"Qorvis Communication is helping Saudi Arabia lash out at critics who believe the 'blanked-out' section of the Congressional 9/11 report exposes the Kingdom's involvement in the terror attacks," O'Dwyer's PR reports. "The Bush Administration demanded that the 28-page section dealing with the role played by Saudi Arabia and other governments in 9/11 be omitted from the 900-page report." Qorvis has a $200,000 a month contract with the Kingdom for PR work. Saudi Arabia spent $288,000 at Patton Boggs -- a well connected D.C.
"While the administration of President George W. Bush is aggressively positioning itself as the world leader in the war on terrorism, some families of the Sept. 11 victims say that the facts increasingly contradict that script," reports Eric Boehlert. "The White House long opposed the formation of a blue-ribbon Sept. 11 commission, some say, and even now that panel is underfunded and struggling to build momentum.
"Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks," report Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks.
The producer of a CBS mini-series has been fired after comparing the climate of fear in the United States to the political environment that enabled Adolf Hitler's rise to power. Ed Gernon, the producer of "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" told TV Guide that the story "basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole world into war.
The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press has issued an updated report showing "how the war on terrorism affects access to information and the public's right to know." The report includes sections on "covering the war," "military tribunals," "domestic coverage," and "the USA PATRIOT Act." The World Press Institute has just issued a similar report.
Minneapolis FBI agent Colleen Rowley, who last year exposed the agency's mishandling of warning signs prior to September 11, has written a new letter to FBI director Robert Mueller, warning that "the diversion of attention from al-Qaeda to our government's plan to invade Iraq ... will, in all likelihood, bring an exponential increase in the terrorist threat to the U.S., both at home and abroad. ... It is altogether likely that you will find yourself a helpless bystander to a rash of 9-11s.
"The travel industry and civil liberties groups are sharply
objecting to government plans for a new airline passenger
screening program .... . The proposed program ... would involve
electronic checking of the credit
records and criminal histories, along with checking whether
the passenger is on watch lists of suspected terrorists.
The screening would be done by the federal Transportation
Security Administration. ... Based on the results, each traveler would be
"Ruder Finn designed the Dept. of Homeland Security's www.ready.gov website and brochure that provides tips on how to prepare against a biological, radiation or nuclear attack," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "Ruder Finn wants to be 'clear and accurate' in giving tips to cope with terror attacks. 'We worked with the Ad Council on its Smokey the Bear campaign, and AC staffers recommended us for the Homeland Security work,' said [Ruder Finn senior VP Scott] Schneider.
Terrorists and the U.S. government are both using the media to achieve propaganda goals, according to Hafez Al Mirazi, bureau chief of the Al-Jazeera satellite TV network. "If CNN or Fox or others are not going to have breaking news flashing on their screens if Palestinians are killed, but only if Israelis are killed, then [terrorists] will go out and kill an Israeli," he said.
"Henkel Consumer Adhesives is working with retailers to ensure there is a plentiful supply of duct tape on their shelves, according to its website," O'Dwyer's PR Daily writes. "The move follows Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's recommendation that Americans stock up on duct tape so they can seal their windows in the event of a biological attack. Cleveland-based Liggett-Stashower PR is pitching the story to national media. ...