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By establishing a baseline lie and painting the enemy as a monster, atrocity propaganda serves as an intelligence function, since it wastes the time and resources of the enemy's counterintelligence services to defend itself.Atrocity propaganda can either be white, gray, or black.Atrocity propaganda is often white, as it makes no attempt to hide its source and is overt in nature.

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According to Paul Linebarger, atrocity propaganda leads to real atrocities, as it incites the enemy into committing more atrocities and, by heating up passions, it increases the chances of one's own side committing atrocities, in revenge for the ones reported in propaganda.

Atrocity propaganda might also lead the public to mistrust reports of actual atrocities.

In January 1944, Arthur Koestler wrote of his frustration at trying to communicate what he had witnessed in Nazi-occupied Europe: the legacy of anti-German stories during World War I, many of which were debunked in the postwar years, meant that these reports were received with considerable amounts of skepticism.

• Watch: Paramedic proposes to woman he saved after horrific knife attack Mr Hughes said it was the third time he had pulled someone from a burning building and years later he decided to track her down on Facebook.

The former captain described the rescue as "pretty perfect" and this month he received an invite to the teenager’s high school graduation.

Ms Davison told KOMO she cried “happy tears” at her graduation, next to the man who had saved her life."Another 20 seconds and it would have been a different outcome," Hughes added.Atrocity propaganda is a term referring to the spreading of deliberate fabrications or exaggerations about the crimes committed by an enemy, constituting a form of psychological warfare.The inherently violent nature of war means that exaggeration and invention of atrocities often becomes the main staple of propaganda.Patriotism is often not enough to make people hate – propaganda is also necessary."So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations", wrote Harold Lasswell, "that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing, murderous aggressor.