2005-02-07

Streit um Propaganda-News des Pentagon

--- Das Pentagon betreibt f�r S�dosteuropa und den nordarabischen Raum zwei Online-Nachrichtendienste, ohne wirklich Ross und Reiter zu nennen. Die jetzt bekannt gewordene Propagandapraxis ist nicht umstritten: The Balkans website, called Southeast European Times, as well as a second aimed at audiences in north Africa, have no immediately obvious connection to the U.S. government but contain a linked disclaimer that says they are "sponsored by the U.S. European Command." That is the military organization based in Germany responsible for U.S. forces and military activities in Europe and parts of Africa. The second site, called Magharebia and aimed at the Maghreb region that encompasses Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, is still in development and has not reached the stage of having paid correspondents, said Air Force Lt. Col. Derek Kaufman, a European Command spokesman. Both sites carry news stories compiled from The Associated Press, Reuters and other news organizations. The Pentagon's role in these websites was first reported by CNN on Thursday. The Balkans website also has articles and commentary by about 50 journalists who Kaufman said are paid by European Command through a private contractor, Anteon, an information technology company based in Fairfax, Virginia. The websites are examples of what the military calls "information operations," or programs designed to influence public opinion by countering what the Pentagon considers to be misinformation or lies that circulate in the international news media. The Pentagon's use of the websites has raised questions about blurring the lines between legitimate news and what some would call government propaganda. Im US-Verteidigungsministerium selbst wird die "Gegenpropaganda" nun untersucht.