You Say 'Influence,' I Say 'Propaganda'

In an interview with the Washington Post, the Lincoln Group's Paige Craig and Andrew Garfield vaguely discussed the firm's "influence" - not propaganda - work for the U.S. government, with whom they have 12 contracts totaling more than $130 million. The Post's Lynne Dukes writes that Craig and Garfield "make much of their assertion that they traffic in the truth. It's as if they think truth and propaganda are mutually exclusive. But consider this: 'For a long time, propagandists have recognized that lying must be avoided,' wrote Jacques Ellul in his classic 1965 work, Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes. For the masses to believe it, 'propaganda must be based on some truth that can be said in a few words and is able to linger in the collective consciousness.'" Lynne writes, however, that the truth can also be "inconvenient," pointing to the fact - hidden from the Iraq public - that the upbeat "news" stories translated and placed by the Lincoln Group in Iraqi media were written by U.S. soldiers