USCENTCOM buys software to impersonate social networkers & bloggers; blogosphere shows tell-tale signs amid war on Libya
At a time of war, destabilisation, and great upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are being increasingly relied upon by those seeking information. Allowing to-the-second updates from the on-the-ground journalists and ordinary citizens, even major news outlets are beginning to circulate reports originating from these sources.
In an ominous development in March this year (in the lead-up to the war on Libya and the destabilisation of Syria), US Central Command – USCENTCOM – purchased a piece of software allowing US government employees to assume multiple fake online identities, complete with false backgrounds, supporting details, and IP address masking functionality. On top of the universal deception that takes place in the corporate media, it is evident that the goal of this venture is to spread propaganda and disinformation. These fake identities with a full portfolio of background information and supporting details, will carry a sheen of authenticity otherwise reserved for the likes of Wikileaks.
For $2.76 million the US government purchased the product developed by shadowy California-based ‘cyber security’ firm Ntrepid. Ntrepid’s website is very scant, offering no information whatsover about the company or its products, and being only one solitary page. After several requests for comment from US paper The Washington Times, Ntrepid and its executives refused to respond.
A March 2011 Mashable report speaks of how,
Using the software, one member of the U.S. military can control up to 10 different fake accounts that appear to belong to civilians living in other countries.
The Washington Times report from March 1 tells of how USCENTCOM (which is responsible for US military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia) will target social media websites. The software used by USCENTCOM purportedly allows its users to post messages,
creating the appearance that they are logging on and posting messages or other contributions from anywhere in the world.
This is echoed by the military procurement documents that were obtained by The Washington Times:
“Personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world,”
In the same March 1 report, former CIA director and retired Air Force General Michael V. Hayden boasts that these ‘military information support operations’ using social media, are the cutting edge of US military and intelligence activities.
When a computer user logs on to the Internet, they do so using a unique cyber location known as an IP (Internet Protocol) address. Startlingly, Ntrepid’s software allows the IP address to be masked and faked, creating the illusion that the user is logging on from a different geographical location to their actual point of origin (even to the actual companies running the social media sites). On top of this, the software provides its users with real-time local information such as local news and weather pertaining to their ‘pretend’ location, allowing these fraudulent ‘sock puppet’ personas to appear even more authentic to other social media and web users.
Most obviously this development suggests that the US government, and the wider military-intelligence axis that is perpetrating the illegal war on Libya and destabilisation of Syria, now seeks to manipulate and control the flow of information on social media networks and blogs.
The ‘Disappointed Palestinians’
It will come as no surprise then, to see manifestations of this agenda in the ‘blogosphere’. In June I wrote about the ‘disappointed Palestinians’ letter, that was posted anonymously to the ‘Yansoon’ blog, and was also picked up by Mondoweiss amongst others. The completely anonymous letter is a paradigmatic example of this disinformation agenda at work, and I urge you to read the letter and my response in full.
In the comments section of the Yansoon letter, you will see ‘Libyans’ posting comments so mindlessly pro-war and so factually baseless that it beggars belief. Take this comment by ‘Another Libyan’, wherein they say, (again in Queen’s English):
My rather extended family is in Tripoli. Is there a chance that the bombing could injure one or more of them? I’ve been aware of that from the beginning. Do I want the bombing to stop? Absolutely not. Am I insane? Certainly not. I know reliably that that is the sentiment of the majority of the population of Tripoli”…
Moreover, from my own experience of using Twitter this disinformation agenda has been visible, with a myriad of ‘Libyan’ users posting update after update of pro-NATO, pro-rebal propaganda. It is difficult to know whether these accounts are indeed shills posing as Libyans, or if they are simply second generation Libyans living abroad (in the States, for example), who have been groomed into circulating this dupery. One thing is apparent though – as with the ‘disappointed Palestinians’ letter – they display several tell-tale signs of this ‘sock-puppetry’ in action.
I’ve noticed several common themes (as with the ‘disappointed Palestinians’ trickery):
- The users have an excellent command of the English language, and they make very few spelling mistakes. This is completely uncharacteristic of somebody whose mother tongue is not English;
- They practically never post in Arabic. Again, completely uncharacteristic of people who are ostensibly indigenous Arabs;
- They repeat typical neocon/Zionist memes and talking points such as: ‘freedom and democracy’, and they often target other enemies of the US/Israel in their ‘tweets’. This is another marked similarity with the ‘disappointed Palestinians’ letter;
- They breathlessly circulate reports from globalist institutions such as Human Rights Watch, even ones from over a decade ago (the Abu Salim prison massacre is a popular one)
Take the following Twitter user, @SecularLibya, who really does tick all the boxes. The user’s name on Twitter is listed as being ‘MargBar Khamenei’, which, in English, translates to ‘DeathTo Khamenei’, presumably referring to the Supreme Leader of Iran. Not only does this ‘Libyan’ inexplicably choose to target Iran, the arch enemy of the US and Israel, but they also target North Korea – that other bugbear of the globalist axis:
Again, notice the impeccable English used. And even more laughably, read the user’s bio. It literally reads as though it was written by NED, or another one of the US State Department’s democracy-perverting NGO’s, speaking of the need for a ‘democratic’ and ‘liberal’ Libya.
Also notice the user’s avatar wherein he invokes the ‘Abu Salim massacre’, an event toted by globalist-Zionist funded Human Rights Watch as the trump card in the propaganda war against Libya. Abu Salim is an event for which there is no physical evidence, and HRW’s report on the event hinges on the testimony of one person who is now residing in the United States. Laughably, HRW even admits that they cannot independently verify a single detail of the man’s claims.
Whether indeed these users are paid shills, or just second generation ‘Westernised’ Libyans living abroad and groomed into spreading this drivel, these blathering idiots are by far the most vocal. That fact speaks volumes about the success of the US-NATO social media propaganda campaign.
Following is a hand-picked list of Twitter users who zealously post pro-NATO, pro-NTC propaganda. You’ll even see some of them re-tweeting the US State Department and very frequently posting links to Feb17.info and EnoughGaddafi.com – both US fronts. Paid shills or otherwise, the utter crap they talk is priceless entertainment:
- @EnoughGaddafi (US-based NGO – NATO/NTC mouthpiece)
- @Feb17Libya (US-backed group that started the ‘revolution’)
Updated – Thursday, August 4th:
The following Washington Post report compares the ‘Ramadan Massacre’ to a 1982 massacre of tens of thousands. It then goes on to admit that,
It’s not known how many people have died; foreign journalists and other independent observers have been kept out of Hama. But Syrian opposition sources reported at least 55 deaths on Sunday, and by Monday some counts exceeded 100.
The article proves nothing and does not name its sources. Instead it suggests the ‘Ramadan Massacre’ is comparable to the killing of tens of thousands, and offers zero evidence. This is the modus operandi for mainstream reporting on Syria.
But the aforementioned London-based Syrian lady – Rime Allaf - with over 2,200 followers, has a reason for her hollow cries of indignation. Her website bio lists her as being an Associate Fellow of Chatham House – the UK arm of warmongering corporate U.S. think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations:
Rime Allaf is a writer, broadcaster and consultant specializing in Middle East affairs, and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House.
She was also previously the Managing Director of a consultancy firm in Damascus, advising multinationals wishing to move in to Syria:
She was previously the Managing Director of a consultancy in Damascus, advising foreign companies entering the region on political, business, legal and social issues. She was a member of the founding board of directors of the British Syrian Society,
Neoliberal apostle and globalist footsoldier, as you can see she was also one of the founders of the British Syrian Society, a non-governmental organization aiming at ‘enhancing relations between Britain and Syria’. The group proclaim to be independent, while admitting that they are not. Fawaz Akhras, the co-chair of the BSS told Syria Today in March this year:
We are completely independent. We do not accept financing or donations from either government. We thrive on our memberships and the generosity of people who believe in our objectives and want to support our aims and sponsor our events. We employ only one person, an office manager, while the directors are volunteers. Our events are privately sponsored by companies, banks and other organisations.
Regarding events in Syria, thousands of media consumers simply accept unquestioningly reports from by US-backed ‘opposition sources’ such as the lady above and the ‘Syrian Human Rights Committee’, which is also London based.
The ‘Ramadan Massacre’ in particular, is a cynical attempt by the corporate-Zionist media to exploit the righteous indignation of Muslims and garner support for intervention and regime change in Syria. We must take unproven reports and sensationalist claims coming from globalist-backed sources with a pinch of salt.
Armed conflict is taking place in Syria, and, like Libya, the media is grossly misrepresenting the situation in order to manipulate opinion. Every war is preceded, accompanied, and followed, by a wall of deception and propaganda. Only the naive fail to notice it – it is as much a component of war as the physical weaponry that tears apart lives and nations.