Why Does the White House Love Terrorists?

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The BBC reports that White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters that his bosses are "very concerned" about reports that the military is placing propaganda in Iraqi newspapers. According to a sizable chunk of blogosphere-right, that means the president is at best insufferably sanctimonious, and more likely regards the American military as worse than the terrorists.

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  1. I do ponder sometimes at what point an American version of the Organisation de l’Armee Secrete (sorry for lack of accent marks) will form.

  2. The White House created terrorists.

  3. The literal answer to your title question is that they desperately need terrorists, becasue they have nothing else. Georgie was looking like a massive flop pre-9/11, and looks like a much bigger one now. The charnel house scent of 3,000 corpses is the only thing that has every sustained this gang of thugs.

  4. Henry, what ARE you talking about?

    WHAT are you talking about?

    What are YOU talking about?

    The pre-911 story about Bush was about how with such a narrow win and a tight congress he had managed to do things like get his education policy passed, “save” the steel industry, fulfil his promises to religious conservatives, re-ignite bilateral and multilateral trade talks, get people talking about UN reform, prevent sanctions on Iraq from being lifted or watered down, etc. The big story was that he wielded significant political power both w/in the US and abroad.

    It was an underdog’s success story (partly written).

  5. “Georgie was looking like a massive flop pre-9/11”? He was only inaugurated eight months before! Wouldn’t that judgement have been a little premature?

  6. “It was an underdog’s success story (partly written).”

    Actually, the only big pre-9/11 story was t-ball on the white house lawn.

    And Bush’s popularity was sucking wind pre-9/11,

  7. All reports are the stories were factually accurate, so this seems pretty innocuous, esp. considering that the military mission’s success is the only thing that will allow any kind of free press in Iraq at all.

  8. The veracity of the stories isn’t the point. After all, Pravda used to print at least some stories that were true.

  9. “All reports are the stories were factually accurate”

    See Matt’s post from the other day; that’s not true at all.

  10. Julian, all I remember is an unnamed source in the LAT saying something like “not all the truth was included” in these stories. Was there any direct evidence the planted stories were untrue?

    Links?

    Thanks

  11. Bendover — There are links in my longer post from the New York Times and Washington Post. There are also stories out by Knight-Ridder and the Christian Science Monitor. There were deliberately falsified items, stuff plagiarized, critical quotes replaced with positive paraphrases (from the same source), and the de facto setting of all these things being falsely presented as emanating from Iraqis.

    Of all the arguments excusing this, “they’re just pointing out the facts” is the one that makes the least sense, since there has already been plenty of documentation that, well, that’s not the case. Plus, if you believe that the Pentagon would secretly shell out cash to plant stories in the Iraqi press and that they would ALL BE FACTUALLY ACCURATE, then I would gently suggest that maybe you are not a very skeptical person when it comes to how the government operates overseas.

  12. What blows me away about this episode is its sheer inanity – this kind of half-assed attempt at press manipulation is almost impossible to keep under wraps, and once it’s exposed, no one will ever believe another word issued by the agencies involved. Does anyone in the Pentagon or DoD have more than 6 functioning brain cells?

  13. Who gives a hoot anymore? Not this little owl.

  14. “Why Does the White House Love Terrorists?”

    Because they smell so nice?

  15. saw-whet:

    The correct answer is that terrorists made re-election a guarantee.

  16. The stories in Iraqi newspapers often praise the efforts of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce terrorism and promote the country’s reconstruction efforts,

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051203/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/iraq_news_stories_18;_ylt=Aseh7vqV_nL0932Gphf5Ty1X6GMA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

    Those bastards.

    Meanwhile:

    The reported ?mini-Tet offensive? in Ramadi has turned out to be less than accurate. In fact, it has been anything but. The Associated Press reported a massive citywide insurgent attack, and Reuters and other news outlets quickly picked up on the story.

    Captain Jeffery Pool, Public Affairs Officer for the 2nd Marine Division, disputed the claims in the harshest of terms, and rebuked the media for its mis characterization of events. ?Today I witnessed inaccurate reporting, use of unreliable sources, media using other media as sources, an active insurgent propaganda machine, and the pack journalism at its worse.?

    Gee, it almost sounds like we’re at war, or something.

  17. Julian,

    Regarding them not being factual: I didn’t see any factual misrepresntations there, just some opinions that the NYT imagines Iraqis could not possibly possess themselves. The WAPO example of Abed Hamed Mowhoush was something the Pentagon was already saying publicly.

    I can find ten times as many inaccuracies from the MSM, starting with the one in the post above.

    And again, it can’t be said enough: if the war is lost, there will be no free press at all in Iraq. It’s very noble to fight a war with no bullets because you’re just that morally superior, but not very smart.

  18. The Bush administration reprises some of the Soviet Union’s best dirty tricks! What ever this administration is, it’s not conservative.

  19. Of course I’m assuming that the administration actually knows and approves of the tactic.

  20. The Bush administration reprises some of the Soviet Union’s best dirty tricks!

    You mean like the Voice of America broadcasts during the Cold War?

    That VOA propaganda was a real outrage, as I recall. Why, we were as bad as the Soviets!

  21. TallDave,

    The Voice of America broadcasts were not disguised as being something else, as was the practice of the news manipulation by the Soviet thugs.

  22. Exactly, Rick.

    Why not launch a radio station and newspaper in Iraq that is openly American? If we’re still the good guys, then the truth is our best ally.

  23. Hey, TallDave, I don’t know if you made it to the first thread about this, but I seem to recall a couple of people having had a “spanking” ready for you.

    Hee hee…I’m going to go check.

  24. Can’t Fox News just buy Al-jazeera? Really, how much could it cost? I’m actually looking forward to the Ali-Baba O’Reilly Factor.

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