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United States Games Your Rights Online

Video Games As Propaganda 251

SharkLaser writes "A video game developer working for Kuma Reality Games has admitted that the company has been receiving money from the CIA to design and freely distribute special movies and games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. Amir Mizra Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine, moved to work for Kuma after working for DARPA and has said the goal of the company was to convince people that whatever the U.S. does in other countries is a good measure. Kuma officials have declined to comment, while Hekmati himself is locked in Iran. The United States government has demanded the release of Hekmati, but Iran has sentenced him to death for spying, which he confessed to."
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Video Games As Propaganda

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  • by Saishuuheiki ( 1657565 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:25PM (#38642310)

    They actually discussed this on NPR earlier. When applying to enter the country, he told them about his military history and asked if it would be ok. Telling Iran that you were formerly in the US army is not the kind of thing you would do if you were an actual spy.

    Not to say entering Iran and telling them you used to be in the military is a good idea.

  • Uhhh... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:28PM (#38642342)

    Shouldn't the text be something along the lines of "An American that was visiting his family in Iran who has been sentenced to death by a Sharia court for spying on behalf of the CIA has also claimed in the same prepared statement that he was a video game developer who made games for the CIA, even though there don't seem to be more than a single game that would align itself with Western interests." I mean, let's face it. Trusting Fars (a semi-official Iranian news agency)...these guys have backed their President's view that the Holocaust didn't happen, for Christ's NOT exactly relying on an unbiased source. For Fars to complain about propaganda is like the pot calling kettle black.

  • Re:Eye for an eye.` (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bacon Bits ( 926911 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:02PM (#38642824)

    Actually, the phrase "eye for an eye" carried an original meaning of a call for just punishment which suited the crime rather than excessive or retributive punishment. That is, it was meant "only an eye for an eye" instead of "a life for an eye". This "Chicago way" of escalating responses leads to conflict, and that's not the goal of criminal justice.

    In our modern times, "one death for one death" is generally excessive, especially if it's "death of an innocent for death of a 'spy'".

  • Wrong. (Score:4, Informative)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:22PM (#38643182)

    There's a big difference between confirming suspected intel and turning a prisoner into propaganda.

    Torture does NOT get "intel".

    Torture gets CONFESSIONS.

    This guy confessed to being a CIA spy working in Iran. By your "logic", they "confirmed" the "intel" they had on him.

    The same as our people did with the people we tortured.

    Which is the reason why we should NEVER use torture. It does NOT work in gathering accurate information and it DOES cloud the issue of who actually did what, when, where and why.

    Confessions are ONLY useful in propaganda.

    There is also a tremendous gulf between broadly applied and completely opportunistic use of it and the "graded escalation" the US goes through before utilizing distasteful tools.

    No. Once you resort to torture you have given up on getting accurate information and you're just looking for a confession or revenge.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:27PM (#38643288) Journal

    There's a big difference between confirming suspected intel and turning a prisoner into propaganda

    No there's not. Torture never confirms anything. Torture is a way of getting your prisoner to say what you want to hear. Confirmation bias is built into it, so it can never reasonably be used as actionable evidence. The only thing it is good for is propaganda.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351