Of course, the (very real) soldiers would do their best to terrify, with alarms ringing and gun barrels thrust in faces. It seems like it has to be staged to avoid copious lawsuits and potential murders, but it's hard to claim the victims were in on it when you see them running from the soldiers, afraid they're about to get cut in half by a machine gun.
The show received a lot of complaints from both viewers and the press. Iraqis protested the show on social media, and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann called the producers "the world's worst." The producers defended Put Him In Bucca, claiming, "The show is an educational one ... so that they are alert and check their cars before getting in," and further asserting that getting people to laugh at al-Qaeda is a victory over terrorism.