Just when you thought the stupidity couldn't get any stupider, along comes an example of the stupids descending to new levels of ultra-mega-dumb stupiditude.
The fact that this was taking place reinforces the image of America as arrogant, condescending, and out of touch with reality. Who seriously thought that any literate, engaged Iraqi wouldn't see this crap as a plant?
And as for today's articles about the Pentagon and White House being in the dark on this, give me a fucking break. This is the military we're talking about -- for this operation to take place, contracts have to be signed and people have to be hired. Someone with fairly high authority had to sign off on it. In the military, you can't take a leak without the approval of your superior officers. This is a case yet again of the bastards falling back on plausible deniability.
Besides, the Administration has already pulled this bullshit here in the US, and their reaction was exactly the same -- some 'overzealous underling' was responsible.
Pushing the blame down the chain of command is the last refuge of the morally bankrupt bureacrat. So long as the sketchy shit people on the ground are doing isn't a political liability, they're rewarded for their loyalty. As soon as the story breaks and the Administration and Pentagon might look stupid, so their reaction is to disavow the actions of the implementers and then hang them out to dry.
I think you have to go to places like Burma and North Korea to find a government more mendacious and wrong headed.