Friday, January 20, 2006

please sir....more 


The mainstream media —at last catching up with the administration’s spin and mendacity—recently revealed that the Lincoln Group covertly paid Iraqi newspapers to print articles composed by the U.S. military but published as straight news items. The inside-the-Beltway group operated this program thanks to a $5 million dollar Pentagon contract. The story, first broken by the Los Angeles Times on November 30, is yet another illustration of the administration’s moral bankruptcy and failure to win hearts and minds abroad.

Both the ends and means of the Pentagon’s made-to-order Lincoln Group propaganda are, to say the least, questionable. The ostensible purpose of this propaganda—to obtain Iraqi support for the U.S. occupation of their country—is by the day becoming increasingly unjustifiable. A growing number of Americans who want our troops to withdraw from Iraq would agree with this view.

I suspect there is another, more down to earth motive for the just-exposed Pentagon propaganda, probably found among mid-level bureaucrats there whose careers depend on negotiating contracts with private, politically-connected PR firms peddling their Iraq “expertise.” These bureaucrats want to demonstrate to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the top brass that “something is being done” about moving the needle of Iraqi public opinion in favor of the U.S. They hope this evidence will shield the Secretary and his high-ranking military—traditionally little concerned about what civilians think—from criticism by Congress and elsewhere that they aren’t winning the ideological side of the so-called war on terror.



house ethics committee all but defunct
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