Iraq Information Operations Increase

"The military has paid money to try to place favorable coverage on television stations in three Iraqi cities." The military gave one station "about $35,000 in equipment," is "building a new facility for $300,000," and pays $1000 to $2400 a month "for a weekly program that focuses positively on U.S. efforts." An Army National Guard commander confirmed his officers "suggest" stories for the weekly program and review it, before it is aired. The payments are not disclosed to viewers. At least two bloggers have been embedded with U.S. military units; Michael Yon with the Army in Mosul and Bill Roggio (who was credentialed by the American Enterprise Institute) with the Marines in Anbar province. Insurgent propaganda has included "rifle-toting guerrillas" in Ramadi telling reporters "to publish accounts claiming the city had been taken over," and "erroneous tips from insurgents to reporters," including video purporting to be of a December 3 attack in Fallujah.