OK, so I wasn't completely surprised to hear NPR report that the Pentagon has been paying a Washington, D.C.-based firm to produce positive stories, translate them into Arabic and have them placed as legitimate news in Baghdad newspapers; still, the kind of arrogance it takes for Donald Rumsfeld to simultaneously claim that the "free press" is flourishing in Iraq amazes even me.
But wait! According to the Los Angeles Times, there's more!
One of the military officials said that, as part of a psychological operations campaign that has intensified over the last year, the task force also had purchased an Iraqi newspaper and taken control of a radio station, and was using them to channel pro-American messages to the Iraqi public. Neither is identified as a military mouthpiece.
Now how much would you pay for this fine propaganda campaign?
Remember, we're not just talking about subverting democracy in Iraq:
... several officials said that given the globalization of media driven by the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, the Pentagon's efforts were carried out with the knowledge that coverage in the foreign press inevitably "bleeds" into the Western media and influences coverage in U.S. news outlets.
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