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Iraqi Journalists Shocked by US Payments

Discussion in 'Politics & World News' started by jimmydean, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    Story

    Thought this was an interesting look at our "progress" in Iraq. We should just start a new national paper calle "The Iraqi Post" :D

    Journalists in Iraq say they are shocked by revelations that the US military paid Iraqi newspapers and journalists to run positive articles about US activities in Iraq.

    "It is a scandal that the US administration would use methods like these which contradict all principles of the profession and seek to defraud public opinion," well-known Iraqi journalist and political analyst Ahmed Sabri said.

    "A newspaper should reflect the reality on the ground, not sponsored information aimed at improving the image of the The United States, which in reality has failed in Iraq," Sabri added.

    The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that dozens of stories written by "information operations" soldiers were secretly placed with media outlets in Iraq through a defense contractor to mask the military's involvement.

    The report relied largely on leaks from members of the military establishment who say they fear that US attempts to influence the Iraqi media may actually be subverting a free press.

    As recently as Tuesday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pointed to the free press in Iraq as evidence of the progress made in Iraq.

    Knight-Ridder newspapers on Thursday reported that the military also was paying Iraqi reporters up to 200 dollars a month to write sympathetic stories.

    It said the payments were made to members of the Baghdad Press Club, an organization set up by US Army officers more than a year ago.

    An Iraqi female journalist, who preferred to remain anonymous, told AFP about working for the Baghdad Press Club, which is headquartered is at the airport, for three months before quitting.

    "We were called to go out with them on various educational, reconstruction, health or aid projects and asked to write positive articles about them in exchange for 50 dollars," she recalled.

    "After three months, I left. The whole thing was ridiculous and against the ethics of journalists," she said, recalling a US-sponsored trip to Sadr City where people called her a traitor and threw rocks at her.

    Another Iraqi journalist in Baghdad who also preferred not to be named was more philosophical about the entire affair.

    "It's true that it's fraud, but a professional journalist shouldn't fall into such a trap," he said.

    Major General Rick Lynch, the US military spokesman in Iraq, cast the matter as an effort to counter lies spread by Al-Qaeda.

    "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," he said.

    Military officials would not comment on whether newspapers and journalists were paid to plant the articles.

    Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson, head of the US military's press department in Baghdad, cited operational secrecy in withholding information about the program.

    Johnson explained that the Iraqi press has traveled a long hard road from total control under ousted president Saddam Hussein to the current period characterized by a lethal insurgency.

    "There's outright intimidation and many murders and other ways of manipulating the press, so it was felt operationally that it was necessary to make sure the facts were out," he said.

    The White House announced on Wednesday that it was "very concerned" about the report.
     
    #1 -   Dec 7, 2005

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  2. DRB

    DRB unemployed bum

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  3. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    How are we going to pin this on Bush personally? I'm sure he is guilty!
     
    #3 -   Dec 7, 2005
  4. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    uhh, did she accept three months of pay for bogus stories only to eventually find her moral center?

    I call whore.
     
    #4 -   Dec 7, 2005
  5. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    Whoever thought this one up is an idiot. They expected to keep a conspiracy involving journalists quite???? The odds of that are about the same as the Shrub showing up for national guard duty.
     
    #5 -   Dec 7, 2005
  6. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    I try not to blame Bush personally for anything. I doubt he has the slightest idea what his people are up to 99% of the time. Ignorance is bliss, right? nAnd he seems aweful happy.
     
    #6 -   Dec 7, 2005
  7. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

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    Must be all that holidaying on his farm.......makes me wonder if pyeote is growing on his farm? :rolleyes:
     
    #7 -   Dec 7, 2005
  8. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    Well, He IS the COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF! :oink: He really should know what's going on in the only major war you currently engaged in.
     
    #8 -   Dec 8, 2005
  9. lonewolfe

    lonewolfe Monkey

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    Bush has obviously not discovered peyote out on his ranch. If he had then two things would have happened which there is no sign of up to point. 1. He would be enlightened 2. He would become somewhat smarter. If only he picked up the slightest amount of either of these it would by obvious to everyone that something miraculous had happened to our fearless leader and commander in chief.
     
    #9 -   Dec 8, 2005
  10. Silver

    Silver find me a tampon

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    Wrong drug. Our man Bush is a coconut. Which explains a ton...I actually hope he's drinking and doing drugs, because then he's got an excuse besides being a complete moron.