A front-page story by USA Today reporting that US special forces had already been covertly operating in Afghanistan for two weeks has stirred up controversy for journalists. At issue is whether USA Today's story, which was picked up by AP and CNN, may have endanger US military forces. The Boston Globe writes, "with the administration stressing the need for secrecy and stealth, some of the public reaction [to the USA Today story] accused journalists of unpatriotically divulging covert military action.
The Associated Press reports "Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld promised Tuesday his department will not mislead the press as part of the campaign against terrorism." That sounds good, but a careful reading of the story indicates that Rumsfeld has left the door wide open to government media manipulation. The public relations industry was in fact born in and grew out of the U.S. government's World War One propaganda campaign, and government propaganda has been critical in recent U.S.
The U.S. Department of State is under growing pressure from the Central Intelligence Agency to destroy its inventory of an official history of U.S. relations with Greece during the 1960s and to replace it with a new, sanitized version. The book, titled "Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1964-1968, volume XVI," has already been printed but has drawn last-minute objections from the CIA because it includes a handful of documents that allude to CIA intervention in the electoral process in Greece some 35 years ago.
CBS's new dramatic series about the Central Intelligence Agency, called "The Agency," brings into question the relationship between the network and the government agency. CBS has received input on scripts and support from the CIA for the program, which premieres this month. Jeff Cohen, founder of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting and Newsday columnists, compares the new series to the sixties TV-show "The FBI," produced by ABC with the blessing and cooperation of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
Democrats still reeling from the Bush v. Gore decision in December must have cringed when President Bush announced his choice for solicitor of the Labor Department: Eugene Scalia, the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In his career to date as a labor lawyer, Eugene Scalia has specialized in representing management in labor disputes related to worker safety, especially the dangers of repetitive-stress injuries.
The Bush administration's recently-announced plan to force General Electric to pay for a $460 million cleanup of the Hudson River is designed to battle the popular impression that his White House, particularly on environmental issues, is operating under corporate sponsorship.
The Central Intelligence Agency has its own website for kids, complete with animal cartoon mascots that present an "antidrug message to America's youth." Spinning U.S. spy operations as an effort to keep kids straight seems hypocritical to Martin A. Lee, who has written previously about the CIA's history of experiments with drug-based mind-control and its collaborations with heroin and cocaine dealers in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
Gutting the First Amendment has become the "patriotic" last refuge for scoundrel PR firm Burson-Marsteller (B-M). Citizens Flag Alliance depicts themselves as a frustrated group of proud veterans saving our nation from flag burning by amending the constitution. However, the CFA website and media reports fail to identify perhaps their most important "member," the giant PR firm reaping big bucks managing the campaign. B-M's masterminds are no doubt the source of CFA talking points such as: "Putting a few disgusting means of expression out of bounds in no way threatens ...
A microbiologist who advocates the use of irradiation to kill food-borne pathogens was nominated by President Bush on Tuesday to oversee the Agriculture Department's food-safety programs. Elsa Murano, 41, is director of the Center for Food Safety at Texas A&M University, where she has done research on a variety of pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, and methods for destroying them including irradiation.