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POLITICS: Propaganda Report Finds Bias in Iraq Coverage

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posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by Gools

So what do we do now that we have access to the biggest library of information ever devised? Fight over the validity of the facts?

What I don't see happening is consensus building on any level.





...How does one work towards consensus building when ones' credibility is called into question before even the facts are, and no matter the strength of the sources? How does one turn around character assassination and play mediator?



.




posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
...How does one work towards consensus building when ones' credibility is called into question before even the facts are, and no matter the strength of the sources? How does one turn around character assassination and play mediator?


Don't take it so personally, that's what seekerof wants you to do. Don't even play his silly ad hominem attacks because a lot of us here realize what he's trying to do. You don't have to prove anything on a personal level to anyone, just remember that.

Towards the subject of this thread, the search for truth. When the road is first travelled, its recongnizable that all possibilities may be true (and, thus, not true), albeit some are more probable than others. Truth is easy to find when all objections raised are easily quelled. Addressing these objections occurs on multiple levels and obviously can't be addressed within the same framework from where these objections come. For example, you are not going to find much from the White House condemning the war in Iraq. On the flip side, you aren't going to find much from Saddam upholding it. I believe that is what striving towards objectivity is all about....let the reader decide.

But specifically regarding this thread, I believe the question is not if these propaganda campaigns occur and have occured. The question is, is it right to mislead the American people? What checks are guaranteed to make sure these campaigns don't occur on a general basis?

If we can't put trust in investigative journalists, whom soficrow is quoting, who can we put trust in to serve as the people's intelligencia?

[edit on 14-3-2005 by Jamuhn]



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 12:19 AM
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Nasty revelations about the American government have been leaking out the 1950's.

The American people are too scared to fight back. They are too tired to fight back. They are fed television dreams the 8 hours a day they aren't working two jobs to make ends meet. They are overwhelmed with credit card debt, over-prescribed medication and demoralized by the lies of ALL politicians.
They are just trying to get through another Monday morning at the grind. They now are only free when they sleep.

How sad life on earth has become.



There is no friend anywhere - Lao Tse
Nothing is true, everything is permissable - (Censored)



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong

propaganda in the US has always depended on the voluntary cooperation of the media. If the government ever says anything the the media doesn't like, they can say different (until certain gag laws were put into place by the senior Bush)



Bingo!!!!!it is the voluntary cooperation of the media, unless the government has his own public channel just for political news.


But when the corporations own the media channels and their are in favor of the particular administration that is where the bias, manipulation and exploitation comes into place.

How much can you trust them.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn

I believe the question is not if these propaganda campaigns occur and have occured. The question is, is it right to mislead the American people?





That's the question alright.

Is it right to mislead the American people?






What checks are guaranteed to make sure these campaigns don't occur on a general basis?





"Covert propaganda" is against US law - other propganda is legally constrained. BUT.

The new Attorney General, Gonzales, is the loophole master - and he is shifting focus from the "spirit of the law" to the "letter of the law." By doing so, he is able to justify everything from torture to government propaganda.

Gonzales is creating new legal precedents that negate the "spirit" of US laws and the American legal system....He is not just destroying the US Justice System, he is ripping away the nation's foundation.








If we can't put trust in investigative journalists, whom soficrow is quoting, who can we put trust in to serve as the people's intelligencia?





Press releases from a government committed to the a) legal justification of propaganda and torture, b) the dismantling of civil liberties and the Freedom of Information Act, and c) the re-establishment of indentured servanthood through revised education and credit law. [sarcasm off]

FYI - My main source here was the New York Times - a mainstream rag. IMO - we need to look farther afield because the screws are tighteneing and not much of import is reaching the mainstream. We're already under a murky fog - it's thickening and visibility is falling fast.


PS. Thanks.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
The new Attorney General, Gonzales, .... he is shifting focus from the "spirit of the law" to the "letter of the law." By doing so, he is able to justify everything from torture to government propaganda.


Now there is one of the most insightful observations I have seen around here in a long time.

Think about the implications ...

PS:

Sofi, I wanted to give you my last vote for that but got this:



You have already voted for soficrow this month.


I didn't even know this restriction existed!
.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 10:39 PM
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This article is not a potshot at Bush, it is a challenge to the integrity of all journalists covering his administration's actions.

On the tally sheet the number of lies of a grave nature told by Bush while in office measures over 1,000.

The length of the ATS topic covering Bush's daily good deeds is zero posts, although there were some attempts to start that.


How objective journalism can fail to reveal the truth

Kirk Caraway, kcaraway@nevadaappeal.com
February 20, 2005

When President George W. Bush came out with his 2006 budget recently, it received a lot of attention in the press.

Too bad that most of it missed the most obvious problem with it.

While stating the budget was in line with his commitment to cut the deficit in half by 2009, Bush failed to mention the three items that weren't in the budget. First, there is the cost the war in Iraq. Next up, we have the $1 trillion (at least) price tag to privatize Social Security. And lastly, there is the continuation of the tax cuts, which are set to expire, but that Bush said he wants to make permanent.

In other words, this budget isn't very truthful. In fact, deceptive is about the nicest description you can use for it.

This is a time when I wished someone would ask the obvious question of the president: Are you really bad at math, or are you lying to us?

(continues at link)

www.nevadaappeal.com...

Back to regular Bush channel.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 10:50 PM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
On the tally sheet the number of lies of a grave nature told by Bush while in office measures over 1,000.


Isn't that the 1,000 points of light someone promissed?


May as well tune into that new Pentagon media organisation, same bovine excrement different pile.

Now.... I'll just start my stopwatch and wait for one of the defenders of this administration to come along and point out how many lies Clinton told


Then this non-partisan issue can devolve into another partisan bickering match.
.


[edit on 3/15/2005 by Gools]



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by Gools

Originally posted by soficrow
The new Attorney General, Gonzales, .... he is shifting focus from the "spirit of the law" to the "letter of the law." By doing so, he is able to justify everything from torture to government propaganda.


Now there is one of the most insightful observations I have seen around here in a long time.

Think about the implications ...





I have and the implications are scary. ...This might be a topic for brainstorming - What happens when we turn our backs on the spirit of our laws? ...What was the spirit of our law? Does anyone know? Do you know what we're losing?





PS:

Sofi, I wanted to give you my last vote for that but got this:



You have already voted for soficrow this month.


I didn't even know this restriction existed!
.






ROFLMAO



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:04 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
...How does one work towards consensus building when ones' credibility is called into question before even the facts are, and no matter the strength of the sources? How does one turn around character assassination and play mediator?

Partial vindication or acquiescence can be attained by exposing the devices of your detractor(s) without succumbing to their methods yourself, consistently identifying each veiled invective as they're invoked such as THE
* Selective use of facts
* Ad-Hominem attack and other fallacies
* Non-denial denial
* Hasty Generalization
* Burying stories by releasing information at times when more important events dominate the news
* Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truth
* Euphemisms to disguise or promote one's agenda
* Selective quotation
* Loaded question, w/follow-up anticipated reprisal
* Bait & Switch/Red Herring/Straw Man
* Statistical Special Pleading
among the arsenal of tricks calculatingly conjured by the illusionist(s).

Regarding dialectics I'd like to conveniently use the Selective quotation trick
to quote Nietzche from The Will To Power even though the accuracy of the English translation from the original German can be disputed as well:


The instinct of all party orators knows, moreover, that dialectics inspire mistrust, that they are very unconvincing. Nothing is easier to expunge than the effect of a dialectician. Dialectics can only be an emergency measure. One must experience an emergency, one must be obliged to extort one's rights: otherwise one makes no use of dialectics. That is why the Jews were dialecticians, why Socrates was one. One has a merciless weapon in one's hand. One can tyrannize with it. One compromises when one conquers. One leaves it to one's victim to prove that he is not an idiot. One makes others furious and helpless, while one remains the embodiment of cool, triumphant reasonableness oneself--one deprives one's opponent's intelligence of potency.
The irony of the dialectician is a form of mob revenge: the ferocity of the oppressed finds an outlet in the cold knife-thrust of the syllogism---
...Intoxication by dialectic: as the consciousness of exercising mastery over oneself by means of it---as a tool of the will to power.


which can also apply to any "official" story/perspective we're fed as an "outsider" looking in: "official" implies a monopoly on truth: any potential damning data can be conveniently tucked away under the "national security blanket", if uncovered, then it can be countermined as vitriol leftist-spin, incriminating photos-dismissed as photoshopped, once embarassing scandalous tapes/videos-discredited as doctored until further notice, unless of course it is authenticated by them.So they who count/control the votes, monopolize the info/intel, and spin their own web of veracity, making us constitutionally granted inquirers demanding transparency the bugs to be snared.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 03:56 AM
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Regarding the current level of "secrecy" by this administration, seems Pulitzer Prize winning former AP executive editor and vice president Walter Mears detects a problem:

Senate Panel Holds Secrecy Hearings

"Overdone secrecy raises, rather than reduces, the risk that really vital secrets will be breached," Walter Mears, former AP executive editor and vice president, told a Senate panel. "If everything is classified, then my colleagues are going to go after everything."



Mears, who also was a Pulitzer Prize-winning political reporter, was among five witnesses appearing before the Senate Judiciary terrorism, technology and homeland security subcommittee. The panel is looking at legislation designed in part to force government officials and agencies to respond more quickly to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

After the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush administration set a higher threshold for FOIA disclosures, advising agencies to make sure the information they released would not jeopardize national security.



"Too often, security becomes an excuse for shielding embarrassing information and secrecy can conceal mismanagement or wrongdoing," Mears said



A bill by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, would require agencies to give people seeking documents a tracking number within 10 days and to set up telephone or Internet systems allowing them to learn the status and estimated completion date.

Agencies that didn't respond within 20 days would lose all exemptions to FOIA requests except for national security, personal privacy, proprietary information or a ban in another law.

The bill also would establish an ombudsman to audit and review the system.


Senator Leahy:

"No generation can afford to take these protections for granted, because they can quickly and easily be taken away. And once gone, they are difficult to get back," Leahy said


FOIA = FYI?

I think many are concerned about what is cozily bring tucked under the blanket of national security these days. Our weaponry, military missions/tactics, soldiers or intel agents should never be compromised, placing them in further peril, but something should definitely be implemented immediately to check for possible abuses that might be occurring.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by Vajrayana

I think many are concerned about what is cozily bring tucked under the blanket of national security these days. Our weaponry, military missions/tactics, soldiers or intel agents should never be compromised, placing them in further peril, but something should definitely be implemented immediately to check for possible abuses that might be occurring.






Agreed.

The GAO is the traditional watchdog - but is being neutered. Are you suggesting a new agency?


.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar

This is a time when I wished someone would ask the obvious question of the president: Are you really bad at math, or are you lying to us?

Back to regular Bush channel.


I tell you what, bush is like most Americans that keep writing checks but fail to balance their account until the bank charges for no sufficient funds are more than the charges on the checks itself.

And most Americans that are pro bush doesn't seem to care very much that the administration keeps spending with an empty account.

Bush is a good seller of his good, thanks to the media but his good are rotten to the core, and we are getting a bad deal on his rotten goods.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 12:27 AM
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More than mere 'disinfo.' More of Gulf 1 and the lies aperpetrated then. How in the name of history is the U.S. going to look back 20 years from now and justify this?

Propaganda and its ilk are one thing, this is something entirely different.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks
More than mere 'disinfo.' More of Gulf 1 and the lies aperpetrated then. How in the name of history is the U.S. going to look back 20 years from now and justify this?

Propaganda and its ilk are one thing, this is something entirely different.



Hmmm. What do you mean? ...That the mis/dis-information led to war? Heavy tax expenditures? ...?



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 01:13 AM
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I think what he is trying to say is:

In the years to come the US public will become aware of what happened, propoganda, all the lies that were told etc... And wonder how on earth THEY ever let it happened...

... At leasts that what I think...



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 11:04 AM
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I hate chasing down rabbit holes. Because Seeker quoted inside one of his links I had a hard time following the following:



Every communications professor I have studied under at George Mason has argued that facts are not observable aspects of the world, . . . .

This is part of a quote used to show the fallacy of itself. It (the link) was very appropriate.

This side-angle of objectivity sadly is as interesting as the story that led to it, *see below.


SO says
. . . So... everything is biased.

(my sig 'I am biased')
Dealing with objectivity first:
objective is what judges are supposed to use- if you have a strong case this is what you want,
if weak then you want to appeal to the emotion (subjective)

Objective journalism is a dream. It is a sterile dream, one not appreciated by most.

'100 Mongols invaded. 1,000 Hungarian lancers retreated. The Mongols held the field .' Conclusion- the Mongols won.

Reality- 'As a small Mongol force invaded the plain as stories of vast and overwhelming numbers of their fellows surrounding the defenders caused the Hungarians to retreat to a more defensible position.'

Both true- which story is the MOST accurate?

What sofi reported is not new news but did need re-stating. As a news story? Sure, why not- especially considering the 'black arm band' imbroglio at ATS.

As pointed out by a few posters, propaganda is 'part of war.' Like it or not it is used and has been used for thousands of years. Countless armies and cities have surrendered before battles (and some during) because of 'news' of impending military advances. While not the inventors of propaganda the Mongols were masters of the art. They routinely defeated armies many times their size by skillful use of distorted facts.


Swiss bemoan propaganda at Swissinfo-
The previous Gulf War left a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of both the Swiss and European media.

Journalists say that they have never felt so manipulated as during the 1991 conflict. They admit they were guilty of processing too much information from the American military propaganda machine.

Hello guys- this is war. The Swiss have been propagandists for centuries and should be well acquantied with its use and misuse.


Lasarus said
anyone remember the wonderfully entertaining Nuke propaganda films of the 50's/60's... (before my time, but have seen them)
-and-
If the internet had existed during those times, then FDR would have been HUNG shortly after he made his propaganda speech about "the US being forced to the war due to Pearl Harbor"... people would have already known the truth that FDR allowed Pearl harbor to happen.

I remember the Nuke program propaganda all too well. I was one of the kiddies hinding under their desk in school


Internet- hah, FDR would have loved it. The barrages of Japanese atrocities (real and staged) would have filled everyone's mailbox on a daily basis. The real story would have been buried as much is now.


HardCore says
Am thinking this shoulda been obvious,no? I mean, of coarse our government is going to push that crap on us. Kinda like ATS somewhat...havta sort through the crap to find the truth.
Why wouldn't they wanna push some Iraqi guy or kid saying ' i love the U.S.' It suits their purposes and fulfills their needs......I'd do it

I agree completely and I'm anti-the Iraq venture. Remember pulling down the statue of Saddam? Masterful.


sofi says
But government propaganda is funded illegally using your tax dollars. Are you sure you're okay with this? ...At the same time that the screws are tightening on the Freedom of Information Act and those doors are being closed too?
-and much later in another post-
The GAO is the traditional watchdog . . .

Illegally? How so?

    GAO Circular letter
    Since 1951, Congress has enacted an annual, governmentwide prohibition on the use of appropriated funds for purposes of "publicity or propaganda."During the past year, we found that several prepackaged news stories produced and distributed by certain government agencies violated this prohibition.
    -and-
    . . . shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress. . .

Big whoopee- where's the spanking to NASA, DoD, DoE, etc.?
Congress is at fault for not enforcing its own laws. Sure the administration does it. Does it violate the law? Probably. Why doesn't Congress act?????

GAO does NOT work for the President.

Back to the present-


billybob says
it's like this anti-bias witch hunt has become what it seeks to avoid.

Anti-bias- that has to be an oxymoron. How can someone be against something without being in favor of something else?


ghostsoldier says
In the years to come the US public will become aware of what happened, propoganda, all the lies that were told etc... And wonder how on earth THEY ever let it happened..

Exactly. From 'witch-hunts' to propaganda people have to sort information. The Lincoln fallout is still happening, 150 years after the fact.

The first casualty when war comes is truth.
Speech before the U.S. Senate, 1917- Hiram Johnson
.

.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 01:55 PM
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by Joe Doaks
Anti-bias- that has to be an oxymoron. How can someone be against something without being in favor of something else


i'm referring to the witch hunt under way at ATS right now. 'be vewy quiet. we're hunting wascaly wefties and wighties'.

i can empathise with an attempt to stop propoganda from either the left or right.

however, we are all inherently SOMEWHERE on the political spectrum. it is silly to hunt down bias as an enemy. it is more sensible to STICK TO THE FACTS. let interpretation be interpretation, and facts be facts. the line is fuzzied by the cointelpro agents who are here precisely for the purpose of keeping conspiracy theorists chasing each other's tails, instead of chasing the CRIMINALS who are hell bent on turning earth into a prison.

it is even sillier to call anything anti-bush, 'anti-american', 'anti-freedom', 'hate america', 'leftish spew', etc. i thank god for george orwell. he showed us the how to of totalitarianism, and that is 'newspeak'.
for the unitiated, 'newspeak' is the gradual changing of the meaning of words through common usage, which eventually makes criticism of the rulers and their policies LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

our new meaning of 'freedom' and 'democracy' and 'liberation' are among my favourites.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 08:02 PM
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Reading the original link from the New York times in this thread, i couldn't but notice a couple of things.

First of all, the article from the New York times seems to be saying throughout most of the article that the "pre-packaged reports" started with president Bush, hell the name of the article is

Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged TV News
.

So, the article was written seemingly with the main purpose of once more to bash the Bush administration, but one of the things i noticed later on the article is the following.

The practice, which also occurred in the Clinton administration, is continuing despite President Bush's recent call for a clearer demarcation between journalism and government publicity efforts.
So, i guess the main point of the New York times, that "under Bush we are in a new age of pre-packaged news" is not true after all.

As i realized this, i decided to actually look deeper and see exactly when did the government decided to start a campaign of "prepackaged news", i found the following site and an excerpt which i think is interesting.


Issue Date: SEPTEMBER 1994 Volume: 09 Page: 96

MEDIA IN REVIEW
Video News Releases: NEWS OR ADVERTISING?
Robert B. Charles
Robert B. Charles is an attorney in the litigation department of the Washington, D.C., firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
The nightly news is not what it used to be. Today, much of what we see on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and the local news hour is a novel composite, featuring video news releases (VNRs) produced by public relations firms.

If you are surprised, you are not alone. The truth is unsettling. Nightly news is no longer exclusively the product of network or local news crews but is a deft combination of network or station originated stories and corporate or politically sponsored footage. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen Media Research Survey, about 80 percent of U.S. news directors air VNRs several times a month, and 100 percent of American television newsrooms now use VNRs in their newscasts.

So, what are VNRs? Who pays for them? Who is producing and distributing them? Why do television stations and networks use them? Have they eroded the quality and objectivity of news reporting or improved the precision of nightly news?


Excerpted from.
www.worldandi.com...

So we can see that at least since 1994 "prepackaged news" sponsored by the government existed. My next question after realizing that this has been going on for a long time was, "what exactly prompted the government to do this?" I tried to look deeper into this problem, but pretty much all i found was both sides conservatives and liberals blaming each other for being biased.

Then i remembered something i saw, i believe it was in C-span, what an editor in chief of a major newspaper (i really wish i could remember his name) responded to a journalist student when she asked "Why does the media seem to portray only the bad news about Iraq?"

You can take this as a grain of salt if you want, since I saw this on tv and my memory is a bit hazy as i don't recall the name of the editor in chief or whatever he was, but i remember his response was pretty much "It is the responsibility of the govenrment to bring us the good news, that is what the government does, someone has to bring to the public's attention the bad news, that's what we do".

So two things became clear to me after reading all this, first, this article in the New York times is yet one more attempt at bashing the president, and second the US media is not owned by the government as some people in here claim, since news sources such as the New York times make news stories like this one all the time.

And my opinion in this particular article is, the New York times, known for being liberal, did exagerate and tried to bash and blame the president for something that has been happening at least since the early 90s.


[edit on 19-3-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 07:00 AM
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Originally posted by Muaddib

Nightly news is no longer exclusively the product of network or local news crews but is a deft combination of network or station originated stories and corporate or politically sponsored footage. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen Media Research Survey, about 80 percent of U.S. news directors air VNRs several times a month, and 100 percent of American television newsrooms now use VNRs in their newscasts.





Your information above is good, and highlights the 'first wave' of the problem:

Most of what we get as "news" is not - it's just pre-packaged 'segments,' prepared professionally for political parties and corporations.

This started happening in earnest around the end of the 1980's, I think. ...There was a rash of media mergers, budgets were cut in news departments and simultaneously, advertising and marketing budgets were raised. ...News stations were left short-staffed and under-funded, and forced to rely on freebies from corporations and political parties.

So you're right - both corporations and political parties have been using the media in this way for at least 12-15 years. It is a real problem - that needs to be recognized and maybe, dealt with. But the article is mainly about the next wave.

...The NYTimes article points out that the Bush administration has taken this established trend on to the next step - and into illegal covert government propaganda.

"...in three separate opinions in the past year, the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress that studies the federal government and its expenditures, has held that government-made news segments may constitute improper "covert propaganda" even if their origin is made clear to the television stations."

More:

"US law contains provisions intended to protect Americans from government propaganda. "The 1948 Smith-Mundt Act, for example, allows Voice of America to broadcast pro-government news to foreign audiences, but not at home." Now however, State Department officials say "that law does not apply to the Office of Broadcasting Services." "


...So the NYTimes is talking about the ways that this administration is stepping over lines that haven't been crossed before. ...The GAO flagged illegality for "covert propaganda" and mis-use of government funds. This hasn't happened before with any other administration - and it would have, if the grounds had been there.

...So the real questions are - Just how far do we let this go? Should we hold this administration to the spirit of the law, or not?

...It may seem like a small distinction, but those laws are there to protect us. We need to know that if we let it go this time - the wall is well and truly breached.


.

[edit on 20-3-2005 by soficrow]



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