Thursday, December 01, 2005

Probe Sought Into Stories Planted in Iraqi Media

This is from the Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON -- The White House said today it has demanded information from the Pentagon about a secret U.S. military offensive to plant stories in the Iraqi media, and senators are planning to meet privately Friday to hear details about the information operations campaign underway in Iraq.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the White House was "very concerned" about reports that a defense contractor in Iraq, working with U.S. troops, was paying newspapers in Baghdad to run positive stories written by U.S. soldiers.

"We are seeking more information from the Pentagon," McClellan told reporters.

In other words, no comment. Continuing on:

Pentagon officials said they were scrambling to get information from commanders in Baghdad about the arrangement between the U.S. military and Lincoln Group, a Washington-based contractor that specializes in "strategic communications" in combat zones.

Senior Pentagon officials, including Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have said they had no knowledge about the secret campaign before the Los Angeles Times reported it in Wednesday's editions.

"There's pressure to get the answers, but it's frustrating because here we are two days into this and we still haven't heard anything back from [Iraq]," said a senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

U.S. military officials in Baghdad offered no new details about the operation today. When asked about it during a press briefing, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq responded by quoting a letter from Osama bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, to Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi.

"He says, 'Remember, half the battlefield is the battlefield of the media.' And what Zarqawi is doing continuously is lying to the Iraqi people, lying to the international community," said Army Maj. Gen Rick Lynch. "We don't lie. We don't need to lie. We do empower our operational commanders with the ability to inform the Iraqi public, but everything we do is based on fact, not based on fiction."

So, I guess if Zarqawi is planting fake stories about the U.S. losing its war to the terrorists in the Iraqi papers, then it is okay for us to plant fake stories about the U.S. winning its war against the terrorists in the Iraqi press. That way, the average Iraqi citizen can decide which lies they wish to read in their "free press."

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