US service members who posted anti-war protest signs on Facebook may have had their images appropriated as pro-Assad propaganda by the Syrian Electronic Army.
The images were posted in a hack of the official US Marine corps website by the pro-government Syrian group, embedded in the message pictured below.
News reports did not identify the personnel in the images, leading to speculation that the photos were of Syrians posing as US soldiers. The SEA message read, "Marines, please take a look at what your comrades think about Obama's alliance with Al Qaeda in Syria."
But at least some protest photos weren't staged. They were posted the Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page from the Facebook pages of US service personel.
One photo with a sign reading "I didn't sign up to kill the poor for the rich. No war w/ Syria!" was posted by W. Scott Baxter. He is pictured on his Facebook page in army fatigues and posted that he returned from deployment in Afghanistan to Fort Cambell, KY in 2011.
The image above, which reads "I DIDN'T JOIN THE NAVY TO FIGHT FOR AL QAEDA IN A SYRIAN CIVIL WAR," was posted by Walter Chesterfield. His Facebook page shows he traveled to Al Dhafra Air Base in 2012.
It's not clear whether the protest images posted on the Armed Forces Tea Party page have come from actual soldiers. Those pictured in the SEA's hack are posted on the Tea Party page without a traceable source, and so may in fact have been staged by the SEA and later been posted the Tea Party page. In which case the Tea Party group is inadvertently helping distribute pro-Assad propaganda.
The Armed Forces Tea Party hasn't yet responded to Politix's request for clarification.
Politix exclusive. H/T Dain Fitzgerald.