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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military acted legally when it hired a contractor to pay Iraqi news organizations to run pro-American stories, the Pentagon's inspector general has found.
"We concluded that the Multi-National Force-Iraq and Multi-National Corps-Iraq complied with applicable laws and regulations in their use of a contractor to conduct Psychological Operations and their use of newspapers as a way to disseminate information."
The controversial propaganda program was made public in a Los Angeles Times report in November.
"This Department of Defense report shows that the Pentagon cannot account for millions paid to the Lincoln Group for their propaganda program and that basic contracting rules were not followed," said U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who sought the inspector general's review.
"Broader policy questions remain about whether the administration's manipulation of the news in Iraq contradicts our goal of a free and independent press there," Kennedy said.
On February 14, a Florida Appeals Court ruled that there is absolutely nothing illegal in a major media organisation lying, concealing or distorting information. The
court reversed the US$425,000 jury verdict of 2000 that was in favour of journalist Jane Akre, who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and
lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information.
After a five-week trial in 2000, a jury decided unanimously that Akre was fired solely because she threatened to blow the whistle to the FCC the broadcast of a false, distorted or slanted news report. The panel that found in Akre's favor awarded nothing to Wilson who represented himself at trial.
The Fox appeal was largely on an argument that it is not technically illegal for a broadcaster to deliberately distort the news on television. The appellate justices reasoned that since state law provides whistleblower protection only for employees who object to misconduct which is against an "adopted law, rule, or regulation" and they decided prohibitions against news distortion are merely a "policy" of the FCC, the reporters' eight-year-old lawsuit must have been without merit from its
Originally posted by Nygdan
Why shouldn't the US try to convince the iraqis to stop fighting through their media???