Pentagon Reveals News Correction Unit

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Link to the terrifying article below at the BBC:

The US defence department has set up a new unit to better promote its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet.

The Pentagon said the move would boost its ability to counter “inaccurate” news stories and exploit new media.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said earlier this year the US was losing the propaganda war to its enemies.

On Monday, Vice-President Dick Cheney said insurgents had increased attacks in Iraq to sway the US mid-term polls.

The Bush administration does not believe the true picture of events in Iraq has been made public, the BBC’s Justin Webb in Washington says.

The administration is particularly concerned that insurgents in areas such as Iraq have been able to use the web to disseminate their message and give the impression they are more powerful than the US, our correspondent says.

‘Correcting messages’

The newly-established unit would use “new media” channels to push its message and “set the record straight”, Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff said.

“We’re looking at being quicker to respond to breaking news,” he said.

“Being quicker to respond, frankly, to inaccurate statements.”

A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit would “develop messages” for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to “correct the record”.

The unit would reportedly monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ “surrogates”, or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.

Mr Russ said the move to set up the unit had not been prompted either by the eroding public support in the US for the Iraq war or the US mid-term elections next week.

‘War of ideas’

Mr Rumsfeld said earlier this year that he was concerned by the success of US enemies in “manipulating the media”.

“That’s the thing that keeps me up at night,” Mr Rumsfeld said.

On Monday, US Vice President Dick Cheney also made reference to the use of media, suggesting insurgents had increased their attacks and were checking the internet to keep track of American public opinion.

“It’s my belief that they’re very sensitive of the fact that we’ve got an election scheduled and they can get on the websites like anybody else,” Mr Cheney told Fox News.

“There isn’t anything that’s on the internet that’s not accessible to them. They’re on it all the time. They’re very sophisticated users of it.”

Mr Cheney’s comments came as American forces suffered one of the highest death tolls in October – more than 100 troops killed – since the war began in 2003.

President Bush has said recently that terror groups were trying to influence public opinion in the US, describing their efforts as the “war of ideas”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6100906.stm

Welcome to 1984.

Nata, Botswana

My brother is helping a small village in Botswana by telling their story and raising money for them. Please go and check it out:

Nata Village
http://www.natavillage.org

If you have an interest in the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, we would like to invite you to visit www.natavillage.org.

With today’s sensational media and political agendas affecting what we see, this website will offer you an opportunity to see first hand the battle to control HIV/AIDS in the small village of Nata in Botswana. Botswana, in Southern Africa, has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. The pandemic has left Nata with over 400 orphans.

The blog was born when world traveler Jon Rawlinson met up with Melody Jenkins who serves as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. Both were frustrated with the fact that enormous amounts of money are pouring into Africa yet little money is getting to the village level and to those who need it most. Jon made three visits to Nata and filmed a documentary about HIV/AIDS in the village. The documentary which is currently in production led the way to the website.

The website will show you the Nata Clinic, feature PLWA’s (People Living with AIDS), village life, youth groups, the Kgosi’s (chiefs) and the professionals involved in the fight to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 60,000 people in Botswana are taking the life saving ARV’s (Anti-retroviral medication). The challenge is that for years there was no help for those with HIV/AIDS. Getting people to accept and adhere to the ARV’s is an ongoing struggle. The PLWA’s and the youth groups are instrumental in educating the villagers and we hope to support them with this website. Thanks to the ARV’s, Nata is now a village of hope and much can be done to save the lives of those infected with HIV/AIDS.

Melody is working to start the Nata AIDS and Orphan Trust. If you choose to donate, that’s great but it is not the primary objective. We are equally interested in sharing the stories of the People Living with AIDS, introducing you to village life and letting you meet the players that are involved in this drama that is unfolding in Nata.

Thanks for taking the time to check us out. If you like what you see, please forward this to your friends.

Sincerely,
Jon Rawlinson & Melody Jenkins

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Bush suggests using blogs to spread right wing agenda

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This is clip is so awesome. Amazing audience members. LOL video

BUSH: “Before I come out and speak, I’ve spoken in Cleveland, gave press conference yesterday. Spoke in Cleveland Monday, press conference yesterday, here today. I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing to try make sure people can here there’s – why I make decisions and as best as I can explain why I am optimistic we can succeed. One of the things that we have to value is that that we do have a media, free media that’s able to do what they want to do and I – you ask me to say something in front of all the camera here [laughter]. Help over there will ya? I just got to keep talking and word of mouth, there’s blogs, there’s internet, there’s all kinds of way to communicate which is literally changing the way people get their information and so if you’re concerned I would suggest that you reach out to some of the groups that are supporting the troops, that got internet sites and just keep the word moving.”

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3 Years in Iraq

Mission-Accomplished

Over 2300 soldiers dead.*
Over 30 000 civilians dead.
*
Over $250 000 000 000 tax dollars spent. (yes thats 250 billion)
*

All because of a lie… WMDs

Was it worth it?

Donald Rumsfeld Washington Post Op-ed:

“history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.”

What Rumseld is really saying is that its much harder to rewrite history these days. In the good old days you just fire off some press releases and the Secretary of Defense could create some “perspective” and rewrite history with ease. Rumsfeld would love to have you believe his ever evolving rationale for the war on Iraq but its a hard sell in a Google world. Facts and lies (wmds) are now only one Google away.

Bloggers don’t write history, they just make it harder to rewrite history. In an effort to document rationale #392 for going to war here is Rummy’s op-ed:

What We’ve Gained In 3 Years in Iraq
By Donald H. Rumsfeld
Sunday, March 19, 2006; Page B07

Some have described the situation in Iraq as a tightening noose, noting that “time is not on our side”and that “morale is down.” Others have described a “very dangerous” turn of events and are “extremely concerned.”

Who are they that have expressed these concerns? In fact, these are the exact words of terrorists discussing Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his associates — who are describing their own situation and must be watching with fear the progress that Iraq has made over the past three years.

The terrorists seem to recognize that they are losing in Iraq. I believe that history will show that to be the case.

Fortunately, history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.

Consider that in three years Iraq has gone from enduring a brutal dictatorship to electing a provisional government to ratifying a new constitution written by Iraqis to electing a permanent government last December. In each of these elections, the number of voters participating has increased significantly — from 8.5 million in the January 2005 election to nearly 12 million in the December election — in defiance of terrorists’ threats and attacks.

One of the most important developments over the past year has been the increasing participation of Iraq’s Sunni community in the political process. In the volatile Anbar province, where Sunnis are an overwhelming majority, voter turnout grew from 2 percent in January to 86 percent in December. Sunni sheiks and religious leaders who previously had been sympathetic to the insurgency are today meeting with coalition representatives, encouraging Iraqis to join the security forces and waging what violent extremists such as Abu al-Zarqawi and his al-Qaeda followers recognize as a “large-scale war” against them.

The terrorists are determined to stoke sectarian tension and are attempting to spark a civil war. But despite the many acts of violence and provocation, the vast majority of Iraqis have shown that they want their country to remain whole and free of ethnic conflict. We saw this last month after the attack on the Shiite shrine in Samarra, when leaders of Iraq’s various political parties and religious groups condemned the violence and called for calm.

Another significant transformation has been in the size, capability and responsibility of Iraqi security forces. And this is vitally important, because it is Iraqis, after all, who must build and secure their own nation.

Today, some 100 Iraqi army battalions of several hundred troops each are in the fight, and 49 control their own battle space. About 75 percent of all military operations in the country include Iraqi security forces, and nearly half of those are independently Iraqi-planned, Iraqi-conducted and Iraqi-led. Iraqi security forces have a greater ability than coalition troops to detect a foreign terrorist’s accent, identify local suspects and use force without increasing a feeling of occupation. It was these Iraqi forces — not U.S. or coalition troops — that enforced curfews and contained the violence after the attack on the Golden Dome Shrine in Samarra. To be sure, violence of various stripes continues to slow Iraq’s progress. But the coalition is doing everything possible to see this effort succeed and is making adjustments as appropriate.

The rationale for a free and democratic Iraq is as compelling today as it was three years ago. A free and stable Iraq will not attack its neighbors, will not conspire with terrorists, will not pay rewards to the families of suicide bombers and will not seek to kill Americans.

Though there are those who will never be convinced that the cause in Iraq is worth the costs, anyone looking realistically at the world today — at the terrorist threat we face — can come to only one conclusion: Now is the time for resolve, not retreat.

Consider that if we retreat now, there is every reason to believe Saddamists and terrorists will fill the vacuum — and the free world might not have the will to face them again. Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis. It would be as great a disgrace as if we had asked the liberated nations of Eastern Europe to return to Soviet domination because it was too hard or too tough or we didn’t have the patience to work with them as they built free countries.

What we need to understand is that the vast majority of the Iraqi people want the coalition to succeed. They want better futures for themselves and their families. They do not want the extremists to win. And they are risking their lives every day to secure their country.

That is well worth remembering on this anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The writer is secretary of defense.

I’d love to send Rummy a note on his crackberry that reads: RumDog, stop tryin to be the playa hatin revisionist. You gotta keep it real…Peace. One.

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Some stuff I learned from my TV this week

How to discredit a UN report about your human rights violations in three easy steps.

  1. Deny UN officials access to your Guantanamo Bay prisoners held without a fair trial.
  2. Put out a sound-byte about how lazy UN officials didn’t even interview the prisoners for their report and you’re in the clear!
  3. Rinse and repeat.

Human rights can be awesome!
Human rights are of the utmost importance when they advance your own interest. For example, they’re handy when you need a backup reason for preemptively invading other countries. On the other hand, human rights are not important when you’re the one violating them. Like, don’t you watch 24? Like, duh.

The UN trusts the terrorists more than us.
Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman/official bullshiter tells us “We know that Al-Qaeda detainees are trained in trying to disseminate false allegations.”

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Abu Ghraib Part 2

Mark Pesce says:


SBS DATELINE Abu Ghraib Report – 15 February 2006

On Wednesday 15 February 2006, Australian public broadcaster
SBS current affairs program DATELINE telecast a segment featuring 60 new photos of the torture inflicted on prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. These photos were secured by court order – the ACLU figures prominently in the report – but these photos haven’t yet been shown in the media anywhere in the United States. Because of the broadcast on SBS, you now have access to both Web-downloadable versions and BitTorrent file-sharing network versions of the broadcast on this site. THESE PHOTOS ARE VERY DISTURBING. Please do not view this video if you are easily disturbed by graphic imagery of torture and death.

These files are all hosted on a server located in the United States to speed access for US viewers.

Note: If you do know how to use BitTorrent, please download the appropriate BitTorrent file and use that. This server in the US is well-connected but does not have infinite bandwidth. If many people share the BitTorrent version of this movie, it will greatly speed download times.

If you find you can’t play the video on your computer, download the VideoLAN program from here. This program will play the files. VideoLAN works on PCs, Macs, and LINUX boxes.

HIGH RESOLUTION VIDEO (H.264-MP4, 720×400, 90MB)
Download the BitTorrent tracker file (right-click and save this file to your hard drive)
Download the video (please don’t do this unless you have no other choice)

MEDIUM RESOLUTION VIDEO (MP4, 320×200, 45MB)
Download the BitTorrent tracker file (right-click and save this file to your hard drive)
Download the video

SMALL RESOLUTION VIDEO (MP4, 160×96, 13MB)
Downlod the BitTorrent tracker file (right-click and save this file to your hard drive)
Download the video

Please share this message and these videos with everyone you believe should see them.

The truth will out.

Mark Pesce (mpesce AT gmail DOT com)

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