I mentioned to someone yesterday that the Barbie-doll hostage didn’t necessarily mean that the terrorists were desperate because we don’t really know if actual terrorists posted the picture and made the claim. I noted that incident last fall where someone faked a beheading video, and said that it might have been some stupid kid goofing off or even our guys messing with the heads of our enemies and making mockeries out of them.
A reader sent me this link which includes:
Analysts asked about potential perpetrators of the hoax said it was possible the scam was a so-called “black” information operation by the U.S. government or an ally intended to hurt the credibility of ansarnet.ws.
“There might be some motivation to detract credibility from these Web sites,” Binnie said. “But there are already so many outlandish claims on them that they already lack credibility to a certain extent.”
In a way, posting misinformation to those sites would be akin to spreading lies about Michael Moore’s movies. You might convince a few people, but why go to all that trouble when the heavy lifting has already been done by the real perps?
As I’ve said before: If we can’t mock these guys, they’ve already won.
Anyway, I noted another paragraph earlier in the story, as well:
The ansarnet.ws site, the Internet bulletin board that carried the toy soldier hoax, also features posts from Iraqi rebels and sympathizers from places like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and even Bosnia.
Such sites have proven crucial as broadcast outlets for Iraqi guerrillas, who otherwise have little contact with journalists and cannot challenge the information dominance of their opponents.
Again, I think there’s a fair amount of wheel-reinvention going on here. If the terrorists just watched the evening news, they’d realize that a lot of their propaganda is already being spread around free of charge.
The real thrust of the article is about how those sites are watched very closely by our guys in order to help get inside the head of the enemy and to monitor what they’re thinking and saying. But why discuss that when I can take potshots instead?
Go read it.