The Agency reportedly bounced around the idea of making a fake video depicting the deposed Iraqi president having sex with a young boy and circulating it around Iraq. The Agency also made a tape depicting Osama bin Laden and others drinking alcohol around a campfire that was not circulated.
25 May 2010 | InfoShop News
As the Iraq Operations Group of the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) was planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, agents “kicked around a number of ideas for discrediting Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his people”, Jeff Stein reports at his Washington Post blog, which included circulating a fake video depicting then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as a homosexual pedophile:
One was to create a video purporting to show the Iraqi dictator having sex with a teenage boy, according to two former C.I.A. officials familiar with the project.
“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” said one of the former officials. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”
The idea was to then “flood Iraq with the videos,” the former official said.
The standout from Mr. Stein’s report is how exploiting cultural taboos within Islam would be used. The Agency’s interrogation methods of detainees reflected, not only tactics generally emasculating, but utilized to such an extent that it was not only within deliberate contingency plans, but most likely pre-formatted in the detention policy.
This is also reflected in its actual creation of a fake video depicting terrorists—contrary to the professed Islamic fundamentalist caricatures—getting drunk together:
The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former C.I.A. officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said.
Eventually, “things ground to a halt,” the other former officer said, because no one could come to agreement on the projects.
I’m not too well-educated on detailed conspiracy theories regarding reported videos of Osama bin Laden, his messages, his supposed confession to 9/11, etc., but Mr. Stein’s report ought to further validate the legitimate scrutiny of these videos’ authenticity. I can’t imagine what why “no one could come to agreement” on such “projects” to manufacture confessions and future threats. The 2004 October Surprise comes to mind and Steve Watson at Prison Planet—for what it’s worth—raises the scrutiny level just that much.
As for inner-Agency objections, they were that they wouldn’t be effective—not that they would be manufactured humiliations to falsely manufacture consent for a brutal war and occupation:
The ideas were patently ridiculous, said the other former agency officer.
“They came from people whose careers were spent in Latin America or East Asia” and didn’t understand the cultural nuances of the region.
“Saddam playing with boys would have no resonance in the Middle East — nobody cares,” agreed a third former C.I.A. official with extensive experience in the region. “Trying to mount such a campaign would show a total misunderstanding of the target. We always mistake our own taboos as universal when, in fact, they are just our taboos.”
Iraq wasn’t a Saudi-esque fundie culture during the Ba’athist reign of Hussein, so such tactics would’ve been a “total misunderstanding of the target”. But what about detaining people in the Fourth World villages of Afghanistan? Threats of raping detainees and their family members, for instance, is dehumanizing for many objective reasons. If you totally understand the target, however, one would intentionally have a pre-formatted plan to attack their psyche with sexually related threats and actions.
The War of Terror is riddled with an eerie pattern of sexual abuse and humiliation by soldiers and interrogators at U.S. military detention centers—most notably at Abu Ghraib, as reported by the heroic Seymour Hersh at The New Yorker, and the revelation these methods were replicated from those utilized at Guantánamo, which continued after the former scandal was publicized. These aren’t ignorant Neanderthal acts of boredom or simpleton objectification. These crimes against humanity are exceedingly conscientious of the way these cultures fundamentally view sexual relations and self-worth.
Again, every culture has strong sexual interpretations and views of domination-submission relations to sex. But it’s vital to comprehend the more archaic Islamofundie sexual propaganda to come close to understanding the U.S. governments use of torture in the War of Terror.
Mr. Hersh, shortly after breaking the story of torture at Abu Ghraib, reported:
According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon’s operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A….
The notion that Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual humiliation became a talking point among pro-war Washington conservatives in the months before the March, 2003, invasion of Iraq. One book that was frequently cited was The Arab Mind, a study of Arab culture and psychology, first published in 1973, by Raphael Patai, a cultural anthropologist who taught at, among other universities, Columbia and Princeton, and who died in 1996. The book includes a twenty-five-page chapter on Arabs and sex, depicting sex as a taboo vested with shame and repression. “The segregation of the sexes, the veiling of the women . . . and all the other minute rules that govern and restrict contact between men and women, have the effect of making sex a prime mental preoccupation in the Arab world,” Patai wrote. Homosexual activity, “or any indication of homosexual leanings, as with all other expressions of sexuality, is never given any publicity. These are private affairs and remain in private.” The Patai book, an academic told me, was “the bible of the neocons on Arab behavior.” In their discussions, he said, two themes emerged—“one, that Arabs only understand force and, two, that the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation.”
The government consultant said that there may have been a serious goal, in the beginning, behind the sexual humiliation and the posed photographs. It was thought that some prisoners would do anything—including spying on their associates—to avoid dissemination of the shameful photos to family and friends. The government consultant said, “I was told that the purpose of the photographs was to create an army of informants, people you could insert back in the population.” The idea was that they would be motivated by fear of exposure, and gather information about pending insurgency action, the consultant said. If so, it wasn’t effective; the insurgency continued to grow.
Recently in Iraq, more than 100 were tortured, regularly beaten, electrocuted, suffocated, put in stress positions for hours, repeatedly raped, extorted from in a secret Baghdad prison run by the Iraq government. After the discovery of this secret prison at Muthanna, I wrote about how this is not foreign element of the Iraqi government—the conduct and systematic cover-up and denial. It is system replicated from the U.S. government exported to Iraq.