Wednesday November 30th 2005, 9:26 pm
some unexplained reason, the discovery of fake news stories planted by
the United States government is now considered scandalous, or at least
momentarily shocking in the current news cycle. It must be a slow news
day—or week, month, year, most assuredly a decade or more. Fake and
heavily spun news has emanated from the corporate media since (and
before) the CIA launched Operation Mockingbird in the late 40s. ABC,
NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International,
Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service, etc.,
ad nauseam, have worked hand-in-glove with spooks and government
overlords for decades, since before I was a tike in short pants.
hum. And now I am supposed to be alarmed by the fact "U.S. Army
officers have been secretly paying Iraqi journalists to produce upbeat
newspaper, radio and television reports about American military
operations and the conduct of the war in Iraq," according to Knight Ridder,
itself more than likely chewed through with CIA moth holes (or if not
CIA, at least military intelligence, as "officers from the 4th Army
PSYOPS group staffed the National Security Council’s Office of Public
Diplomacy (OPD), a shadowy government propaganda agency that planted
stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration’s
Central America policies," and labored away to spin the news at CNN, as we learned back in March of 2000,
before the current crop of reality-spinsters had a chance to man the
propaganda battle stations in the Bush White House and Pentagon).
course, everybody, especially the Iraqis, understand the situation in
Iraq is an unmitigated disaster—even the Strausscons know this,
although they seem to believe they can fool us and the Iraqis, thus
indicating they take us repeatedly for chumps.
officials in Washington said the payments were made through the Baghdad
Press Club, an organization they said was created more than a year ago
by U.S. Army officers. They are part of an extensive American
military-run information campaign—including psychological warfare
experts—intended to build popular support for U.S.-led stabilization
efforts and erode support for Sunni Muslim insurgents."
realize many Americans suffer from chronic memory loss—for as Gore
Vidal reminds us (lest we forget), we Americans live in the United
States of Amnesia. It was a little less than a year ago the Pentagon
told us the they would dutifully launch their very own "news service in
Iraq and Afghanistan to send military video, text and photos directly
to the Internet or news outlets," not that such (at an estimated
sticker price of $6.3 million) is really necessary with the corporate
media professionally slanting the news. "The project, called Digital
Video and Imagery Distribution System or DVIDS, will also give the
Pentagon more control," according to an AP news item,
posted February 28, 2004. In fact, the military outfitted "five Mobile
Public Affairs Detachments with a suitcase-sized reporting kit
containing digital video and still cameras, a laptop computer and a
Norsat NewsLink 3200 satellite broadcast terminal," the result "aimed
at packaging and shipping locally focused stories to small and
medium-sized newspapers and TV stations in the United States," a great
deal—or rather only deal—since most journalists and newsfolk are
deathly afraid to venture out of their hotels in the Green Zone, lest
they get either killed or kidnapped by roving black op teams tasked
with making sure nobody finds out the truth about what the Bushcons are
doing in Iraq.
And then of course there was Rumsfeld’s
Office of Strategic Influence, supposedly canned by "lawmakers" (i.e..,
the plutocrats in Washington who spend most of their time courting and
chasing AIPAC and corporate money) because—well, because it was so
obvious and Orwellian as to be an insult, or so we were told a couple
years ago. Well, good ideas devised by Straussian neocons and
self-proclaimed reality alchemists never die—they simply get a
facelift, pedicure, and name change. "The Bush administration, battling
negative perceptions of the Iraq war, is sending Iraqi Americans to
deliver what the Pentagon calls 'good news’ about Iraq to U.S. military
bases, and has curtailed distribution of reports showing increasing
violence in that country," the Washington Post reported last October.
unusual public-relations effort by the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for
International Development comes as details have emerged showing the
U.S. government and a representative of President Bush’s reelection
campaign had been heavily involved in drafting the speech given to
Congress last week by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.
Combined, they indicate that the federal government is working
assiduously to improve Americans’ opinions about the Iraq conflict—a
key element of Bush’s reelection message…
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s office has sent commanders of U.S.
military facilities a five-page memorandum titled "Guidance to
Commanders." The Pentagon, the memo says, is sponsoring a group of
Iraqi Americans and former officials from the Coalition Provisional
Authority to speak at military bases throughout the United States
starting Friday to provide "a first-hand account" of events in Iraq.
The Iraqi Americans and the CPA officials worked on establishing the
interim Iraqi government. The Iraqi Americans "feel strongly that the
benefits of the coalition efforts have not been fully reported," the
The memo says the presentations are "designed to be
uplifting accounts with good news messages." Rumsfeld’s office, which
will pay for the tour, recommends that the installations seek local
news coverage, noting that "these events and presentations are positive
public relations opportunities."
this "effort" to portray the Iraqi occupation as an exercise in
American magnanimity—between sprays of phosphorous, plumes of napalm,
indiscriminate scattering of cluster bombs, and wanton irradiation by
ghoulish way of depleted uranium—failed miserably.
anxious were the Bushcons to spin cycle the horror of U.S. foreign
policy in the Middle East, they threw Undersecretary of State for
Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Charlotte Beers into the fray—but
even Beers’ considerable talent as a Madison Avenue public relations
hack (she once marketed Uncle Ben’s rice) and "shared values" mandate
was unable to convince Muslims worldwide Americans are anything less
than skull-and-crossbones Visigoths bent on sacking the Middle East in
the name of Big Oil, Halliburton, and a band of demented Zionists on a
tiny sliver of stolen land pushed up against the Mediterranean. On
March 3, 2003, Ms. Beers resigned her post for "health reasons," that
is to say the futility of her campaign would have eventually given her
At any rate, the really funny part of the latest
Pentagon effort to sunny-side the Iraq Horror Show comes from the
corporate media. "Many military officials," Knight Ridder continues,
"said they were concerned that the payments to Iraqi journalists and
other covert information operations in Iraq had become so extensive
that they were corroding the effort to build democracy and undermining
U.S. credibility in Iraq. They also worry that information in the Iraqi
press that’s been planted or paid for by the U.S. military could 'blow
back’ to the American public."
Eight current and
former military, defense and other U.S. officials in Baghdad and
Washington agreed to discuss the payments to Iraqi reporters and other
American military information operations because they fear that the
efforts are promoting practices that are unacceptable for a democracy.
They requested anonymity to avoid retaliation….
defense and military officials said, the U.S. public is at risk of
being influenced by the information operations because what’s planted
in the Iraqi media can be picked up by international news organizations
and Internet bloggers….
Finally, military and defense
officials said, the more extensive the information operations, the more
likely they’ll be discovered, thereby undermining the credibility of
the U.S. armed forces and the American government.
to Knight Ridder—the "credibility of the U.S. armed forces and the
American government" is a heap of smoldering offal and has been such
for a long time now. It is also laughable—in a macabre sort of way—that
U.S. officials would claim the idea here is to promote democracy in
Iraq when in fact the idea (as revealed by the very white papers penned
by the Straussian neocons directing the occupation) is to carve up and
dismember the Arab and Muslim Middle East into malleable Bantustan-like
chunks. "Much along the lines of an earlier paper by Israeli Oded Yinon
, the [A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm] document
urges the Israelis to aggressively seek the downfall of their Arab
neighbors—especially Syria and Iraq—by exploiting the inherent tensions
within and among the Arab States," summarizes the Center for Cooperative Research.
This neocon policy paper, first presented to Likudite fanatic Binyamin
Netanyahu, is also all about invading Iraq, as the neocons urged for a
decade or more.
Instead of democracy, the Bushcons are
sincerely interested in a Zionist gerrymandering process designed to
punish Muslims for the sin of their very existence, since they exist
uncomfortably close to Israel and not say as swagmen and squatters in
the Australian Outback. But then, of course, for the religious among
the Zionists, since bald-faced "transfer" (ethnic cleansing) or even
genocide is not a practical option, the closest Arabs (Palestinians)
should be considered little more than "hewers of wood and drawers of
water'’ for the people of Israel, as were the Gibeonites in the Old
In the Arab world all of this is well known,
although in America it is more or less unspeakable, especially in the
corporate media, so slavishly bent on lionizing Zionists and demonizing
Arabs. Thus no public relations (let’s call a spade a spade—it is crude
propaganda) effort will brainwash the Arabs—no matter how Herculean the
effort or how much money is squandered—into believing Georgie and the
neocon Mafia have the best interests of Muslims and Arabs at heart. It
doesn’t matter how many Iraqi journalists—those not dead or hiding in
fear for their lives—are on the occupation puppet government or
Pentagon payroll. Arabs know about the exigencies of the Zionists
because they live with the reality of deranged settlers and serial
murdering IOF soldiers every day of the week.
Iraqis live with the horror of the Zionist Master Plan daily as the
occupation effort is completely Israelized—from targeted assassinations
to random murder of innocents. Bush’s neocon gangsters may fool a few
Americans and even themselves, but the Iraqis are not buying into the
scam, especially if they have malnourished kids and relatives dying
from cancer due to the profligate use of depleted uranium. No "upbeat"
fake news stories will make the tumors disappear or magically render
clean drinking water from dirty or provide consistent electricity. It
will not paper over the random shooting of Iraqi motorists by hired
"security" thugs or trigger-happy checkpoint soldiers who are
indistinguishable to average Iraqis from Israeli border guards.
fooled—however, in the United States of Amnesia, most of us don’t know
we’re fooled (or do we particularly care our appointed and vote-rigging
president lied the nation into invasion and occupation) and if we did
realize the Pentagon is attempting to sunny-side the gothic horror in
Iraq most of us wouldn’t care, especially when the latest episode of
the Bachelorette is on the idiot tube.