The Obama administration may have just officially jumped the shark when it comes to fighting the war against terrorism and the Islamic State.
While the jihadi barbarians are busy waging campaigns of terror that include beheadings and suicide bombings, the American president has convened a group of people from HBO, a Middle Eastern broadcaster known as MBC and Snapchat to develop our newest “weapon” in the propaganda war, according to the Daily Beast.
The meeting was held in June at the Sunnylands, a vacation spot in Rancho Mirage, Calif. so exclusive it is nicknamed “The Camp David of the West,” the Daily Beast reported.
Earlier this year, the State Department convened a group of friends in the U.S. film industry, social media, and premium cable TV to brainstorm ways to counter jihadist propaganda.
In June, State Department officials and counterterrorism advisors traveled to Sunnylands (nicknamed the “Camp David of the West,” due to its history of being a super-exclusive vacation spot for celebrities and politicians) in Rancho Mirage, California, for a summit on how to effectively fight a propaganda and media war against extremist networks abroad. ISIS, for instance, has already mastered the art of ripping off Hollywood techniques to make recruiting and propaganda films, and basically has its own Twitter army. The June meetings were essentially a sequel to a three-day summit convened by the White House in February on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) through community-based strategies.
Industry and government sources tell The Daily Beast that attendees included Mark Boal (Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty), and executives from HBO, Snapchat, and Middle Eastern broadcaster MBC. (Earlier this year, British Prime Minister David Cameron weighed the idea of banning Snapchat out of fear that terrorists send encrypted communications via the video messaging service.)
A senior State Department official who spoke to the Daily Beast confirmed the meeting, saying it was “the best way to provide a counter narrative to extremists.”
“U.S. filmmakers and social-media folks met with a bunch of international and regional filmmakers and broadcasters [at the Sunnylands estate],” the official said. “We had people who were at the top of their field. The goal was to continue the dialogue started at the [White House] summit.”
Counterterrorism expert Will McCants disagreed.
“This sort of thing usually ends up with executives from DC and Hollywood high-fiving each other and throwing around some cringeworthy ideas,” he said. “What you’d want instead is the [government] guy in the trenches talking to the edgy independent filmmaker. That’ll get you closer to the sensibility ISIS is tapping into.”
But then how would Obama and company get to hang out with their Hollywood friends?
Social media users blasted the ridiculous idea.
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) September 29, 2015
— IMA CA GOPer (@IMA_CA_GOPer) September 29, 2015
@MichelleFields That combined with reminding ISIS that slaughtering innocent people isn’t going to create jobs should really do the trick.
— Doug Powers (@ThePowersThatBe) September 29, 2015
Next: beating ISIS with emojis. https://t.co/ilNJZx9ASf
— William Lafi Youmans (@wyoumans) September 29, 2015
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