Last year, a PR firm called the Lincoln Group, was hired by the Pentagon to bribe Iraqi newspapers to carry pre-packaged stories that put the U.S. and the war effort in a positive light. But two unrelated articles published today demonstrate that their effort was less than successful, and for that they are being rewarded with a new $12 million dollar contract.
The Washington Post is reporting that, “Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show.”
“A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.”
It has become commonplace for Iraqis to theorize that the U.S. is intentionally fomenting chaos. Typical is the view of this unemployed Iraqi construction worker:
“Do you really think it’s possible that America — the greatest country in the world — cannot manage a small country like this? No! They have not made any mistakes. They brought people here to destroy Iraq, not to build Iraq.”
If this is a demonstration of the success we can expect from the Lincoln Group, it makes one wonder how they got a new contract to monitor the media in Iraq and the U.S.
“The idea is to use the information to ‘build support’ in Iraqi, Arabic, international and U.S. audiences for what the military describes as its goals in Iraq, such as destroying the insurgency and helping Iraqis build a democracy…The list of media outlets to be watched includes the New York Times, Fox Television and the satellite channel, Al-Arabiya.”
I’m not sure which is more disturbing – The fact that this unethical and incompetent firm is getting a new federal contract, or that this new contract was offered to anyone. Do the American people really need a government-run media watchdog pouring over what the press is publishing? What do they intend to do with the data they compile? The potential for the punitive use of this kind of information is obvious, and this administration has proven that it is capable of such extra-Constitutional behavior.
Our only hope for unfettered press freedom is that the combined ineptitude of the Lincoln Group and BushCo will lead to the failure of their devious plots.