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US admits Iraq propaganda drive

#2
Oh that is confusing , because..........

Paid-For Iraq Stories Concern White House

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's spokesman said Thursday "we're very concerned" about reports that the U.S. military is paying Iraqi newspapers and journalists to plant favorable stories about the war and the rebuilding effort.

"We are seeking more information from the Pentagon," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

At the Pentagon, spokesman Bryan Whitman said, as he did a day earlier in response to reporters' inquiries about the reports, that he was seeking details from U.S. military officials in Baghdad. "I have very few facts," Whitman said, adding that he would not confirm the essence of the story until he learned more from Baghdad.

"It's certainly an issue that's easy to get emotional about, and we need to understand the facts, and when we do I'll provide you as much information as I can," Whitman said.

The spokesman said that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was "aware of the issue," but he would not say whether Rumsfeld had expressed concern about it or whether the secretary had asked for additional information about it.
Damn straight you're aware of this Von Rumsfeld , because....

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=30&num=4345
 
#4
Especially confusing since grey propaganda is classified as covert action and, as such, is covered under the Intelligence Oversight Act (1980) which requires that POTUS personally sign a 'finding' that states such action is necessary and authorises it. Furthermore, unless POTUS issues another finding specifically issuing orders to the contrary, Congress has to be informed at least 48 hours before the action is to take place.

Therefore, by definition, the White House is either lying about not knowing (the most likely scenario), or the DoD is breaking the same law that brought about the Iran-Contra scandal. This might get interesting.
 
#5
There's 2 things about this story that surprise me:

1) Anybody should be the slightest bit surprised that it's going on, and,
2) It's taken so long for a 'respectable' paper in the US to actually run the 'story'.

I'm waiting for Neo_Com to jump in now with some drivvel he's found on a blogging site which discredits the LA Times and the 'traditional media' general.
 
#6
From the LA Times


Some of the newspapers, such as Al Mutamar, a Baghdad-based daily run by associates of Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi, ran the articles as news stories, indistinguishable from other news reports. Before the war, Chalabi was the Iraqi exile favored by senior Pentagon officials to lead post-Hussein Iraq.....

.... One Aug. 6 piece, published prominently on Al Mutamar's second page, ran as a news story with the headline "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism." Documents obtained by The Times indicated that Al Mutamar was paid about $50 to run the story, though the editor of the paper said he ran such articles for free.

Nearly $1,500 was paid to the independent Addustour newspaper to run an Aug. 2 article titled "More Money Goes to Iraq's Development," the records indicated. The newspaper's editor, Bassem Sheikh, said he had "no idea" where the piece came from but added the note "media services" on top of the article to distinguish it from other editorial content.
Well what's an alleged fraudster going to do to get back in favour with the Americans? Your connections in Iran are only going to take you so far!
 
#7
crabtastic said:
Especially confusing since grey propaganda is classified as covert action and, as such, is covered under the Intelligence Authorization Act (1981) which requires that POTUS personally sign a 'finding' that states such action is necessary and authorises it. Furthermore, unless POTUS issues another finding specifically issuing orders to the contrary, Congress has to be informed at least 48 hours before the action is to take place.

Therefore, by definition, the White House is either lying about not knowing (the most likely scenario), or the DoD is breaking the same law that brought about the Iran-Contra scandal. This might get interesting.
Or just pass it on to the British - who have no such laws. :twisted:
 
#9
Is the plan (allegedly) to lie and decieve to such an incredible extent , that eventually the poulation just shrugs it's shoulders and accepts it as the norm?

It is not the bloody norm , far from it, but we're all of us being cowed into a state of meek apathy.
 
#11
PartTimePongo said:
Is the plan (allegedly) to lie and decieve to such an incredible extent , that eventually the poulation just shrugs it's shoulders and accepts it as the norm?

It is not the bloody norm , far from it, but we're all of us being cowed into a state of meek apathy.
May I suggest that you write an angry but non threatening letter to your MP? :twisted:
 
#13
The spokesman said that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was "aware of the issue...."

That's nice.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon has established a new Office of Strategic Influence to market America's war on terrorism outside the United States, a Defense Department official said Tuesday.

The office will set up policies for information operations and warfare that will then be carried out by military specialists to "influence the hearts and minds of the opposition," the official said, adding that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has yet to approve any plans for new information operations.

The office was quietly set up after September 11 as part of the Bush administration's overall effort to reach Islamic populations around the world.


New Pentagon office to spearhead information war
February 20, 2002 Posted: 4:55 AM EST (0955 GMT)
http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/02/19/gen.strategic.influence/

The OSI would have been a center for the creation of propaganda materials, for the stated purpose of misleading enemy forces or foreign civilian populations. After information on the office spread through US and foreign media in mid February 2002, intense discussions on purpose and scope of the office were reported. The discussions culminated in a public statement by Rumsfeld in late February that the office has been closed down.

Some argue that due to its secretive nature and stated purposes the existence of such an agency would be hard to determine. In fact, in November 2002, Rumsfeld stated in an interview that only the name of the office was abolished, that it still exists and continues to fulfill its original intended purposes. Much of the OSI's responsibilities were shifted to the Information Operations Task Force.


"Office of Strategic Influence"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Strategic_Influence
 
#14
It seems then, that from a legal standpoint everything was above board. However, the American people are generally skittish about covert action in general and there is also the risk (or intention IMHO) of blowback- which would be illegal.

However, it would seem that Scott MacLellan has been shown to be a bumbling muppet once more. Can't be long before he'll be exploring other career opportunities.
 
#16
PartTimePongo said:
Is the plan (allegedly) to lie and decieve to such an incredible extent , that eventually the poulation just shrugs it's shoulders and accepts it as the norm?

It is not the bloody norm , far from it, but we're all of us being cowed into a state of meek apathy.
this has allways been the US fed gov way, lets face it, if most republican voting americans today lived in '30s germany they would be described as 'good nazis'
 
#17
PartTimePongo said:
Is the plan (allegedly) to lie and decieve to such an incredible extent , that eventually the poulation just shrugs it's shoulders and accepts it as the norm?

It is not the bloody norm , far from it, but we're all of us being cowed into a state of meek apathy.
PTP,

You are intelligent enough and have enough savvy to recognise that Blair doesn't lie, nor do any of his close aides and associates - 99.9% of the time. They are masters of manipulating the English language into leading the listener/reader into a certain belief/understanding - when the 'real' truth is often quite different - without actually telling an untruth.

It's like the errant husband telling his lover that he is 'separated from his wife'. The lover thinks the marriage has broken down, when in reality, the good chap is using the word 'separated' to mean more literally that he is not with his wife at that very moment!

It's been going on for years, and part of this process has attracted the label 'spin'.

What is most galling for me, is that the 'independant' media of this country have chosen NOT to show it up for what it is, and thus allows the Government to get away with it. Why? Because, indirectly they have allowed themselves to become beholden to the Government for their political 'exclusives' - which various PR Managers distribute as 'off-the-record official leaks' as they see fit.

The LA Times makes it clear that this US Military stories are not fictional, but are indeed factual accounts, albeit utterly one-sided and avoiding even the merest whiff of negativity.
 
#18
PartTimePongo said:
May I suggest that you write an angry but non threatening letter to your MP?
Or just tell him to read this thread? :D
What? You would make him read things like his own community now thinks of him as the biggest 'ghustaa' going and are actively devising methods to get rid of him? And that his recent trip to Pakistan was met with derision by Pakistani officials?
That would be cruel in my opinion ....I say just write the letter .... :twisted:
 
#19
I think a letter would be a good way to proceed. Should I use the postal system, assuming I can still find a bloody open Post Office hereabouts, or should I rely on a carrier , like the London Brick Company? :twisted
 
#20
Not_Whistlin_Dixie said:
The OSI would have been a center for the creation of propaganda materials, for the stated purpose of misleading enemy forces or foreign civilian populations. After information on the office spread through US and foreign media in mid February 2002, intense discussions on purpose and scope of the office were reported. The discussions culminated in a public statement by Rumsfeld in late February that the office has been closed down.

Some argue that due to its secretive nature and stated purposes the existence of such an agency would be hard to determine. In fact, in November 2002, Rumsfeld stated in an interview that only the name of the office was abolished, that it still exists and continues to fulfill its original intended purposes. Much of the OSI's responsibilities were shifted to the Information Operations Task Force. [/b]

"Office of Strategic Influence"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Strategic_Influence
and,

crabtastic said:
It seems then, that from a legal standpoint everything was above board.
Someone help me out here please.

If the OSI was entirely above board, why bother to shut it down? Clearly their efforts were not unwanted in that they just transfered elsewhere - as we have just seen.

Disinformation warfare is nothing new. In many places, there is nothing illegal about disinformation warfare. Just what are the various bigwigs in the 5-sided building trying to avoid telling? And whose 'skin' are they trying to protect? And why? As I pointed out earlier, it's hardly an earth-shattering revelation is it!
 

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