Pvt. Propaganda, First Class
Here's a brief UPI piece that has appeared in several newspapers. It details an apparent fake letter-to-the-editor campaign designed to boost morale for the war back home. To call it disturbing is barely scratching the service
This particularl story comes from the NY Post:
October 13, 2003—Form letters claiming to be from U.S. troops in Iraq and hailing the Army's accomplishments there have cropped up in newspapers across the country—although some of the troops say they either didn't sign them or were forced to by a superior.
One of the soldiers, Nick Deaconson, said he didn't know about the letter—which appeared with his signature in his local hometown paper in Beckley, W.Va.—until his dad spotted it in the paper and praised him for writing it.
"When I told him he wrote such a good letter, he said, 'What letter?' " Nick's dad, Timothy Deaconson, told The Olympian newspaper in Olympia, Wash.
The identical letter was sent to at least 11 newspapers and signed by different members of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, a probe by Gannett News Service found.
The letter specifically touts the army's efforts to rebuild the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where the unit is stationed.
The form letter states that children routinely run up to the troops to thank them for helping them, while other Iraqi citizens cheer in support.
A Pentagon spokesman said the military is "looking into the matter."
UPDATE: A reader pointed me to a debunking of this story that appeared on Instaundit (scroll down to Bogus Letters From Iraq).