BBG Watch Media

Much of the same thing has been going on at the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) for the past several years. In response to the Cold War, prominent Americans of both political parties, including General Eisenhower and George Kennan, helped to establish Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty when the Voice of America and its Washington bureaucracy at the State Department failed to act. In response to ISIS, the Washington bureaucracy crated a T shirt and a few apps to go with it.

State Department Lamely Markets Anti-IS Messages to Millennials


“I know a fair number of State Department employees peak at this blog, so I have a favor to ask.
Would someone please tell the “social media gurus” at the State Department young people join Islamic State for a number of very serious and often deeply-held reasons — religion, disillusionment with the west, anger at American policy — and not because they saw an IS tweet? And that you can’t dissuade people from their beliefs simply with a clever hashtag and 140 characters of propaganda pablum?
Yet the idea that the State Department can use social media to “counter program” IS’ message persists, even as its uselessness stares everyone but the State Department in the face.”

The author of this article is a controversial former State Department official Peter Van Buren. He is a 24-year veteran of the State Department who spent a year in Iraq. Following his book, “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People,” the Department of State began proceedings against him. His bio says that through the efforts of the Government Accountability Project and the ACLU, he instead retired from the State Department on his own terms.

“The content is seemingly written more to appeal to Washington than potential jihadis, as you can see in this example, Peter Van Buren wrote.

Peter Van Buren’s article “State Department Lamely Markets Anti-IS Messages to Millennials” was reposted on John Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review. John Brown is a former United States Information Agency (USIA) public, press and cultural affairs Senior Foreign Service officer. He resigned in protest against the Iraq War.

READ MORE: State Department Lamely Markets Anti-IS Messages to Millennials, Peter Van Buren, Ghosts of Tom Joad, June 29, 2015