The State Department recently carried out a counter-propaganda campaign on Web sites being used by al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, challenging the anti-American narratives with others about civilians killed in terrorist strikes, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday.
Al-Qaeda groups use “recruitment propaganda” on websites visited by tribal members in Yemen, Clinton said. But “our team plastered the same sites with altered versions . . . that showed the toll al-Qaeda attacks have taken on the Yemeni people.”
The U.S. propaganda campaign, Clinton said in a speech to the Special Operations Command in Tampa, was conducted by the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, based at the State Department.
It’s difficult to know how this “counter-propaganda” which emphasizes the civilian deaths perpetrated by the other side differs at all from what al-Qaeda is doing. Both groups – the U.S. military and al-Qaeda militants – consistently kill innocent civilians in Yemen and both try to convince people that the other side’s violence is unscrupulous. Clinton apparently wasn’t moved to make a distinction, in this case, between America and al-Qaeda.