Al-Nusra ‘not priority’ , State Department says as terror group shells civilians in Syria

US military efforts in Syria are not directed against Al-Nusra, the State Department said, acknowledging that the terrorist group is a “spoiler” in the efforts to establish a humanitarian ceasefire in Aleppo and beyond.


Acknowledging that Nusra was a designated terrorist organization not included in the cessation of hostilities agreement between the US and Russia, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL or Daesh) has not hit Nusra targets apart from one or two occasions.


“Unilaterally, when we’ve had information that led us to take action, because of the plotting we knew that they were doing, we did that,” Kirby said.

The US strategy to deal with the group, however, was to establish a Joint Implementation Center with Russia under the terms of the September 9 cessation of hostilities agreement, “by which we would share information with the Russian military designed specifically to cooperate against Al-Nusra,” Kirby said.

This week, Russia paused its joint offensive with Syrian government troops on eastern Aleppo, which is held by an assortment of armed groups, including Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda offshoot. The goal is to allow people wishing to leave the city to do so, including both civilians and militants, who were offered separate corridors to leave Aleppo with their arms.

On Thursday, however, the militants opened fire on civilian evacuation routes, injuring three Russian officers at the El-Masharka government checkpoint, the Russian Center for Reconciliation said.

Kirby’s claim that the US wanted to set up the JIC to work with Russia against Al-Nusra contradicted his own words from September 16, when he said that the establishment of such a center would be contingent on humanitarian aid reaching Aleppo.

“We don’t have any intention of having an intelligence sharing agreement with the Russians,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, told the US Senate on September 20.

WikiLeaks: The two faces of Hillary Clinton on Syria

“People don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and no one can agree on why,” begins a sympathetic piece on the Democratic Party presidential candidate in Fast Company last July.
In a CNN poll that same month, only 30 percent of Americans believed Clinton to be “honest and trustworthy.”

If voters don’t know what to make of Clinton or how to read her, the blame may lie directly with the candidate herself. In an April 2013 speech made public by WikiLeaks last week, Clinton confided:

“Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

That last ‘public vs. private’ comment quickly made the media rounds, and confirmed – for her critics – Clinton’s deliberate duplicity on a number of policy positions.

WikiLeaks has provided an opportunity to delve into some of these, so let’s take a look at one very prominent feature of Clinton’s foreign policy agenda: Syria, a country that stands at the center of a potential global confrontation today.

Not a Syrian uprising; a regime change plan

A 2012 email released by WikiLeaks last year shows that, behind the scenes, Clinton’s State Department was calculating its Syria policy using entirely different metrics than its publicly-stated narrative of supporting reforms and rejecting violence:

“It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security — not through a direct attack, which in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel has never occurred, but through its proxies in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, that are sustained, armed and trained by Iran via Syria. The end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel’s leadership understands well why defeating Assad is now in its interests.”

The email, written by an unidentified person and included within the WikiLeaks ‘Clinton archive,’ lays out a plan:

“Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces. The announcement of such a decision would, by itself, likely cause substantial defections from the Syrian military. Then, using territory in Turkey and possibly Jordan, US diplomats and Pentagon officials can start strengthening the opposition… Arming the Syrian rebels and using Western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach.”

Arming a Syrian rebellion from outside the country was already a consideration “from the very beginning,” according to a recent WikiLeaks release of a June 2013 speech by Clinton:

“So, the problem for the US and the Europeans has been from the very beginning: What is it you – who is it you are going to try to arm. And you probably read in the papers my view was we should try to find some of the groups that were there that we thought we could build relationships with and develop some covert connections that might then at least give us some insight into what is going on inside Syria.”

Certainly, we know that by early 2012, the Obama and Erdogan administrations had struck a deal to establish a rat-line transporting weapons and ammunition from Libya to Syria – via the CIA and MI6, and funded by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

READ MORE: Podesta files: Top 10 revelations from leaked Clinton campaign emails

The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi which killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens was only a temporary setback. Weapons and financial assistance to militants in Syria, however, continued to flow from America’s regional allies without any US pushback, even though Washington clearly knew arms were being siphoned to extremists.

A declassified DIA document from August 2012 circulated to Clinton’s State Department states plainly that “the Salafist, Muslim Brotherhood and AQI (Al-Qaeda in Iraq) are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” and that “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition.” 

But if US Special Forces were involved in driving arms and fighters into Syria in early 2012, the groundwork would have had to have begun many, many months before. The US military’s unconventional warfare (UW) strategy requires that target-state population perceptions are first ‘groomed’ into accepting an armed insurrection, using “propaganda and political and psychological efforts to discredit the government”…creating “local and national ‘agitation’”…helping organize “boycotts, strikes and other efforts to suggest public discontent”…before beginning the “infiltration of foreign organizers and advisors and foreign propaganda, material, money, weapons and equipment.”

You get an idea of how this ‘propaganda’ and ‘grooming’ works in a June 2011 email from Clinton’s recently-departed Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter, who openly calls for fabricating sectarian narratives to incite Syrian protestors:

“This suggests US should be making much more of the ways in which Syrian regime is simulating violence. Can’t we call for a meeting of the UNSC where we do not call for action but simply present information along the lines of what is recounted below so as to ‘bring it to the attention of the Council’ in a way that then has greater credibility globally? Making the point repeatedly that the regime wants this to look like/turn into sectarian violence? At the very least that can be broadcast back into Syria in various ways that will encourage protestors. There is an information war going on; we can do much more to elevate and legitimate the truth.”

This is business as usual for a US State Department well-versed in sowing sectarian discord in the Middle East – all while publicly denouncing sectarian strife. A WikiLeaks email from 2006 shows that this thinking was already well-entrenched in Foggy Bottom, with a focus on “exploiting vulnerabilities” – particularly “sectarian” ones – inside Syria.

Fueling the sectarian Jihad

By late 2011, US intelligence had assessed that Al-Qaeda was operating inside Syria. This information was public, but not widely disseminated. Instead, Clinton’s team focused heavily on flogging the narrative that “Assad must go” because of his government’s widespread human rights violations.

Clinton liberally used the humanitarian pretext to advance a regime change agenda – pushing, behind the scenes, for increased assistance to militants and direct US military intervention, while publicly decrying the escalating violence inside Syria.

But did she give a toss about keeping Syrians safe? The evidence suggests otherwise. In this new WikiLeaks release of a speech to the Jewish United Fund in August 2013 – flagged,” incidentally, by her staffers who worried about its content – Clinton outlines one possible Syria policy option:

One way is a very hands off, step back, we don’t have a dog in this hunt, let them kill themselves until they get exhausted, and then we’ll figure out how to deal with what the remnants are. That’s a position held by people who believe there is no way, not just for the United States but others, to stop the killing before the people doing the killing and the return killing are tired of killing each other. So it’s a very hands off approach.”

To any observer of the foreign-fueled Syrian war of attrition, it looks very much like Clinton opted for this course of action.

And given that Washington’s allies in the Syrian fight consisted mainly of head-chopping, jihadist foot soldiers, Clinton’s scenario of a killing field to keep all sides “exhausted” may have even been the starting plan.

These fighters came equipped with a militant, sectarian mindset courtesy of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar – under the supervision, of course, of a CIA that cut its teeth doing the exact same thing with the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan.

A WikiLeaks email sent from Hillary Clinton to her now-campaign chief John Podesta in August 2014 shows that the former Secretary of State is fully aware that her allies were partial to supporting terrorists:

“While this military/paramilitary operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are, of course, two staunch US allies in the region that host American military bases and, apparently, also support ISIL.

Another October 2013 Clinton speech ‘flagged’ by her campaign staff, and released by WikiLeaks this week, has her saying:

“The Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons – and pretty indiscriminately – not at all targeted toward the people that we think would be the more moderate, least likely, to cause problems in the future.”

The State Department knows all too well that both fighters and weapons are fungible in the Syrian militant marketplace. It is a key reason the US has always resisted naming those groups it considers “moderate” rebels. Arms and supplies to US-backed groups have often found their way to ISIL and Al-Qaeda, with photo evidence aplenty making the social media rounds.

Despite these loaded disclosures, Clinton and other US policymakers still flog outdated narratives about an ‘evil Syrian regime killing innocent civilians’ while ignoring the narrative they know to be true: bloodthirsty jihadists armed to the teeth by ideologically-aligned US allies.

This Syrian conflict – privately, at least – is about regime change at all costs for the hawkish side of the policy establishment which includes the CIA, Pentagon brass and Clinton. Publicly, however, it’s still about “crimes against humanity” – whatever that means today.

Earlier this month, Clinton began to publicly reveal that truth in advance of the November presidential election. Reuters reports Clinton as saying “removing President Bashar al-Assad is the top priority in Syria.” 

She is also once again touting a “no-fly zone” over Syria – much as she did with Libya. In yet another speech ‘flagged’ by her campaign and released by WikiLeaks – this one delivered to Goldman Sachs at their CEO conference in June 2013 – Clinton explains:

“To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk – you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”

So Clinton is advocating for a no-fly zone despite the fact that she recognizes she’s “going to kill a lot of Syrians.” Which then puts that other speech of hers about letting Syrians “kill themselves until they get exhausted” into context.

Her only regional allies in this endeavor will be the Saudis and Qataris, who we now know support ISIL and other terrorists inside Syria. We also know that Clinton will continue to ignore this indiscretion – not because of what she says, but because of what she does:

Her public-versus-private position on the Saudis, after all, has been bandied about since the 2010 WikiLeaks State Department cables were released.

In 2009, a secret WikiLeaks cable signed off by then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads, in part: “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide…Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT (Laskhar-e Taiba), and other terrorist groups…It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” 


Yet by 2011, Clinton was ushering through the biggest weapons sale to Saudi Arabia in US history – a massive $67 Billion arms dump into the epicenter of global terror.

Clinton is not averse to cashing in on Saudi riches for her and her family’s foundation either. The Clinton Foundation hasreceived millions of dollars from Saudi, Qatari and other Gulf sources, despite the role their governments have played in funding global Jihad. And her campaign manager’s brother, Tony Podesta, just signed on to furnish the Saudi government with very expensive public relations services earlier this year.

There is something schizophrenic about Hillary Clinton’s compartmentalization of issues that speaks to the very competence of her judgment. Her whole private-versus-public-positions shtick is antithetical to the transparency, process and accountability demanded by democracy.

She speaks of her Iraq “mistake,” yet we have still not heard what lessons she has learned. And it grates, because we can see she has repeated them again and again, in Libya and in Syria.

The ‘public’ Hillary Clinton supports self-determination, freedom and human rights for Syrians. The ‘private’ Hillary Clinton supports the wholesale massacre of Syrians by a closely allied network of depraved sectarian terrorists – in order to weaken Iran and strengthen Israel.

If you’re one of those Americans who don’t trust her, you have good reason. At this point it is hard to ascertain if Clinton herself knows what her truth is anymore.


WikiLeaks, 911 and blood money

Infowars Nightly News – OCTOBER 14, 2016

Learn how countries with ties to terrorism have helped finance Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Jill Le'anne


The short & “easy” answer: Because she has the support of the shadow government/background forces
Darren Fegeley

The sad part is Democrats know about this but will still vote for hilary.Civil War is going to happen.
Manny Der

I don’t think dems want that. The Republicans are the ones with the guns. Also have all the farming know how, we can kill our own meat, we got the guns, we’re smarter, stronger, oh, an we have the guns too🙂

hey lets not forget, mainstream turning their back on hillary, but they are still the ones the defneded her and should not go unpunished
View all 3 replies

L Strauss

Definitely, mainstream media be punished and abandoned by the public
Madara Uchiha

That’s why they’re switching to online…Because people don’t watch Television no more.

Russia moving nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad as it suspends nuclear R&D pact with United States

Obama and Hillary’s legacy. What an unmitigated disaster.

Even during the Cold War things were never this bad, U.S. officials say. On 5 October, the Russian government suspended an agreement with the United States on nuclear R&D cooperation and terminated another on retooling Russian research reactors to no longer run on weapons-grade uranium fuel.

[…] Russia also pulled out of another agreement with the United States on 3 October in which the two countries were working to eliminate 34 tons of plutonium stockpiled in both countries—enough for about 17,000 bombs. (more here at Science Magazine)

“We were really sorry to see the Russians do this,” says an Obama official. What reckless buffoonery.

Russia moving nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad, says Estonia,” The Guardian, October 7, 2016:

Reports of Iskander-M missiles being moved to outpost between Poland and Lithuania fuels fears that Russia is seeking to expand control of Baltic Sea

Estonian officials have said that Russia appears to be moving powerful, nuclear capable missiles into Kaliningrad, a Russian outpost province sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic coast.

The Iskander-M missiles, which have a range of over 500km, are reportedly being transported by ship from the St Petersburg area. It had previously been reported that the Russians might seek to place the Iskander-M missiles in Kaliningrad but not until 2018-19.

If confirmed, the move would be seen by western governments as another sign that Russia is seeking to establish facts on the ground, from eastern Europe to the Middle East, before a new US president takes office in January.

Estonian officials said they were monitoring the ship and its contents. The ship, called the Ambal, was due to dock on Friday; reports of the cargo came from Estonian government sources.

An Estonian defence expert said: “This weapon is highly sophisticated and there is no comparable weapon in western armoury. It can carry nuclear weapons, change direction mid-flight and fly distances of up to 500km. As such it is capable of threatening Poland, including the US missile defence installations there. You would not change the date of the delivery of a system such as this on a whim. The intention is to make a strong strategic point.”

The Russians already have a missile brigade on Kaliningrad, but the OTR-21 Tochka short-range missile is less sophisticated, and not capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

The Iskander-M, the Persian name for Alexander the Great, is a ballistic rocket system designed to destroy strategic targets, and its stationing is arguably in breach of the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty.

Marko Mihkelson, the chairman of the Estonian parliament’s national defence committee, told Estonian news agency ERR on Friday that since the transportation of the system was now taking place with the help of a civilian vessel, he had reason to think that Russia was trying to take the missiles to Kaliningrad in secret.

Mihkelson added that what was going on was part of a broader security situation, and that it was Russia’s intent to provoke western governments and increase pressure on them. On Monday Russia cancelled its weapon-grade plutonium disposal agreement with the US.

“In any case, what is called for now is to remain calm, and to treat these incidents as attempted blackmail,” Mihkelson said. “Russia is simply showing its desire to reinforce its position at the entrance to the Baltic Sea.”

The chief of staff of the Estonian defence forces, Lt Gen Riho Terras, said Russia’s recent actions show the country’s wish to expand its control of the Baltic Sea.

“In the long term Russia’s wish is to bring the Baltic Sea and the passages leading to it more and more under its control, and to control it much like it does the Black Sea,” Terras said to ERR on Friday.

The Estonian prime minister Taavi Rõivas said: “References to Iskander missile system being transported by the Baltic Sea to Kaliningrad are certainly alarming and show yet again Russia’s attempts to pressure the west by using different tools.

“This week alone Russia announced that it unilaterally suspended the plutonium disposal agreement, with demands such as the removal of all economic sanctions and compensation for the damage they have caused.

“Russia’s continuous aggressive actions only reaffirm the necessity for Nato’s increased military presence in the Baltic States and Poland.

“I can assure you that Estonia is closely following the developments in the Baltic Sea region.”

On Thursday, a Russian military An-72 aircraft penetrated Estonian airspace over the island of Vaindloo without permission and spent about minute and a half in the country’s airspace.

The aircraft transponder was switched on, but no flight plan was submitted and the aircraft did not respond to radio contact with the Estonian air movement service.

The Estonian foreign ministry on Friday summoned the Russian ambassador to Estonia to hand him a protest note.

Finland said two similar planes had passed over its territory as it prepared to sign a defence pact with the US.

UNSC vetoes rival resolutions on Syria sponsored by Russia and France

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has vetoed two rival resolutions proposed by Russia and France on the escalating situation in Syria and the war-torn city of Aleppo in particular.

In his statement, the Russian envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that all of the members of the UNSC understood from the beginning that both draft resolutions would not go through.

Read more
Russian FM urges ‘care’ of all Aleppo residents, not just those in east of city
“Today we are participating in one of the most bizarre scenes in the history of the UN Security Council. We will vote on the two draft Council resolutions, and we are all well aware that neither of them will be accepted,” Churkin said.

The official urged all sides to restart the Syria peace process, which he said had been “jeopardized” by the radical groups.

The French proposal implied “upgraded” coordination of monitoring of the situation in Syria and reactivating the cessation of hostilities in Aleppo. One of the key points of the proposal was a halt to Syrian and Russian bombardment of East Aleppo.

However, Moscow and Damascus repeatedly stressed they are targeting terrorist hideouts there, which have been jeopardizing the cessation of hostilities.

The French proposal also included a call for all sides to prevent any material and financial resources reaching individuals or groups “associated with al-Qaeda and IS [Islamic State].” In addition, the French urged greater access for humanitarian aid deliveries across Syria.

Moscow: Halt to strikes gives terrorists ‘cover’
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the French-sponsored resolution AL the real situation in Syria after the US refused to stick to the agreement on settling the crisis. The prohibition of flights over Aleppo “provides cover to terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra” and those militants who allied with them, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

Moscow is nevertheless ready to work together on fulfilling the agreements reached earlier on resolving the deadlock in Syria, the Foreign Ministry added.

Russia for its part submitted to the UNSC a counter-resolution on Syria. According to the document, Moscow called for an immediate halt to the violence in war-ravaged Aleppo, but not for a halt to anti-terrorist strikes in the city. Monitoring should be then evaluated by the International Syrian Support Group (ISSG), the document said.

One of the key elements of the proposal was an urgent need for a separation of moderate rebels from terrorist groups like Al-Nusra in Aleppo, as agreed between Moscow and Washington in Geneva on September 9.

Read more
US seeks to enforce global dominance by unleashing war on countries who oppose it – Assad
Commenting on the Russian resolution at the UNSC, the US representative stated that Moscow can’t justify its strikes in Aleppo with “a few hundred” al-Nusra terrorists there.

Howver according to the latest estimations by the UN between six and eight thousand militants are currently holding the eastern part of Aleppo, with nearly a half estimated to belong or act together with the al-Nusra terrorists.

Russian draft also strongly backed calls by the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to allow safe exit for Nusra terrorists in order to bring relief to Aleppo. On Thursday de Mistura said he is willing to personally escort them out.

“If you [Al-Nusra] did decide to leave, in dignity with your weapons, to Idlib or anywhere you wanted to go, I personally am ready, physically ready, to accompany you,” he said.

De Mistura, warned that East Aleppo might be destroyed within two months if the military action in the city continues.

Russia and the Syrian government have come under intense criticism from the US in recent days over the strikes in Aleppo. On Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Russian and Syrian governments’ actions in Syria “beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes.” He alleged that Moscow and Damascus have been “hitting hospitals, medical facilities,” in the war-ravaged country.

READ MORE: Russian FM urges ‘care’ of all Aleppo residents, not just those in east of city

Russia and Syria have denied any wrongdoing, with Moscow insisting that any peace plan for Syria and Aleppo in particular will not bear fruit until the US-backed rebels clearly distance themselves from Al-Nusra. On Friday, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said that the US had consistently failed to deliver on its promises to do so. “It has led to problems in identifying specific violators of the ceasefire,” Antonov said.

During the UNSC session, Churkin “regretted” that New Zealand’s push for a document combining Russian and French proposals has not been given any consideration in the Council.

“We know that New Zealand tried to work out a draft resolution that would [be] in the middle of the two approaches presented today. We regret that some influential members of the Council did not allow to set your project going,” he said.


Russia declares no-fly zone in Syria, moves missiles to Europe

Clifford Cunningham | – OCTOBER 8, 2016

Russia has begun moving nuclear-capable missiles into Europe after America threatened to shoot down Russian planes over Syria, greatly raising the risk of all-out war.

Russian military appears to be moving nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles from Saint Petersburg to Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave situated between NATO members Lithuania and Poland, according to sources inside Estonia.

The Iskander-M, which can fire a nuclear-armed missile over 300 miles away, is reportedly being transferred to Kaliningrad by ship approximately two years ahead of its previously scheduled deployment to the enclave.

In addition to its military deployments in Kaliningrad, Russia has deployed the S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria after the Obama administration indicated covert air strikes on Syrian government forces are being considered to stop their advances in Aleppo.

“The options under consideration, which remain classified, include bombing Syrian air force runways using cruise missiles and other long-range weapons fired from coalition planes and ships,” an administration official told the Washington Post.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson General Igor Konashenkov said “any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen.”

“And all the illusions of amateurs about the existence of ‘invisible’ jets will face a disappointing reality,” he added, referring to claims by the United States that Russian air defense systems are incapable of targeting American stealth aircraft.

In another sign of increasing tensions, the Russian embassy in Washington posted a photo of White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and a S-300 missile system on Twitter with a caption noting Russia will use “every defensive measure necessary” to defend its military personnel in Syria.

Russia’s military buildup comes after Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley issued a thinly veiled warning that the United States was prepared to “destroy” its enemies.
“I want to be clear to those who wish to do us harm….the United States military – despite all of our challenges, despite our [operational] tempo, despite everything we have been doing – we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that,” Milley said.

Milley suggested the next major conflict would be “highly lethal, unlike anything our Army has experienced at least since World War II.”

Pentagon paid PR firm $540mn to make fake terrorist videos

The Pentagon paid a UK PR firm half a billion dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq in a secret propaganda campaign exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
PR firm Bell Pottinger, known for its array of controversial clients including the Saudi government and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s foundation, worked with the US military to create the propaganda in a secretive operation.

The firm reported to the CIA, the National Security Council and the Pentagon on the project with a mandate to portray Al-Qaeda in a negative light and track suspected sympathizers.

Both the White House and General David Petraeus, the former general who shared classified information with his mistress, signed off on the content produced by the agency.

The Bell Pottinger operation started soon after the US invasion of Iraq and was tasked with promoting the “democratic elections” for the administration before moving on to more lucrative psychological and information operations.

READ MORE: Iraqi torture: US unable to restrain Shia militia forces committing kidnap, torture & beheadings

Former employee Martin Wells told the Bureau how he found himself working in Iraq after being hired as a video editor by Bell Pottinger. Within 48 hours, he was landing in Baghdad to edit content for secret “psychological operations” at Camp Victory.

The firm created television ads showing Al-Qaeda in a negative light as well as creating content to look as though it had come from “Arabic TV”. Crews were sent out to film bombings with low quality video. The firm would then edit it to make it look like news footage.


They would craft scripts for Arabic soap operas where characters would reject terrorism with happy consequences. The firm also created fake Al-Qaeda propaganda videos, which were then planted by the military in homes they raided.

Employees were given specific instructions to create the videos. “We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use Al-Qaeda’s footage,” Wells 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.”

The videos were created to play on Real Player which needs an internet connection to run. The CDs were embedded with a code linking to Google Analytics which allowed the military to track IP addresses that the videos were played on.


According to Wells, the videos were picked up in Iran, Syria and the US.

“If one, 48 hours or a week later shows up in another part of the world, then that’s the more interesting one,” Wells explained. “And that’s what they’re looking for more, because that gives you a trail.”

The Pentagon confirmed the PR firm did work for them under the Information Operations Task Force (IOTF) creating content they say was “truthful”. The firm also worked under the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (JPOTF). The Pentagon said it could not comment on JPOTF operations.

US law prohibits the government from using propaganda on its population, hence the use of an outside firm to create the content.


Documents show the Pentagon paid $540 million to Bell Pottinger in contracts between 2007 and 2011, with another contract for $120 million in 2006. The firm ended its work with the Pentagon in 2011.


In 2009, it was reported that the Pentagon had hired controversial PR firm, The Rendon Group, to monitor the reporting of journalists embedded with the U.S. military, to assess whether they were giving “positive” coverage to its missions.

It was also revealed in 2005 that Washington based PR company the Lincoln Group had been placing articles in newspapers in Iraq which were secretly written by the US military. A Pentagon investigation cleared the group of any wrongdoing.