New Internationalist

Let the dirty tricks begin!

August 2006

Vets for Freedom comes under scrutiny.

It only took an hour to cover their tracks. In 2006, a group of US ‘veterans, enlisted personnel, and officers’, who are apparently horrified by defeatist news coverage and peace activism surrounding the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, decided to take action. According to their website: ‘The result was the creation of Vets for Freedom, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the unbiased, non-partisan truth of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to educate the public and mobilize public support for the Global War on Terror.’

But its non-partisan status has come under fire following blogs by John Stauber. Writing for the Center for Media and Democracy’s online journal Sourcewatch on 7 June 2006, Stauber initially observed: ‘While the organization claims to be non-partisan, the privacy notice on its website suggests otherwise, reading: “We may from time to time share the information our visitors provide with other Republican candidates and other like-minded organizations,’ By that afternoon, Stauber provided an update: ‘Whoever the PR professionals are behind Vets for Freedom, they work fast in monitoring and managing scrutiny. Less than an hour after [my] article hit the internet they changed their website privacy notice and took out the Republican candidates reference.’ Stauber now asks whether Vets for Freedom is just a Republican front that attacks politicians calling for an end to the US occupation during the 2006 Congressional election.

Read more at http://www.prwatch.org/blog/4/

This column was published in the August 2006 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 392

New Internationalist Magazine issue 392
Issue 392

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