"As the White House searches for every possible excuse to go to war with Iraq," writes James Bamford, "pressure has been building on the intelligence agencies to deliberately slant estimates to fit a political agenda.
As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham (D-FL) sees classified government information that isn't released to the public. Based on what he's seen, he told CBS News, the Bush Administration appears to be selectively disclosing classified information based on politics rather than the requirements of national security. "There's been a pattern in which information is provided on a classified basis, and then what is declassified are those sections of the report that are most advantageous to the administration," Graham said.
"As Bush leads the nation toward a confrontation with Iraq and his party into battle in midterm elections, his rhetoric has taken some flights of fancy in recent weeks," Washington Post staff writer Dana Milbank wrote. "Statements on subjects ranging from the economy to Iraq suggest that a president who won election underscoring Al Gore's knack for distortions and exaggerations has been guilty of a few himself." Milbank quotes Brookings Institution scholar Stephen Hess suggesting that some of Bush's "overstatements" may be intentional.
"The [Sunday political] talk shows may bore many Americans, but they are crucial vehicles for the White House in setting the news agenda for the week," New York Times reporter John Tierney writes. "For the networks, the programs not only keep the news machine going on a slow day but also generate handsome profits because of their low costs -- and the fact that the big-name guests do not have to be paid.
"Look what John Ashcroft is doing to our Constitution," says a new American Civil Liberties Union ad. "He's seized powers for the Bush administration no president should ever have." The 30-second TV spot will air in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington D.C., and will be shown on the Sunday morning talk shows on ABC, CBS and NBC in selected cities. "The commercial kicks off a six-month, $1 million ad campaign that is part of a broader $3.5 million effort the ACLU has planned over the next 18 months," Advertising Age reports.
"Wedged between a rack of 99-cent Cheetos and a display of pork rinds stood a life-sized cardboard cutout of a buxom blond in a red miniskirt," reports Ian Urbina. "Resting on her inner thigh was a frosty bottle of Miller Genuine Draft. 'That's essentially what we do,' an army major remarked, pointing to the stiletto-heeled eye-catcher. 'But we don't sell beer.' ... The scene was a recruitment barbecue conducted by the US Army's 11th Psychological Operations Battalion ("Psy-ops," for short). ...
"Tensions have escalated far beyond the inevitable grousing
between press secretaries and journalists, who said they
could not remember a White House that was more grudging or
"Though many Arabs are receptive to America's propaganda theme of 'freedom and hope,' they are turned off by the message because of the strong U.S. support of Israel, said Rep. Christopher Shays [R-Conn] during his all-day Capitol Hill probe into this country's public diplomacy efforts," reports O'Dwyer's PR. Pollster John Zogby told the meeting "more than 90 percent of those polled in [Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and U.A.E] gave an 'unfavorable' rating for U.S. policy toward the Arab nations and toward the Palestinians."
ABC, CBS and NBC all decided not to carry President Bush's speech live at 8 Monday night. "They said yesterday that they made this call because the White House never asked them to carry the speech live," reports the Washington Post. "But the White House said it did not put in the usual formal request because it wanted to keep the American public from thinking we were going to war." However, the fact that we are going to war did manage to register with a few pundits.
Congressional Democrats accuse the Bush Administration of stacking the Center for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention with "individuals who are affiliated or openly sympathetic with the views of the lead industry." Their report "Turning Lead Into Gold: How the Bush Administration is Poisoning the Lead Advisory Committee at the CDC" details recent changes to the panel, noting the removal or rejection of several academic experts on lead poisoning.