinger’s corporate filings and specialist publications on military propaganda.’
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.-Bureau of Investigative Journalists, 2016.
The 2014/15 Spree of Questionable ISIS Videos
As many probably remember, a few years back (predominantly in 2014) when the world was being introduced to ISIS (or ISIL) through the media, the new boogeyman terror network on the scene suddenly began putting out more videos than Paramount for a short stint, each one featuring the apparent beheading of western reporters such as James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and David Haines.
Those videos instantly drew criticism from skeptics the world round. Social media was flooded with doubters pointing out suspicious aspects, not least of which their film studio-like production and editing values, as did some major media outlets. The Telegraph, for instance, ran a headline that read, ‘Foley Murder Video ‘May Have Been Staged’:
“[A] study of the four-minute 40-second clip, carried out by an international forensic science company which has worked for police forces across Britain, suggested camera trickery and slick post-production techniques appear to have been used.-The Telegraph, Foley murder video ‘may have been staged’, 2015.
What was most irregular about these videos, apparently made by terrorists to send horror into their watching audience’s minds, was that they omitted the actual beheadings.
Each film was the same. They all began with their victim—be it Foley, Sotloff, or Haines—in the desert on their knees beside their hidden-faced executioner—who spoke with a British accent—later dubbed Jihadi John.
The victim would calmly perform a small, prepared monologue to the camera, Jihadi John would yell a few threats to America while waving his knife around, the knife would come to the victim’s throat, then the scene would cut. Suddenly you’d be watching a slow moving shot of a headless body and the clip was over. They were no more than a few minutes each.
Each video begged that nagging question. Why would terrorists sensor the executions? Who’s feelings were they sparing? If the objective was to strike terror into their viewers, then why take out the most terrifying part?
And then this video was released on LiveLeak.
What we see in the video above is a professional and fully operational film set, complete with a sound stage, a massive green screen, an extensive lighting set up, cameras, a full crew, actors, wardrobe, several tons of sand, and an exact portrayal of the ISIS videos being acted out. The wardrobe, the setting, even the actors’ movements, all of it. Exact. The only difference being, we see the victim is unharmed after the director cuts the scene in the studio version. (The actual videos won’t be posted here as it is illegal to post them).
The green screen video, which was apparently recorded on a cell phone, was reported to have been released by a Ukrainian hacker group known as CyberBerkut, who asserted they obtained it after hacking into Senator John McCain’s laptop.
McCain denied it—as anyone would’ve whether true or not—and alleged the video (and pictures of him with known ISIS leaders) was made by another one of the military industrial complex’s favorite scapegoats, Russian internet trolls.
Here we must ask ourselves: Is it reasonable to entertain the claim that Russian internet trolls acquired an entire fully functional film studio, with wardrobe, cast and crew—and an abundance of trucked in sand—to shoot a shoddy cellphone clip mirroring the ISIS videos, to a tee, just to smear John McCain? Internet trolls? It’s a possibility.
Then again, maybe it didn’t come from McCain’s laptop at all. Maybe it came from somewhere else. Maybe someone did spend a literal fortune to set all that up for a smear. Maybe it was remake of the ISIS videos by some film outfit that was leaked and claimed to be the making of the real thing.
Then there’s the other possibility—that the Cyberberkut film is what it says it is; an actual live set where fake ISIS videos were being produced, later to be released and reported as real.
Giving credence to that proposition is the fact that we know, for sure, the CIA and the military industrial complex, both of whom were deeply entrenched in McCain’s world forever, are in the business of making fake films to sell military action, and has an extensive record of committing that very crime over many decades.
Additionally, we know that many people, including a team of scientific experts, were already extremely suspicious of these very ISIS beheading videos having been staged far before this intriguing clip was circulated. I suppose the green screen footage remains up for debate as no one has come forward to take responsibility for making it.
This, I should add a disclaimer, isn’t to say the victims in some or all of the videos weren’t really killed at some point, even if the ISIS videos were clearly manipulated and professionally produced. That’s entirely possible, too. It’s not my intent to tarnish their memories in any way if they were truly murdered. But in that regard, let’s remember the CIA was reportedly ready to film young boys getting raped by Saddam and bin Laden lookalikes. They’re in the business of committing morally bankrupt actions for the purposes of selling war—war itself being the practice of invoking murder on a mass scale. Cutting off innocent people’s heads for the purposes of propaganda seems par for the course.
In any event, when the evidence is explored, these three ISIS beheading videos—Foley, Sotloff, and Haines—appear to be complete frauds, whether the green screen video is legitimate or not.
A few months after the Foley, Sotloff, and Haines videos, another ISIS video became the headline story of every major news outlet. This time from Libya.
In this video—also professionally filmed, cut and edited—ISIS fighters, all dressed like Jihadi John, marched 21 Coptic Christians along a beach before allegedly beheading them, and as with the James Foley analysis, once again experts deemed this video to have been staged.
“…experts who made it through the sickening, five-minute clip told FoxNews.com Friday they came to the same conclusion: The footage was faked.–Fox News, ISIS Army of Seven Footers? 2015.
The result of all these questionable videos, real or not, was that of the American public’s support for the Syrian invasion. In September 2014 Obama sent the troops in without the consent of Congress, or the government of Syria, and they’ve been killing people there ever since.
Nayirah’s Dead Babies and the Media Ploy Which Pushed America Into the First Iraq War
Going back to October of 1990, when former head of the CIA George H.W Bush was president, another brand of psychological-terror-film was plastered all over corporate media.
This was a clip of a fifteen-year-old girl, referred to simply as Nayirah, as she testified before a congressional committee with claims of witnessing Iraqi soldiers invade Kuwait and mercilessly attack newborn babies at a hospital. And for the first time, Saddam Hussein, America’s former puppet in the Middle East, was painted as a monster.
“Television flashed her testimony around the world. It electrified opposition to Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, who was now portrayed by U.S. president George Bush not only as ‘the Butcher of Baghdad’ but — so much for old friends — ‘a tyrant worse than Hitler.'”-CounterPunch, How Bush Sr. Sold the Bombing of Iraq, Mitchell Cohen, 2002.
Bush then went full force into selling the first Iraqi war, constantly bringing up Nayirah’s testimony in an attempt to convince congress, and the whole world, that invasion was obligatory after ‘312 premature babies at Kuwait City’s maternity hospital’ were ‘pulled from incubators and scattered like firewood across the floor.’
As we know, it worked. America began bombing Iraq like it was a missile testing ground. While there were 154 Americans who died in the conflict, in the same time span over 100,000 Iraqis were erased from existence, as well.
But here’s the thing. The Nayirah testimony the world was bombarded with turned out to be completely fraudulent. The invasion was based on a lie.
As Dr. Mohammed Matar, director of Kuwait’s primary care system, and his wife, Dr. Fayeza Youssef, who ran the obstetrics unit at the maternity hospital, pointed out to ABC-TV after the war’s end, ‘it was just something for propaganda.’ No babies were thrown from incubators.
The truth was, Nayirah was actually the daughter of Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States at the time, who after became Kuwait’s information minister and oil minister (pictured below with accused terror-propagandist Senator John McCain in 1991).
Al-Sabah, at the time, also chaired a group known as Citizens for a Free Kuwait—later found to be a Kuwaiti government front group, working with the US government, who were tasked with tricking the American public into fighting their war for them. A war, of course, which at its heart wasn’t fought over freedom or human rights, but over control of oil production in the region.
In reality, Nayirah wasn’t even believed to have been in Kuwait at the time she claimed to have seen the atrocities she swore to the House committee she’d seen.
Even more interesting, several members of Congress that Nayirah testified before knew beforehand who she was, but kept silent.
Nayirah’s testimony, it was later proven, was the product of a public relations stunt put together by the hired PR firm Hill & Knowlton, who received millions in payment for the job, money funneled through Nayirah’s father’s agency.
“Hill & Knowlton’s yellow ribbon campaign to whip up support for ‘our’ troops, which followed their orchestration of Nayirah’s phony ‘incubator’ testimony, was a public relations masterpiece. The claim that satellite photos revealed that Iraq had troops poised to strike Saudi Arabia was also fabricated by the PR firm. Hill & Knowlton was paid between $12 million (as reported two years later on ’60 Minutes’) and $20 million (as reported on ’20/20′) for ‘services rendered.’ The group fronting the money? Citizens for a Free Kuwait, a phony ‘human rights agency’ set up and funded entirely by Kuwait’s emirocracy to promote its interests in the U.S.-CounterPunch, How Bush Sr. Sold the Bombing of Iraq, Mitchell Cohen, 2002.
Of course these pertinent facts were only learned after the Gulf War was over; after the incredible, irreversible human damage was done.
However, as we know, the Iraq war would be brought back to life a decade later, with even more horrendous consequences, when George W. Bush, George H.W’s son, took office in 2000. By 2002 the media was selling the world two new lies from the intelligence community: 1) that Saddam Hussein was funding and arming al Qaeda terrorists, which wasn’t true (but is true of America); and 2) that Saddam had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ hidden in Iraq, which was also a complete fabrication. Nevertheless, America still invaded, Iraq was decimated, well over a million died, and Saddam was hanged on television for everyone to see. The regime was toppled and a new one that would play ball with American demands was inserted. That’s how it’s done.
Turks and Kurds: CBS Airs Video of Ethnic Cleansing in Syria, or a Gun Range in Kentucky?
Now let us jump back into modern day. As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, when Donald Trump ordered American troops to leave the Syrian border, the reaction from the war machine and its agenda-peddlers in the media was fierce.
Aside from the media predicting ISIS detainees would be set free, as we went over earlier, they also prophesied that Turkish forces would cross the border to slaughter all of the Syrian Kurds residing there, as these Kurd’s have been threatening attack and annexation of part of Turkey for a long time.
The Kurds, it is true, helped America in the fight against ISIS (a problem the US created themselves), and therefore, the media panders, depended on America to protect them from the Turks while they were in the region. With America leaving, the picture being painted is that America abandoned their ally and left them to be slaughtered.
The problem here, which isn’t being reported correctly, is that Turkey is an official ally of America through NATO, while many of the fighting Syrian Kurds, such as the PKK, are technically considered a ‘terrorist network’ by the US. The media’s story is somewhat backwards from the truth, or at least omits key factors.
As far as it goes, and as I mentioned, the Syrian Kurds have been trying to annex a portion of Turkey by force for several decades, while Turkey prohibits anyone from identifying as a Kurd by law in their country, which the Kurd’s consider their rightful homeland. In short, they hate each other. It’s quite unfortunate. But the conflict between the Turks, the Syrian Kurds, and the Syrian regime for that matter, goes back into the far distant past. In the end, these are their own issues to resolve, not America’s.
Be that as it may, in mid-October (2019), CBS aired segments on World News Tonight and Good Morning America consisting of footage taken along the Syrian-Turkish border where a Turkish slaughter of the Kurds was taking place—just as the media, government (right and left), and intelligence communities (who are all unanimously foaming at the mouth for more American interference in the area) had predicted.
The problem here was, almost as soon as ABC released the chaotic video, the publication Gizmodo released a comparison of it with footage of a Kentucky military presentation in 2017, proving they were one and the same.
ABC had released an intentionally edited terror-clip to resell the need for American troops in the Syrian war, as we know is common practice, and when they were caught lying, the media outlet stated simply that they ‘regret the error’ and gave an excuse that ‘it was an accident,’ despite the obvious editing of the clip to make it appear like a legitimate warzone. Again, this is just how it works.
TikTok ISIS Videos and the CIA
This brings us right back to square one, the recent ISIS videos released on TikTok, directly after the ABC News debacle (mere days ago). These videos, not so much unlike the ISIS videos from 2014, are now heavily in question by those who know to ask.
Here’s what we know: 1) The Wall Street Journal broke the story about the videos; 2) The Wall Street Journal is a tentacle of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp; 3) Murdoch, aside from his and his network’s many other shady dealings, has been a known CIA asset since the Reagan era.
Furthermore, the social media monitoring agency who apparently found the videos on TikTok, called Storyful, claims on its website to be ‘the world’s social media intelligence and news agency‘ (two ‘operative’ words there, pun intended), dealing in matters of ‘media, marketing and communications,’ or in other words, they are an intelligence outfit tasked with policing the internet and controlling the narrative on social media.
Would you like to take a guess at who owns Storyful? That’s right. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. What a coincidence!
So then, whether or not these TikTok videos are legitimately depicting members of ISIS isn’t the issue. The point is that they certainly have the hallmarks of known war-peddling intelligence operations of times past and present—some complete hoaxes—of which we’ve now seen ample evidence.
Now, with all of this information at our disposal to consider, let us return to and answer our original proposition: Does the CIA use mainstream media to transmit staged propaganda terrorist videos in order to sell war?
The answer is a resounding ‘YES.’
And now that we’ve seen how the magic trick is done, let’s make an effort to never fall for it again.
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