Vets For Freedom (VFF) claims to be “a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the unbiased, nonpartisan truth of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.” They are marketing their services to media firms for whom they offer to provide reports from Iraq as embedded correspondents. The only problem is that they are actually a fiercely partisan group of Republican operatives who are purposefully concealing their biased connections and funding.
Source Watch has learned that Taylor Gross, whose PR firm is pitching for VFF, is a former White House spokesman for President Bush – a fact that Gross omits when offering the group’s services as non-partisan reporters. The Buffalo News was solicited by Gross and published an article about the encounter.
But the real meat of this melowdrama is the information turned up by Source Watch. Their investigation reveals associations with a variety of GOP connected organizations including:
- The Herald Group
- Campaign Solutions
- Creative Response Concepts
- The Donatelli Group
- The Republican Party
- Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
The ties to these organizations suggest a sophisticated degree of coordination. This can only be described as deliberate campaign to plant positively biased propaganda in the media. While they have not yet had any success in syndicating their faux correspondents, they have had their representatives appear in broadcast media (including CNN) as spokespersons for veterans.
These imposters are deeply rooted in Republican politics, but they are also somewhat inept. The attempt to cover their tracks was executed so amateurishly that Source Watch was able to paint a pretty complete picture of this deceit. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to keep an eye on them. Undoubtedly they will continue to spread their misinformation and they are well positioned to be this year’s Swiftboat Liars group. They have already begun disparaging other vets that are critical of the war and the Bush administration like Democrat John Murtha and Republican Chuck Hagel.
This is a band of weasels that we will need to be prepared to smack down with the truth whenever they raise their shiny snouts.