Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Once upon a time and long, long ago and far, far away, there was a revolution in this country because our forefathers demanded freedom from an unjust and arbitrary ruler. A major reason for the Revolutionary War was to establish freedom of the press. [Arbitrary search was another goodie.] Did you grow up being taught that we were right to be proud of that war and its glorious result of independence and freedom from rule by fiat - from that other George. Remember knowing with an inner glow inside, that you had achieved a government of the people, by the people and for the people which as long as America was an independent nation would not perish from the earth? Do not read on if you don't want to be confronted with nasty brutish truths.

1. The Pentagon declares that paying U.S. taxpayer funds to publish propaganda in Iraq is a legitimate function of this government:

Declaring it "within our authorities and responsibilities," the top U.S. general in Iraq, George Casey, announced that the Lincoln Group program that covertly places stories written by U.S. troops in Iraqi newspapers will continue. Navy Admiral Scott Van Buskirk is also reviewing the Iraq propaganda program. His review was previously described as finished but not public; the LA Times reports that it hasn't yet been completed. Van Buskirk's report "could pave the way for the Pentagon to replicate the practice ... in other parts of the world." '

2.'How does this work exactly? According to the paper, the Pentagon delivers "storyboards" to the PR firm in Washington with stories it wants placed in Iraqi media. Then, says the Los Angeles Times, the Lincoln Group's Iraqi staff or subcontractors "sometimes pose as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets." To be specific, an August 2 article in the independent Addustour newspaper titled "More Money Goes to Iraq's Development" appeared under the descriptor "Media Services" (as if it came from Wire Services) when in fact the paper received $1,500 from the Lincoln Group.'

3. From WaPo:

'Although it ranked 17th on the first list, published in 2002, the United States now stands at 53, having fallen nine places since last year.

"Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of 'national security' to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his 'war on terrorism,' " the group said.'

4. Media Matters points out that the WaPo ombudsthingie reports that Abramoff gave funds in return for favors to Dems as well as thuglicans, while her reporters are publishing the facts that refute that statement.

5. From Here Now: The NYTimes apologizes finally for reporting without question the WH statements about WMD's that were reason no. 1 for going into Iraq, as does WaPo.

'In an editor's note in yesterday's newspaper, the Times said it found "a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been" about the war and specifically its coverage of claims about weapons of mass destruction. These claims were based on information which largely came from Chalabi.'

6. From that radical shrill organ, the New York Review of Books, an article by Micahel Massing:

In late September, the Government Accountability Office—a nonpartisan arm of Congress—issued a finding that the Bush administration had engaged in "covert propaganda," and thereby broken the law, by paying Armstrong Williams, a conservative commentator, to promote its educational policies. The GAO also faulted the administration for hiring a public relations firm to distribute video news segments without disclosing the government's part in producing them.[1] The auditors' report, which followed a year-long investigation, presents chilling evidence of the campaign that officials in Washington have been waging against a free and independent press. Only months before, it was revealed that Kenneth Tomlinson, the President's choice to head the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, had paid a Republican operative to monitor the political leanings of guests on Bill Moyers's show Now, as part of a broader effort to shift PBS's programming to the right.'

7. Noted in USA Today:

'The New York Times reports today that Republicans buried a provision in a recent military spending bill that devotes $20 million "to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital 'for commemoration of success' in Iraq and Afghanistan." Appropriators had put it in the 2006 spending bill, but with no sign of a letup in the violence in Iraq they extended the provision so the president can spend the money in 2007.'

Our media is no longer the publisher of believable news, and our leaders are complicit in denying the American public basic freedoms.

There's an election coming up.

Do Not Let This Continue.

Call, email, visit.

Let your friends, neighbors, family know. We're not far from losing the very freedoms this country fought for and can't take for granted anymore.

Posted by Ruth


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