The Pentagon paid a UK PR firm half a billion dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq, as exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
PR firm Bell Pottinger worked with the US military to create the propaganda in a secretive propaganda campaign. The output included short TV segments made in Arabic news network style and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, as per a report.
The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking US military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters as the insurgency raged outside.
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.