Sunday, February 11, 2007

WaPo Enables U.S. Government Propaganda on Iran

With mainstream media patsies like these, who needs Judith Miller?

Wittingly or unwittingly, the mainstream media continues to aid and abet the Bush administration's propaganda campaign on Iran. Shortly after Sunday's round of political gabfests, the Washington Post posted a story online (by Joshua Partlow) that supported the claims of the right's talking cable heads about Iran's actions in Iraq.
Iran Sending Explosives to Extremist Groups in Iraq, Officials Say

By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 11, 2007; 1:54 PM

BAGHDAD Feb 11 -- Iranian security forces, taking orders from the "highest levels" of the Iranian government, are funneling sophisticated explosives to extremist groups in Iraq, and the weapons have grown increasingly deadly for U.S.-led troops over the past two years, senior defense officials said Sunday in Baghdad.

Nice timing, huh? Nice lack of attribution too.

The "defense officials," according to Partlow…
…said they decided to talk about the Iranian-made weapons and the detention of Iranian operatives in Iraq because they are increasingly concerned about the number of casualties caused by these weapons.

But the defense officials didn't decide to be identified, because, well…
The officials said they would speak only on the condition of anonymity so the trio's explosives expert and analyst, who would normally not speak to reporters, could provide more information. The analyst's exact job description was not revealed to reporters. Reporters' cell phones were taken before the briefing, and the officials did not allow reporters to record or videotape the proceedings.

This is raw sewage. Three "unnamed Defense officials" got a perfectly timed message out, one based on the opinion of an analyst whose credentials are uncertified and unchallenged, and echoed by media "professionals" who have no idea whether the analyst knows what he's talking about because they don't know what the hell he's talking about themselves.

If the "defense officials" in Baghdad had real "proof" of the allegations against Iran, why would they wish to remain anonymous? These guys aren't whistle blowers. They're part of the Rovewellian bull feather generator, trying to pretend like they're not.

The likes of Joshua Partlow and the Washington Post need to start standing up to these Machiavellian manipulators. No more "unnamed officials" get to toss the company line into the echo chamber.


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.


  1. The whole culture of "official sources speaking on condition of anonymity" is reaching new and dizzying heights. The whole issue of non-verifiable statements presented as facts is frankly disgusting. It also speaks volumes of how much you have been influenced by the enemy.

    It seems they are really serious about adapting Al Quaedas media-strategy, with grainy footage of executions of the enemy and anonymous secret pressconferences. What next, presidential decrees anounced by people wearing ski-masks?

  2. This is just awful. Partlow is an idiot. His editor is an even bigger one.

  3. Interesting to see Putin gearing up for defense of Iran: 'One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way, he says according to the Guardian.(,,2010462,00.html).

    Cant wait for the neo-cons to start advocating nuking Moscow...

  4. Fnord7:29 PM

    "..And in a similiar story, the british occupation-forces in Canada have threatened to invade the US, citing several findings of US weaponry in Canada these last months. When the British forces raided the US embassy, the british were shocked to find several officials believed to have been working for the CIA..."

  5. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Free media is a myth

    The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media. ~William Colby, former CIA director

    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when
    everything the American public believes is false."
    William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)

    The Mainstream media really represent elite interests, and what the propaganda model tries to do is stipulate a set of institutional variables, reflecting this elite power, that very powerfully influence the media."
    -Edward Hermand.

  6. The shift in the ownershipstructure during the Reagan-years of the US media is a tale of itself. Fox news, ye gods.

  7. It's all over the cable channels today. Good God.

  8. Yes indeed.

    "The president has retaken control of Iraq strategy," says Frederick Kagan, a military historian at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and prominent advocate of a large troop increase. "The administration has made itself more independent of the generals."

  9. Bacon's Rebellion12:39 PM


    Allow me to take a moment to state the obvious. Newspapers are in the business of selling copies of their paper and the revenue producing advertising that it contains. The truth and facts have always been secondary to that. Hyperbole, distortion and half-truths are all part of the game played by most journalists of all political stripes. Vailed sources are merely a convenient way for the 4th estate to create some buzz by trumpeting stories that they themselves don't believe to be true. However, those same stories do sell newsprint and get your byline printed. Those are the real objectives of the newspapers and journalists that populate them.

  10. As I point out on my blog, our upset is product of a disconnect between what we see the role of a free press in a democracy as being, and what the press itself sees its role as being. The press sees its role as that of accurate transcriptionist. We see its role as being seekers of truth. Thus our anger when we see the press accurately transcribing lies told by officials -- and the press's befuddled response when we call them on their uncritical spreading of lies. Also, too, why newspapers continue bleeding readership. If we can't get the truth from them because they literally do not see their job as being discovering truth, we might as well just read a lot of blogs and try to discover truth that way, right?

  11. Anonymous7:19 AM

    I am seriously thinking that this Partlow guy is more than a journalist. His latest report about PKK terrorists' were very interesting, yet as expected, biased and full of fake humanatarian lies. The photos in his article were all snow-free, despite the region should've been under a metre snow.

  12. Anonymous,

    Thanks for the info. I'll take a look at the Partlow article.