"Nothing makes a newspaper prouder than a juicy foreign-policy scoop. Except, it seems, when the scoop ends up raising awkward questions about a U.S. administration's drive for war," writes Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). "Back in 1999, major papers ran front-page investigative stories revealing that the CIA had covertly used U.N. weapons inspectors to spy on Iraq for the U.S.'s own intelligence purposes. ...
"I would say that the greatest threat to democracy right now in the United State is George Bush's casual use of propaganda, and sometimes lies, to advance his case against Iraq," Harper's publisher Rick MacArthur told Democracy Now's Amy Goodman. MacArthur is also author of "The Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War." Goodman asked MacArthur to revisit the elder Bush White House's control of the press corps during that administration's Persian Gulf War. Journalists then faced strict Pentagon control, including no freedom of movement and PR escorts at all times.
"Senior Republican Party officials say the prospect of at least two more weeks of Congressional debate on Iraq is allowing their party to run out the clock on the fall election, blocking Democrats as they try to seize on the faltering economy and other domestic concerns as campaign issues. ... The emerging dynamic has produced growing if quiet optimism among Republicans that they will be able to turn back the Democratic drive to take control of the House. ... Scott Reed, a Republican consultant, said: 'The secret to the election now is to beat the clock.
"The reasons for a new attack on Iraq have been presented in a series of press-friendly promotional moments that have been long on promises and short on facts," says Moveon.org. "Timing has been a critical factor -- it is no coincidence, for example, that the climax of the push has come immediately after the anniversary of Sept.
"We're getting the band together," White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett told the group on their first conference call last week. "The 'Band' is made up of the people who brought you the war in Afghanistan -- or at least the accompanying public-relations campaign," explains Martha Brant.
"The Bush Administration is to launch a multimillion-dollar PR blitz against Saddam Hussein, using advertising techniques to persuade crucial target groups that the Iraqi leader must be ousted," reports Tim Reid. "The campaign will consist of dossiers of evidence detailing Saddam's breaches of UN resolutions, and will be launched this week at American and foreign audiences, particularly in Arab nations sceptical of US policy in the region. ...
"If nothing else, the Bush administration has succeeded in making 'Should we attack Iraq?' the most-considered political question in the US today," observes PR Week.
American journalists have totally fallen down on the job when it comes to reporting from Baghdad, writes Nina Burleigh, who was one of the first American journalists to enter Iraq after the Gulf War. That allows the White House to make increasingly
What do George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Britt Hume, Rush Limbaugh, John Ashcroft, Tom DeLay, Trent Lott, Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reily and Jerry Falwell all have in common?
In 1990, George H. W. Bush built a case for war with Iraq by claiming that 250,000 Iraqi troops were positioned and threatening to invade Saudi Arabia. "It was a pretty serious fib," says journalist Jean Heller, who investigated the administration's claim and found no evidence for it. Now the administration of George the Younger seems to be using very similar disinformation.