Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On any given day at MacDill Air Force Base, web crawlers scour social media for potential recruits to the Islamic State group. Then, in a high-stakes operation to counter the extremists' propaganda, language specialists employ fictitious identities and try to sway the targets from joining IS ranks. At least that's how the multimillion-dollar initiative is being sold to the Defense Department.

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A critical national security program known as "WebOps" is part of a vast psychological operation that the Pentagon says is effectively countering an enemy that has used the internet as a devastating tool of propaganda. But an Associated Press investigation found the management behind WebOps is so beset with incompetence, cronyism and flawed data that multiple people with direct knowledge of the program say it's having little impact.

Several current and former WebOps employees cited multiple examples of civilian Arabic specialists who have little experience in counter-propaganda, cannot speak Arabic fluently and have so little understanding of Islam they are no match for the Islamic State online recruiters.

It's hard to establish rapport with a potential terror recruit when -- as one former worker told the AP -- translators repeatedly mix up the Arabic words for "salad" and "authority." That's led to open ridicule on social media about references to the "Palestinian salad." ...

Four current or former workers told the AP that they had personally witnessed WebOps data being manipulated to create the appearance of success and that they had discussed the problem with many other employees who had seen the same.

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It's worth it to read the whole thing. It has whistle-blowers, cash, part-ay, even a villain.

#1 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-04-18 06:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

They need to bring charges against the whole lot of them.

#2 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-04-18 07:31 PM | Reply

They need to stop hiring contractors to do the jobs government employees should be doing, under oath, with the knowledge that violating their oaths is treason. The whole privatization concept has cost us hundreds of billions and reduced our security. We fought WWII and the Cold War mostly without outside contractors but that was before Reagan and the succession of corporate lackeys that followed. This was a $500 million dollar contract, would that induce corruption, obviously yes. Privatization is a disaster in so many areas not just in security.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 07:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

So this is a job that you dont have to speak Arabic and you can start drinking booze at 3 pm and instead of working you can watch tv on line.

what a sweet Job!

see private enterprise functions soo much better then government.

#4 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2017-04-19 02:26 AM | Reply

Solution from Trump: Give them MORE money.

#5 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-04-19 12:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

You wanna know the best psyop is? Invade their countries, kill and maim their husbands, fathers, babies, wives, and mothers; throw their whole lives into complete disarray and then, when they dare to fight back, call them uncivilized and barbaric and state that you really have no problem with most of them, just a select few.

#6 | Posted by pumpkinhead at 2017-04-19 12:04 PM | Reply

Government employees juke the stats?

Really?! I never saw that coming.

#7 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-19 12:14 PM | Reply

"Government employees juke the stats?"

"The WebOps contract is run by Colsa Corp., based in Huntsville, Alabama."

I did see that one coming, I expected it. When profit is the motive instead of duty and honor this is what you should expect. Hey, let's privatize the military so that when we confront an invader a profit/loss analysis will be done before they decide whether or not to defend us.

#8 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-19 12:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

When you mess up this badly on a Government Contract, there are severe consequences...google "False Claims Act" to see what this company could be facing.

#9 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-04-19 12:41 PM | Reply

#8 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2017-04-19 12:30 PM | FLAG:

The responsibility here is on Central Command. They are claiming all of the data is sufficiently scrutinized. Their promotions depend on the success of the program.

#10 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-19 12:50 PM | Reply

Everyone who criticizes putting more money into Education and is pro-Military spending should read this...

#11 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-04-19 01:07 PM | Reply

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