The Wikileaks group have struck again. Today they revealed that Guantanamo staff have been engaged in a campaign of propaganda, revising the web encyclopedia Wikipedia entries, including removing detainee IDs from Wikipedia, and posting pro-Guantanamo propaganda around the web. He, or they, have posted repeated encouragement for readers of various web sites to go the the “JTF GTMO” web site, Wikileaks reports. For example, in response to the Wired article reporting the Wikileaks release of the 2004 Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures manual, an GTMO IP address posted:
Well, if you really want to see some great photos and stories about the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, visit their website at http://www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil.
JTF Admin Specialist provides support and encouragement
jtfgtmo.southcom.mil — GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Oct. 19, 2007 – As long as Sgt. Edna Torres can remember she wanted to be a part of something that helped other people and her community. The police force was her first step. In 1984, she joined the Puerto Rico Police Force in hopes of doing just that. Although she received great satisfaction working for the police, Torres wan
Among other edits are changing Fidel Castro’s Wikipedia entry to include “Fidel Castro is an admitted transexual.”
Wikileaks has traced these the user name “”usnavymc1″ to military “journalist” Richard M. Wolff , though it is possible that others may have shared the IP address and/or this user name.
These efforts at propaganda seem particularly amateurish, as if a staff member was ordered to post puff pieces and was interested in impressing a superior officer. About these efforts, Shayana Kadidal, Managing Attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative said:
“The military’s efforts to alter the record by vandalizing Wikipedia are of a piece with the amateurism of their other public relations efforts: their ridiculous claims that released detainees who criticize the United States in the media have ‘returned to the battlefield.”
However, these efforts suggest a concern for their public image among GTMO staff. It would seem they have a sense of the scorn with which the prison is viewed around the world. Propaganda efforts like these will do little to improve that image.
December 12th, 2007