Friday, August 24, 2007

Speaking of Freedom's Watch...

The Center for Media and Democracy has set up a Wiki examining this Bush agenda front group in exhaustive detail.

Freedom's Watch is a new White House front group[1] of prominent conservatives mascarading as a grassroots movement (i.e. astroturf). Formed only two weeks prior,[2] it began a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign on August 22, 2007 "to urge members of Congress who may be wavering in their support for the war in Iraq not to 'cut and run'."[3]


Pro-war in Iraq ad campaign

Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary to President George W. Bush, the group's spokesman and a founding board member[4], said that Freedom's Watch is "rolling out television, radio and Internet advertisements in more than 20 states and 60 Congressional districts", spending "$15 million on the effort [to] encourage voters to put pressure on their representatives for continued support of the war."[2]

Using a propaganda tactic similar to that currently being employed by the pro-war in Iraq Republican front group Vets for Freedom, Freedom's Watch will use ads featuring "Iraq war veterans and parents of veterans who lost family members in the war"[5] to urge both Republican and Democratic members of Congress "who have supported the war not to switch their vote". The "central message" will be that "the war in Iraq can be won and Congress must not surrender[6]".[2]

"The big ad buy, funded by high-profile Republicans who were aides and supporters of President Bush, reflects a furious public relations battle that will unfold as Congress debates the crucial progress report by Gen. David Petraeus, which is due Sept. 15.," Allen wrote.[4]

The opening ad produced by Jamestown Associates, a self-described "full-service Republican political and public affairs consulting firm"[7] with offices in Washington, D.C., Princeton, N.J., Baton Rouge, La., and Dallas, Texas,[8] "shows a military veteran saying:[4]

    Congress was right to vote to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. I re-enlisted after Sept. 11 because I don’t want my sons to see what I saw. I want them to be free and safe. I know what I lost. I also know that if we pull out now everything I’ve given and the sacrifices will mean nothing. They attacked us and they will again. They won’t stop in Iraq. We are winning on the ground and making real progress. It’s no time to quit. It’s no time for politics.

"The ad's message 'It's no time to quit; It's no time for politics' is especially ironic since this video campaign was produced and funded by Republican operatives and targeted on the districts of wavering and vulnerable Republican legislators, with the clear purpose of putting political pressure on them to continue backing the President's war," PAF wrote August 24, 2007, at the Premature Anti-Fascists Blogspot.[9]

Additionally, the ads erroneously link the war in Iraq with the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "despite no reliable evidence Iraq played any role in those attacks."[3][10]

"The Freedom's Watch campaign clearly suggests that if the US loses in Iraq, it will be because anti-war forces, lefties, Democrats and other weak and disloyal elements sold out American troops and betrayed their sacrifices. This is the core story-line of the classic fascist propaganda weapon, the 'stab-in-the-back' myth,"[11] PAF wrote.[9][12]

There is much more, including a list of donors who are funding Freedom's Watch. I recommend it to anyone looking for information about this Bush agenda propaganda outfit.