The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Wednesday, October 29


Bpost has been wondering about media contracts in Iraq for some time.

The Washington Post reports in Speeches Called Propaganda by Walter Pincus on broadcasts in Iraq currently under contract with SAIC.
For the past few weeks, Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer has appeared every Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. on IMN [Iraqi Media Network], the Pentagon-run television network, with a taped message to the Iraqi people about what is going on in their country.


The fledgling IMN has taken over Hussein's 18 television stations, his government radio stations and al-Sabah, the 60,000-circulation national newspaper now published on what was the same site of the newspaper founded by Hussein's son Uday. Since this spring, management has been contracted out to Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), a San Diego-based defense contractor with a $40 million-plus budget and no experience in media development. SAIC, in turn, has been overseen in Washington by the Defense Department's office that specializes in psychological warfare operations, or psyops.

Lately, IMN is known as "psyops on steroids" in parts of the Pentagon, because there is an additional $100 million in the Iraq supplemental appropriation bill before Congress to pay the winner of a new contract, beginning in January, to create a "world-class" media operation. Twenty-three bidders, including SAIC, and some U.S. and foreign journalistic organizations are to meet in Baghdad next month to discuss plans for turning the enterprise around.
What do you think is their bench mark for "world class"?


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