Senate Summons Pentagon to Explain Effort to Plant News Stories in Iraqi Media

After this story has been bubbling around the world, the Senate deigns to learn what everyone already knows.

Senate Summons Pentagon to Explain Effort to Plant News Stories in Iraqi Media
Under the program, the Lincoln Group, a Washington-based public relations firm working in Iraq, was hired to translate articles written by American troops into Arabic and then, in many cases, give them to advertising agencies for placement in the Iraqi news media.

At a time when the State Department is paying contractors millions of dollars to promote professional and independent media, the military campaign appeared to defy the basic tenets of Western journalism.
Senator John W. Warner, a Virginia Republican who heads the Armed Services Committee, said he had directed Pentagon aides to describe and justify the program on Friday in a closed briefing for senators and staff aides.

“I am concerned about any actions that may undermine the credibility of the United States as we help the Iraqi people stand up as a democracy,” Mr. Warner said in a statement.

“A free and independent press is critical to the functioning of a democracy, and I am concerned about any actions which may erode the independence of the Iraqi media,” the committee chairman's statement said.

Yes, a free independent press sure would be nice.


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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on December 2, 2005 8:12 AM.

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