“The U.S. military plans to continue paying Iraqi newspapers to publish articles favorable to the United States after an inquiry found no fault with the controversial practice,” Army General George W. Casey, Jr. said March 3, 2006.
MNF Commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. answers a reporter's question.
Casey said that “the internal review had concluded that the U.S. military was not violating U.S. Law or Pentagon guidelines with the information operations campaign, in which U.S. troops and a private contractor write pro-American articles and pay to have them planted without attribution in Iraqi media.” According to the Los Angeles Times.
“By and large, it found that we were operating within our authorities and responsibilities,” Casey said, adding he has no intention of shutting down the program.
The information program has been heavily criticized both inside and outside of the military as detrimental to U.S. credibility and contrary to the principles of a free press in a nascent, embattled democracy.
BAGHDAD (MediaSourceWatch) Nov. 30, 2005 — “The U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq. The articles, written by U.S. military ‘information operations’ troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers. … The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country. … Records and interviews indicate that the U.S. has paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles, with headlines such as ‘Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism,’ since the effort began this year.
The operation is designed to mask any connection with the U.S. military. The Pentagon has a contract with … Lincoln Group which helps translate and place the stories. The Lincoln Group’s Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets.”
- “As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 – (letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Hmmm … just found a new reference on today’s news!
ANKARA, Turkey (ABC/AP) March 23 — The top U.S. military officer called today for a formal Pentagon review of the policies that led to defense officials paying the Iraqi media to place favorable stories in their newspapers.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said people need to know whether they are reading an article by an independent reporter or by someone paid by the U.S. government.
“They need to know that, so they can make their own judgment about what they believe and don’t believe in the article,” said Pace in the interview aboard a military aircraft heading for Turkey. “The worst thing you can have is people feeling like somehow they’ve been snookered.”
Pace did not have details of how this review should be structured. But he said he would push for a full review by Pentagon staff.
▼ ▼ ▼ MY DIARY