All The News That We Deem Fit to Print

Abby Zimet

Just as in Vietnam, the Bush Administration made it harder for
journalists to tell the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
even while the military propaganda machine worked harder than ever to give the
public its own embellished version of events, the head of the Associated Press said Friday. Tom Curley said the press must insist on
its right to report the truth at all times, even on the battlefield,
because "we are the only force out there to keep the government in

Curley spoke to journalists at the University of Kansas a day after an AP investigative series found that the Pentagon is spending
over $4.7 billion this year and paying 27,000 people for public relations efforts or "influence
operations" that include a range of deceptive practices, from running
websites that pretend to be independent news sources to planting
stories in foreign newspapers. At the same time, he said, journalists
trying to report the truth about the current wars have been increasingly
restricted and even detained.

Curley said the Obama administration has removed many of the Bush-era restrictions on journalists. But when bad news starts coming from the battlefield – perhaps in Afghanistan – experience has shown that "the military gets tough on the journalists."

"Now is the time to re-negotiate the rules of engagement between
the military and the media..." he said. "Now is the time to resist the propaganda
the Pentagon produces and live up to our obligation to question


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