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I saw a few passing references to "May Hasan Lamotte" yesterday in the print media.  She was portrayed as "an Iraqi woman who just had to drive to Crawford to tell Cindy Sheehan that her son died for a noble cause.  One news report yesterday said: *"An Iraqi woman who moved recently to the United States, drove with her husband from Washington, D.C., to thank Sheehan for her sacrifice. But the woman, May Hasan Lamotte, 37, did not agree with Sheehan's call to pull the troops out of Iraq. I came after reading about Miss Cindy. They think their children are dead for nothing, and I am one who got freedom. I am grateful for her son and American soldiers. Everybody thinks (Casey) died for nothing. He gave his life as many other brave soldiers have to give me and my country freedom," she said.

This "Iraqi woman" then showed up on Hardball to swiftboat Cindy.  Something about her didn't strike me as being right.  There was a passing reference to her being married to an American journalist.

Military intelligence skills and google, don't fail me now, I thought.  More on what I found on the flip....

The faux Iraqi woman on Hardball is married to Greg Lamotte with Voice of America (VOA).  I know stuff about them, but decided to find their public website, lest I inadvertently disclose classified info.

Here you go, from http://www.voanews.com/english/About/fastfacts.cfm
The Voice of America (VOA) is an international multimedia broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Draw your own conclusions about what this agency is...and why a wife of one of their "reporters" was put on national tv to attack a grieving mother.  

She referenced things that her uncles told her, but never discussed her own experiences in Iraq.  She's probably never even lived there, I bet.

AND...Her husband is a "journalist" (cough) for Voice of America (cough cough) that has been a source for purported Bin Laden tapes.  See http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/983

Iraqi officials say thousands enter Iraq illegally from Iran http://www.payvand.com/news/04/jul/1231.html

US Commander Cites 'Rapid' Progress, 'Sporadic' Resistance in Iraq - 2003-03-24
http://www.voanews.com/english/Archive/a-2003-03-24-17-US.cfm

Elections in Iraq: Will Political Reform Spread to Other Arab States?
In the Arab world, the Iraqi election is being watched closely
30 January 2005
http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-01-30-voa27.cfm

Allawi Says Iraq Faces Multiple Types of Terrorism
Allawi mentions acts of professional criminals, sabotages and terrorists acts by foreigners
18 October 2004
http://www.voanews.com/english/2004-10-18-voa26.cfm

So, besides the dishonest attack of my friend with my tax dollars (no doubt the VOA hubby who accompanied her from DC was on the clock), why else do I have my panties in a knot over this? HERE'S WHY - THE VOICE OF AMERICA IS AN INTELLIGENCE OPERATION.  IT IS SET UP TO BROADCAST AND "REPORT" PROPOGANDA.  UNDER THE SMITH-MUNDT ACT OF 1948 IT IS ILLEGAL FOR VOA REPORTS AND BROADCAST INFO TO BE DISSEMINATED TO THE U.S.  Why?  Because the U.S. government isn't supposed to lie and spread propoganda to its own people.

Do you think it's a coincidence that the wife of a professional U.S. government propogandist shows up in BF Crawford to attack Cindy? Write MSNBC and Hardball and Matthews and I imagine the other networks and any other news referencing this woman and let's get the truth out there.  This truly shows how desparate the Bush Administration has become.

Post links to media that we can all contact to express our concern over this.

Let's also ask members of Congress who give a damn about the rule of law (Waxman, Conyers, Waters, et.al.) to demand an inquiry.  

Originally posted to Sharon Jumper on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:13 PM PDT.

Poll

Is this something we should be outraged about?

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2%104 votes

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Comment Preferences

  •  Call It What It Is. (4.00)
    Propaganda, not swiftboating, which at least is privately funded.  Even if the government connection doesn't pan out, at least you have outed a hack.  Great catch.
    •  158 Million dollars worth of propaganda (4.00)
      thats there 2005 fiscal year budget.   And Soonergrunt is right everyone high up is new...since Bush came to town.

      Key points
      -Her husband drove her to Crawford from DC to tell her off
      -Her husband is paid by the US government
      -Her husband writes about Iraq
      -If the war ends what happens to his job.....

      •  She did a (none)
        lousy job in that interview. What ever they hoped to accomplish with her offerings got lost in the stammering.

        What about that other woman who spoke to Matthews with her?  The one with the hat and blue shades?


        An eye for an eye leaves the entire world blind... Mohandas Karmchand (Mahatma) Gandhi.

        by nupstateny on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 05:31:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  did her husband take leave to drive her? (none)
        Or was he on the clock, collecting his VOA salary, to illegally propagandize Americans?
  •  This could be the source of (4.00)
    some very funny letters to the editor.  Thanks Sharon!  Let's get the whole country laughing at this clumsy stupidity by the Bush party.
  •  yes chang the title. great catch. (4.00)
    thanx for posting.
  •  I was wondering where she came from ! (4.00)
    She was the ONLY person talking that nonsense at lunch. Shades of babies taken out of incubators and put on the floor, eh ?

    Great catch !

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:23:30 PM PDT

    •  OH I was thinking about that (4.00)
      I wonder if she's really iraqi?
    •  BINGO (4.00)
      Studied that case and this one is very close.

      Now, I wonder, as she is a professor, why she isn't in Iraq teaching right now?  Could it be that she doesn't want to wear the new "uniform" of Iraqi women?  Or is it that Iraq isn't safe?

      If she is so happy to be "free" why is she here, and not in Iraq?

      "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

      by SanJoseLady on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:43:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is that Iraqi the person (4.00)
    The person there during Bush's SOTU speech? Hahah
  •  Title changed/thanks for the advice and tips (4.00)
    Is the title more appropriate now?
  •  You're hired! (4.00)
    The pay sucks but the accolades are invaluable. :)

    Oh, you so clever; outstanding catch.

  •  Nice Catch, But... (4.00)
    ...Bush didn't break the law. The law only says that VOA may not broadcast in the US. There is nothing that prevents a VOA journalist, much less the wife of one, from speaking out on his or her own on US media. Freedom of speech, after all.

    You make a very good case that the Bushies tried to deceive us with a ringer. Leave it at that. Don't make charges that won't stand up and that will only be used to discredit the real case you have.

    It is not the responsibility of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

    by Dan K on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:47:34 PM PDT

    •  Not sure you're right here.... (4.00)
      IIRC from the Armstrong Williams controversy, there is a Federal law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in propaganda.

      If a VOA employee goes to Texas and fronts his wife to deliver administration talking points by misrepresenting herself, how do we construe that as anything other than propaganda?

      Lies are the new truth.

      by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:55:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is Spouse Subject to the Law? (4.00)
        I was focusing on the VOA aspect. For the case you raise, you would have to prove two points:

        1. What she did was "propoganda" under the meaning of the law. I haven't seen the law and I'm also not a lawyer, but my hunch is that this would be hard to prove. Advocacy is allowed, and where does it cross the line?

        2. Is a spouse of a federal employee subject to the law that binds the employee? That's another tough one.

        Seems to me we have better angles of attack here than the legal one. See my reply to Susan.

        It is not the responsibility of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

        by Dan K on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:36:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's murky (4.00)
          The spouse probably wouldn't be subject to the law, although a case of conspiracy to violate the act by the government principals could be a possibility.

          Hopefully, some reporter will be offended at being used as a tool.

          Bring them home. Now.

          by Sharon Jumper on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:40:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How Do We Know She Is Not on The Payroll Too? (4.00)
            How do we know that she is not being paid, either directly or indirectly, by government dollars?

            Did you see the make-up job on her?  She did not just get out of a car after driving to Texas from Washington.  

            In fact, I would be surprised if they drove, other than possibly in a rent car from the Dallas or Waco airport.  

            This thing looked fishy from the first, but now that you made the connection, it is fishy!  Big time.

            •  focus on the husband (4.00)
              FOIA for his timesheet? Did he take vacation or charge his time as work? If he was stupid enough to do this on the clock, it's a slam dunk. This is such amateurish shilling, I wouldn't be surprised if he charged it.
          •  Is May subject to same law as Greg? (none)
            [snip] The spouse probably wouldn't be subject to the law, although a case of conspiracy to violate the act by the government principals could be a possibility. [snip]

            If VOA is run anything like the military (and many other corporations & para-military organizations), spouses are subject to the law (UCMJ, in the case of the military), but, and this is an important 'but,' the active duty member (the actual employee) would be the one to answer the charges.

            How do I know this? My ex was hauled in front of a Captain's Mast (Navy version of an Article-15 hearing) because of something I did, in the course of my own job, that apparently ran afoul of the command sensibilities and (they claimed) broke some laws in the UCMJ.

            My ex was made to answer, not only for what I did, but also for why he didn't "keep [me] under proper control and command." You can just imagine the shitstorm that charge (and wording) started. My ex was eventually cleared of all charges (and given no punishment, thank God), but the whole experience left a very sour taste in both of our mouths.

            Note: I was the director of a 2-year college at the time of the incident mentioned above (and thus outranked my ex by a huge margin -- he was an E4 & I was an O5E). According to my bosses, this situation should never have resulted in a Captain's Mast, or any other judicial or non-judicial action, in main because my ex was an NCO and I was an Officer-equivalent, thereby putting us under different command authorities (one of the arguments my bosses used to stop the proceedings).

            So, in partial answer to at least one question: very often, spouses are held to the same laws governing the other spouse's job. The intricacies involved in adjudicating these situations may vary from organization to organization.

            JM5CW...

            I Support the Separation of Church and Hate...
            Rev Denise Michel
            revdenisemichel@yahoo.com

            by rev denise michel on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 12:18:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  We're NEVER going to make (4.00)
          a legal case. That isn't our job; we aren't prosecutors.
          We are talking about fighting a propaganda sneak attack with counter attacks on the same playing field. All we have to do is raise the issue in letters to the editor, and force them to deny a "connection" to her HUSBAND'S job.
          By the time they manage to do that, they will have already lost the battle in the court of public opinion, which is where this battle is being fought, not in a court of law.

          "Aure entuluva!" [Day will come again!] -Hurin

          by davidincleveland on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 11:13:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  advocacy or propaganda? (none)
          Is it "advocacy" or "propaganda" to knowingly lie in an effort to prop up or enhance public opinion of a government or government official?

          If it's propaganda, then it would take going over her words and finding out the truth of the matter to see if she lied.

    •  In light of your comments (4.00)
      I modified things a bit so as to not overstate the case, but point out the hypocrisy and ask for clarification and an inquiry.  

      Hopefully, some members of the media will be p*ssed off about this.

      Bring them home. Now.

      by Sharon Jumper on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:57:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Flagrant (3.25)
      The background about VOA gives context for why we can conclude she is a ringer engaging in (probably legal) domestic propaganda. It's so flagrant, shameless, and wrong (as well as helpfully transparent) that it would behoove us to poke a little deeper. It's not obvious on the surface that any law was broken, but it does have a smell to it... y'know?
  •  First time for everything (4.00)
    I'm making my first request to see a diary front paged, 'cause this is downright faaaascinating!!

    Damn good job Sharon Jumper, damn good. I was so impressed with you diary I almost forgot to be completely appalled by the illicit outrage it depicts.

    Almost.

  •  We need some more information however to really (4.00)
    blast it out from the blogs to make it clear into the MSM outlets.  Something about this couple could really grab the audience and make the story have legs.
  •  This I know (3.93)
    If the White House hired a well-known actress -- let's say Salma Hayek for the sake of discussion, and because I think she is a fox -- paid her a million dollars, wrote her a script, and put her on the pundit circuit claiming to be an Iraqi mother in favor of the American occupation, not only would Hardball put her on the air under the guise of "evenhandedness" (Cindy Sheehan gets her time, so a wingnut must, or it's not journalism), but the right wing would embrace Salma Hayek as a "true patriot."  Her role playing would not constitute propaganda, but a "dramatization of the American values of liberty and democracy," and denunciations of the practice would be met by Republicans with cries of censorship and anti-Hispanic racism on the part of Democrats.  Arianna Huffington would howl, Harry Shearer would scream, Al Franken would rant and rave, but Russert, Tweety and the rest of the mainstream media would accept it as the new paradigm.  Hiring actors to play the part of non-existent people who despite every reason not to supported Bush's policies would become not only acceptable, but de rigeur.

    We're headed this way.  I believe it.

    "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

    by The Termite on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:55:46 PM PDT

    •  You're right (4.00)
      Damn it. I don't like reading it but I know you're right.

      Have a 4 for being smooth enough to harsh my we've-got-you-now-my-pretty buzz without tickin' me off. ;)

      •  That's Infotainment!!! (n/t) (4.00)

        "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

        by The Termite on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:06:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he wasn't too bad with Cindy (4.00)
          And she did very well...except for the part where she intimated not supporting going after the taliban and bin laden in Afghanistan.  Then again, she seemed to think we disrupted that "country" by going in, so maybe she isn't very informed about that area.

          but she did well.

          --Liberate your radio--

          by Sam Loomis on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:31:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That Was A Shitty Question He Asked (4.00)
            Frigging Tweety was chicken shit even asking that question.  

            He is a certified jerk.

            But, in spite of that, she did good with her answers and for the most part left him gasping for air.

            You have to remember that when someone does an intereview with that jerk, they are really doing an intereview with about a half dozen people because that is how many people are coming up with the shit the speak to him in his ear and comes flopping out of his mouth.  

            •  Yeah, I thought it was an unfair question too! (none)
              He asked her if she would feel the same way if Casey had been killed in Afghanistan instead of Iraq. AND he asked it after he had been grilling her sister. She seemed liked she was there for moral support, not to debate with him. Cindy did handle it a lot better than I would have!

              I did NOT know that he was being fed questions on air through his earpiece. (Pardon my naivete -- I was a print journalist.) That explains his often-disjointed line of thought. Just when I think he's going to pursue an interesting line of questioning, he goes off on a tangent lots of times. I thought maybe he was just trying to do too much at once. Either that or he's ADD.

              •  Yikes (none)
                He asked her if she would feel the same way if Casey had been killed in Afghanistan instead of Iraq.

                He asked that?  OMG -- forcing Cindy to say there might be SOME SITUATION in which the loss of her son would be acceptable!

                NO MOTHER could answer that in the affirmative.  I know -- I have lost a son (not in a war).  There is no way I could say that without feeling I had betrayed my son.  Even in something like WWII, where you might feel we had to go to war, it would be almost impossible to go as far as to say the loss of your son was a GOOD thing, an OK thing.

                That's a horrible question!!!

            •  half-a-dozen people? not really. (none)
              I'm a (local) TV news vet and it just doesn't work that way. The producer may murmur a few sweet nothings in the anchor/host's ear but it can't be a nonstop barrage or the anchor will lose his/her concentration. Most of what the anchor hears is cues: "Sixty seconds to break...wrap it up...I said WRAP IT UP..."

              And those IFBs (the earplugs) can cause a lot of trouble. A local anchor I used to work with permanently lost her hearing in one ear when a high volume burst of static came over her IFB. She can't work any more because of it.

              "Broadcast News," which is I assume where you're getting this impression, is a fun movie but not an accurate reflection of the biz. Well, except for Joan Cusack running through the newsroom like a maniac dodging open filing cabinet drawers. That sorta thing does happen. It's the fun part of broadcast.

              Then again, I've never worked with Tweety; you may know something I don't know. For all I know, he's got someone's hand up Tweety's ass pulling strings and making his mouth move whilst simultaneously drinking a glass of water...

          •  maybe too informed (none)
            Considering that the US and our good buddies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia supported the Taliban (yeah, women's rights, freedom, blah, blah, blah, so like we were saying, let's seal the pipeline deal), and bin Laden, before and after the invasion, she may be very well informed about that area.

            Don't buy that "safe haven for terrorists" bullshit.  You're assuming that BushCo. lied their way into Iraq but were on the up and up about Afghanistan. Follow the military bases, follow the pipeline, and most of all, follow bin Laden.

            •  Yes. And.......... (none)
              ...the real safe haven for terrorists (at least bin Laden) is Pakistan. I saw it about a week and a half ago when Pakistan's Thug-in-Charge, our boy Gen. Musharraf, was interviewed by Cynthia McFadden. She asked him whether he would turn O.B.L. over to the U.S.A. if the Pakistani authorities capture him. The good general's terse answer..."We'll see." I couldn't believe it. That's it? We'll see? When a parent says 'we'll see', every 5 year old knows that it means 'no'.

                   Bin Laden will stay in Pakistan and run his hate-filled operation with its tacit blessing. What happened to George the Lesser's bold claims.."You're for us or against us?." "Bin Laden can run, but he can't hide?" Meaningless platitudes. Lord Chimpy either has ADD or simply has the ability to talk the talk without worrying about walking the walk.

              •  Bin Laden in Iran? (none)
                It's been suggested by the usual crowd, but also by other sources at various times. Of course it doesn't mean that he hasn't possibly moved elsewhere since then or that this is nothing more than pure speculation.
                •  nonsense (none)
                  bin Laden's radical Wahabis hate the Shiites, considering them apostates and devils.  The al Qaeda people in Iraq are eager to kill Shiites.

                  Sorry, a bin Laden/Iranian alliance is nonsense.

                  •  CW for those who know very little (none)
                    Iran has funded the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the unrelated Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both of which are hardly Shiite groups. Overcoming the Sunni/Shiite divide in cases of common interested (and enemies) is not unheard of.

                    Besides, I'm not saying Bin Laden is getting all chummy with the Iranian Mullahs, but there is an Iranian region (Baluchestan) that borders both Pakistan and Afghanistan AND that is more or less outside of the grip of the centralized government. It is well-known for its drug traffickers and general lawlessness.

    •  Remember Bush flying out on Thanksgiving... (4.00)
      ...to visit the soldiers in Iraq in 2003?

      Well, being an airline family, I remember very clearly the story that was concocted to make Bush's mission more 'dangerous' and 'exciting'. They made up a Tom Clancy-like story about a British Airlines plane almost 'blowing' Air Force One's cover on their way over...do you guys remember that?

      They ended up changing their story 3 times --  each time getting caught in another lie. Finally, they had to come clean.

      How did McClellan explain the whole joke-on-the-American-people fabrication?

      And what we always try to do for you all in the press corps is to provide you a little color of important events, because we believe that's helpful to you for your stories, and to do your reporting to the American people. WhiteHouse.gov

      I mention this because it fits in so well with your comments:

      Her role playing would not constitute propaganda, but a "dramatization of the American values of liberty and democracy,".

      They're already doing it, Termite. And the 2nd-rate actor they hired is Bush.

      Bring them home. Now. [poll]

      by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:45:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  2nd Rate Actors (4.00)
        The best 2nd rate actor they had was Ronald Reagan. Arnold's always been a shitty actor so things are working out for him.
        •  You're right...Bush is merely 3rd-rate. N/T (4.00)

          Bring them home. Now. [poll]

          by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 10:04:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Like a "B" Movie (none)
          "And when America found itself having a hard time facing the future, they looked for people like John Wayne. But since John Wayne was no longer available, they settled for Ronald Reagan - and it has placed us in a situation that we can only look at - like a 'B' Movie."
          ...
          "And now we act like 26% of the registered voters is actually a mandate. We're all actors in this I suppose."

          Gil Scott Heron wake up, we need you now.

          "The thing about being President is I don't have to answer questions."

          by winstnsmth on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 02:24:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  wow (4.00)
        I remember that detail about talking with another plane on the way over, I had no idea it was fabricated. They really do lie that habitually don't they?
        •  Here's one more choice quote... (4.00)
          ...from the CNN article I linked to above:

          The story was told as an example of the suspense and secrecy of the trip, which the president said was essential to keep under wraps. He said he was prepared to abort the journey if anyone found out.

          When they lie so blatantly -- when they don't even need to lie, but they just choose to do it because it will be a good 'story' -- it shows them to be bankrupt and morally vacant. It's almost as if they enjoy making things things up for sheer folly, lying to our face. Has it become sport for them, or something?

          Anyway, both the McClellan and the CNN quotes use the word 'story'. Did you pick up on that? Since when is the WH Press Corps charged with writing 'stories'? Aren't they supposed to be reporting the facts?

          </chasing tail around in circles..argh>

          Bring them home. Now. [poll]

          by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:42:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I also love the fact... (4.00)
        that the damn turkey he was carrying around on a platter while he pretented to "feed the troops" was frickin' plastic!!

        YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

        by molls on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:00:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The bar has been set lower and lower (none)
      and the media has been down to crawling on its knees to stay below the bar during the past three years.
  •  Now that Iraq's been "liberated"... (4.00)

      ...why isn't this "Iraqi woman" back in her homeland?

    Republicans oppose abortion -- it happens eighteen years too early.

    by Buzzer on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:59:55 PM PDT

    •  Ho, ho! Good one! (4.00)
      Are you fucking kidding?  It's DANGEROUS over there! I mean, Freedom's great n all, but DAMN!

      The Republican Party: Redefining Oppression for the 21st Century

      by daveriegel on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:21:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're so right (none)
       In the last Iraqi election there were many Iraqis that voted outside of Iraq, like in the US, England, etc. Why aren't they back in Iraq fighting for their new found freedoms and bring our troops home.
      •  Cut Iraqi immigrants a little slack. (4.00)
        The Bush administration - on the other hand - seems even sleazier than before.  Is there anything more grotesque than pitting two traumatized women against each other for political gain, one Iraqi and one American?  

        It's nauseating.  

  •  Will someone PLEASE (3.90)
    make sure that ROve's coffin is properly locked at night.
  •  They're such good party members... (3.91)
    ...I wondered if they had any minders with them? The GOP has turned into an American Politburo. Why do I get the feeling that every time Putin sees Bush has to contain his laughter, not just because it's the sickest joke ever played on America and the world, but because he can clearly see what Bush is doing since he probably makes Bush look like an amateur (Well, yeah, we wsih Bush was up to "Amateur" level)with all of his experience.

    Fucking Republicans, there simply isn't anything they won't lie about.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:03:42 PM PDT

  •  Real Iraqis (3.83)
    If it wasn't for the eyewitness accounts from relatives that have served in Iraq, you could draw the conclusion that there are no real Iraqis.  If there were, why would Bush then need to use fake ones?  Maybe it's the expense factor, cheaper to use a homegrown person of arab or thereabouts decent then to fly a real live Iraqi to America keep them temporarily then release them back into the US made wilds of Iraq?

    How sad it is that Iraq was once a highly educated country with many civilized intellectuals (some with American and British educations) but after the US invaded, suddenly they have reverted backwards into people too dumb to be trusted to run their own country or even fix it...or so we are told.  

    •  iraqi invisibility factor (4.00)
      they don't use real iraqis because they have found that real iraqis have a distressing tendency to turn invisible in the american media.  this typically occurs when they either 1. stray from the bush administration's script, or 2. get killed by american munitions.

      we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
      — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

      by zeke L on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:44:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wrote CM (3.62)
    a skathing email asking if he had beeb had or did he know?  If he was had ... shame, shame and someone should be fired for the total screw up.  and if they didn't know .... shame, shame for having their heads up their asses for not realizing that we, plain ole Americans, would notice one, her saying other country's citizens were shooting at our troops - there is no gunfights, ehy are blowing our heros up!  and two, the cross around her neck, well, that's just not seen in Iraq so when and if did this woman ever live in Iraq?  also let him know that because of the msm's disregard for checking facts and passing lies onto his audience, he should be well aware that there are many and able to REPLACE his ass!  I also let him know that I was expecting an apology in tomorrow's show!
  •  Suggest you forward (4.00)
    rhis to all the Air America shows.  They love to blast the MSM for their complete dereliction of the duty to collect the facts.

    If you want to be nice you could also let Chris Matthews know that he screwed up again -- not that he cares anymore.

    What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

    by Marie on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:10:08 PM PDT

  •  Haing worked for Hill and Knowlton (4.00)
    at the onset of the first Iraq war... and having had the Kuwaiti Government (ostensibly our client) provide a woman who appeared on 60 Minutes claiming that she was raped and pillaged who turned out to not have been in Kuwait at the time AND turned out to be a member of the Kuwaiti family - and seeing as that 60 Minutes piece had a lot to do with turning public opinion in favor of our intervention - May seemed way too "handy" when she turned up today on the MSM...

    And you wonder why I sometimes talk about things that seem like "conspiracies".  We felt betrayed then having worked on what we thought was actually a noble cause - liberating people from an oppressor...

    •  Choke--! (4.00)
      Did you have to sign some non-disclosure thing about this or can you write a bit about it? I had no idea.

      War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

      by Margot on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:03:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No and the account was headed by a really (none)
        decent guy who got took in the process too.  He was a brilliant PR man and he has since died.  He was actually one of my heores.  As far as I know, none of us knew the origin of the girl.  She was paradied in Wag the Dog by the way.

        In any case, it was the begining of the movement that we are now fighting.

        •  Love to see a diary about this (none)
          Or a bit more here, whatever you want.  I never even saw "Wag the Dog," I was that ticked off about the VRWC and boy, am I even more ticked now.

          War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

          by Margot on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 12:22:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Wag the Dog" wasn't about Clinton (none)
            But the way the script was written and the fact that it was released just as Monicamania broke made it seem that way.

            The book it was based on was specifically set during Gulf War I, and the fictional president was named George H.W. Bush and the fictional secretary of state was named James Baker. The P.R. stunts were clearly based on the way the Gulf War was sold to us.

            Even the sex scandal was a fictionalized version of something that happened during either Poppy Bush's or Ronnie Reagan's presidency. I'd have to look up the details, but I remember it had something to do with some official giving late-night White Hours tours to male prostitutes and that the official involved later died under rather murky circumstances.

          •  It was 15 years ago so I don't know about (none)
            a non-disclosure.  I really can't remember if I ever signed one for the company in general.  My dealings with the account were peripheral.  I had other colleagues who were intreanched in a media war room monitoring media response for days.  

            As it happens, most of us found out with the rest of America when the piece aired on CBS about the girl.  It was well after the war was fought and won so people didn't really care that much, but those of us who had believed and had anything to do with it were pretty dis-heartened.

            I'll think about doing a diary.  It is hard to find links back that far which is one reason why I never have done it.  I am also in the midst of a big project so it probably won't happen for a while given the amount of research I'd want to do to make it right.

        •  I second the notion (none)
          asking if you could write a bit more about the women who made false claims about the first Iraq war and similarities to this women who "showed up on a talk show".   I had truly forgotten some of the type about that war too.  About the babies thrown out of the incubators.

          If I were Saddam's lawyer, I would list Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush I as wittnesses for the defense.

    •  Iraqi soldiers and incubators (none)
      Didn't this woman who testified turn out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S.?
  •  So far... (4.00)
    I've e-mailed Cindy directly, as well as truthout, the iconoclast and matthews.
  •  Thank Heavens for gals like you.... (4.00)
    ...and the Internets, too.

    • Excellent sleuthing!
    • Great diary.
    • Same specious media.

    Draw your own conclusions about what this agency is...and why a wife of one of their "reporters" was put on national tv to attack a grieving mother.

    Because they're all a bunch of hypocrites and whores? Too easy, Sharon! <wink>

    We return now to our regularly scheduled programming:

    "It's been 2,949,467 days since the Holloway girl has gone missing in Aruba. Should her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandneices give up hope that she will ever be found, and return to the the General Electric States of America? That story and more...next, on  the Desperate Housewives Newshour."

    Bring them home. Now. [poll]

    by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:14:11 PM PDT

  •  "The U.S. government isn't supposed to (4.00)
    lie and spread propaganda to its own people."

    ROTFLMAO

    STOP!  YOU'RE KILLING ME!

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:14:15 PM PDT

    •  hey Jim in Chicago! (4.00)
      you stole my ROTFLMAO response line!

      the U.S. government isn't supposed to lie and spread propoganda to its own people.

      I breathelssly await the mass arrests in the Bush Administration, Republican Party, and the world of wingnut broadcasting for violating the Smith-Mundt Act!

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:21:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  VOA USED to be about the truth (4.00)
    It shamelessly and openly reported on Watergate, Iran-Contra, Lewinski, and other things.
    People all over the world trusted it for that very reason.
    About three years ago, the board of governors of VOA was stacked with partisan rethuglicans, and all that changed.  VOA became a raw propaganda engine, and listenership has fallen off considerably.
    Bushco--never saw a good program they couldn't corrupt and destroy.

    Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

    by soonergrunt on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:16:49 PM PDT

    •  Yep (none)
      VoA used to be a good organization. Bush wrecked it like so much else.

      There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

      by Sandals on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:19:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4.00)
      Honestly, a lot of the comments on this whole Lamotte thing are weird for me to read.  I know quite a few people who work for VOA, and they're generally good journalists and good people.  The last four or five years have been a real struggle for them in terms of interference from the Bush administration, and VOA journalists are battling to protect their editorial independence.  Or what's left of it.

      When Ken Tomlinson started messing with NPR and PBS, outraged listeners got involved and tried to stop it.  (With how much success, I dunno.)  But the only people petitioning Congress on behalf of VOA's independence are VOA employees.  VOA's listeners are overseas, and they don't vote in U.S. congressional elections, so nobody cares whether they're outraged about political interference with the station.  Nobody in the U.S., at least.  And they should care.  Because it's the tip of a very large iceberg.

      More about VOA's battles with the Bush administration here, here, here and here.  And this piece from Foreign Affairs is by another former VOA director, Sandy Ungar.  It includes links to a sort of back-and-forth between Ungar and current VOA director David Jackson.

      Honestly, these folks need our support, not knee-jerk labeling of what they do as propaganda, which plays into the Bush administration's desire to turn the VOA into a crude mouthpiece for the administration.

      •  There's a reason why... (none)
        It's illegal for VOA to work in the U.S.

        It's been the law since 1948.

        This isn't tinfoil hat nonsense.

        Bring them home. Now.

        by Sharon Jumper on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 12:09:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          Who said anything about tinfoil hats?

          All I'm saying is that I know people who work for VOA, and they're not wingnuts.  Read the links.

          I Googled the Smith-Mundt Act and found this, which reads in part:  

          "That law, still in force, was designed in and for another era, when memories were still fresh of Hitler's propaganda pounded into audiences in Nazi Germany. And American commercial broadcasters, too, were all in favor of the Smith-Mundt Act; the nation's radio stations were concerned about competition from the government-funded Voice of America, so they did not want its signal heard in the U.S.

          "As a consequence, even informed Americans are kept in the dark about how our tax dollars are used to promote U.S. interests through international broadcasting."

          So it seems that like soooooo much of our more "modern" legislation, the Smith-Mundt Act was passed at least partly in response to corporate interests... how interesting.

          •  No one's saying VOA employees are bad people (none)
            Just like most of the folks who work for the intelligence agencies are not "bad people..."
            but they're still spies.  

            The reason the VOA cannot do news in the US is because they don't do "just news."  

            Bring them home. Now.

            by Sharon Jumper on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 01:21:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (none)
              Just curious what you're basing that assessment on.

              Are you saying it's not "just news" because you've heard and/or read lots of VOA reports or broadcasts, and you know them to be propaganda?  Or are you just assuming that it cannot possibly be news because it's government funded?  

              This is an honest question, I'm not trying to be snarky at all.  You just seem to have really strong opinions about VOA, and since most Americans don't even know what VOA is, I'm just curious how you came by them.

            •  Spies? (none)
              That's just empty hyperbole. VOA is a news agency meant for foreign comsumption, and yes, it may (or may not, depending on the importance of a specific topic) have US foreign policy influencing the tone and content of some of its broadcasts, but that's no different from whatever private Clear Channel type radio available in the US.

              And nobody's going to get arrested if you listen to their broadcasts in the US over the internet, so I sincerely doubt that a law passed in 1948 is strictly enforced to that end.

              •  Heh. (none)
                but that's no different from whatever private Clear Channel type radio available in the US.

                Which is what makes Clear Channel so friggin' scary.  VOA has the potential to be used as a propaganda tool.  Clear Channel IS being used as a propaganda tool.

                Searching for Truth, Justice, and the Guy Who Boosted My Wallet a Few Weeks Back...

                by Stealthbadger on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 01:59:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        I should add that the "good journalists and good people" comment should not be read as applying to Greg Lamotte, who I know almost nothing about.
    •  voa in the 80's and 90's (none)
      before satellite tv and during the fall of the berlin wall, voa was the only way i could get the news in english overseas.  i listened to it on the shortwave.  they also had the top ten and some shows from npr.

      i didn't know it'd changed in the last years.  that's sad!

      nostalgic for a lot of things, f

    •  Are you talking about VOA or NPR? (none)
      <snark>

      Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

      by caseynm on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 04:19:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  whew (none)
      ...so good to read people's defense of VOA -- pre-Bush, anyway.  Back in the 1970s I did radio reporting for VOA as a stringer.  They always asked for whatever was goin' on -- as I was in the rural Midwest at the time, it was stuff like "how are depressed farm prices affecting family farms?", or "give us a piece on the powerline controversy and the violence that's been occurring."  I never heard the final result of my work, of course, but the material I fed them did not usually put everything U.S. into a rosy light.  They'd have had to drop all of my audio clips to make it rosy.  And they specifically told me time and time again that they weren't looking for any particular point of view.  They said I should report it just as I'd report it for my station, just remember to make things clear for a foreign audience (no acronyms or inside jokes).  Now and then I see references to VOA on Dkos and elsewhere, and have begun to wonder if I was a willing dupe of our intelligence services or something.  Not a good feeling.  Glad to know the VOA I knew then is not the VOA that struggles on now, rife with interference.
  •  Tomlinson! (4.00)
    Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chmn. Kenneth Tomlinson was Director of the Voice of America from 1982 to 1984, btw. Very Bushy coincidence, no?
  •  E-mail Hardball. (4.00)
    You can e-mail Hardball at hardball@msnbc.com and thell them what you think about this.  You might ask if Hardball is going to report on how they got scammed by the administration.

    You broke it, but you can't fix it. It's time to go home now.

    by Tod on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:23:41 PM PDT

    •  My e-mail (4.00)
      Today's show included an interview with Cindy Sheehan followed by an interview with "May Hasan Lamotte".  Unfortunately you didn't tell your audience that Ms. Lamotte was not just an "Iraqi woman" like she and you led your audience to believe.  Ms. Lamotte is in fact married to a Bush Administration reporter at Voice of America.  Here's the link to one of Gregg Lamotte's many articles all with a decidedly pro Bush slant.

      http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/983

      The fact you left out raises a couple of questions.

      Did you know that Ms. Lamotte was connected to the Bush administration and intentionally not tell your viewers?

      Were you deceived by Ms. Lamotte?

      Do you plan to do a follow up report tomorrow explaining how you were hoodwinked by the Bush administration?

      Is this another example of the Bush administration illegally using taxpayer funds for propaganda in the United States?

      I look forward to seeing the rest of the story tomorrow.

      You broke it, but you can't fix it. It's time to go home now.

      by Tod on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:32:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Lone Star Iconoclast has her picture posted in (4.00)
    their Crawford Aug 14th update as her being an Iraqi
    professor.  Someone better inform them they were duped!!!!!!!!!
  •  Excellent Work! (4.00)
    Thanks! And Yes I think the Media would love to find this out!

    More paid for propaganda by Team Bush! RNC Cash at work!

    Again  Great Work.

    Very interesting that her husband is in charge of releasing the Osa tapes!

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:30:09 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry, but... (2.50)
    this diary reads like a smear job to me, and we don't need to go that way.  It's full of suggestions, hints, and smears..  Google Greg Lamotte, and there's nothing at all suggesting wingnuttia or propoganda.  The VoA is a respectable organization, even if it has been poisoned by BushCo in recent years.  And there's nothing much at all about his wife around.  The quote given in the diary is pretty much it, and it is very reasonable on its own. We can disagree with this lady without villifying her.

    There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

    by Sandals on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:32:05 PM PDT

    •  Is there anything wrong with what she did? (4.00)
      To call this a "smear job" requires a "Catch-22" kind of reasoning.  Nothing personal or embarassing was revealed about Ms. Lamotte.  She wasn't an undercover operative with the CIA.  There's no expose of her personal life.  

      The only way the revelation that her husband works for VoA could be taken as a "smear" is if you agreed that her actions in holding herself out as just an average Iraqi without telling everybody that the clothes on her back were bought with Bush administration dollars were misleading.  If you agree that she was misleading then the "smear" in bring that deception out in the open is perfectly appropriate.

      You broke it, but you can't fix it. It's time to go home now.

      by Tod on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:45:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whisper campaigns... (4.00)
        don't have to be a full out smear to be effective. Sometimes they are just looking for that one chink in the armor for a thread of doubt to get in.

        In Texas during the 2000 Republican primaries, the question about John McCain wasn't a full out smear like it was in SC. It was just a question of degrees re: temperment. They didn't say he was insane...they did mention concerns with regards to his temper.

        "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

        by kredwyn on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:04:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Recognize the difference. (4.00)
          The whisper campaign against McCain accused him of fathering an illegitimate black child, pandering to racial hatred in the south.  Even just the "temper" whispers had to do with something viewed as inherently negative.

          The difference here is that there is nothing wrong with being married to a VoA reporter.  Nobody who knows her is going to think any less of her because she is married to a VoA reporter.  That is not an inherently negative or embarassing fact.

          The revelation is only embarassing because of her action in pretending to be an ordinary Iraqi.

          You broke it, but you can't fix it. It's time to go home now.

          by Tod on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:11:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that... (4.00)
            it should've been made clearer in the interview that was who she was.

            To me, it's a marker...like pointing out to AP that the woman from Maine who was in Crawford over the weekend for the counter protest is the co-founder for something called Military Families for Bush. That organization was active in the 2004 campaign. Yet when she was interviewed, none of that information (a quick google search away) made it into the article. In the article she is presented as just a woman with a son in the Marines who disagrees with Cindy.

            It also brings up relevant questions. Who is she? Why did she just pick up and drive to Crawford to tell Cindy about the "not dying in vain" thing?

            Being married to a reporter doesn't make her a non-person.

            But making sure that your audience gets the full set of details helps them make the determination for themselves. That includes letting the audience know that she's not just an ordinary Iraqi...

            "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

            by kredwyn on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:22:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly. (none)
              And that's all that was revealed in the diary.  Nobody is posting her divorce papers on the internet or anything remotely like that.

              You broke it, but you can't fix it. It's time to go home now.

              by Tod on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:39:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's my point... (none)
                whispers come in all shapes. These "just folks" quotes are very subtle. They aren't aimed at destroying her. They can be used as fine cracks focused on muddying water and undermining public opinion.

                The email to Drudge from extended family: "See even her family's against her being there..."
                The pending divorce: "See her family life is falling apart..."

                Those are the big whispers that you can hear even when they are being whispered. You know where they come from.

                The whispers I'm talking about are the ones that are so quiet that even a mouse can't hear them.

                An Iraqi woman shows up to talk to Cindy about the freedom thing: "Remember that noble cause the president was talking about? Here's a representation of it..."

                A Marine mom says she disagrees with Sheehan's stance: "See...standard disagreement amongst the ranks. This is just a distraught mother who hasn't yet come to terms with her grief...poor poor lady."

                Perhaps I'm interpreting more than is really there...

                "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

                by kredwyn on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:57:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  for those who still don't get it (4.00)
            the point is that someone who was presented to the media as an "ordinary Iraqi" just trying to set the record straight has a connection to the Bush Administration that affects her appearance of impartiality.

            I can imagine the meeting now:

            Rove surrogate:  This Cindy Sheehan business is beginning to get traction.  When are we going to get some counterimages out there?
            #
            Ministry of Truth Lackey:  We're working on it, sir.
            #
            RS:  Why haven't you rounded up some grieving mothers for our side?
            #
            Ministry of Truth Lackey:  Well, we haven't found very many Gold Star Mothers willing to attack another Gold Star Mother in public.
            #
            RS:  Don't we have some people from the re-election appearances we can send down there?
            #
            MTL: The few we found were not very enthusiastic about going to Texas in August or staying there more than a few hours once they got there, but we're working on it.  We've got someone from Military Families for Bush but her son is still alive.
            #
            RS:  Well, send her down there until we find someone better.  Now, what happened with trying to find an Iraqi native to go to Crawford?  WHat happened to the purple finger woman from the state of the union address?
            #
            MTL:  Safia Taleb Al Souhail is back in Iraq but we have found a former VOA employee with an Iraqi wife who might be persuaded to help us.
            #
            RS:  Get moving on that ASAP!  We need that visual for next week's news cycle!

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 08:21:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  ...And Gov. Ann Richards being gay... N/T (none)

          Bring them home. Now. [poll]

          by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 10:25:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep...have hear... (none)
            that one...

            "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

            by kredwyn on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 11:54:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Comment re Ann Richards... (4.00)
            [snip] ..And Gov. Ann Richards being gay... N/T [snip]

            IF Ann Richards is gay, and if she is an example of what gays in public service are like (and can accomplish), then I say we need more, more, more gays in public service (including military), not less. She was an awesome governor (except for that dratted death penalty crap she supported), and I rue the day she lost to Shrub. I voted for her (she was Gov when I moved here), and would do so again, if she can be convinced to run (anyone willing to help me approach her with this idea?). In any event, Texas under Richards was a helluva lot better than it was under Shrub or is under Perry.

            I've lived with all 3 as Gov, so I feel I have the right to make these comparisons. Oh how I wish Ann would return to the Texas Governor's Mansion! {and not just as a visitor}....

            Mini-rant ended... we now return you to the actual topic-at-large...   ;~}

            PS, speaking about the topic-at-large (I'm not always OT, you know).. VOA was a great resource when I lived overseas. It brought me news of my homeland, and even tho I knew some of it (how much, I didn't care at the time) was propaganda, just hearing about home made my time out-of-country a bit easier to bear. I wish those now listening to VOA (as it is under Shrub) could have the same comfort I felt. It is truly a shame that they are denied even that little crumb of comfort.

            JM5CW...

            I Support the Separation of Church and Hate...
            Rev Denise Michel
            revdenisemichel@yahoo.com

            by rev denise michel on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 11:16:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  smear job? (4.00)
      The diarist stated FACTS which are pertinent to this question: is the Bush administration trying to neutralize Cindy Sheehan's impact by staging propaganda?  (Which they have been caught doing many times previously, so it's not far-fetched.)

      You may not be interested in this question, but I sure am.  It gets at the heart of our democracy -- are we going to be a people informed by the truth, or will our government be serving up self-interested propaganda?

      So your idea of a "smear" is very oversensitive.  And quite inaccurate.  The word doesn't fit unless you have some other axe to grind.  Do you?

      •  Fact...Bull (2.14)
        The title of this entry

        "Bush brings in a Iraqi ringer"

        What fact substantiates this fact?

        "Faux Iraqi"

        What fact substantiates the fact that she is not an Iraqi, what factual standard is applied to determine one's national identity, or credentials to speak as being representative of the point of view of the common Iraqi man or woman?  

        Yes criticize her for her points of view, for her lack of current connection to Iraq, or the validity of her comments, but this other stuff is just plain bull shit.

        •  what nonsense (4.00)
          You intentionally omitted the very point of this diary, which is that she's married to someone in the Bush administration who is a professional propagandist.  

          And the Bush adminstration has repeatedly employed paid propagandists to spread misinformation.

          Tell you what:  YOU ignore that, if your sense of decorum requires it.  To myself and many others here, that seems like a good way to get politically played, again and again.  I'd rather risk asking a few uncomfortable questions, based on FACTS that this woman omitted from her public appearances.

          You will be more well-liked by the GOP though, I'm sure.  Enjoy.

          •  I even think Andrea Mitchell... (4.00)
            ...should have to qualify every comment she makes with, "I'm married to Alan Greenspan."

            Like there aren't enough qualified people in the world for media jobs...they all have to be gobbled up by people who are 'hooked in' somehow with the power brokers.

            Coincidence? I think not! [slapping gloves down on the table dramatically]

            Bring them home. Now. [poll]

            by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 10:30:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Andrea Mitchell comment... (none)
              [snip]   I even think Andrea Mitchell...
              ...should have to qualify every comment she makes with, "I'm married to Alan Greenspan."

              Like there aren't enough qualified people in the world for media jobs...they all have to be gobbled up by people who are 'hooked in' somehow with the power brokers.

              Coincidence? I think not! [slapping gloves down on the table dramatically] [snip]

              It'd be more effective if, during the intro's, every panelist -- reporter -- commentator -- guest -- (whoever) was identified with such info. At least it'd make it easier for us to see whatever hidden agendas may be shaping what comes out of their mouths. Don't you think?

              BTW, wouldn't it be ever so satisfying to take those gloves and vigorously slap some propagandist -- Shrub apologist -- (insert water carrier here) upside the head with 'em? {snark}...

              JM5CW...

              I Support the Separation of Church and Hate...
              Rev Denise Michel
              revdenisemichel@yahoo.com

              by rev denise michel on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 11:25:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4.00)
      A couple of friends who work at VOA have told me that Lamotte was essentially fired several months ago.  He definitely doesn't work for them anymore.  My friends preferred not to talk about the reasons, but they rolled their eyes and uttered a few obscenities when I mentioned him and his wife.
    •  Not a smear, just interesting facts (none)
      I wholeheartedly agree with the other poster who replied to your comment. It is a "smear" only if the diarist uses information illegitimately in order to cause one to have an inaccurate, incorrect or just plain false impression.

      This diarist used completely neutral facts in order to help readers come to a pretty accurate and clear picture of the person in question.

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 10:02:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have to understand something: (4.00)
      It's not a smear job if it is just reporting the facts. The examples quoted in the diary were all slanted towards the administration's POV.

      You have to keep in mind that the right always tries to pass off propaganda as objective news; that's what the Armstrong Williams scandal was all about. And furthermore, there were other propaganda tapes by the Department of Education in the 2004 campaign and the Sinclair propaganda pieces.

      This is another example of that.

      The question I have to ask is, how much was she paid?

      •  And how much are they paying Tweety to cover her (none)
        clearly a setup.

        They tried to get another parent of a GI/Marine killed in Iraq on O'Reilly, and that bombed.

        New Rove's trying a new tack:  get some "local" to "thank" Cindy for the sacrifice of her son.

        And Tweety swallows it whole.
        The real question: Did he know she was a setup?

        I just love that Ghandhi phrase:
        First, they ignore you.
        Then, they ridicule you.
        then, they attack you.

        then, you win.

  •  Check this out: (4.00)
    White House Iraq `Plumbers Unit' Behind Plame Leak. Not news, you say? Why is Benador Associates involved with the Plame leak?

    One crucial question yet to be fully corroborated is: Was Miller's interview with al-Haideri part of a contract between the Bush Pentagon and Benador Associates, a New York City public relations firm representing some of the leading neo-conservatives in Washington, and Miller? Several sources have confirmed that Benador did have a contract with the Pentagon, to handle public relations work for Chalabi and the INC. But so far, Pentagon public affairs spokesmen have not confirmed details of the contract, or any information corroborating that Miller's work was part of the arrangement.

    It looks like Fitz could indict the whole lot of neocons under THE SMITH-MUNDT ACT OF 1948!

    Then there's Col. Sam Gardiner's article Truth From These Podia (pdf) about The Bush Administration's Psy-Ops on the US Public.

    Michael Ledeen, purported fabricator of the Niger Yellowcake documents, is associated with Benador Associates.

    Benador lists Judith Miller as a speaker. (Scroll down to the photo of Richard Perle with Eleanora Benador.)

    It seems Fitz could indict the whole lot of neocons under THE SMITH-MUNDT ACT OF 1948!

    •  Ummm...just to be clear about the source, though (none)
      That first link was from LaRouche publications?

      Not sure I want to go charging into battle with that corroborating body armor...

      •  Try this link then. (none)
        War is Sell. Scroll down to 'The Committee for the Invasion of Iraq' for the Benador connection to the PR/propaganda campaign to sell the Iraq war to US citizens. Includes a list of the neocons involved, including retired generals/Raytheon board members, etc.
        •  I thought the expression was (none)
          war is Zell.

          As in crazy as Zell.

        •  Nice! (none)
          It looks bad, real bad.  What I'm curious about now is

          1.  Who May and Gary work for now.
          2.  The date of May's last visit to Iraq.
          3.  An idea of how many surviving relatives she has in Iraq, and what general part of the country they live in.
          4.  The regularity of her communications with relatives in Iraq.
          5.  What road they went into Crawford on, because I've done that drive many times going from Washington to Tucson, AZ... and Texas is the part that wins the award for No Fun...  Just that part of the drive itself would give me second thoughts.  East Texas gives you a lot of time for introspection.  I can picture how I'd be in the drive now, looking out over mile after mile of what looks like flat, blasted plains (and this is coming from someone who loves deserts), and thinking of standing out in that being interrogated by reporters, watched by cameras, and throwing even more tension into an already unstable situation.  If I wasn't fantatically determined to do whatever it was, I'd be like "screw this, I've got a laptop.  Find me a hotel with broadband."

          The main reason I'm witholding outrage for a bit is that it would be stupid for someone in PR to use the wife of a public figure for something like this.  (Shaddap.  :D)

          Because to me, this looks more like a campaign to make a media martyr out of an Iraqi woman, and only secondarily an attempt to discredit Cindy.

          Then again, it all could be perfectly honest, a possibility I am reluctant to drop before I have to.  But I'm just imagining the drive through Texas

          Searching for Truth, Justice, and the Guy Who Boosted My Wallet a Few Weeks Back...

          by Stealthbadger on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 02:24:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  On the media (4.00)
    Once again a fantastic, thoroughly researched post by a kossack- thanks for doing the MSM's job.

    I can think of at least one show that will pick this up and give it air time without a doubt. While we're writting the MSM, write to On The Media, a WNYC radio program (and one of my favorites). They were one of the first on Gannon.

    onthemedia@wnyc.org

  •  And the beat goes on............. (4.00)

    Incredible information.  Reminds me of the Gulf War Kuwaiti woman brought to testify before Congress.  She had everyone in tears over her tales of babies being thrown out of incubators by the Iraqis.  The war was over before anyone knew she was the Saudi Ambassadors niece.  These Republicans never know when to stop.  There was no internet then.  Thank God (and Al Gore)they can't get by with that crap today.
  •  LaMotte is an EX-VOA Reporter (4.00)
    No longer working for VOA.  Also, he was a former CNN reporter, laid off in 2001.
  •  She was wearing (none)
    SO MUCH makeup - she looked way wrong.

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. -MLK

    by JLFinch on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:33:23 PM PDT

  •  Is there a video? (none)
    Is there video available of the Hardball segment?
  •  Hey, Sharon... (4.00)
    ...forgot to mention: nice push poll there! :o)

    Bring them home. Now. [poll]

    by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:43:53 PM PDT

  •  Actually, This Is Really Good News (4.00)
    When you stop and think, this is really good news.

    Even if Greg Lamotte is no longer at VOA, the fact that the Bush Crime Family found it necessary to run a ringer down to The Chicken Ranch, and make the arrangments to get her on "Stinkball with Tweety," speaks volumes about how effective Cindy is being and how scared they must be.

    •  It also proves how they do control the media... (4.00)
      Do you remember the David Letterman debacle earlier in the year?

      Letterman had run a video showing Bush giving a boring speech at some event; to his left, there was a kid, about 14 y.o., who was falling asleep while Bush was talking about something like 'Reinvigorating the Youth of America' or whatnot.

      Letterman ran the clip in its entirety, and explained to his audience members that it wasn't altered at all by their studio. It was hilarious. The very next morning, CNN -- or should I say Daryn Kagan -- reported that the WH was telling them that The Letterman Show was lying; that they'd altered the tapes for their bit.

      Letterman didn't back down...and shoved back.

      Eventually, CNN and the WH stood down -- with CNN saying that they 'made a mistake', the WH had not contacted them. "It was a mistake." WHA?? How do you get a thing like that wrong? Either the WH called you or they didn't...

      CNN Red-Faced Over Letterman Error

      Tuesday morning, CNN attempted to lighten its news mood by running the segment, credited to CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman," on its "CNN Live Today." But then CNN host Daryn Kagan added: "We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video, which would explain why the people around him weren't really reacting." Later, during CNN's "Live From ...," anchor Kyra Phillips reran the tape but cautioned viewers: "We're told that the kid was there at that event, but not necessarily standing behind the president."

      On his Tuesday telecast, Letterman aired Kagan's and Phillips' skeptical remarks and ranted: "An out-and-out, 100 percent absolute lie. The kid absolutely was there and he absolutely was doing everything we pictured via the videotape. ... "So when you cast your vote in November," he urged, "just remember that the White House was trying to make ME look like a DOPE."

      By then, CNN had owned up to its mistake, [right, that's what it was...oops! - ilona]  and placed a call to Letterman's New York headquarters before the 5:30 p.m. taping began. But the tape was already rolling before Letterman got the word. "According to this," he said during the show, referring to an index card in his grasp, "CNN has just phoned and ... the anchorwoman misspoke. They never got a comment from the White House. It was a CNN mistake."

      I mean...this is the stuff the WH concerns itself with? Comedy bits on the Letterman show?

      The one thing that is telling is the swiftness with which the WH called up the media and tells them to do their bidding -- and without any follow-up reporting (no one from CNN had called the Letterman show for comment, they just ran the WH line they were given, and then later took the fall when Letterman wouldn't back down), CNN and all the rest comply.

      Letterman was great. But, what the hell is wrong with these people in the WH? They are absolute control freaks.

      Bring them home. Now. [poll]

      by ilona on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 11:12:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Soon as I saw her (none)
    on Hardball I googled her name. Couldn't find a thing. I suspected she was another ringer, way to find it.

    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 10:12:34 PM PDT

  •  Source? (none)
    The faux Iraqi woman on Hardball is married to Greg Lamotte with Voice of America (VOA)

    Your source that this woman is married to former (CNN and VOA?) reporter Greg Lamotte is?

    Not doubting you but would be good to have proof of this.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 10:17:22 PM PDT

  •  Diary read on air (4.00)
    On the Bernie Ward show in the sf bay area.  Great job.
  •  Info on VOA (none)
    I LMAO reading this article from 1995 by the Heritage Foundation on VOA:
    "Ideas have consequences." This simple truism became the battle cry of the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s. But it was true long before Ronald Reagan's term in the White House, and it is no less true today. America still needs the ability to explain its policies and to educate people around the globe about American values and the principles of freedom. Because so many in the world yearn to enjoy the freedom which the United States represents, the world still needs desperately to hear America's voice...

    ...In its zeal to cut wasteful and unnecessary government spending, the Republican majority is poised to cripple the Voice of America, even though VOA is both America's primary means of conveying ideas and information overseas and a cost-effective and strategically effective component of U.S. foreign policy....

    ...Information is no longer neutral; it has "strategic" value, as recent history demonstrates. In the victory of America and the West over Soviet Communism, military power kept the "Evil Empire" contained. But it was ideas and information, not bombs and bullets, that ultimately brought the Soviet edifice crumbling down...

    ...The ability to convey ideas and information will remain a necessary component of American foreign policy. America must be able to shape the course of the world through a voice that encourages the forces of freedom and discredits the forces of oppression...

    VOA's primary mission is to promote American P-R-O-P-O-G-A-N-D-A, pure and simple.

  •  A Salon article on VOA (none)
    This is archived from March 2005 at http://archive.salon.com/politics/war_room/2005/03/02/propaganda/

    The battle for hearts and minds goes on in earnest in Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, and television is the official weapon of choice. Reuters reports that the U.S.'s venerable propaganda outlet, Voice of America, is planning to expand its Persian-language TV offerings in Iran to a four-hour daily broadcast. A U.S.-funded satellite channel, Alhurra , is also slated to begin beaming its programming into the homes of European Muslims this fall.

    "What we propose to do is exactly what Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and Radio Liberty did in the Cold War, and that is provide a window on the world," said Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were vital tools in America's information wars in the 1950s, broadcasting carefully crafted news reports to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Clearly, U.S. officials hope to combat the proliferation of Islamic extremist philosophy using the same principle.

    The Bush administration has also launched an ad campaign on Pakistani TV , offering as much as $25 million for information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden or his lieutenants. The interim Iraqi government has gotten into the act with a series of realistic-looking anti-insurgent videos called "Terrorism in the Grip of Justice." They are designed to create a sense of security and solidarity among ordinary Iraqis, with dramatic footage of insurgents confessing to their crimes, confronted by families of the people they've killed.

    The propaganda war is also a war of defense. The State Department recently placed Al-Manar, a well-known Hezbollah-sponsored satellite TV network, on its Terrorist Exclusion List . The TV network is the first to be designated as terrorist. The decision resulted in a blackout of the network within hours.

    This may not come as welcome news to Americans already concerned about domestic propaganda emanating from the White House (think Michael McManus , Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and Karen Ryan ).

    Some experts think an onslaught of "goodwill" TV programming could backfire by fomenting anti-Americanism, and may even be interpreted as a prelude to war in Iran (there have been rumors to that effect).

    "People could see it as a sign that an invasion is coming. It's the sort of thing that happens before nations build up their war effort," Nancy Snow, a propaganda expert, told Reuters.

  •  don't forget to write to these 'news' outlets (none)
    and tell em how disgusting they really are.

    Keep Religion in Church

    by titotitotito on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 03:08:58 AM PDT

  •  Thought Police (none)
    Come on... this is just another salvo in the mis and disinformation war.

    Facts have little currency in the public debate.  We live in the word of spin and sound byting.

    People MUST rely on their eyes and ears, what they read and see. We cannot each be a reporter.  We HAVE to trust the media...

    The media and those who step onto the stage... can say and do whatever they like because there is no pressure to be honest, but to support some, any agenda.

    Only in the rear view mirror might we ever see the truth... and even then many things are still locked away from scrutiny... the assassinations of the 60s for example.

    Whistle blowing is a very dangerous activity.  Sibel Edmonds has a lot of truth to report I suspect... and she is being gagged big time.  Pay attention to her in this period.

  •  After reading this diary late last night... (none)
    I caught the replay of Hardball.  I would say both of those women who were supporters of the US policy in Iraq (the Iraqi and the woman in the cowboy hat) seemed unprepared and looked kind of foolish.  The Iraqi woman gave the impression that she was very nervous and was just trying to remember lines that she had been fed.

    Honest to God. The Daily Show jokes just write themselves these days, don't they? --Kevin Drum

    by Susan S on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 05:22:48 AM PDT

  •  Sent an email to Hardball ... (none)
    ... and referenced this diary. My question to them:

    "Have you been snookered?"

  •  Pathetic (none)
    and typical of Chris Matthews by the way.
  •  If Iraq is so damn "free", then why... (4.00)
    aren't you living there, Ms. Lamotte?
  •  Hmmmmmmm (4.00)
    Would be good if anyone can determine Greg Lamotte's current employer, as it appears he drove his wife to this event. Perhaps a call to Benader Associates?
  •  So (none)
    this is the best Karen Hughes can do?
  •  Iconoclast had her picture on their site last (4.00)
    night Aug 15th as a Iraqi college professor but thanks to kos and emails from bloggers alerting them to the fact she was a ringer they have removed her picture.
  •  Let's flood the asshats (4.00)
    with more candidates.

    *********

    Dear Ms. Hughes.

    I'm a wanna-be Iraqi woman who would love to stand up and be counted in favor of more death in my soon-to-be-adopted country.  Actually, I'm not really Iraqi, but that's okay. I can play the part. And actually, I'm not really a woman, but, hey, that's what the black thingies are for, right?

    You need my help?  I'm there for you. Just ask!  

    Lyah

    PS  What are you paying shills these days?  I hear you've got the Washington Post editorial board on the payroll? I'll work cheap. Give me a ring!

    You too can use this sig line: Bring them home. Now.

    by Anglico on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 12:24:14 PM PDT

  •  Let's flood the asshats (none)
    with more candidates.

    *********

    Dear Ms. Hughes.

    I'm a wanna-be Iraqi woman who would love to stand up and be counted in favor of more death in my soon-to-be-adopted country.  Actually, I'm not really Iraqi, but that's okay. I can play the part. And actually, I'm not really a woman, but, hey, that's what the black thingies are for, right?

    You need my help?  I'm there for you. Just ask!  

    Lyah

    PS  What are you paying shills these days?  I hear you've got the Washington Post editorial board on the payroll? I'll work cheap. Give me a ring!

    You too can use this sig line: Bring them home. Now.

    by Anglico on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 12:27:47 PM PDT

  •  Connected Coast to Coast on MSNBC (none)
    RR just mentioned Sheehan story and the "attempts to kill the messenger" coming up after the commercial break.  Could it be he will mention our diary here?
  •  Bush loves ringers (4.00)
    This reminds me of another ringer Iraqi woman, Safia Taleb Al Souhail , who Bush had sit next to Chabali at his State of the Union speech earlier this year.
  •  Greg's brother was also CNN (none)
    I don't know if this adds anything to the conversation, but Greg's Brother Larry (RIP) was a CNN bigwig, who helped start the Dallas bureau:

    From the Atlanta Journal Constution of June 9th, -03

    LaMotte joined the cable network in 1980, but he was no longer working for the company at the time of his death.

    LaMotte, 60, was originally hired when CNN began to run the upstart network's Dallas bureau, a CNN spokeswoman said.

    He later served as chief of CNN's Los Angeles and Washington bureaus.

    LaMotte became a national correspondent for CNN in November 1984, and later was a correspondent for the network's Special Reports unit. He left CNN in July 1999.

    His brother, Greg LaMotte, is also a former CNN correspondent.

    I haven't seen anything odd about either, other than Greg's brief capture in the first Gulf war.

    "The GOP [redacted] water pistols while liberal Democrats [redacted] like rented mules." - Ollie [redacted], 4/22/05

    by HeyThereItsEric on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 03:08:59 PM PDT

  •  CONCERNS THAT BUSH IS "LOSING IT" (4.00)
    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7218.shtml

    (Keep in mind Bush's FIVE WEEK vacation when reading this.  Perhaps he desparately NEEDS this.)

    "Buy beleaguered, overworked White House aides enough drinks and they tell a sordid tale of an administration under siege, beset by bitter staff infighting and led by a man whose mood swings suggest paranoia bordering on schizophrenia. They describe a President whose public persona masks an angry, obscenity-spouting man who berates staff, unleashes tirades against those who disagree with him and ends meetings in the Oval Office with 'Get out of here!'

    In fact, George W. Bush's mood swings have become so drastic that White House emails often contain 'weather reports' to warn of the President's demeanor. 'Calm seas' means Bush is calm while 'tornado alert' is a warning that he is pissed at the world.

    Decreasing job approval ratings and increased criticism within his own party drives the President's paranoia even higher. Bush, in a meeting with senior advisors, called Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist a 'god-damned traitor' for opposing him on stem-cell research.

    'There's real concern in the West Wing that the President is losing it,' a high-level aide told me recently.

    'I was really very unsettled by him and I started watching everything he did and reading what he wrote and watching him on videotape. I felt he was disturbed,' (psychiatrist) Dr. Justin Frank said. 'He fits the profile of a former drinker whose alcoholism has been arrested but not treated.'  Dr. Frank's conclusions have been praised by other prominent psychiatrists, including Dr. James Grotstein, Professor at UCLA Medical Center, and Dr. Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Medical School."

  •  Greg LaMotte Cairo reporter (none)
    I did a Proquest search. The most recent item is a July 03 obit (Atlanta Journal and Milw Journal) for Larry LaMotte, former CNN reporter who died trying to save his 12 yr old son off the Florida panhandle.  His widow is named Sandee LaMotte and his brother is Greg LaMott, "of Cairo", also "a former CNN reporter. In 2001-2002 he is writing for "Middle East News Online".  I think he was let go from CNN around 2001.
    There is a very interesting news article dated Mar 9, 1991. Greg LaMotte was one of a group of journalists who were held captive by Iraqis for a few days and later released. He was working for CNN at the time. He said "the Iraqis took good care of them." At the time Greg LaMotte was 36 yrs old and "had been a correspondent at CNN in Los Angeles since August 1985"
    Other info in the article states that LaMotte's home was in La Crescenta and that he had an 11 yr old son.
  •  Excellent post (none)
    This is what it is about. Thank you for the information. From what I can see there could be a lot more to this far beyond the "Iraqi" women.

    We HAVE to make sure the media reports this. We can't forget about Rove, and Delay and all the rest. We must put pressure on them. Make up fliers and leave them in public places with information like this. The media is a big problem and we need to expose it even more.

    Contact AP
    info@ap.org

    Contact Msnbc
    GeneralComments@feedback.msnbc.com

  •  This is an example why the MSM is controlled...... (none)
    Excellent work!  Too bad it's the job of the MSM to do kickass journalistic investigation like this!  The Woodward's & Bernstein's are now on the internet!

    Not only didn't the MSM investigate this farce, but they paraded her on their airwaves!!!  They were complicent lock, stock, & barrell in bringing us to war, and they still are!!!

  •  Cindy Sheehan Needs To Out This Woman on TV (none)
    Cindy Sheehan needs to out this woman on TV, and expose Bush's propoganda.  It would be a devastating blow to him!!!!!!!
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