Paid News In Iraq

Really, the whole story, such as it is, is becoming absurd. I fail to see what the BFD is in getting stories that are positive to and for the United States in the media of Iraq. Don’t we want good press about our country and what we do? The rest of the word has like to shit on the USA for a long time. Yet, there we are, saving their asses on a constant basis, doing what needs to be done. Sooner or later, we are going to have to clean up the mess regarding Iran and its nuclear ambitions, when the EU and UN are done fucking up.

So what is the problem with good press in Iraq?

Military officials for the first time Friday 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.

The remarks came after days of reports and criticism that the military was covertly planting in the Iraqi media stories that, while factual, gave a slanted, positive view of conditions in Iraq.

U.S. military officials in Iraq said articles had been offered and published in Iraqi newspapers "as a function of buying advertising and opinion/editorial space, as is customary in Iraq."

Coalition forces compiled the material, and the Washington-based Lincoln Group was authorized to pay Iraqi papers to run the articles, which were supposed to be identified in that way, said Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Factual, with a pro-American slant. Great! I have no problem with pro American stories. Do you?

And, the articles were supposed to be identified as advertising and op/ed. So, no problem there, either. Pro American is great.

"Things like this happen. It’s a war," Warner said. "The disinformation that’s going on in that country is really affecting the effectiveness of what we’re achieving, and we have no recourse but to try and do some rebuttal information."

Pace told The Associated Press: "We want to get the facts out. We want to get the truth out."

No, no prob with that.

The stories in Iraqi newspapers often praise the efforts of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce terrorism and promote the country’s reconstruction efforts, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The Times said documents it obtained showed that the Baghdad-based newspaper Al Mutamar was paid about $50 to run one of the stories, which had the headline "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism" on Aug. 6.

Lincoln Group spokeswoman Laurie Adler issued a statement Friday saying that the company has worked with the Iraqi media to "promote truthful reporting."

"We counter the lies, intimidation, and pure evil of terror with factual stories that highlight the heroism and sacrifice of the Iraqi people and their struggle for freedom and security," she said.

I’m still missing what the problem is. They aren’t paying for stories in the USA. The military does pay for advertising, which is both pro military and is used for recruitment.

"These reports raise serious questions about whether the Department of Defense engaged in covert activity by concealing the role of the government," (Sen. Ted) Kennedy said in a letter Friday to Acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble. "This perception is reinforced by suggestions that there are classified aspects to this activity."

That I have a problem with. Does Ted want to stop good stories about the USA in a combat zone? Sure seems like it. But, hey, he is one of the head Surrender Monkeys.

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