Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.

William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
Saturday, February 12, 2005  
'01 Memo to Rice Warned of Qaeda and Offered Plan

New York Times
February 12, 2005

Blog editor's note: Close students of this whole issue will remember that the Bush Administration in general and Secretary Rice in particular have consistently maintained that they had no serious warning about such as 9/11 and were given no plan of action by the Clinton Administration.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 - A strategy document outlining proposals for eliminating the threat from Al Qaeda, given to Condoleezza Rice as she assumed the post of national security adviser in January 2001, warned that the terror network had cells in the United States and 40 other countries and sought unconventional weapons, according to a declassified version of the document.

The 13-page proposal presented to Dr. Rice by her top counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, laid out ways to step up the fight against Al Qaeda, focusing on Osama bin Laden's headquarters in Afghanistan. The ideas included giving "massive support" to anti-Taliban groups "to keep Islamic extremist fighters tied down"; destroying terrorist training camps "while classes are in session" and then sending in teams to gather intelligence on terrorist cells; deploying armed drone aircraft against known terrorists; more aggressively tracking Qaeda money; and accelerating the F.B.I.'s translation and analysis of material from surveillance of terrorism suspects in American cities.

Mr. Clarke was seeking a high-level meeting to decide on a plan of action. Dr. Rice and other administration officials have said that Mr. Clarke's ideas did not constitute an adequate plan, but they took them into consideration as they worked toward a more effective strategy against the terrorist threat.

To read the full text, see The New York Times

8:55 AM

CNN exec quits after comments on killings
Denies saying U.S. targeted reporters

By John Cook
Chicago Tribune
February 12, 2005

CNN's top news executive resigned Friday following weeks of scrutiny over comments he made that have been interpreted as an accusation that the U.S. military deliberately targeted journalists in Iraq.

Eason Jordan, the cable news channel's executive vice president, told colleagues in a letter that he was stepping down "in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq."

To read the full text, see Chicago Tribune

8:45 AM

Thursday, February 10, 2005  
Their Corruption and Ours: Framing and the Oil for Food Crisis

Blog editor's note: Attention War, Peace and Mass Media Students--Having just read about "indexing" and how it affects mainstream journalism's coverage of foreign affairs, you would do well to compare the preceding item about the oi-for-food 'scandal' involving the UN with coverage by the U.S. news medium of your choice, and I think you will find that the framing in each is dramatically different, yet the events they supposedly describe are the same.

2:31 PM

Fraud and corruption
Forget the UN. The US occupation regime helped itself to $8.8 bn of mostly Iraqi money in just 14 months

George Monbiot
The Guardian
February 8, 2005

The Republican senators who have devoted their careers to mauling the United Nations are seldom accused of shyness. But they went strangely quiet on Thursday. Henry Hyde became Henry Jekyll. Norm Coleman's mustard turned to honey. Convinced that the UN is a conspiracy against the sovereignty of the United States, they had been ready to launch the attack which would have toppled the hated Kofi Annan and destroyed his organisation. A report by Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US federal reserve, was meant to have proved that, as a result of corruption within the UN's oil-for-food programme, Saddam Hussein was able to sustain his regime by diverting oil revenues into his own hands. But Volcker came up with something else.

"The major source of external financial resources to the Iraqi regime," he reported, "resulted from sanctions violations outside the [oil-for-food] programme's framework." These violations consisted of "illicit sales" of oil by the Iraqi regime to Turkey and Jordan. The members of the UN security council, including the United States, knew about them but did nothing. "United States law requires that assistance programmes to countries in violation of UN sanctions be ended unless continuation is determined to be in the national interest. Such determinations were provided by successive United States administrations."

To read the full text, see The

2:28 PM

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