It has been revealed that a group of government officials known by the ironic name of The Lincoln Group has been spreading propaganda and disinformation about the Iraq war.
Andrew Buncombe reports in The Independent that this group pressures newspapers to print news about the war slanted towards the viewpoint of the Bush administration. In other words, they print what the government wishes was happening, instead of what is really going on in Iraq. Iraqi newspapers have been paid thousands of dollars to print these upbeat versions of the news.
The Pentagon claims these stories are not propaganda because the facts are correct. But it's been discovered that most of the quotes used in the stories cannot be traced to any of the Iraqi officials or citizens who supposedly said them. A whistle blower who is a former member of the Lincoln Group, and was paid to write positive war stories, says that, "The Iraqis did not know who was writing the stories and the US troops did not know who the Iraqis were," and added that writers routinely made up the quotations they used. The group also attempts to place positive stories about the Iraq war in the US press.
In the three years since the Coalition troops invaded Iraq, more than 2,500 soldiers have been killed. What is under reported is how many Iraqi civilians have died. The Lincoln Group has put this total at almost 34,000 people, but they admit that "many, if not most, civilian casualties will go unreported by the media." They know this because the "media" they refer to is themselves. The respected UK medical journal The Lancet has estimated that more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed.
The former employee of The Lincoln Group says he was paid up to $2,000 for the publication of a single article. The Lincoln Group was paid $80,000 a week by the military to plant stories, and they dispersed this money to the journalists they employed.
To read examples of discrepancies between the truth and these stories, click here.
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
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