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Military To Investigate Nearly Duplicate Quotes In Recent Press Releases

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The Pentagon is seriously investigating how nearly identical quotes, both attributed to anonymous Iraqi men, made their way into July 13 and July 24 press releases.

“This is an egregious error that reflects a lack of rigor in the development of these press statements,” Di Rita wrote in a memo to top military commanders and senior civilian officials at the Pentagon, dated July 29 and later reported by the Washington Post.

That’s an upgrade from comments made on July 24 by Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, who called the near-duplication an “administrative error,” while the Pentagon re-issuied the latter news release, minus the anonymous quote.

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Officially, the Pentagon still claims the quotes are authentic, although that seems to stretch the bounds of coincidence.

Note the similarities:

The July 24 news release, on a car bomb that killed 25 near the al-Rashad police station, read: “‘The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF (Iraqi Security Forces) and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,’ said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified.”

The July 13 news release, on a car bomb that killed several children, read: “‘The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,’ said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. ‘They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.”

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Regardless, in his memo, Di Rita said that going forward, anonymous quotes are prohibited. He also laid out rules for who can issue news releases: unit commanders, their deputies or public affairs officers.

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This article first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark

  • Kurt

    Golly, you mean the Pentagon might be guilty of lying? Propaganda, even? Under this administration? I am stunned…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, speaking of reading near duplicate propaganda twice, didn’t we see virtually this same post about two weeks ago from you?

    What, did it not get enough attention the first time?

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    The first post regarded the initial problem, as reported by CNN.

    This is a follow-up, based on the Pentagon memo.

    I know you don’t understand how the news business works, Dave, but it’s perfectly alright to follow-up stories as they evolve.

  • ss

    It’s good to see someone at CNN at least pays close attention to the copy they’re fed.
    Now if the whole MSM would just work at developing their own stories, instead of merely passing press releases…

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    This one was so obviously a bonehead mistake, it was hard for any MSM to miss it.

    This may wind up being an “administrative error.” But it’s good to see the Pentagon is investigating.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I know you don’t understand how the news business works, Dave, but it’s perfectly alright to follow-up stories as they evolve.< <

    Nice condecension, David. But in fact I do know how the news business works, having had two parents who were in it at one time, a sister who's still in the news business and having been in the magazine publishing business myself.

    >>This one was so obviously a bonehead mistake, it was hard for any MSM to miss it.

    This may wind up being an “administrative error.” But it’s good to see the Pentagon is investigating.<<

    This seems to be the main change from your prior article. You now agree with me that it was an error, whereas before you were convinced it was a conspiracy.

    Dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    I said in my personal opinion, it may be an administrative error. I don’t know, as I don’t work for the Pentagon.

    I never suggested it was a conspiracy. I suggested it’s possible that both quotes were fictitious — but again, I don’t know.

    I have a right to raise the question, though. And since the Pentagon is investigating, it’s certainly newsworthy.