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
Friday, April 06, 2007  
Levin Releases Newly Declassified Pentagon Inspector General Report on Intelligence Assessment Activities of the Office of Under Secretary of Defense Doug Feith

Press Office
Sen. Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee
April 5, 2007

Blog editor's note: More evidence of how the Bush administration ignored the intelligence community's consensus and substituted its own view of things to justify a war with Iraq comes in this report that was declassified yesterday. For an account of another dimension of the Administration's "faith based" intelligence, see an excerpt in the Washington Post on Monday from the newly published book, "The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq." The book is authored by two veteran investigative journalists, Peter Eisner and Knut Royce. See see Washington

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the newly declassified report [PDF] of the Department of Defense Inspector General on its "Review of the Pre-Iraqi War Activities of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy." The report was declassified at Levin's request.

In releasing the report, Levin said: "It is important for the public to see why the Pentagon's Inspector General concluded that Secretary Feith's office 'developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qaeda relationship,' which included 'conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community,' and why the Inspector General concluded that these actions were 'inappropriate.' Until today, those details were classified and outside the public's view."

The Feith office alternative intelligence assessments concluded that Iraq and al Qaeda were cooperating and had a "mature, symbiotic" relationship, a view that was not supported by the available intelligence, and was contrary to the consensus view of the Intelligence Community. These alternative assessments were used by the Administration to support its public arguments in its case for war. As the DOD IG report confirms, the Intelligence Community never found an operational relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda; the report specifically states that,"the CIA and DIA disavowed any 'mature, symbiotic' relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida."

To read the full text, see Levin Press Office

8:04 AM

Wednesday, April 04, 2007  
ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran

ABC News
April 03, 2007 5:25 PM
Brian Ross and Christopher Isham Report

Blog editor's note: What's interesting about this report is not the revelation itself. The U.S., like most major powers, has a long history of sponsoring or encouraging operations such as this. What's worthy of note is that ABC news thought to run the story. Of course, mainstream media could have reported on this subject at least a year ago. For one thing, scholars have long been aware of such activities. For another, the alternative news service Inter Press Service did a similar story a month ago. The important question is why mainstream journalists didn't pursue this story long before yesterday's report.

A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.

The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

To read the full text, see ABC News

8:01 AM

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