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A very interesting story in Stars and Stripes, vividly reflecting the Pentagon's will to manipulate the media into reporting their line (and incidentally featuring John Rendon, who will be familiar to readers of the chapter on propaganda in Flat Earth News):
..... and, 24 hours later, a very interesting follow-up:
Here's an interesting account of how the Ministry of Defence managed to ramp up the seizure of £78,000 of heroin in Afghanistan into a major bust worth £50 million (not to mention the extra propaganda value):
By CHRIS TOMLINSON
Morning Star. November 21, 2008
Agents of war. Hunting out low people in high places. Solomon Hughes investigates how
British papers did Bush's dirty work.
A Pulitzer-prize winning American journalist, Ron Suskind, has published a detailed allegation that the Americans used the Sunday Telegraph to plant a concocted letter which appeared to show evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
A loyal reader of Flat Earth News sent in the following short extract from "Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States and the Rise of the New Imperialism" by Greg Grandin. You'll see that it merges some of the book's themes about the pressures of churnalism with the production of propaganda.
I have finished the book and in a way I am relieved by the treatment of Rupert Murdoch. Being an Australian it seems fascinating how one of our own (formerly) can cause so much damage on an international scale. The book seems to focus on the chaotic but still planned nature of the assault on reason and responsibility rather than some conspiratorial view of what is happening. However, even paranoids have real enemies and despite what Mencken says in the quote close to the end of the book.
If you're read the chapter on propaganda on Flat Earth News (or even if you haven't), read the following AP story and judge for yourself a) whether this might be another example of US military and intelligence people injecting a fabricated story into global media; and b) whether it contains a single fragment of evidence which would entitle AP, or anybody else who runs it, to conclude that it is true....
Another example of propaganda running straight through a quality UK newspaper has surfaced since I wrote Flat Earth News. It happened in the mid 1990s, but it is a foretaste of what happened in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and of what has continued to happen in relation to the Iranian nuclear programme.