Secretary of State Hillary said that “experts” at her State Department swapped al Qaeda ads on Yemeni websites bragging about killing Americans with ones showing the deadly impact of al Qaeda tactics on Yemenis themselves. “Our team plastered the same sites with altered versions of the ads that showed the toll al-Qaida attacks have taken on the Yemeni people,” Clinton said. “Extremists are publicly venting their frustration and asking supporters not to believe everything they read on the Internet.”
Rather than hacking the sites covertly, the State Department specialists challenge the extremists in open forums. “We parody and poke holes in what they do,” a State Department official explained, in a cyber “cat and mouse game.”
According to the AP, last week, AQ launched a new series of banner attack ads focusing on them fighting the Americans, with U.S.-flag-draped coffins. The State Department team countered the attack by buying space on the same site with new ads, featuring the coffins of Yemeni civilians.
A Few Things Worth Noting
It was only last week that Clinton said “Each time a reporter is silenced or an activist is threatened it doesnt strengthen government, it weakens a nation… We have to continue making the case for respect, tolerance, openness, which are at the root of sustainable democracy.” I guess her idea of respect, tolerance and openness extends only to ideas she agrees with.
And of course the State Department coughed up this on Twitter today:
But wait a minute– we’re now trying to win the war on terror by buying banner ads? Won’t this keen strategy just stop working when the web site owners stop selling us the ads, which they will do now that Clinton has bragged about it?
If the US is paying for banner ads on pro- al Qaeda websites, aren’t we sort of materially supporting pro- al Qaeda websites? Should DOJ now arrest the State Department for material support?
Believe it or not, Clinton’s going commando about this silliness was part of her effort to show that diplomats can stand as equals alongside Special Forces operators.
Anybody think any SpecOps guys are now convinced? Anybody think any SpecOps guys wet themselves laughing?
Whose credit card did State use to buy the ads?
Pretty much everyone already knows not to believe everything they read on the Internet.
Does this count as cyber-bullying?
How many cyber exploits does it take to erase the memory of each US drone killing?
Seriously, our tax dollars are spent on crap like this and people who think this stuff up?
Does anyone anywhere really click on banner ads anymore?
Inside sources at the State Department have leaked that future cyber efforts will include unfriending al Qaeda on Facebook, releasing a fake al Qaeda sex tape and photoshopping lots of al Qaeda pictures from prom to make them look fatter. State will also bombard known al Qaeda email addresses with fake Viagra ads and offers for low cost government-backed mortgages (those are real). The State Department also plans to start a rumor during fifth period lunch that “no one likes al Qaeda anymore and no one should invite them to any more parties.”
Also, the US drone strikes killing Yemenis will continue.
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