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Thursday, December 01, 2005

All The News That's Fit To Print


U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press

The pay FOX, too.

Don't they?
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 are presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists.

The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country.
Dead Iraqi Would Have Loved Democracy
Though the articles are basically factual, they present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments, officials said. Records and interviews indicate that the U.S. has paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles, with headlines such as "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism," since the effort began this year.
"Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism?!"

What about, Very 'Special' Forces Sent To Iraq?
The operation is designed to mask any connection with the U.S. military.

The Pentagon has a contract with a small Washington-based firm called Lincoln Group, which helps translate and place the stories.

The Lincoln Group's Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets.
Talking Points Memo has more info on the Lincoln Group:
But while the DOD is hiring the Lincoln Group, the Lincoln is subcontracting the work to BKSH, the PR firm run by Republican uber-operative and spinmeister Charlie Black.

Actually, if you're looking for phony stories about how well things are going in Iraq, I guess a Republican talking head like Charlie Black might be a pretty good bet. So this might be an example of shrewd government contracting.

And if you wonder what Charlie Black knows about bamboozling Iraqis, don't worry because he must have picked something up when he was working for Ahmed Chalabi before the war.
If you "Google" Charlie Black, you'll find that he's the Co-Chair of something called the "Civitas Group":
Civitas Group, LLC, a "new consulting firm that will offer a full range of advisory services to private sector and government clients in the homeland security field," was launched on July 17, 2003.

"Civitas is a joint venture between Stonebridge International LLC and BKSH & Associates, a WPP operating company. ... Civitas will offer a spectrum of services including strategic business guidance, facilitation of business partnerships, issue monitoring, executive recruitment, advocacy as well as government and corporate marketing and procurement assistance. ... Civitas also has established a strategic partnership with Good Harbor Consulting, LLC."
Once again, I find myself chasing the wrong carrots.

More ONION headlines re: Iraq --

Iraqi Cop Moonlighting As Terrorist Just To Make Ends Meet

Actually, that's true, isn't it?

Iraq Declares Partial Law

That, too.

CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years


Iraqi Constitution Ratified, Burned

Saw that video.

Halliburton Given Contract To Rebuild Cheney

Wow: I think they finished that particular project a couple of years ago.


Who's been paying "The Onion" to report the truth?

"George Soros!"


"Hamster Thrown From Remote-Control Monster Truck"
MILTON, MA—Tragedy was narrowly averted in the Bourke household Monday, when Harry, the family's pet hamster, was violently thrown from the 4" by 4" payload of a toy Ford F-350 monster truck.

According to reports, the toy vehicle was racing through a living-room obstacle course—which included a coffee-table-coaster slalom, a cardboard ramp, and a Dixie-cup pyramid—when it swerved out of control and crashed into a Lincoln Log structure, sending the hamster flying through the monster truck's driver-side window and knocking over three nearby Fisher-Price Little People
More later...


  • Turns out the Rendon Group couldn't hack it in comedy, so they turned to horror.

    In an Asia Times article written 3 years ago, this Harvard Student, who had been hired by the Rendon Group because of his dead-on Saddam impersonation, recorded radio bits that they played in Iraq to mock the government.
    "Who in Iraq is going to think it's funny to poke fun at Saddam's mustache," the student notes, "when the vast majority of Iraqi men themselves have mustaches?"

    By Blogger Betsy, at 4:50 PM  

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