War / Peace

Fitz-Pegado Among the New Lobbyists for a "Democratic Iran"

The Livingston Group, a lobbying and PR firm, "received a healthy $300K during the third period," or third quarter of 2008, from the Council for a Democratic Iran. The website of the Virginia-based group states, "We believe there is an alternative between military confrontation with the current regime and accommodation." According to Lobbyists.info, the group previously retained the firm Cyber Security Research Consultants.

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US Navy's Elite Force Seals Deal for an Image Upgrade

The U.S. Navy Seals have hired Gallup Consulting on a $500,000 contract, to help the force "develop a new branding and marketing strategy," reports PR Week. Gallup will write a two-year marketing plan for the Seals, including the "development of market segmentation, target candidate profiles, key marketing messages, competitive analysis, and positioning." One of the contract's goals is to increase recruitment. The U.S.

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Will New Propaganda Ban Have an Impact?

In April 2008, the New York Times exposed the Pentagon pundit scandal, where the Defense Department cultivated retired military officials who are frequent media commentators, to serve as "message force multipliers" for Bush administration policies o

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Winter Soldier: Eyewitness Accounts of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Two years ago, public revulsion against the Bush Administration's unnecessary and disastrous attack and occupation of Iraq resulted in the Democratic Party taking control of the U.S. Congress. But Nancy Pelosi and the new political leadership backed down before President Bush and refused to withhold funding for the war, while rhetorically denouncing it and thus playing to anti-war voters. The liberal lobby group MoveOn spent tens of millions of dollars on anti-war advertisements and door-to-door canvassing events as part of its partisan campaign to blame the war on the Republicans, while letting Democrats off the hook for giving Bush all the money he wanted to continue the occupation into next year.

Today, as the 2008 election approaches, worry over Iraq has slipped down the public's list of concerns while more immediate economic issues and the spectacular collapse of the Wall Street investment banks take center stage. However, one anti-war organization has proven especially tenacious, independent and committed to immediately bringing home troops from Iraq and making good to the Iraqi people, while taking care of the soldiers who fought the war. That organization is the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) composed of more than thirteen hundred soldiers who have recently served or are still serving in the U.S. military.

Jed Babbin: The Pentagon's Most Prolific Pundit

Jed BabbinThe morning of June 20, 2006, an email message circulated amongst U.S. Defense Department officials.

"Jed Babbin, one of our military analysts, is hosting the Michael Medved nationally syndicated radio show this afternoon. He would like to see if General [George W.] Casey would be available for a phone interview," the Pentagon staffer wrote. "This would be a softball interview and the show is 8th or 9th in the nation."

Why would the Pentagon help set up a radio interview? And how did they know that the interview would be "softball"?

From early 2002 to April 2008, the Defense Department offered talking points, organized trips to places such as Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, and gave private briefings to a legion of retired military officers working as media pundits. The Pentagon's military analyst program, a covert effort to promote a positive image of the Bush administration's wartime performance, was a multi-level campaign involving quite a few colorful characters.

Flipping through the over 8,000 pages of documents released in connection with the program, one Pentagon pundit arguably steals the spotlight: Jed Babbin.

Buried Soldiers, Buried Coverage

"The former spokeswoman for Arlington National Cemetery says the facility's No. 2 official has been calling military families to try to talk them out of media coverage of their loved ones' funerals, despite his denials that he does so," reports William H. McMichael.

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