Independent Christian Voice

Thursday

Propaganda: If it worked here in the U.S., why not try it in Iraq

This administration is a master at manipulating information, whether it's intelligence or the news. In the last year, several examples of the administration manufacturing "real news" to help promote its agenda were exposed and eventually found to be illegal. Well, they didn't learn their lesson apparently — or they just flat don't care about whether what they are doing is right (or legal). Now the administration is manufacturing "real news" for Iraqi papers, making it appear to be homegrown journalism when in fact it's blatant propaganda. The New York Times tells about one example of "an article written this week for publication in the Iraqi press was scornful of outsiders' pessimism about the country's future," titled "The Sands Are Blowing Toward a Democratic Iraq."
"Western press and frequently those self-styled 'objective' observers of Iraq are often critics of how we, the people of Iraq, are proceeding down the path in determining what is best for our nation," the article began. Quoting the Prophet Muhammad, it pleaded for unity and nonviolence.

But far from being the heartfelt opinion of an Iraqi writer, as its language implied, the article was prepared by the United States military as part of a multimillion-dollar covert campaign to plant paid propaganda in the Iraqi news media and pay friendly Iraqi journalists monthly stipends, military contractors and officials said.

The article was one of several in a storyboard, the military's term for a list of articles, that was delivered Tuesday to the Lincoln Group, a Washington-based public relations firm paid by the Pentagon, documents from the Pentagon show. The contractor's job is to translate the articles into Arabic and submit them to Iraqi newspapers or advertising agencies without revealing the Pentagon's role. [Read full article]
Once again, let us remind ourselves of what the president said during his campaign and early in his administration:

First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourselves not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity.
Is presenting manufactured news as real news honest and forthcoming? Whether or not it's legal, is it right, Mr. President? No, it's not. It's another misrepresentation — a LIE. If that's your definition of "right," Mr. President, we don't need or want your "highest ethical standards."

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