New Report Suggests Anti-Terror Efforts More Concerned With Enriching Contractors Than Thwarting Terrorism
A new AP report claims that a counter-propaganda program, that was supposedly aimed at thwarting ISIS/terrorism over social media, is shrouded in cronyism, skewed data, and alarming incompetence.
The program is known as the WebOps program and it was launched a number of years ago by a collective of civilian contractors and military officers who were tasked to the information operations division in Florida, where the U.S. Central Command headquarters are located.
The report shows, according to internal documents and interviews conducted with a number of people who are knowledgeable about the program etc, that the WebOps program appears to have been designed more for the objective of lining the pockets of military contractors, rather than it is concerned about genuinely trying to deter or crack-down on terrorism.
The program involves a number of analysts, (supposed to be) capable of speaking Arabic, who are tasked with looking on a variety of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others, for people who might be posting content that suggests they'd be vulnerable to one day joining these terror groups. The analysts use fake identities in order to contact those who might be potential targets/posing cause for worry.
Interviews from those who were knowledgeable about the program, indicate that a number of the analysts were sorely lacking in their Arabic-language speaking abilities and that they didn't have much experience with counter-propaganda. Therefore, they suggest that those analysts were no match for the online recruiters for these terror groups. In one specific example, it's reported that an analyst actually mixed up the words for “authority” and “salad”.
There are also allegations of manipulated data by analysts, in order to make it appear like they were having success with the program.
Information in the report also argues that the military contracting companies, which are tasked with carrying out the program, have dodged their responsibility to implement any oversight or thorough assessment of the actual data that is being collected.
Last year, just one of the government's “counter-propaganda contracts” was going for around $500 million.
Billions of dollars of taxpayer funds are being spent on anti-terror efforts, trillions over the last decade+, and what is there to show for it? What has really been accomplished? Is it ever going to be time to concede that perhaps “terror” cannot be eradicated permanently, especially when you are trying to fight it with one hand while funding/manipulating it with the other. Perhaps we're wasting trillions of dollars, no?
Maybe the actions of the US military and independent contractors overseas have caused more harm than good and it hasn't even solved the problem, it's ruined the countries that it has launched these “anti-terror' campaigns in, not to mention the trillions in debt it's saddled its own country with. The public gets all of the debt put onto its back, it also continues to have human rights infringed upon in the name of "keeping us safe" from terror...
And here we have, yet another report, suggesting that it might just all be for money more than anything else.
The WebOps program is being run by the Colsa Corporation which is based in Alabama.
There are also allegations of corruption surrounding the decision-making process of who gets selected to win the military contracts in the first place. One whistleblower alleges that there are a number of conflicts of interest to consider, in one circumstance he cited officers being seemingly bribed by being treated to elaborate dinners by contractors.
And that's not all...
The environment that is supposedly tasked with working to "keep us safe" by trying to thwart terrorism, has been described as a “frat house” with an atmosphere of excessive drinking. The allegations of routine drinking that occurs at the office during work hours, was confirmed by a number of contractors who communicated with AP.
Many legal experts, policing professionals, human rights advocates, and others (even ex-military members), have affirmed the undeniable fact that terror cannot be eradicated, as it is a method/tactic which anyone at any time can engage in. Nothing radicalizes someone more like a drone strike unjustly killing their loved ones, the violence fuels ongoing violence. And if it cannot ever be permanently eradicated, then it seems that blindly funneling efforts towards furthering this cause, is only going to generate even more terrorism in the future.
And when you've got drone strikes with a 90 percent fail rate, trillions of dollars spent and little to show for it, then it certainly seems like it's a war being waged blindly.
What ever happened to good old fashioned investigations? Evidence? Due process of law?
More surveillance won't get rid of terrorism, more drone strikes won't get rid of it, more border guards won't put a dent in it, more money (debt) tossed at it certainly won't end the problem, and let's never forget that when it comes to our chances of being killed by a terrorist, we are much more likely to die from a myriad of other things/activities. These facts make the whole "war on terror" appear not only as useless, but as a war/crime against humanity.