As China prepares to host the Olympic Games, President Hu Jintao is urging Communist Party officials to "perform well the task of outward propaganda, further exhibit and raise up the nation's good image." At a recent Communist Party gathering, Jintao stressed the need for "cultural soft power," or public diplomacy, and said Chinese propaganda must "advance the building of the body of socialist core value and further boost unity and
Following a damaging Associated Press report that Blackwater Worldwide "repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack
Steve Benen writes that "As it turns out, the reasoning behind the CIA's decision to record interrogations on video, stop recording interrogations on video, and destroy the interrogation videos was all exactly the same: officials were hoping to avoid a public-relations nightmare." They were unsuccessful, of course, since the media reported widely on the destruction of the tapes and
The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a report stating that 64 journalists died as a direct result of their profession in 2007. That marks the highest mortality rate since 1993. Nearly half of those deaths occurred in Iraq, with Somalia following in second place.
Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada saw his case move one step closer to resolution earlier this month when a federal court issued a preliminary injunction against a second court martial. The Army's prosecution of the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq has been in legal limbo since a February court martial ended abruptly when the military judge threw out a stipulation agreement and declared a mistrial.
Blackwater USA is a private military contractor facing a federal U.S. grand jury investigation for the shooting of Iraqi citizens. The company recently hit the headlines after its personnel opened fire on Iraqi civilians in September, killing 17.
On Wednesday, November 14, 2007, Hollywood came to Madison, Wisconsin. Paramount Pictures sponsored a free pre-release screening of "Stop-Loss," which is due to hit theaters nationwide on March 28, 2008. (It will be released in the U.K. on April 18, 2008.) Writer and director Kimberly Peirce, best known for directing "Boys Don't Cry," was in attendance and took part in an extended questions and answer session after the screening.