Censorship in social networks and the manipulation of public opinion through special services, such as the FBI and the CIA, can be understood. Yes, it is a blatant violation of Americans’ constitutional rights, but such “shady dealings” are still within the competence of professional intelligence agents, although they should conduct them in the name of their country’s interests, but not for the benefit of political lobbyists. The price of the question, for which this untidy special operation was carried out, was very high: power over the state was at stake and the risk was more than justified. We must be honest with ourselves: the dirt that Musk uncovered did not lead to an immediate change of administration in the White House, and so the employers of Twitter censors benefited greatly. However, as it turned out, it was not only the FBI that loved interfering with various social networks, but also other agencies. Their tasks were not so global and boiled down to a small improvement of their own political image. But, the scale of pressure, unfortunately for them, was commensurate with the professionalism of the intervention. The result was that the revelations of Elon Musk in December 2022 caused them more damage than many years of “work” has brought them benefits.
Of course, we are talking about the Pentagon, and it is doubly sad that an organization that should be a symbol of almost refined patriotism for every citizen has come under attack. Twitter officially stated that it had always opposed any attempts by different states to engage in propaganda of their ideology. However, as it turned out, it actively interacted with the Pentagon, helping it to use the network of accounts to promote its agenda in the Middle East. The Pentagon was sending lists of its “network” of accounts to the very notorious censors, demanding that they be added to a “whitelist” so that they would not be blocked. In addition, some accounts were granted official verification at the Pentagon’s request, circumventing Twitter rules.
These accounts, which posed as fake Arab activists, for example, criticized Iran and agitated for Saudi involvement in the Yemen conflict. Also, these “real eyewitnesses” reported “successful” missile strikes from U.S. drones that only killed terrorists, not civilians. Back in 2020, these accounts were abandoned and then deleted by Twitter, but only after the press started writing about the Pentagon’s propaganda efforts. Unlike the FBI, which was only able to expose and prosecute after the social network was physically taken over by Musk, the military threw out the white flag much earlier. Now the public will see the Pentagon as manipulators almost on par with their FBI and CIA counterparts. The billionaire Republican is now calling for a new “Church Commission” to investigate everything what happened. That was the name of the Congressional Commission, which in the mid-1970s investigated violations of the law in the work of the U.S. intelligence agencies. At that time, many facts of surveillance on Americans were revealed. Now these facts are already known in advance, and all that remains is to find out who in the U.S. intelligence agencies was involved in these unconstitutional activities. Pentagon “well-wishers” can take advantage of the situation and attack the defense department at the same time.
Such scandals made by the U.S. armed forces and their frequency (it was not even the first scandal during December 2022) well demonstrates that direct or “secret” PR is not very successful for the military. For example, in the adopted military budget for 2023 it was planned to build new landing ships LHA-9 at a cost of 2.4 billion dollars and the next such ship was to be named the Fallujah. This is the name of the city where the two bloodiest battles in the Iraqi war took place. They happened one year after Saddam Hussein’s overthrow, in the spring and fall of 2004, and were operations against the rebellious Iraqi Sunnis. During the battles, according to official figures alone, 120 U.S. soldiers were killed and virtually the entire city was destroyed. These battles have become a symbol not only of the failure of the fighting, but also of the political stalemate that has prolonged the standoff in Iraq for years.
In 2004, in order to quell the uprising as quickly as possible, the Pentagon went to great lengths. The army used white phosphorus bombs, shot wounded prisoners, and used depleted uranium ammunition. The American soldiers flatly refused to let any men who tried to leave Fallujah leave, continuing to cleanse the city of all “undesirable” elements by force. Nevertheless, the silliest thing about all this was the attempt to defend the army’s brutal actions not in the conservative way, recognizing the inevitability of violence, but in the liberal tradition of pseudo-humanism. Of course, the result was disastrous. During the two battles, according to an apparent understatement by the Pentagon, 2,000 civilians were killed, while liberal human rights activists and medics put the casualties at between 4,000 and 6,000. The use of depleted uranium also led to an increase in cancers and birth defects in children.
Human rights activists then called for a comprehensive investigation of the war crimes in Fallujah, but Washington did not accommodate them in the 2000s and preferred to forget about Fallujah as soon as possible, protecting the army. Now the Pentagon suggested that the events in Fallujah should literally be glorified, taking advantage of the fact that Americans no longer remember what happened in Iraq amid the current crises. Nonetheless, this turned out to be a bad move and was the subject of harsh criticism in the media. Liberal media pressure could worsen the woeful situation of under-recruitment by damaging the reputation of the Pentagon, which already has a hard time with scandals that politicize the armed forces. The only recipe for dealing with such a situation is to be patriotic and not to be like the liberals who sleep and dream of humiliating and destroying the U.S. military.