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[] OGC wages media battle,

Agency wages media battle
Team makes sure war message is unified, positive Advertisement
By Bob Kemper, Chicago Tribune, April 7, 2003

WASHINGTON -- The Office of Global Communications, a controversial 
agency created by President Bush in January, has blossomed into a huge 
production company, issuing daily scripts on the Iraq war to U.S. 
spokesmen around the world, auditioning generals to give media briefings 
and booking administration stars on foreign news shows.

The office--a sort of global public-relations firm for the Bush 
administration and the U.S. war effort--tightly coordinates the message 
of the Pentagon, the State Department and the military command in the 
Persian Gulf, ensuring that any war commentary by a U.S. official is 
approved in advance by the White House.

Critics are questioning the veracity of some of the stories being 
circulated by the office and deriding it as a propaganda arm of the 
White House. But administration officials insist the office does not 
deal in disinformation and they say it serves a crucial purpose.

"We must do everything we can to help communicate the ideals and the 
policies of our country," said White House Communications Director Dan 
Bartlett. "In some countries we haven't paid as much attention, or spent 
enough time, doing that."

The communications office helps devise and coordinate each day's talking 
points on the war. Civilian and military personnel, for example, are 
told to refer to the invasion of Iraq as a "war of liberation." Iraqi 
paramilitary forces are to be called "death squads."

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