The Washington Post provides more information on the previously reported $300 million paid to private firms to propagandize Iraq over the next three years. The contractors will "produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to 'engage and inspire' the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government. ...
Two years ago, public revulsion against the Bush Administration's unnecessary and disastrous attack and occupation of Iraq resulted in the Democratic Party taking control of the U.S. Congress. But Nancy Pelosi and the new political leadership backed down before President Bush and refused to withhold funding for the war, while rhetorically denouncing it and thus playing to anti-war voters. The liberal lobby group MoveOn spent tens of millions of dollars on anti-war advertisements and door-to-door canvassing events as part of its partisan campaign to blame the war on the Republicans, while letting Democrats off the hook for giving Bush all the money he wanted to continue the occupation into next year.
Today, as the 2008 election approaches, worry over Iraq has slipped down the public's list of concerns while more immediate economic issues and the spectacular collapse of the Wall Street investment banks take center stage. However, one anti-war organization has proven especially tenacious, independent and committed to immediately bringing home troops from Iraq and making good to the Iraqi people, while taking care of the soldiers who fought the war. That organization is the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) composed of more than thirteen hundred soldiers who have recently served or are still serving in the U.S. military.
The Louisiana Senate has appointed former veteran Hill & Knowlton (H&K) lobbyist and Democratic congressional aide Gary Hymel to the Louisiana Board of Ethics. The board's role is to "interpret and enforce" ethical standards for the state's government employees and electoral campaign finance and lobbyist disclosure laws. "I have seen the government from a lot of different angles," Hymel said.
Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush administration officials exaggerated what U.S. intelligence agencies were reporting about Iraqi weapons, according to Congressional investigations. But even before that exaggeration, the intelligence reports had been skewed by an administration eager for war, according to recently declassified documents.