"The Bush administration's refusal to cooperate with even the most routine and basic congressional requests for information is infuriating members of Congress and violating congressional rights and responsibilities," reports Alexander Bolton in The Hill, a newspaper for Washington insiders. Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress are complaining about the secrecy, which extends beyond issues like national defense and foreign policy and includes areas such as environmental, educational and science issues.
The American Civil Liberties Union is denouncing the Bush administration's "surreal" decision to channel Operation TIPS calls to FOX-TV's "America's Most Wanted" program. "It's a completely inappropriate and frightening intermingling of government power and the private sector," said ACLU's Rachel King.
"On Nov. 22, 2000, the so-called 'Brooks Brothers Riot' of Republican activists helped stop a vote recount in Miami -- and showed how far George W. Bush's supporters were ready to go to put their man in the White House," writes Robert Parry, who cites newly-released documents which "show that at least a half dozen of the publicly identified rioters were paid by Bush's recount committee.
David Corn critiques Congressman Henry Hyde's notion that Hollywood and Madison Avenue can razzle-dazzle those pesky foreigners who don't like America. "This is ridiculous. Hollywood pushes escapist fiction, and advertising firms try to hornswoggle people into believing they can get laid if they purchase the right car, the right toothpaste, the right beer, or the right cigarette," Corn writes. "But the poohbahs of U.S.
The Government Printing Office, which is responsible for printing the multitude of documents produced by the federal government, may be abolished according to an order by the White House Office of Management and the Budget. The OMB describes the order as a cost-saving measure, but critics say it may cost more money than the present system. Worse, it threatens public access to information.
The Bush administration has decided to create a permanent, fully staffed "Office of Global Communications" to "coordinate the administration's foreign policy message and supervise America's image abroad, according to senior officials," writes Karen DeYoung. The office will allow the White House "to exert more control over what has become one of the hottest areas of government and private-sector initiatives since Sept. 11.
Guatemala remains of the most horrifying legacies of the work of Edward Bernays, the legendary "father of public relations." On behalf of the United Fruit company, Bernays orchestrated the propaganda behind a military coup that overthrew Guatemala's elected government, ushering in decades of tyranny under regimes whose brutality rivaled the Nazis as they condemned hundreds of thousands of people (mostly members of the country's impoverished Maya Indian
"The United States is doing a poor job of countering growing anti-American sentiment overseas and must revamp the way it promotes its foreign policies abroad, the Council on Foreign Relations contends," the New York Times writes. "In a report to be released this week, the council asserts that many countries, in particular predominantly Islamic ones, see the United States as 'arrogant, self-indulgent, hypocritical, inattentive and unwilling or unable to engage in cross-cultural dialogue.' ...
The White House allegedly threatened a Judicial Watch process server with arrest while he was trying to provide legal notification of a lawsuit to Vice President Dick Cheney. The conservative organization Judicial Watch has brought a lawsuit against Cheney for fraudulent accounting practices at Halliburton Corporation while Cheney was the company's chief executive.
Ever since September 11, politicians like Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde have been wondering why "the popular press overseas, often including the government-owned media, daily depict the United States as a force for evil." Hyde thinks that "public diplomacy" (the government's term for "public relations") can turn the tide.