Twitter war with the Taliban
October 26th, 2011
09:59 AM ET

Twitter war with the Taliban

By Sr. National Security Producer Charley Keyes

Bits of information - not just bullets and bombs - are in the thick of the fighting in Afghanistan.

U.S. forces feared they were losing the information war to the Taliban and now are fighting back with Twitter - using those brisk 140-character messages to get out the other side of the story.

"The Taliban were just constantly putting out false information and propaganda," said Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings. "Some of it was so wrong we finally had to start engaging, and backing up our information with the facts"

This new reliance on all social media is quick and cheap.

"It allows us to keep our followers dynamically informed while also keeping the enemy's statements in check," Cummings said in an e-mail exchange with CNN.

It is easy to see this play out on any day. A Twitter account that frequently puts out news reports favoring the Taliban, , trumpets information of a major battlefield success. "Mujahideen bring down US helicopter in Kunar," says the tweet.

But over at International Security Assistance Force headquarters, the social media experts are on the case on the ISAF Twitter account.  "We have no reports of any missing helos. Take any Taliban reports with a block of salt," their tweet answers. And later, "Reports of a shoot-down are false."

Cummings jokes that the Taliban keep up a steady stream of wildly inflated reports. "The usual is every day we lose 20 tanks and 30 people, if you follow the Taliban. We pick and choose what we come back with."

And the turning point came just last month, with the attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul.

"Our guys were telling us about what the Taliban was posting," Cummings recalls. In addition to false claims about U.S. fatalities, the Taliban-leaning sites called the Americans cowards and invaders. "It was so false. It dawned on us, we have to engage, to get the facts out."

Cummings says he and the other members of the public affairs team work in a big room together at the headquarters of the International Assistance Force.  When one of the tweets comes in from the other side there is a group discussion on how to react and then the two military personnel who are totally dedicated to social media type a response and hit the send key.

"Being able to reach out and inform a younger generation is a key," Cummings said. "The younger generation here is one of the cornerstones to the future success of Afghanistan."

But some experts take a more skeptical view of the keypad duel between U.S. forces and their enemies.

Georgetown University's Martin Irvine says these "micro-community communications" can be hard to evaluate.  "There is so much noise on Twitter, it is difficult to know if any of that information is going to get through," Irvine said from his Washington office. He is associate professor in Communications, Culture and Technology and wonders how many people in Afghanistan have cell phones or internet-enabled computers.

ISAF claims more than 14,000 followers on its Twitter account, including, of course, the Taliban, local journalists as well as regular people.  And this hourly, if not minute by minute competition between U.S. forces and their enemies is just warming up, providing lessons now that can be brought to the next conflict.

"We believe so far we have been successful with our increased social media activities," Cummings said. "ISAF (NATO's International Security Assistance Force) will continue to grow and improve in this part of our communication realm."

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • ISAF • Military • Taliban • Technology
soundoff (157 Responses)
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    December 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
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  10. Social Media Student

    This is a really interesting blog post. Although I believe we should use Twitter to attempt to combat what the Taliban are saying, because any way to fight back is worth doing, I would like to have a study to see how effective it actually is. My main question is how many of the younger Iraqis actually have an internet connection to be able to actively use Twitter?

    October 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  11. Josh

    I find it ironic that these cave men whom resent all that is Western and modern have Twitter accounts. I mean, I don't even have a Twitter account.

    October 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • A different perspective

      I think perhaps you have that wrong. What they're opposing is the western domination, the idea that everything western is correct and they resent the intervention. So it might be oversimplifying to assume they're opposing the West and "anything modern".
      Please do not misunderstand, extremism in any context is a dangerous state, but in order to have an opinion, we first need to understand what the issue is.

      October 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • JasonB...England

      Josh... I totally agree! They speak of shunning western ways and democracy yet they choose to swarm all over Europe and America, all the while slagging our ways of!!!

      October 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  12. Dantx10

    Cave dwellers with laptops?

    October 28, 2011 at 1:59 am | Reply
  13. Rod C. Venger

    If the NSA had the capabilities they claim to, they'd have locked in on the phones sending the tweets by now, tracking them day-to-day...and eliminated the phones along with everyone else within a 50 yard radius. Why play games with them when you can just shut them up?

    October 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • Dagmar

      I figured, they would't take out anyone posting questionable tweets, The benefits simply would't outweigh the work involved

      October 29, 2011 at 8:12 am | Reply
  14. heywood jablome

    I love Keith Emerson's "Lachesis" from The Three Fates. I can spank frank, eat a pork chop, drink fine whiskey and do whatever the hell I want.....why.....because I live in America. God can that guy play the piano.....now, time for some more fun! Oh and keep worrying about losers like the Talaban, and I will simply enjoy the hell out of life.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  15. looo

    how about everyone stop judging every one else for wat they say!!!
    at the end of the day only one has the power to judge

    October 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Joe Dirt

      You're right, and his name is Bill O'reilly.

      October 31, 2011 at 10:01 am | Reply
  16. sheeple-reader

    I like cup cakes🙂

    October 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • Joe Dirt

      This is why no one takes Americans seriously, becuase we're fat. You can obviously spell simple words; which shows you have some intelligence. I advise you to use what smarts you do have and sign up for a gym membership. . .don't stop running.

      October 31, 2011 at 10:04 am | Reply
  17. JOE

    Bassmaster

    Its not a matter of putting blame on the Bush administration for these wars but rather a matter of simply reminding the GOP that if they are not willing to show bi-partisan support to help end these conflicts and move their own country forward, then they need to be reminded that the problems we are still facing whether at home or abroad are of their doings.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
  18. billy hill

    All religions = cult . Now go away & find you're own personal heavens gate & stay the hell off my moutain . If you're willing to be with you're (false god ) then step foot on my property .

    October 27, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • billy bytch

      no need to act tought behind that computer screen of yours. WE all know how you would really act if confronted with hostility.

      October 27, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • billy bytch

        tough*

        October 27, 2011 at 11:55 am |
      • Russ

        In a 60 minutes interview they talked to a US intelligence officer who debriefed Saddam Hussein while he was in prison awaiting execution. The officer asked him why all run around with the UN inspectors about WMDS. He said all though all of them were destroyed in 1991; he wanted countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to think his country was still strong. He was also asked by the officer if he could have started up his WMD program again, He said he would have. Look for this on You Tube or wherever you can find it. There will be many lessons learned from the Iraq war. Like having better intelligence. Especially on the ground known as hummit. Firing the Iraqi army was a terrible decision. Officers loyal to Saddam should have been seized but the rest should of the army should been held intact so they could have patrolled their own streets without US soldiers being seen and looking like occupiers. Contracting should have been rewarded to Iraqi citizens. This way they would have been working instead of fighting us. A small US reaction should have been left in the North in case of trouble. US combat troops could had come home in 2004 and there wouldn't have been any threat from Iran. Plus thus thousands of Americans wouldn't have been wounded and 4000plus American heroes wouldn't have died. But what do I know. The CIA , the Defense Department, the DIA, or State Department, responded when i submitted my resume.

        October 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
      • Russ

        In a 60 minutes interview they talked to a US intelligence officer who debriefed Saddam Hussein while he was in prison awaiting execution. The officer asked him why all run around with the UN inspectors about WMDS. He said all though all of them were destroyed in 1991; he wanted countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to think his country was still strong. He was also asked by the officer if he could have started up his WMD program again, He said he would have. Look for this on You Tube or wherever you can find it. There will be many lessons learned from the Iraq war. Like having better intelligence. Especially on the ground known as hummit. Firing the Iraqi army was a terrible decision. Officers loyal to Saddam should have been seized but the rest should of the army should been held intact so they could have patrolled their own streets without US soldiers being seen and looking like occupiers. Contracting should have been rewarded to Iraqi citizens. This way they would have been working instead of fighting us. A small US reaction should have been left in the North in case of trouble. US combat troops could had come home in 2004 and there wouldn't have been any threat from Iran. Plus thus thousands of Americans wouldn't have been wounded and 4000plus American heroes wouldn't have died. But what do I know. The CIA , the Defense Department, the DIA, or State Department,never responded when i submitted my resume.

        October 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Joe Dirt

      You're (correct you're by the way) a bad troll.

      October 31, 2011 at 10:05 am | Reply
  19. Russ

    The US should get rid of Karzai and go back to to fighting the Taliban the way we did in 2001 with Special Forces, Forward Air Controllers and massive air power.In a Times magazine article it focused how the morale of the Taliban was shattered when we did that. The controllers can identify targets an can limit civillian casualties.It will mean less US troops and less US body bags. I'm sure it can drive the Taliban to peace table. Remember, air sorties have sharply declined because of Karzai which is our best asset.BTW We are not completly leaving in 2014. Conventionial troops will.The US will maintain a presence there till 2024 with air bases and special ops community members there to reinforce the Afghan army just to make sure things don't go to hell. This was in several news publications.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:09 am | Reply
  20. JOE

    Lots of points written here but ten years later I'm yet to see an article on CNN or Fox for example asking whether the Afghan war would have still been ongoing and our soldiers still dying had GWB and his administration not deliberately and recklessly abandoned and prolonged that war to start their illegitimate Iraqi war. Here we are ten years later talking about the enemy tweeting propaganda when it is our American propaganda that has kept us in Afghanistan five years longer than it should have taken to stabilized that country. CNN please write some real articles so that intelligent Americans can have an open and sensible discussion on moving our country forward.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • Bassmaster

      I agree with your assessment on the Iraq war and I am not a big Bush fan myself, but you state that we need to 'move on' but yet still want articles placing blame on someone for something that happened yrs ago. The fact of the matter is that Bush messed up and this is the situation we have to deal with today. You are slamming CNN for reporting on how we are dealing with it today and slamming Bush for decisions he made yrs ago. Also, keep in mind that presidents are privy to way more information than the public (despite how much we think we know). Hindsight is 20/20 and there may be reasons he made decisions that we have not even contemplated. W
      e can see a more recent example with Obama where his stance on many things changed when he went from being 'out of the loop' to CIC.

      October 27, 2011 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • A_Righteous

      ...all of this! Look at all the Tricknology the government keeps doing & all the gullibility of Americans who really know nothing more outside of AmeriKKKan soil & television/media. The government was wrong for invading & I guess this is just more wrong that’s suppose to be swept under the wrong. Americans (the majority) need to get off their high horse & start using common sense…its obvious the soil we have to roam on is infested with hypocrites.

      October 28, 2011 at 8:55 am | Reply
  21. Noble

    So much hate in these comments. It makes me sad.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
  22. dont ask

    My question is...if you know the Taliban are tweeting and following you on twitter, can't you trace the IP address of the computer they are using and arrest/kill them?

    October 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Reply
    • rogerr

      It is a good idea in theory, but just because someone talks/walks/acts like a Taliban doesn't mean we can kill them. They have to be actively targeting foreign citizens or coalition forces by supply or offensive action before they themselves can be prosecuted. It is the "Rules of Engagement" concept that gives us the moral highground. Trust me, nothing would be funnier than watching a Taliban Sympathizer get bombed while spreading hate on his blackberry...haha...the thought alone is refreshing.

      October 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
      • ranger 830

        Well that just about sums it up devil dog!!!! Just another day in tha hood!!!! Illumisnotti dont know doodly and runs his pie hole constantly! I poped smoke on answering his comments long ago!!!! Insignificant little U.S. bashing troll! The sad part is he prob. lives here and enjoys the freedom that real Americans provide! SemperFi!!!!! RLTW 68/W 1/75th U.S. Army Ranger's Thank you for your service brother!!!!!!!!

        October 27, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • John Denver's ghost

      I wouldn't be surprised if they are 50 cent army (China's "PR" team). They have a lot of fake accounts on CNN bashing the US while pretending to be (insert dictator here) supporters. Cowardly Chinese.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Reply
    • mmi16

      Remember in the Press – they are Taliban when alive and 'innocent' civilians when dead. Same as the VC problem in Viet Nam.

      October 27, 2011 at 1:31 am | Reply
    • ant301

      The flow of information cannot be stopped – it is it's primary quality. Wind blows, fire brines, information flows/leaks. Info can only be blocked with the "opposite" info. Good job, US.

      October 27, 2011 at 8:14 am | Reply
    • Yes, please don't ask

      A proxy server would take care of that.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  23. Illuminati

    The US is more of a danger than the Taliban. The US lies more than the Taliban. I hope no one is fooled by the US disinformation propaganda. The US is dangerous to the world.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • rogerr

      Haha, riiiiggggght. Amount of foreign aid provided by the US to third world nations in 2011...$1.337 Trillion. Amount provided by the Taliban....$0...Oh wait, I suppose they pay the average unskilled farmer $3 to set an IED in advance of US troops, only to have him killed by coalition forces, added to a war casualty statistic, myartared and heralded by idiots like yourself....And don't attempt to discount my numbers as bogus, check out the census bureau foreign aid report, a third party investigation on government spending...yeah Justin H...I do my own research too...but it is not on Wikipedia.

      October 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Talibanned

      Why did the Taliban throw battery acid on little girls trying to go to school? Why are they so afraid to make peace?

      October 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • victim of democrat hypocrisy

      Illuminati is the dangerous one. Listen to his lies and you'll wind up under Taliban control or, more likely, dead.

      October 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  24. NY Banker

    Afghanistan – The Graveyard of Empires. Genghis Khan Tried, The Persians Tried, The British Tried, The Soviets Tried. and now The US is trying. History teaches the most painful lessons. But then again, what do I care. I have an Ivy league degree and make $500K/Year in Finance. Let the kids from towns less than 10,000 go and die.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • CloudCityChaos

      You should be ashamed of yourself for talking like that. It's just beginning, I have a feeling some of you people may be swinging from lamp posts soon....

      October 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Will

      9/11 originated in Afghanistan, so as far as I'm concerned, either we can tame them, or we can nuke them into oblivion.

      Which would you prefer?

      October 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
      • 2011cnn2011

        nuke em....isnt great how karzia would side with pakistan over us...the usa should nuke afghanistan, and india should nuke
        pakistan...china should nuke iran, israel should nuke palestine....all of a sudden....peace and quiet.....aaah.

        October 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • EB72

      You are a waste of oxygen, your attitude and cynicism is gob smacking. So you have an IVY LEAGUE DEGREE and earn 500K, who cares. Your comments to send others to die are just reprehensible...so much for a god fearing nation; you appear to worship nothing but yourself. People outside of America think you and people LIKE you give the American nation a very bad name.
      Let the kids from towns less than 10,000 go and die...WHY??
      Do me a huge favour and the world in general...stop breathing, your fouling the air.

      October 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      Spoken like a true un-American.Those soldiers throughout the years who have made these sacrifices are the reason you live such a greedy,selfish life.Enjoy yours at their expense.

      October 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • rogerr

      You are worse than the enemy...because you know better.

      October 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • dont ask

      WOW...and apparently you haven't learned any lessons from History either. Stuck up egotistical snobs like yourself usually get what's coming to them. Karmas a #$%^&.

      October 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • kevin in the military

      funny people like you in the states will never say a word to me in person..hide behind ur computer. dare you to say it to ME in person. dare you....

      October 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • ranger 830

      Hence the problem in America!!!!!

      October 27, 2011 at 8:02 am | Reply
    • Eric Long

      Lol, you won't make that much money in your life liar. Not only that, but even if it were true it's nothing but make believe Fiat dollars. You're a joke.

      October 27, 2011 at 8:10 am | Reply
  25. Funnystuff

    Wow. The republicans do the same thing using twitter, they spew lies and propaganda. Therefore one must conclude that the republicans=taliban. We knew they were terrorists, and now we have proof...

    October 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      The Republicans are the Taliban.Both of them are doing their best trying to destroy this country.

      October 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Illuminati

      You must be a maiformed, uninformed liberal nut or democrat

      October 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  26. Shaan

    hahaha..closet muslim! comments are much more worth reading than the story itself! i am a muslim and I love all the comments! my blood is same as your! all of you are fools! maybe spend some time out of the box guys, live in a nother country! and live the life from your own eyes! not just talk crap after reading pre-fex material. This is too much islamophobia!

    October 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • Thayer

      Your blood may be red like ours but we don't follow the teachings of murderer and pedophile and our religion don't teach waging war against anything that isn't them.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • Yakobi

        No need to hind lie, hindu ignorent, hinduism absurdity of yours is of none other but of hindu santans filthy goons, living by hinduism criminality and in worship of their hindu soul, filthy desires like animals, No need to lay hinduism absurdity of hindus ignorents pot head santans goons of boy loving and committing hinduism absurdity of incest to keep hindu, filthy cast ism, racism alive and going to war to steal and rob to please their hindu goad belly as a thing of holy nature and propagated as God in hinduism lies.

        October 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
      • rogerr

        Yakobi...same ignorant, incoherant proselytizing...you are Fred Phelps for the Islamic Religion, haha.

        October 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  27. Paul

    Justin H: Hundreds of thousands have been killed??? Really? Where did you get your numbers? Yes, unfortunately in war innocents are sometimes killed, but hundreds of thousands have been killed by the drones??? Come on, man, get real.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • rogerr

      He gets his data from wikipedia or google search...he does his own research, haha.

      October 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • Illuminati

      Actually the true number is in the millions

      October 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
      • rogerr

        Haha, what is your source? Oh al-Jazeera...brilliant. Millions killed...MILLIONS...don't think you realize that the population of Afghanistan is 24 million...so 1 in 24 peple have been killed...really...you really believe that?????

        October 26, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
      • Illuminati

        The true number is 228 million.
        And if the government continues as they are you and millions more are next.
        So much for the US.

        October 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
      • rogerr

        Haha, I did not realize that I was chatting with a crazy person or a prepubescent teen. Nice threat against the US public by the way (with the 288 million comment, the current US population)...you are a joke. Next time you want to carry on a conversation at the big boy table, just remember how bad I housed you and your fake statistics. And by the way...making a threat against the US public on a American owned website (CNN.com, USAtoday.com, etc...) is illegal and is tracked by the FBI and Dept of Homeland Security...haha, joke's on you😉

        October 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
      • Illuminati

        rogerr
        My my dear child. You think that with your imaginary puffing you are superior to me. It will take millions of years for you to be equal to me when I was in kindergarten. You cannot even read I said 228 million not 288 million. The blind using computers tsk tsk. You implying that I made any threat is totally ludicrous. You are making yourself look like a fool and subject to civil litigation. I threathened no one. If you could read and had minimal understanding you would know that I stated that the US is a threath. You have not even verified the so called thruths that you spew forth.

        October 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
      • Illuminati

        rogerr rogerr where are you? I have been waiting for another witless reply from you.
        It seems you are really as dense as a fence. If you had enough brains to put in a petri dish you would know or realize that I have been spoofing, ridiculing and lambasting you and all those who read the posts on these types of sites. Do you think that with such blatant exaggeration in the statements I would really believe what I posted. I also added a little bit of devils advocate. Are you that lonely that your only communication is on these sites? You and the others are so hypocritical that you are only looking for someone that agrees with you and to call those who disagree with you nasty first grade degradations. GET A LIFE!! Go to school, Get a job. Go down to the bar get drunk and get into a fight.
        Do something useful with your life.

        October 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
      • Rogerr

        Illuminati, I was actually driving home from base where I work as a Marine Infantry Officer. Having gone to school and attained my Masters in Education, completed successful combat tours as both a platoon commander and company executive officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I can only hope that you will ever...ever...be able to understand the complexities of our military involvment in the middle east. Further, your statement, "And if the government continues as they are you and millions more are next," is a threat...forwarded to the IC3 unit of the FBI. Think I am kidding?

        October 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
      • EatYouAlive

        dis lightbulb guy is funni

        October 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
      • Illuminati

        rogerr
        I do not know how you read or understand. My statement "And if the government continues as they are you and millions more are next." It is obvious I am not threatening anyone. I am stating if the government continues with the drone attacks that you me or anyone could be next for a drone strike. You must have paranoid delusions to even percieve any threat from me.

        October 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
      • Illuminati

        rogerr
        Give me your name address and phone number so that I can sue you for slander and false accusations.

        October 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
      • Rogerr

        Illuminati, why are you using a different IMEI address for the this message? Second, you did not say, "you, me or anyone" could be at risk. You claimed:

        "The true number is 228 million.
        And if the government continues as they are you and millions more are next.
        So much for the US." Sent 26 Oct at 1926 CST.

        You can contact me at:
        1970 East Parham Road
        Richmond, VA 23228
        804-261-1044

        Sue away.

        October 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
      • kevin in the military

        ur a twat. let me put my m4 burst through ur dome worthless trash

        October 26, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
      • Rogerr

        Illuminati, you are a joke, and have no future.

        October 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  28. Justin H

    Red, One more thing, I was already typing my comment before I could fully respond to the flase statment you made.NATO definately stated that they ran drone's in Lybia. To spare American and British lives they decided to lift the "No Fly Zone" instead of sending troops in to help the Rebels. When the UN had control they would not allow this to happen becuase of the body count that results from these air attacks. But as soon as it went in NATO hands the drones were approved. Do you not read anything. Even the conventional news stations had that on there.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Joe Dirt

      Justin, Justin. . .
      how many people who read what you wrote: 0
      how many people who think you're a dumbass: priceless

      October 31, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
  29. Justin H

    So this whole Taliban tweeting thing, they are probably trying to get out the truth instead of all of the floods of flase information we recieve from these government funded news stations. They are so scared to reasearch for the tvruth and report actual news for the consequence of viewers being offended and having a loss of volume (of viewers). Now i do not condone these Radicals who suicide bomb places but I also do not condone our government killing innocent people!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  30. Justin H

    This is a bit off subject, but I am an American and am sickened by our governments actions. I am very bored at work so I will share my philosophy on these air (drone) attacks we did in Libya. We didn’t lose any American lives, BUT do you know how many innocent children and just regular civilians they killed??? The answer is Hundreds of Thousands.. Our government disgusts me!!! They hold too many secrets and lie to us about why we invade foreign countries.. They act like we go there to help but the real reasons are far from that!!! They say that Libyans are so glad we are there.. They are outraged, they don’t want us there. Its just our media relays the news that our government wants it too.. We should all be ashamed of having a blind eye to our government and allowing them to kill innocent people. It’s just soo far from where we are we do not realize that these are real living people. What if it were us.. I urge you all to please research the truth and lets all rise to the occasion and stand up to these powerful politicians. They make up lies about other countries, (the most recent new thing is to tell us that they are killing their own people for no reason "being inhumane") and by doing so we (the American people) don’t question our government starting a mission there.. Just ask yourself what if it was us. What if you were sleeping and a bomb landed in your town or multiple bombs.. What if your children’s school bus was hit with a drone attack (as it was in Afghanistan)?? Are you telling me that there was a suspected terrorist in a school bus full of children??? Just as crazy, as we recently found out, that Bush had opened up "Secret Torture Prisons" Called (Black sites) that were set up in different usually poorer countries like Libya... So let’s put this together... Our government claimed that Ghadafi was inhumane to his people and torturing them.. Okay then we find out that our CIA had a black site over there and Ghadafi was our ally.. So our government probably told him who we suspected as terrorists and they would get them and do as we wanted to them.. Then we go and say that it was all him.. He was lead by us.. Just like how we funded Osama bin Laden.. He used to work for us.. All we do is claim that the leader is being inhumane and we try to get their people to overthrow them and when they do we have the new leaders in our hands since we helped them.. Allowing us cheaper prices on oil, food, parts anything!!! Put it together people...Frankly I am sick to my stomach of what our country has done.. And if anyone even suggests it they are called a terrorist.. There is a good news station called Link TV (channel 375) on direct TV or dish.. It is an independent news channel funded by regular people. Unlike ABC or FOX who are funded by the government and or scared to air something that may suggest something bad about our government because of loss of viewers...Now our government says that Syria's leaders are being "inhumane" and Yemen’s leaders are being "inhumane" so we are sending troops there. Or Sending drone attacks there. Doesn't it seem all too odd that we keep saying there are inhumane.. It is a term coined just to get the support of us so we don’t protest the wars. How many more counties can we crush without them fighting back.. Like recent news of Pakistan and Afghanistan saying they will defend against us.. Like Iran President actually acknowledging that something was fishy with 9/11 attacks, and telling the truth about what Middle Eastern people think of the US.. Unlike reports you hear on ABC about middle easterns happy we are on their land.. Just as if china's troops would come here and bomb us and kill Americans, we would fight them back.. It is the same as what is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, only we call the people who are standing up and fighting "terrorists".. Now don't get me wrong there are some Radicals out there with suicide bombs now I do not condone that but I also do not condone the slaying of innocent people for any reason especially for a resource or power...A lot of people may not agree with me or may even leave a reply with something stupid like I am wrong, but these will be the people who are followers.. The people who believe everything they hear on conventional news stations. Watch the documentary called "The war you don’t see" or "The truth about 9/11" you can either watch them on Link TV or buy them off their website.. I not only believe this because of this news station but because before I found out about it I had my own questions.. I did research into all of our wars and assassinations and just about everything . The link TV just made it easier to understand on some topics because they actually go to afghan. and Iraq and give real live footage and interviews. Not just pictures of a lot of people and ABC or CNN calling it a happy parade that Ghadafi is dead. It was probably an old picture and they just made news with it.. One last thing, remember the news of a Syrian lady whom our government and local news stations said was decapitated by Syrian forces. They said it was positive and that our government had proof. Then this same lady ended up on a Syrian TV station about a week later fully alive. This is one of those things where our government was feeding BS to our news station so that we would think Syria’s leader was killing his own people "being inhumane" .. Well even know they were proven wrong and that it was an obscene lie that this woman was killed our government has still won the approval of the Americans to believe that this is happening. As soon as that report went out and I read it I told my friends that I bet Syria will be the next place we send a mission to.. And I am Right Unfortunately.. Our news stations today do not research the news that they report they just relay information they hear. That is half of the problem. They need to start doing their JOBBB!!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • COMMON SENSE

      YOU MUST HAVE AN EXTREMELY BORING JOB. MY GUESS IS AT A CALL CENTER FOR A CRAPPY CREDIT CARD COMPANY. USE SOME OF YOUR TIME TO HELP CHANGE THIS COUNTRY INSTEAD OF SITTING ON YOU A$$ COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
      • Justin H

        Okay so you have conflicting comments. Also, I do not work at a call center lol, far from it.. Back to your comment thought, I am trying to change this country and I think the firsts etp is for everyone to have their own opinion and hear some real news. With everything the come across to come up with their own conclusion. Now your are complaining about me but at least I have an opinion and am trying to change things. You are just sitting on your A@@ complaining about me and my job?? Why don't you put in your own opinion or research instead of writing idiotic comments on everyone else. Take what I wrote for it true value and what its worth , and I hope you got more out of it than I am bored at work!!!

        October 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Red

      Justin, I have never read that a drone in Libya killed anybody, nor has NATO reported such an incident. NATO accidently killed very few civilians, probably less than 100, yet anti-american trolls have been reporting that NATO killed 50,000. You need to stop listening to the trolls.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
      • Justin H

        Red , I do not listen to trolls. Here are proven facts. IN the Vietnam War over 50% of casualties were civilians; In Iraq over 63% of casualties were civilians, and in Afghanistan over 78% of the deceased were civilians. Does this information reach the news though??? NO they are to afraid to air it. I used to work for ABC and most of the people there are good people and they even are disgusted by most of the things that are not aired because of the corporate executives... Like I said watch Link...

        October 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • American_Fury

      First things first Justin. You are a coward and you are not an American. You are a traitor and you are the one spreading lies. Most of the civilian casualties were caused by enemy forces. Cowards much like yourself. They intentionally blow up innocent women and children. They have no regard for who they kill or injure. You really need to leave our country. Go be a human shield somewhere. My concern is that you would actually set out with the intention of being a human shield and then end up hiding behind a small child or fraile elderly woman. Because that is what cowards do. You're probably a closet muslim too. Leave now please!!

      October 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Reply
      • justin h

        American fury, I am jot Muslim lol, I'm actually catholic but havent been to church in years so sorry but your wrong man. It's disgusting hoe misinformed some individuals are such as yourself.. I see your gettin offended sorry bro but all I said my my opinion with the statistics being a fact .. so draw from it your own conclusion but I am no coward I Iust actually do my own research instead of being a follower such as youself.. I have talked to hundreds of our military who think the same as I do.. does that sunrise you??? Not me .. one once told me to watch the movie green zone in which he said depicts the situation very well. One last thing , by me being sympathetic to innocent lives being list u call that a coward??? I do jot condone killing although you must do.. you are the coward for not standing up and trying to do your part.. so instead of getting on here and feeling tough for commenting on my post , do everyone a favor and write your own opinion instead of writing idiotic self centered BS ... If u can't stand my post than stay out of it !!!

        October 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
      • rogerr

        Justin...haha, own research...those stats are from wikipedia...haha. Ever read a book? You just sit at your computer and believe what you are told little guy.

        October 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dennis

      Take a couple of cyanide pills and go to sleep.Permanently.Or go join them in fighting the war against us infidels.

      October 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  31. Johnna

    Funny, I would have thought that twittering was banned under Islamic law as it has it's roots in the west and anything to do with western traditions / lifestyles is forbidden under Islamic law. How hypocritical of them! Who would have thought?

    October 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • EatYouAlive

      im sure they rape a virgin or beat a wife to atone.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
      • Joe Dirt

        If that's the case, I atone all the time.

        October 31, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  32. Red

    I don't think it matters what the ISAF does, the Taliban and anti-american trolls beilieve what they want to regardless of truthfulness or fact. Their propaganda is not hard to detect, if it's not logical or extremely negative, then it's a lie. More Americans need to take a college course in Logic to protect their mind from this propaganda abuse. And people need to understand the difference between fact and propaganda. There is only one truth and the truthful side is not propaganda even if it sounds bias. Take the Libya war for example, the truth is that the war was about morality, democracy and freedom, but the trolls said it was about oil, gold, colonization etc. The trolls completely disregarded what the Libyan protestors were saying and decided to use repetitive propaganda to attack the West. Their whole point was to attack and that's why I say that the ISAF is waisting their time in putting out truthful facts. People need to arm their minds against these attacks because the ISAF and U.S. government is not going to be there all the time to tell people different.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  33. thatwisconsinkid

    Yes the United States killed Osama Bin Laden but really what affect did he have on the war in the last few years? you think killing him really ended the war? i think it got much worse and the US has a long way to "win" this war violence has sky rocketed and more us soliders have been getting killed, im an american and support the us troops but i dont see how many of you are claiming a victory for either side i just dont see what improved, again theres thousands of terrorist left that will attack the united states with a much more greater motive!

    October 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      First of all,Osama Bin Laden has not been dead "a couple of years",it has only been a few months now.When forces are increased in number as in the surge of troops into Afghanistan,with greater numbers,comes greater numbers of casualties.Common sense would dictate this.The fact is that greater numbers of insurgents have been eliminated and larger geographical areas have been wiped clean of enemy forces.Whether the Taliban will admit it or not,they are taking heavy caualties and with every losing engagement they face their morale sinks further.This is not accomplished by electronic media gadgetry,but through sheer numbers and the ability to inflict horrific deaths,suffering and terror into the deranged,brainwashed minds of the Taliban.

      October 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  34. Come On

    "two military personnel who are totally dedicated to social media type a response and hit the send key."

    It takes two peopel to write a tweet... Gov't spending at it's finest–this is such a joke.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • ORLY?

      "It takes two people to write a tweet. Government spending is such a joke."

      There... fixed that for ya'.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • You're an Idiot

        Do you get your jollies off by being a grammar nazi on discussion boards. Who care about proper grammar when people type things like 'u are an idiot'? Get a life.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Mike

      one person on day shift, one person on night shift. 24 hr coverage.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • Duh

      It's two people doing a 24 hour shift goofus. Tea party thinking at its finest.

      October 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  35. translator

    How do you know when the Taliban are lying?
    Their lips are moving.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  36. CHRIS101

    Why don't they get smart and cross tract the ip code; then bomb the hell out of whoever it is that's sending out these messages. DUHHHH!!! It's clear that they know, are or harboring possible terrorists and they need to be waxed! Use that intel and punished these idiots. The government already hacks all of our info so why not put all of the national law breaking into something that can be useful.....

    October 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • ccastine

      you can't do that man. these people are probably sitting in public spaces around innocent people. you don't think they have internet access in their drainage ditches and caves do you? lol...

      October 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
      • Sandman

        One bullet, one laptop.🙂

        October 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • CHRIS101

      *punish not punished*

      October 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • thatwisconsinkid

      you cant do that it could be some dumbass teenager in a cafe tweeting shit i can creat an account and start tweeting false news and everyone would believe me

      October 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  37. Jason

    Bout time our boys got on board. Wackos and kooks have been dominating social networking for the past 5 or so years.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Eric

      "Bout time our boys got on board. Wackos and kooks have been dominating social networking for the past 5 or so years."

      yea...a lot of them post on CNN discussion boards

      October 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  38. Bob

    If Bush was in office would he say Twitter is supporting Terrorist Organizations by allowing them to post content and force Twitter to shutdown... As I have read during some battles the US forces and Taliban are Tweeting during engagements... I say... can the US Defense department contract to have a weapon designed to be used during battle to zero in on cell phone technology during a battle and just send in a missile... where is Stark Industries at??? or did I just make someone rich with this idea?

    October 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  39. lmfao

    u guys are hilarious, the comments so much better than the story

    October 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • rogerr

      good comment......

      October 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  40. coder

    like all the other gods that have been worshiped, thru faith in the kuran, the bible, the torah – religions, like governments will continue to fail mankind... for as long as man thinks he knows the will of any god, humans are in danger

    October 26, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • rogerr

      So by your logic, religious extremism is the will or god.....or so you think.....kind of hypocitical.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • pliving

      Are you suggesting we should live in a world with no religion and no governments? Religions and governments are not perfect by any means but without them we would be living in a wolrd much, much more chaotic than the one we live in now.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Patrick

        We need government, but we DO NOT need religion. Religion is more of a catalyst for conflict that a way to keep world order. You are either mistaken or misinformed.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
      • agno

        Laws should come from governments, not religions. Leave others to believe or not believe what they want and the world will be a better place. If you chose to have faith in some ancient men who have seen visions and miracles, that is you prerogative, but don’t expect everyone else to believe. You probably don’t believe that Jesus was seen in 19th century America, but others do. That’s how I feel about all “faiths”. They just don’t make sense when you stop to think about them. If there is an omnipotent force out there somewhere, and I hope there is, our little human pea brains would not have the first idea in how to understand it. Oh, I forgot, we were created in His image. We are so god like.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  41. Robert

    It is great that the US Armed Forces are paying attention to the propaganda war. However, how many people in Afghanistan have twitter and 3G phones? Yes, winning the hearts and minds is vitally important – even MORE important than the shooting battle since the war has already been won. But the information battle must be waged in the right context and language.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • John Patterson

      The same number with Twitter accounts and 3g phones that are receiving the Taliban Tweets.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Edis

      It's important to understand that we as much as the people of Afghanistan are the target audience of the Taliban tweets. While the Taliban can't beat the international forces in Afghanistan, they can affect the public opinoin on the war abroad and what public opinion can do to a war we've seen in the past, take the war in Vietnam as an example. So when the soldiers of the international forces go home, the Taliban will still be around ready for a civil war. Cause civil wars tend to start in Afghanistan as soon the latest "invador" has left the country. That's why it is so difficult to withdraw military forces from Afghanistan and why it is so important to try a create some sort of functional government.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  42. Deathstalker

    It all seems pretty stupid and pointless anyhow. It is obvious who lost. The Taliban ran the country in 2001 the only thing they are running now is running to the hills and caves to hide in. Whos out wakling the streets doing the sniper shuffle. That is American soldiers out in the open Taliban is hiding in the rocks hoping we don’t find their hiding spot.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • Kirk

      " It is obvious who lost. "

      I really thought your were talking about the USA there before reading the rest of the post. Yes, the USA are the losers of this battle.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
      • rogerr

        Osama Bin Laden-Dead. Mullah Omar-Ineffective/Dead. Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund-Captured. Ubadiallah Akhund-Captured. Abdul Razaq-Denounces Taliban and switched to join Karzai. Qari Amadullah-Dead. "Mullah" Ghasuddin-Dead. Abbas Akhund-Dead. Mulawi Abdul Raqid-Dead. Guess that sums it up for you Kirk...Old Taliban regime effectively destroyed. Now just to mop up the dirt bags who cling to an antiquated notion of religious extremism.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
      • Brad

        Scotty beam him up. He has lost his mind

        October 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
      • CharlieSheen

        "Winning"

        October 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • John

      Awwwwwwww yeaaaaahhhhhhh!!🙂

      October 26, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Deathstalker

      America has won obviously.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
  43. Logic

    I think the only people affected by the tweets are us. How many people in Afghanistan have twitter accounts and smart phones? If I was the run of the mill afghan who had access, I would be laughing at the Taliban trolls AND the US troll baitees.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
  44. ranger 830

    Man there were times when I would have given my left nut to be a sci-ops guy sitting in the a/c drinking coffee and tweeting!!!! Someone has to do it I guess!!!! All that a/c is going to make you guys soft LOL!!!!!! RLTW 1/75TH

    October 26, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • RangerBob

      Weenie ! Everyone knows the real Rangers are in 2nd Batt !! RLTW

      October 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • ranger 830

        RLTW keep your tomahawk sharp and your powder dry Ranger!!!!!!! Foxtrot Tango Whisky how copy over!!!!!!

        October 27, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  45. Charles

    Wrong approach (IMO) US needs to adopt the 'Joe Isuzu' strategy. Add to the Taliban's posts touting massive successes destroying US asset and killing personnel... Best way to dilute the potency of their posts and slowly erode any suggestion of credibility... Just keep piling it on – eventually no-one will believe anything they put out...

    October 26, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  46. Joshua the Agnostic

    Or we could stop fighting them altogether and Americans wouldn't notice. We killed Osama, GTF out of Afghanistan.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Jonathan Davis

      Right on Joshua! We did what was needed in Afganistan, now bring our folks and our money all home. Best way to deal with the deficit.
      Jon

      October 26, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
      • rogerr

        If we skate out of Afghanistan without establishing a US friendly government then a power vacuum will spore something worse than the taliban. Same thing happened with our support for the Mujadeen when they fought the Soviets. If we do something half-assed, it will come back to haunt us. The time to exit should not be based on any political time line. Politicians are the anchor that keeps the US military from completing the mission and the media is the fuel that feeds the fire of public indignation...If politicians or media had no involvment in Afghanistan (i.e. I did not have to take Olly North on friggin combat patrols), we would be out of there already.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  47. Imam al-Mahdi

    You think you've got a propoganda war with the Teliban now...just wait until the beast rises fro the sea. By that I mean Mullah Omar is going to claim to be God resurrected in the body of Usama bin Laden. Talk about a holy war!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Autonomy

      Imam if you are going to try and scare people with your moronic satements at least get the names right. I have never heard of Usama.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
      • wallie walnut

        LOL... then you woke up from your dream and decided to post it on CNN to see how many people will laugh at you.

        October 26, 2011 at 11:08 am |
      • Bobby

        Sad when the comments are better than the story itself.

        October 26, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Deathstalker

      Lo please.. Yes Im so scared. The beast coming out of the ocean is America along with Canada and Mexico. The dragon that heals the damaged head is china and the damaged head is Mexico that China will heal. Try that one on for fear mongering lo.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
      • Bitterjack

        The only thing that makes me think of is when Thor fights the Midhard serpent. IIRC, Thor defeats the dragon, but dies too. US will beat China, but at what cost?

        October 26, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • ranger 830

      Sheik is not coming back,OH who lives in a pinapple under the sea!!!! One guess your holliness and its not spongebob square pants!!!!!

      October 26, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
      • Joe Dirt

        whats a pinapple? ...an apple with a pin in it? and dude, chill with the exclamation marks. or should I

        October 31, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Deathstalker

      We already know Mohammed is the antichrist anyhow.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
      • Deathstalker

        Or was rather anyhow.

        October 26, 2011 at 11:27 am |
      • Jonathan Davis

        Death Stalker; That kind of ignorant talk is a huge part of the problem we have with the muslim world. Christians must learn to follow Jesus Christ. He wants us to love all of Gods Creations. Not start religious wars based on the book under which we follow God. When you open your mouth, first ask yourself: 'What would Jesus think'.

        October 26, 2011 at 11:35 am |
      • Deathstalker

        I think he would say Mohammed was the antichrist.

        October 26, 2011 at 11:37 am |
      • ranger 830

        Dude dont worry about joni Davis people like him live in fantasy land!!!! If he has not been there he should keep his mouth shut!You dont know doodly squat!The problem we have with the muslim world #1 is we are christians and Jews for the most part! #2 is our support of Isreal!!! Not funny comments on a meaningless website!!! Further more if I hesitated to ask myself wwjd everytime we had contact with the enemy I would be dead now! Unfortunatly our muslim bretheren dont see things this way!!!!!!You want to win,you must keep fighting,or convert to Islam!!!! Whos up for that!!!!

        October 26, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • JJ Abrams

      The only beast I know that comes out of the sea was in Cloverfield.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
      • ranger 830

        The only beast coming out of the see for you will be a submarine launched tomahawk missle!!!!

        October 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Charles Dexter Ward

      You're half right...the only beast to rise from the sea is dread Cthulhu, who waits imprisoned in the underwater city of R'lyeh. If you think you have a religious war now, wait until the Great Old Ones return! Ia! Ia! Cthulhu f'tagn!

      October 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      Go back to your fantasy world and keep reading your comic books.

      October 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
      • Joe Dirt

        CNN=ONLINE COMIC BOOK
        THE FACT THAT YOU THINK YOU'RE REALLY TELLING SOMEONE SOMETHIN'=FANTASY WORLD.

        October 31, 2011 at 10:15 am |

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