How the spooks took over the news
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Posted: February 17th, 2008
On the morning of 9 February 2004, The New York Times carried an exclusive and alarming story. The paper's Baghdad correspondent, Dexter Filkins, reported that US officials had obtained a 17-page letter, believed to have been written by the notorious terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi to the "inner circle" of al-Qa'ida's leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war. The story went on to news agency wires and, within 24 hours, it was running around the world. There is very good reason to believe that that letter was a fake and a significant one because there is equally good reason to believe that it was one product among many from a new machinery of propaganda which has been created by the United States and its allies since the terrorist attacks of September 2001. For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it. The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. The "Zarqawi letter" which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004 was one of a sequence of highly suspect documents which were said to have been written either by or to Zarqawi and which were fed into news media. This material is being generated, in part, by intelligence agencies who continue to work without effective oversight; and also by a new ... structure of "strategic communications" which was originally designed ... in the Pentagon and Nato.
Note: This article is an edited excerpt from investigative journalist Nick Davies' new book, Flat Earth News: an award-winning reporter exposes falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media. To read about or purchase it, click here. For a highly revealing two-page summary of 20 award-winning journalists describing how huge stories they tried to report were shut down by corporate media ownership, click here.