Friday, August 24, 2007

Memo: Pentagon setting up 24/7 'Communications Desk' to shape message; Will coordinate information flow through State Department, White House

Above: A child poses with an American-themed stuffed bear while wearing an LA Lakers basketball shirt in Saba Al Bor two weeks ago, courtesy of soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division.

Shaping the Bush administration's message on the Iraq war has taken on new fervor, just as anticipation is building for the September progress report from top military advisers.

For the Pentagon, getting out Iraq information will now include a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week Iraq Communications Desk that will pump out data from Baghdad - serving as what could be considered a campaign war room.

According to a memo circulated Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press, Dorrance Smith, assistant defense secretary for public affairs, is looking for personnel for what he called the high-priority effort to distribute Defense Department information on Iraq...

Defense officials familiar with the plan said it will provide information to other federal agencies, including the White House and State Department, so that officials can speak more consistently and accurately about the war.

The plan would put a team of people in the Joint Chiefs of Staff top-secret operations center.

Less than a year ago, Smith developed plans for teams of people to "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and "correct the record" when news agencies put out what the Pentagon considered inaccurate information.

Read the rest at Forbes