The Trump Administration Was Running An Online Troll Scheme On The Internet To Disseminate Propaganda Against Iran

By Theodore Shoebat

The US State Department under the Trump administration had been financing a media operation on Twitter to distribute to distribute propaganda against Iran. The name of the Twitter account that was being used for this was “IranDisinfo” and it was even targeting reputable journalists as ‘sympathizers’ of Iran.

While the internet operation’s real connections to the state went unnoticed for months, In May of 2019, both journalists and activists began revealing the bridge between IranDisinfo, the State Department and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a non-profit with ties to Bob Shillman, an American-Jewish industrialists who has been a major funder for Right-wing causes in the US and Europe (he was a major funder for the political campaign of Dutch nationalist politician, Geert Wilders). Congressional sources revealed to the Independent’s Negar Mortazavi (who was also in the crosshairs of IranDisinfo) that there was at least one person working at FDD who was partaking in the work of Iran Disinformation Project. Once it was revealed that IranDisinfo was leading a troll job by networking and coordinating multiple Twitter accounts to spread propaganda against Iran and to attack journalists and activists that were deemed as Iranian sympathizers, the State Department announced that it would suspend funding for the operation. As it was reported by Mother Jones:

Rather than dispel disinformation, the State Department project paid activists and researchers with an explicit agenda to spread propaganda that matched the White House’s increasingly hawkish tone on Iran, without openly admitting the project was backed by the administration. The effort partially consisted of nearly-anonymously targeting and discrediting other journalists and researchers, many of whom were US citizens, focused on responsibly reporting about Iran. After reporters discovered the link between the State Department and the Iran Disinformation Project, the department said it would suspend its funding.

What is indicative of this operation’s insidious nature was the fact that it was connected with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. An organization that is under the FDD is the Washington Forum, the honorary subcommittee of which has Bob Shillman in its ranks. Shillman was a major funder for the political campaign of Dutch nationalists Geert Wilders whose party, as a result of his campaign, became a very large party and currently has 41 seats in the Dutch provincial parliament (we wrote an in-depth piece on Bob Shillman and his ties). What we have here is a Jewish American industrialists contributing to the rise and intensification of the nationalist phenomena that we have been witnessing since the 2015 migrant crises. It is part of the integral network of industrialists (like Peter Thiel and Shilman) troll network coordinators like Jeff Giesea, and online armchair revolutionaries and provocateurs like Richard Spencer, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Mike Enoch, Mike Cernocvich and many other insidious figures, all working either together or separate groups (but nonetheless their work has either the same or similar results) for the amplification of nationalist or tribalistic sentiment. It is a very dangerous game. But the people in the upper echelons of power don’t see human life precious but as mere chess pieces for their pursuit of power, be it promoting nationalism (Bob Shillman) eugenics (Peter Thiel) or war (such as the Washington Forum pushing conflict in the Middle East)