The price of good news

The Bush administration may not be much good at many things -- like, say, picking, planning, and executing a war or disaster relief -- but no one can fault their expertise in "information operations." So it should comes as no surprise that the Pentagon has been covertly paying a Washington-based firm called Lincoln Group to translate and place military-authored "articles" in Iraqi newspapers. [LAT]

The critics said the usual things about hypocrisy, violating democratic norms, blah blah. But let's face it, the White House is an equal-opportunity bullshitter. What's good for Americans -- fake reporters and columnists, press releases dummied up to look like TV news -- ought to be good enough for those Iraqis.

That would explain why some of them remain unperturbed at the news


Iraqi editors apparently reacted with a mixture of shock and shrugs when told they were targets of a U.S. military psychological operation. The editor of Al Mada, widely considered the most thoughtful and professional of Iraqi newspapers, said if his cash-strapped paper had known the story was from the U.S. government he would have "charged much, much more." [Guardian via CSM]

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