Mind Games and Word Games

The NATO Review has published an essay by Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Collins, the chief of PSYOPS (psychological operations) in NATO's Operations Division at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Titled "Mind Games," the essay examines the use of "perception-management operations before, during and after Operation Iraqi Freedom.


White House Buffs Image (Again)

Faced with falling poll numbers and domestic unease with the Iraq situation, the White House is again attempting to polish its image. "The Bush administration is undertaking a campaign to regenerate public support for its policies in Iraq, dispatching officials across the country to promote White House strategy and build momentum for its $87 billion proposal to rebuild the war-torn nation," Capitol Hill Blue reports.


Bending Facts Until They Break

"The most obvious proof that Bush officials hyped and distorted evidence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the past is that they continue to hype and distort that evidence today, with a shamelessness that is stunning," writes Jay Bookman. "If you believe their version of the story, the fact that we have found no WMD in Iraq - and no WMD programs - is of little or no importance. ...


Saying Bye-Bye to "Hi"

The U.S. State Department has launched Hi, a glossy, Arabic-language magazine intended to "build bridges of communication" between Arabs and the United States. Described by its editors as a non-political, lifestyle magazine, "Hi" features happy talk about topics such as sand-surfing, Internet dating, rock climbing and yoga.


Republicans Highlight 'Progress' In Iraq

"Determined to change the tone of the national debate over Iraq, the White House and Republicans in Congress launched a tightly coordinated effort last week to begin providing the media with stories of American progress in the still-turbulent country," PR Week's Douglas Quenqua reports.


The Incredible Shrinking Big Impact

In August, the White House announced what it called a "big impact" plan to overwhelm and silence critics of its failure to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, with former UNSCOM inspector David Kay assigned to compile a big, impactful report that would answer questions once and for all. According to a Monday report on ABC News, however, a draft version of Kay's report provides no solid evidence that Iraq had such arms when the United States invaded.


Flooding the Zone

"Some time in the next two weeks, David Kay, head of the Iraqi Survey Group, is expected to finally release a crucial report on his findings so far in his search for weapons of destruction," writes Greg Mitchell. "Since no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) have been found in Iraq, close observers now report that Kay is likely to drop on the media a massive weapon of his own: hundreds or thousands of pages of summaries and documents purporting to prove that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. ...


The Perfect Storm

"If the first Iraq war of 1991 was dubbed Desert Storm , the second might be called Perfect Storm," writes Lance Bennett, professor of political science at University of Washington. "The run-up to the 2003 war witnessed an extraordinary convergence of factors that produced near-perfect journalistic participation in government propaganda operations. ... On a scale from one to ten -- if 'one' is rigorously sceptical and 'ten' supine -- Perfect Storm scored ten out of ten, far exceeding the already impressive levels of press complicity achieved in the first Iraq war. ...


Who's Fooling Whom?

Unable to find Saddam Hussein's suspected chemical and biological weapons, U.S. intelligence officials say they're looking into whether they were victims of a disinformation campaign meant to trick them about Iraq's weapons stockpiles, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials are now questioning the information coming from Iraqi defectors, claiming the Hussein regime had "double agents" disguised as defectors to the West planting fabricated intelligence.



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