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December 3, 2005

Military reviewing practice of paying Iraq newspapers

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military command in Baghdad acknowledged for the first time Friday that it has paid Iraqi newspapers to carry positive news about U.S. efforts in Iraq, but officials characterized the payments as part of a legitimate campaign to counter insurgents' misinformation. In a statement, the command said the program included efforts, "customary in Iraq," to purchase advertising and place clearly labeled opinion pieces in Iraqi newspapers. But the statement suggested that the "... MORE
December 3, 2005

U.S. details effort to plant slanted stories in Iraq media

WASHINGTON - Military officials for the first time yesterday detailed and broadly defended a Pentagon program that pays to plant stories in the Iraqi media, an effort the top U.S. military commander said was part of an effort to "get the truth out" there. But facing critics in the United States - including lawmakers from both parties - the military raised the possibility for the first time of making changes in the program. "If any part of our process does not have our full confidence, we will... MORE
December 3, 2005

Military Admits Planting News in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 - The military acknowledged Friday in a briefing for a ranking Senate Republican that news articles written by American troops had been placed as paid advertisements in the Iraqi news media and not always properly identified. Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters after receiving a 25-minute briefing from officials at the Pentagon that senior commanders in Iraq were trying to get to the bottom of a program that... MORE
December 2, 2005

Planted Propaganda

IN HINDSIGHT, maybe it shouldn't be surprising that the Pentagon has been secretly paying Iraqi journalists and news organizations to write and run positive stories about the war. After all, this is an administration that paid a U.S. columnist and peddled phony video news releases at home, too. But saying it was predictable makes it no less loathsome and damaging to find that the Bush administration has treated the Iraqi press, the Iraqi people and the very idea of Iraqi democracy with even... MORE
December 2, 2005

Iraq War: Faking the news

Just what sort of democratic principles are we exporting to Iraq? The Los Angeles Times reported this week that U.S. military officials are paying Iraqi newspapers to run canned, favorable "stories" that praise the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, laud the rebuilding efforts and denounce the insurgents. While the White House was busy distancing itself from the controversy -- "We are seeking more information from the Pentagon," said spokesman Scott McClellan -- a senior military spokesman in... MORE
December 2, 2005

Covert Media Offensive in Iraq Sparks a Furor

The White House demanded Thursday that the Pentagon hand over information about a secret U.S. military operation to plant news stories in the Iraqi news media, and senators plan to meet behind closed doors with military commanders to learn about the information offensive underway in Iraq. Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the White House was "very concerned" about reports that a defense contractor in Iraq, working with U.S. forces, was paying newspapers in Baghdad to run stories written by... MORE
December 2, 2005

So who is behind planting stories in Iraqi press?

NEW YORK: So what, exactly, is this Lincoln Group that helped plant pro-American propaganda in the Iraqi press, a phenomenon that has made front-page news this week and has now been denounced by everyone from top military leaders to journalism ethicists? And what about its sub-contractor, BKSH & Associates? The story starts with the Washington D.C.-based Lincoln Alliance Corporation, a "business intelligence company" that also handles services related to commercial real estate in Iraq. It... MORE
November 29, 2005

US Military Stages Media Offensive in Iraq

WASHINGTON -- As part of an information offensive in Iraq, 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 with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. Many of the articles... MORE
November 24, 2005

Aljazeera journalist’s widow may sue US

London, 24 Nov. (AKI) - The widow of Tariq Ayyoub, the journalist from satellite TV network Al Jazeera, who was killed when the station’s Baghdad offices were bombed in 2003, says she is considering sueing the US government over his death. The revelation follows reports in British newspaper The Daily Mirror, that US president George W. Bush planned to bomb Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar but was talked out of it by British prime minister Tony Blair. Dima Tahboub, wife of the 35-year-old... MORE