'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Henny-Penny Revisited 

Rumsfeld just told Charlie Rose that the program to pay Iraqi newspapers to run pro-America articles had been killed just after the press brought it to light, and the LA Times forced him to retract the statement, which wasn't hard given that it was, you know, totally false:

In his most specific comments thus far about the information operations program, — carried out by U.S. troops and a private contractor — Rumsfeld said the U.S. military should not be paying Iraqi media to publish articles, whose origin was concealed even from the news outlets.

He said he had not been initially aware of the clandestine program, and ordered it shut down after news outlets published details of it.

"When we heard about it, we said, 'Gee, that's not what we ought to be doing,' " Rumsfeld said Friday during a taped interview on PBS' "The Charlie Rose Show."

Rumsfeld said the contractor, Lincoln Group, and commanders in Iraq were notified of the Pentagon's concerns and ended the propaganda effort.

"They stopped doing that," he said.

Rumsfeld's remarks were made available by PBS producers before the show aired late Friday night.

One person familiar with Lincoln Group's operations, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of an ongoing investigation, said the program in Iraq was still active as of a week ago.

Army Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said during a Dec. 16 news conference — more than two weeks after the existence of the operation was revealed — that it had not been shut down.

"We did a preliminary assessment shortly after the [news stories] came out, and we concluded that we were operating within our authorities and the appropriate legal procedures. And so we have not suspended any of the processes up to now," Casey said.

A Pentagon spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.

But I'm surprised the LA Times and other critics missed the opportunity to quote the primary source here on the nature of this lie itself ... Rumsfeld is on record that the program would be shut down in name only. Remember?:

And then there was the office of strategic influence. You may recall that. And 'oh my goodness gracious isn't that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is going to fall.' I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.

That was intended to be done by that office is being done by that office, NOT by that office in other ways.

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