News Release

Pentagon and Propaganda

CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON
Associate professor of communication at American University and author of the books Blowback and Science of Coercion, Simpson said today: “Donald Rumsfeld strongly implied last night that the Department of Defense is not running covert operations in its military operations. The truth of the matter is that U.S. psywar and covert operations against American citizens and allied countries are expanding more rapidly today than at any other time in U.S. history. The program has several clear levels. For example, John Poindexter, a national security perjurer who supervised the Iran-Contra disaster, has been quietly appointed to lead the new Defense Department ‘Information Awareness Office’…. Its task is high-tech tapping of computer networks in the United States and abroad. Then, National Security Directives mandate use of information warfare techniques to disrupt and sabotage critics of Bush’s policies. The White House Office of Drug Control Policy is today running television promotions that claim smoking marijuana equals supporting terrorism. And the Pentagon is pushing for expanded authorization of what it calls ‘the blackest of black’ covert operations against people it regards as opponents. These are developments during the last week alone. This is a pattern of behavior, it is a policy, and it is not an accident. It’s a program of action by the present administration to utilize federal power to confuse, deceive or damage anyone who might disagree with them, including the American public.”

RACHEL COEN
Coen is a media analyst with Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, which just released the document “Pentagon Propaganda Plan Is Undemocratic, Possibly Illegal,” available at FAIR’s site (www.fair.org).
More Information

DAVID MILLER
A member of the Stirling Media Research Institute in Scotland, Miller said today: “There are majorities in most countries in the world against the US/UK policy on Afghanistan. Rather than manipulate global opinion, the U.S. government might benefit from listening to the global public.”
More Information
More Information

JACK SHAHEEN
Author of the recently released book Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, Shaheen said today: “Over 900 Hollywood movies for more than a century have negatively portrayed Arabs. When the White House met with Hollywood officials, they said that content was not on the table — perhaps it was under the table. If the U.S. government wants to ‘win hearts and minds’ and show Arabs and Muslims that we are more alike than different, then they should acknowledge the vilification that has taken place. You don’t win hearts and minds by continuing to vilify a people, as movies and TV programs continue to do.”

NANCY SNOW
Available for limited interviews, Snow is the author of Propaganda, Inc.: Selling America’s Culture to the World and is completing another book, Propaganda Nation. She said today: “The news about the Office of Strategic Influence should raise concerns for anyone who recognizes that the United States continues to lack credibility in the world and not just in the Middle East.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167