On Sunday’s ABC This Week, Stephen Hadley acknowledged that President Bush has not yet ordered the shut-down of the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign in Iraq.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Has he ordered the program shut down?
HADLEY: He’s asked Secretary Rumsfeld to look at it. It’s clear from the comments that have been made so far, that the issue is whether that program is something that’s inconsistent with the policy guidance. And if it is inconsistent with policy guidance it will be shut down.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, it would be inconsistent to secretly pay Iraqi journalists, wouldn’t it?
HADLEY: Look, we want a free media. We want truth. That’s the whole point of this. We need to get the story about what’s happening out. The truthful story about what’s happening to Iraq to Iraqis, to the American people. That’s what we ought to be doing. This kind of practices is inconsistent with that. It’s not the kind of policy that the, that the Americans want to pursue.
The dishonest tactics used by the Penatgon in the campaign are already well established: the source of the stories (the U.S. military) were kept secret, “absolute truth was not an essential element” in the stories, and the AP and Reuters photos used in the stories did not necessarily depict the events described. This seems inconsistent with any type of “truthful story” the United States is trying to tell.
When will Bush to live up to his rhetoric and shut down the program?