The British deep state used its propaganda tools most effectively and extensively during WWI. War was being fought not only in battlefields, but also in newspaper headlines. So much so that the black propaganda operations to malign the enemy and exonerate the allies contributed greatly to the British success in WWI. The sinister propaganda campaign probably dealt one of the deadliest blows to the Ottoman Empire. It is important to reveal the sinister policies the British deep state followed during WWI, because only then can we understand the current strategies used today. The British deep state continues to carry out intense propaganda using media and various organizations to bring the countries they target closer to downfall, to spread lies easily and to add new countries to its empire of colonies. Needless to say, the said propaganda network is more effective and widespread today than ever before.
Britain’s propaganda bureau, under the guidance of the British deep state, carefully designed the anti-Turkish propaganda during WWI. American institutions and leaders also joined in the process, urged on by the same deep organization. Let us reiterate that the similar propaganda efforts of American institutions during those days were largely carried out at the instigation of the British deep state. During the two world wars, the USA got its information and intelligence solely through British sources. This enabled the British deep state to carry out its provocation using such propaganda and to determine the friends and foes of the USA for her.
During WWI, the British Foreign Office was responsible for the British deep state’s propaganda operations. So much so, the Foreign Office set up a ‘War Propaganda Bureau’ in Wellington House building at Buckingham Gate, London in 1914, and appointed Charles Masterman from the House of Lords as its director. From that point on, although its institutional structure and leaders changed, British deep state propaganda continued through ‘Wellington House‘.
Since then, many people and agencies have worked according to the instructions and directives of Wellington House, including politicians, businessmen and even leaders of media outlets. The people who carried out the propaganda behind closed doors were called the ‘invisible government’. The goal was to manipulate the masses in line with the desired direction by means of propaganda. To achieve this, words, phrases and rhetoric were carefully developed to appeal to the emotions, beliefs and expectations of people. Lies were repeated as if they were simple truths.
Wellington House didn’t only manipulate British public opinion during WWI, but carried out projects for the people of other countries, as well. On September 19, 1916, the British PM Lloyd George confirmed this truth with the following words:
The public know only half the story. They read of the victories; the cost is concealed. (SOURCE)
During WWI, Wellington House propaganda bureau published 400 articles weekly, printed in 17 languages, and produced countless books, booklets, and brochures. By June 1915, the number of materials printed and distributed reached some seven million. When the war ended, the bureau had distributed 106 million pieces of material. Wellington House never had any budget problems as the British deep state sufficiently provided it with funds. While the initial budget was only £ 10,000 when the office was first established, it swiftly went up and reached £ 145,000 by 1917. (SOURCE)
Towards the end of the war, some British MPs began to criticize this exploitation of the media. For instance, British statesman Austen Chamberlain said that press lost its freedom and with its freedom, it also lost its power. (Onur Öymen, Bir Propaganda Silahı Olarak Basın [Media as a Propaganda Weapon], Istanbul: Remzi Publications, 2014, p. 122)
During WWI, the main targets of this ugly propaganda were Germans and Turks. After the war ended, both British and Belgium authorities denied the reports that German soldiers had hung priests by church bells in Holland, or that they had stabbed babies with bayonets. The source of this wartime propaganda was once again Wellington House.
Wellington House wasn’t only disseminating propaganda-laden publications. It was also acting as a censorship authority overseeing the information offered by the media. For instance, the news from the battlefield could reach the public only after it was filtered by Wellington House’s censorship system. It assigned two official photographers and a few painters to depict the situation at the fronts. Their work had to strictly comply with the directives of Wellington House. No other photographer or painter was allowed to provide material; Wellington House had banned it.
Certain British journalists and newspapers were chosen and were given the duty to report the news in line with the instructions of the propaganda bureau. Naturally, these people wrote as requested, presenting only the approved photos. Anyone daring to stray out of these lines to interpret and photograph the war in any other way was sanctioned. In other words, the British media presented the world in the way the British deep state portrayed it. Today, the situation is not very different except that the media influenced by the British deep state has expanded and spread around the world, with more journalists doing its bidding.
Wellington House’s anti-Turkish activities represent a broad network of black propaganda that continues even today. The so-called ‘Armenian genocide’ this institution fabricated during WWI, was particularly used to provoke the American public opinion against the Turks and to ensure US participation in the war as a British ally. These claims and Wellington House propaganda are still used as leverage against Turkey.
Now, let’s examine the reasons why a fiction like ‘Armenian genocide’ was made up in the first place:
The British alliance with Russia during WWI wasn’t something the USA was willing to accept. Russia was notorious at the time, and the American public was mistrustful of it. However, Britain needed to keep Russia’s support while getting the USA to join the war. For that, it had to find a commonality that could bring these two giants together. According to the plan, a new enemy was going to be forged and that enemy must have looked like it had committed even bigger crimes than Russia. This common enemy was chosen as the Ottoman Empire. Turkish politician Onur Öymen explains the situation:
This was one of the most important reasons why British propaganda bureau Wellington House used the so-called claim of Turkish genocide of Armenians as one of its main propaganda points. In fact, Turks were held with great esteem in the Islamic world at that time. The British decided to use this allegation of genocide to tarnish the image of the Ottoman Empire in the world and in the Islamic world. What country would follow a leader that supposedly massacred more than one million people? This is what the British had planned. (Onur Öymen, Bir Propaganda Silahı Olarak Basın, p. 126)
This black propaganda that Wellington House initiated against Turkey did produce the results the British deep state longed for. As a result of a systematic campaign, the propaganda managed to build an anti-Turkish public opinion in the US. Strangely enough, just like today, some people from Turkey lent their support to this black propaganda, trading their country for petty gains offered by the British deep state, not caring at all if they became traitors or not in the process.