The National Security Archive (NSA), a nonprofit research institute, has published a collection of documents detailing an early Cold War campaign to win hearts and minds in the Middle East, launched 50 years before current efforts to achieve United States "public diplomacy" goals in the region. Methods that were utilized included graphic displays, manipulation of the news, books, movies, cartoons, activities directed at schools and universities, and exchange programs. "The documents show that many of the factors that generated resentment of the U.S.
"The Total Information Awareness System (TIA), the controversial Pentagon research program that aims to gather and analyze a vast array of information on Americans, has hired at least eight private companies to work on the effort," reports the Center for Public Integrity.
"The Defense Department is considering
issuing a secret directive to the American military to
conduct covert operations aimed at influencing public
opinion and policy makers in friendly and neutral
countries, senior Pentagon and administration officials
say. ... Some are troubled by suggestions that the military might
pay journalists to write stories favorable to American
policies or hire outside contractors without obvious ties
to the Pentagon to organize rallies in support of American
"The head of the government's Total Information Awareness project, which aims to root out potential terrorists by aggregating credit-card, travel, medical, school and other records of everyone in the United States, has himself become a target of personal data profiling," reports Wired Magazine.
"The State Dept. is looking for a PR firm to promote a monthly Arabic language magazine that it plans to debut in the Spring," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "The magazine will be targeted at Muslims aged 18-to-35 living in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. The International Information Programs unit, which is the result of the Oct. 1999 merger of the U.S. Information Agency into the State Dept., is handling the magazine launch."
"A dozen years after the Gulf War, public perceptions of it are now very helpful to the White House," media critic Norman Solomon writes in his Media Beat column. "That's part of a timeworn pattern.
CBS's promo for its program says: "Politicians have had to sell the public on going to war since Colonial times, but they never had the arsenal of advertising and communications techniques the Bush administration is using to sell a possible war on Iraq. Bob Simon reports on those techniques and those employed by the elder Bush prior to the 1991 Gulf War.
"The Bush administration has recruited prominent American
writers ... in a campaign started after
9/11 to use culture to further American diplomatic
interests. ... The Smith-Mundt Act ... bars the domestic dissemination of official American
information aimed at foreign audiences. The
essays can, however, be read on a government Web site
Tonight's HBO movie "Live from Baghdad" has journalists repeating the false Iraqi-baby-killing scam perpetrated by Hill & Knowlton PR in 1990. That outrageous stunt before a make-believe congressional committee was part of a multi-million dollar propaganda campaign funded by Kuwait to make sure the US went to war. The crying teenage witness "Nayirah" seen in tonight's HBO film was actually the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the U.S. A year later journalists documented that her babies-thrown-from-incubators testimony was false, but most people still remember it as true.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) warns that "the fraudulent story of Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators during the occupation of Kuwait in 1990 is depicted as if it were true in 'Live from Baghdad,' the HBO film premiering on the cable network this Saturday that purports to tell the story behind CNN's coverage of the Gulf War. HBO and CNN are both owned by the AOL Time Warner media conglomerate. ...