"Can A Sitting President Be Charged With Plagiarism?" asks TomPaine.com's New York Times op-ad. "As President Bush wages his war against terrorism and moves to create a huge homeland security apparatus, he appears to be borrowing heavily, if not ripping off ideas outright, from George Orwell's 1984," writes Daniel Kurtzman, a San Francisco writer and former Washington political correspondent. "1984 was intended as a warning about the evils of totalitarianism -- not a how-to manual."
"For many citizens, the notion of an American 'secret court' would appear a striking contradiction in terms," writes law professor Jonathan Turley.
It seems Washington just can't get enough PR advice these days.
"There is nothing new about using public relations with a commercial twist in foreign policy," writes Victoria De Grazia. "The Romans demonstrated their power from Gaul to Galilee by stamping the emperor's face on their coins, and Her Majesty's government publicized the Pax Britannica by celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee with global distribution of figurines and cups with her image.
"Some people are suspicious that President Bush will go for a 'wag the dog' strategy -- boosting Republican prospects with a military assault on Iraq shortly before Election Day. But a modified approach now seems to be underway. Let's call it 'wag the puppy,'" media watcher and nationally syndicated columnist Normon Solomon writes. He suggests the appearance of a "healthy debate" on Iraq may lack real substance and may instead serve to distract attention from negative economic issues facing the Bush Administration.
A recently-released list of overnight guests at the White House shows that George W. Bush is following the precedent of Bill Clinton and inviting major political donors to sleepovers at the White House. The list of guests at the Bush White House includes six "pioneers" -- Bush supporters who raised more than $100,000 for his presidential campaign.
As the current Bush administration gears up for a second war with Iraq, now would be a good time to refresh our memories about the PR campaign used to sell the first war to the American people. In our book, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You, we showed how the first Bush administration collaborated with the Hill & Knowlton PR firm to peddle a false story about "babies removed from incubators by Iraqi soldiers," which helped swell public outrage against Saddam Hussein.
"The United States, faced with a survey by diplomats showing widespread foreign skepticism about their motives, is planning a public relations offensive to build international support among foreign opinion leaders for a war against Iraq," reports UPI correspondent Eli Lake. The Iraq Public Diplomacy Group, "which includes representatives from the CIA, National Security Council, Pentagon, State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development," plans to publish a brochure and hold interactive teleconferences targeting "opinion leaders" in Europe and the Middle East.
Brian Whitaker profiles the "cosy and cleverly-constructed network of Middle East 'experts'" who "pop up as talking heads on US television, in newspapers, books, testimonies to congressional committees, and at lunchtime gatherings in Washington." Players include the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Institute and the Middle East Forum.