The Pentagon was recently outed to reveal just how extensive their media campaign against Al Qaeda was in U.S. conflicts in the Middle East.
As it currently stands by TIME’s account, the war in Afghanistan alone cost U.S. taxpayers $1.6 trillion. This is a conservative estimate however, and as time goes on, more expenses are unearthed by the media. Take, for example, the $540 million spent by the Pentagon on manufacturing fake videos of Al Qaeda training and executions.
At some point after the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the CIA and Pentagon hired the public relations firm, Bell Pottinger, first to create media promoting democratic elections in the nation. Soon after, it advanced to work on a more heinous task.
Bell Pottinger went to work on creating poorly-shot videos made to appear as much like real attack footage and propaganda from Al Qaeda as possible.
Small skirmishes and bombings were organized and filmed, then rendered in a format made to run in local news networks in the region. False Al Qaeda propaganda was also manufactured, and when American military conducted raids on Iraqi homes suspected of hosting Al Qaeda members, these fake propaganda tapes were planted in homes to implicate the residents in collaboration with the terrorist group.
By no means does this author condone the actions of Al Qaeda. The terrorist group committed numerous atrocities in the Middle East, and their successor (ISIS) has continued this oppressive regime.
That does not mean that the American government should be blowing $540 million dollars towards fake attack videos and propaganda when the terrorist group can very well speak for itself with real atrocities.
It’s absolutely reprehensible that the Pentagon and CIA are continuing propaganda campaigns like those seen in World War II, campaigns that ended with our Japanese citizens in domestic concentration camps. It’s actually possible that our government’s overflow of false attacks has fueled America’s raging case of Islamaphobia.
The money is gone and the footage is there, but Americans can hopefully curb an irrational fear of Islam with this discovery of smoke and mirrors.