The Middle East is increasingly awash with fake news and misinformation campaigns. Russia has become a major vector of these disinformation campaigns, affecting virtually every major flashpoint in the Arab world. It just opened a new info-war front in Libya.
“Word got around the department that I was a good Arabic translator who did a great Saddam imitation,” recalls the Harvard grad student. “Eventually, someone phoned me asking if I wanted to help change the course of Iraq policy.” So twice a week, for $3000 a month, the Iraqi student tells the Voice on condition of anonymity, he took a taxi from his campus apartment to a Boston-area recording studio rented by the Rendon Group, a DC-based public relations firm with close ties to the US government. His job: Translate and dub spoofed Saddam Hussein speeches and tongue-in-cheek newscasts for broadcast throughout Iraq.