Dr. Cora Sol Goldstein

Center for Strategic Leadership, United States Army War College

Dr. Cora Sol Goldstein is an assistant professor of political science at Cali¬fornia State University, Long Beach. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in 2002. Her book, Psychological War¬fare in Peacetime: American Visual Propaganda in Occupied Germany, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in spring 2009. In 2007 she received the Mary Parker Follett Award from the American Political Science Association’s Politics and History Section.

Printer-Friendly Version

A Strategic Failure - American Information Control Policy in Occupied Iraq

The American occupation of Germany (1945-1949) stands as a model exercise in democratization by force. In fact, top figures in the Bush administration, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, have compared the American experiences in postwar Germany and postwar Iraq. This article examines American information control policy in Germany and Iraq (2003-2006). Com¬parative analysis indicates that the American information control policy was very different in the two cases. In Germany, the U.S. Army and the Office of Military Government U.S. (OMGUS) exerted rigorous control over the media to block Nazi propaganda and introduce the American political agenda of democratization.1 With the emergence of the cold war, OMGUS used all the avenues of mass communication and cultural affairs–newspapers, journals, feature and documentary films, posters, and radio–to disseminate U.S. stra¬tegic propaganda and messages to the German people. Consequently, from 1945 to 1949 the Americans were able to shape the content of information in the American zone and sector. In Iraq, coalition forces failed to exert a similar degree of information control. As a result of this strategic error, the insurgency and other civilian movements opposed to the American presence have been able to control information and spread anti-American messages.

The German Case

During WWII, psychological warfare played an important role in America’s military strategy against the Third Reich. As soon as the U.S. Army entered Germany, American psychological warfare experts disseminated propaganda to convince the German people of the finality of defeat and to persuade them to cooperate. At the same time, the Army shut down German newspapers, journals, and radio stations in the American zone and sector, to ensure a monopoly over information and propaganda. As a result, the information Germans received in the U.S. areas came exclusively from American informa¬tion fliers (MitteilungblŠtter), Army newspapers, and Radio Luxembourg.

After V-E Day, on 12 May 1945, the Psychological Warfare Division of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (PWD/SHAEF) became the Information Control Division (ICD) in Germany. The head of PWD/SHAEF, General Robert C. McClure, commanded the new outfit and kept most of the PWD/SHAEF personnel.2 Initially, ICD was independent from the military government, but in February 1946 it became fully incorporated into OMGUS.

At first, ICD was primarily concerned with denazifying the media. ICD banned German jour¬nalists who were considered politically tainted by their Nazi past, and prohibited Nazi, militaristic, and nationalistic messages that could inflame pro-Nazi sympathies and encourage resistance to the Ameri¬can project. While this vetting process was taking place, ICD began to select and license German edi¬tors to run newspapers and journals. It succeeded in selecting a politically and ideologically hetero¬geneous group of individuals. By mid-1946, ICD had given press licenses to 73 Germans, including 29 Social Democrats, 17 Christian Democrats, and 5 Communists.3 Thus, while OMGUS imposed rigid political and ideological censorship to ban the diffu¬sion of Nazi, nationalist, and militaristic messages, it also sought political diversity and allowed the development of a variegated political discourse.4

Although ICD’s licensed German editors were committed to creating a new, democratic Germany, the division kept close watch over their publica¬tions. Initially, it exerted pre-publication censorship, but in August 1945 it switched to post-publication scrutiny.5 Although the German editors were free to run their operations, there was always the possibil¬ity of post-production reprimands that could lead to the revocation of licenses. Thus, ICD defined and policed the boundaries of the acceptable and the desirable in the political and cultural fields, and monitored and regulated the information that reached Germans in the American zone and sector.

During the first two years of occupation, Ameri¬can press policy in occupied Germany reflected the ideological profile of the ICD press officers. Many of ICD’s officers were scholars who had lived in Germany. A significant portion were New Dealers, intellectuals, emigrŽs, Jews, and leftists enthusiastic about the possibility of helping to build a demo¬cratic, pluralist society from the ashes of Nazism.6 In Berlin, the majority of ICD officers were German ŽmigrŽs.7 Thus, many ICD officers spoke German, knew about German culture, and understood German society and history. In 1945, these press officers welcomed the collaboration of the German left with enthusiasm, as part of the process of creat¬ing a democratic German press and culture.

With the cold war, OMGUS press policy changed. Occupied Germany became the first battlefront of psychological warfare between the U.S. and the USSR. After 1946, the possibility of an independent and united postwar Germany rapidly vanished. Both the Americans and the Soviets began to use the new German media in their respective zones and sectors to attack each other and spread propaganda. For example, in March 1946 OMGUS forced Neue Zeitung, the flagship newspaper in the American zone, to change its editorial stance to reflect agree¬ment with U.S. foreign policy. Neue Zeitung became a mouthpiece for OMGUS to counteract Soviet propaganda in occupied Germany.8

By early 1947, ICD personnel had changed, and the original press officers had been replaced by cold war warriors.9 As a result, most publications that did not follow OMGUS’s anti-Communist directives were either terminated or had their edi¬tors replaced.10 In August 1947, Emil Carlebach, a Communist who had survived Buchenwald and been given a license to publish the Frankfurter Rundschau in 1945, was fired.11 Der Ruf, a popu¬lar political and cultural journal, was shut down because ICD considered it pro-Communist, even though the Soviet counterpart to OMGUS had denounced the publication.12 In October of that same year, General Lucius D. Clay, the American military governor, launched Operation Talk Back, a counter-propaganda measure designed to use the German media in the American zone and sector to respond to and combat Soviet anti-American propaganda. A strict anti-Communist line was imposed on the German press, equivalent and complementary to the line that prevailed in the Soviet zone and sector.

The Iraqi Case

The psychological warfare campaign of Opera¬tion Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was successful because it convinced the Iraqi Army not to resist. This allowed the U.S. military to take Baghdad with a small number of troops. However, contrary to the German case, coalition forces did not continue their psychological warfare agenda after the col¬lapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime. No full-blown and coherent program of information control was established in Iraq; instead, the Defense Depart¬ment envisioned the creation of a “Rapid Reaction Media Team” to oversee the dismantling of Iraq’s state-run media and to set up the U.S.-financed and run “Iraqi Free Media” network. This new, American-controlled network was to function as the Pentagon’s propaganda outlet for Iraq.13

Saddam Hussein had understood the importance of information control and media manipulation. In 1968, after he became head of internal security, Iraqis were only able to access government-pro¬duced newspapers. When he took over the presi¬dency in 1979, the Iraqi Ministry of Information began to appoint all of the country’s journalists (who had to belong to the Ba’ath Party) and insulting the president became an offense punishable by death. One of Saddam’s sons, Uday, became chairman of the Journalists’ Union and controlled about a dozen newspapers, including Al-Thaura (The Revolution), Babil, and Al-Jamorriya (The Republic). These papers published front-page photographs of Saddam every day. Uday was also in charge of several television and radio stations. In 2003, there were 13 television stations and 74 radio stations, all under state control.14 The government was Iraq’s exclusive Internet provider, and access was only available in cybercafes strictly controlled by the security police. Satellites were prohibited, although the potentates of the regime had access to satellite news.15

Once Saddam was toppled, the number of Iraqi publications exploded, reaching more than 200. With coalition forces failing to shut down or secure Iraqi printing presses, everyone who had access to a press began publishing. Many of the newspapers and journals that sprang up in 2003 faced financial difficulties and soon disappeared, but according to BBC estimates, there are still 50 daily newspapers published regularly in Iraq, 12 of them in Baghdad.16 Unfortunately, this spontaneous explosion of media, coupled with the lack of a rigorous American informa¬tion control policy, was quickly exploited by groups opposed to the coalition.

The Iraqi press became highly diversified as each political pressure group launched its own media outlet. Saad al-Bazzaz, an Iraqi journalist in exile since 1992, began publishing the Baghdad edition of Al-Zaman, the London-based newspaper he founded in 1997.17 The Saudi royal family started publishing an Iraqi edition of the London Al-Sharq al-Awsat, its main publicity organ in the West. Al-Mutamar was pub¬lished by associates of former deputy prime minister Ahmad Chalabi. Currently, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country’s main Shi’a political group, publishes Al-Adalah, Al-Fater, and Ida Rafideen. Al-Bayan is the newspaper of Dawa, the Shi’a party of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his predecessor, Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Other significant newspapers are the left-wing Al-Mada, and Al-Sabah al-Jadid, founded by the former editor-in-chief of Al-Sabah, Ismael Zayer. (Zayer resigned from Al-Sabah in May 2004 as a protest against American censorship and editorial interference.18) A single satirical journal, Habaz Booz, is published in Baghdad.

In this context, the Coalition Provisional Author¬ity’s (CPA) and the Pentagon’s media policies were ineffective. De-Ba’athification of the Iraqi press incited anti-American sentiment.19 Yet the CPA did not replace the Ba’ath personnel with Iraqis eager to endorse the emergence of a liberal democracy in their country, nor did it censor anti-liberal or anti-American propaganda. In July 2003, CPA head Paul Bremer III publicly asserted that the coalition was not limiting free speech in Iraq. Coalition spokes¬man Charles Heatley echoed Bremer’s words. The general idea was that the American message of “truth” would, by itself, prevail over alternative political messages in post-Saddam Iraq.

Occasionally, the CPA did exert some measure of control over radical, anti-American propaganda. For example, it shut down Al-Mustiqilla, a newspaper that published an article calling for the execution of all Iraqis who collaborated with the coalition.20 In March 2004, the CPA stopped production of the Baghdad newspaper Al-Hawsa, a radical Shi’a weekly, for 60 days, alleging that its publishers were inciting violence against the occupation.21 Coalition forces also raided a distribution center of Sadda-al-Auma newspaper in Najaf, seizing copies of an edition that ordered Iraqis to join the resistance. Yet the CPA’s attempts to control the new Iraqi press were often futile. A few days after the raid on Sadda-al-Auma, the newspaper was back in the streets inviting its readers to join the Ramadi resistance movement and spreading anti-semitic, anti-Western, anti-female propaganda.22 In sum, the rare cases of post-production censorship did not amount to an effective information-control program.

Although its performance might suggest other¬wise, the Pentagon actually did prepare a directive for propaganda in Iraq. Appendix 2 of Combined Joint Task Force 7’s (CJTF-7) Public Affairs Guid¬ance (2003) breaks down “current themes” for the Iraqi press into three categories: “positive,” to promote; “negative,” to rebut or avoid; and “unclear or double-edged,” to neutralize. The first category was aimed at developing support “of and to the Iraqi people”; at emphasizing progress and security, particularly in Baghdad; and at stressing “Iraqi participation” in the country’s reconstruction. The positive message would include indicators of improvement in everyday life, such as normalization of the electrical supply, construction of new schools and hospitals, and increasing security. The second category, “negative issues,” would address such stories as “‘maltreatment’ of Iraqi detainees”; the “resurgence of resistance, lawlessness, instability, the power vacuum”; “infrastructure vulnerability”; and “delay in establishing political structures.” The last category would respond to “the lack of discov¬ery” of weapons of mass destruction, the troubles finding Saddam, and de-Ba’athification.23

The most surprising and original aspect of the U.S. propaganda policy in OIF has been the Pentagon’s reliance on private contractors to spread its strategic messages to the Iraqi public. Instead of organizing a task force comprised of psychological warfare experts from the armed forces, the intelligence community, and academia, the U.S. government outsourced the task to private corporations without prior experience in the Middle East.24 The Depart¬ment of Defense mistook a political problem–how to radically transform a society emerging from a brutal dictatorship and rapidly falling into religious fundamentalism–for a marketing issue. It tried to sell its own vision of events to the Iraqi population as if that vision were a consumer product.

In 2003, the Pentagon’s Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Division, which specializes in psychological warfare operations, awarded Sci¬ence Applications International Corporation (SAIC) an $82.3 million no-bid contract to set up the Iraqi Media Network (IMN). By the time IMN started the newspaper Al-Sabah (Morning), there were already 20 to 30 new, independent newspapers.25 Al-Sabah became just one newspaper among many, and the Americans were never able to establish a monopoly over information in Iraq.

IMN had even worse luck with television. Estab¬lishing the U.S.-sponsored TV network Al-Iraqiya was a nightmare. From the very beginning, disor¬ganization, lack of planning, insufficient personnel, and an inadequate budget hampered the project. Fur¬thermore, the network’s physical installations were systematically destroyed by vandals and, later (by midsummer 2003), blown up by insurgents. When it finally began functioning, Al-Iraqiya failed to attract the Iraqi public because it shunned Iraqi news. For instance, the network aired cooking shows instead of covering the political violence in the country.26

Because coalition forces did nothing to stop installation of the satellite dishes that mushroomed all over Iraq, Iraqi viewers gained access to multiple information sources. They were able to view any of the numerous anti-American news programs aired by TV stations in the Middle East. It is not surpris¬ing that six months after the invasion, 63 percent of Iraqis who had access to a satellite dish watched Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, two stations that offered news meshed with anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda.27 Only 12 percent of Iraqis got their news from Al-Iraqiya.28

Satellite television has since become an integral part of the jihadists’ electronic pulpit. Al-Zawraa, a satellite TV station in Iraq, is one of the most effective weapons of the Islamic Army of Iraq, a key Sunni resistance group that allegedly includes former members of the Ba’ath Party.29 Al-Zawraa provides nonstop footage of the Sunni war against the U.S. and Muqtada Al Sadr’s Shi’ite militia. It regularly shows militants planning attacks against U.S. units, the killing of coalition soldiers by snip¬ers or roadside bombs, and operations against Shi’a objectives. The station’s programs are broadcast across the Arab world by Nilesat, a satellite provider controlled by the Egyptian government. Recently, Al-Zawraa announced plans to distribute its pro¬grams on European satellites; eventually, it wants to reach American viewers.30

The coalition is also losing the strategic pro¬paganda war in cyberspace. Terrorist groups use high-speed Internet, pirated video-editing software, and free file-upload websites to disseminate their products. For instance, Abu Maysara, media chief for Abu Musad al-Zarqawi, the late leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, videotaped the beheading of Nicholas Berg, an American hostage, and posted the video online. The web is also important as a mechanism to teach practical skills of resistance, such as how to build rockets, bombs, and chemical weapons.31

Despite SAIC’s abysmal failure, the Pentagon continued its outsourcing policy. In January 2004, it switched its media contract from SAIC to the Harris Corporation, a producer of broadcasting equipment with no experience in psychological warfare or the Middle East. Harris subcontracted its TV operations to Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International and Al-Fawares, a telecommunication company based in Kuwait, but took charge of Al-Iraqiyah and Al-Sabah. One month later, the CPA changed the Iraqi Media Network’s name to Iraqia Network. The Defense Department also hired J. Walter Thompson, the Madison Avenue advertising giant, to “convince Iraqis that IMN or Iraqia was credible.”32 Perhaps not surprisingly, J. Walter Thompson does not specialize in psychological warfare in the Middle East–its main clients are Domino’s, Diamond Trading Co., Ford, Cadbury Schweppes, HSBC, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Nestle, Pfizer, Rolex, Shell, Diageo, Unilever, and Vodafone.

Also in 2004, the Bush administration instructed the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors—produc¬ers of the Voice of America—to counter Al-Jazeera’s impact in the Middle East. The board launched the satellite TV station Alhurra (The Free One), Radio Sawa (Together), and Hi magazine. Alhurra, modeled after a conventional American station, offers cooking and fashion shows, geographic and technological programs, documentaries, and news. Although Alhurra, with a budget of $100 million, is awash in money and broadcasts its programs in Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq, it has proven to be a failure. Iraqis associate the station with the U.S. and reject its contents, particularly its news coverage. Polls indicate that Iraqis resent the lack of discussion about issues facing Iraq, the Arab world, and the Middle East.33 Radio Sawa has not been any more success¬ful with its combination of American and Middle Eastern pop music and its minimal news coverage.

Television and radio weren’t the only sites of outsourcing folly. On 30 January 2005, Iraq held elections for its Transitional National Assembly. President Bush touted the elections as a victory for Iraqi self-determination, stating in a special address that “across Iraq today, men and women have taken rightful control of their country’s destiny, and they have chosen a future of freedom and peace.”34 Ten months later, in November 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. military was secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish pieces favorable to the coalition. This program had begun in early 2005, right at the time of the elections, as a covert propaganda operation to influence Iraqi public opinion. According to the Times, the articles were “basically factual,” but they omitted information that could bias readers against the U.S. and the Iraqi government. The stories exalted the American occupation, denounced the insurgency, and praised American efforts in the region.35

These stories were produced by the Lincoln Group, which had been contracted as part of the U.S. information surge in 2004. This newly founded corporation was set up by a group of investors from a D.C.-based company, the Lincoln Alliance Corpo¬ration. A subsidiary of Lincoln Asset Management, Lincoln Alliance describes itself as a company that provides “tailored intelligence services.” It claims to specialize in the collection of information from “diverse internal and external sources, both historical and real-time”; the “fusion” and analysis of informa¬tion; and the dissemination of “actionable results.”36 The Lincoln Group’s covert operation caused outrage in Iraq and further undermined U.S. credibility in the region. The American press also reacted vehemently against it, in spite of the fact that the Lincoln Group’s black propaganda actions, amateurishly executed, were actually rather modest in scope.

Black propaganda, the insertion of biased or false news stories in a target country without revealing their origin, is a classic psychological warfare ruse. It is remarkable that the Pentagon chose to rely on a private corporation without experience in the field when the CIA has a long track record of dispensing black propaganda all over the world–including the Middle East.37

Hard-Earned Lessons

The Bush administration ignored the model of information control used by the U.S. in Germany during the period 1945-1949. Coalition forces failed to establish rigorous information control after top¬pling Saddam as the Pentagon became more con¬cerned with manipulating the American press than regulating information inside Iraq. Daniel Senor, head of the CPA public relations office, did not speak Arabic, and his priority was “feeding” information to the American mass media, often to journalists sympathetic to the administration’s policies.38

It is true that the revolution in communication technology has made total information control in Iraq virtually impossible. Yet the Pentagon failed to appreciate and plan for the complexity of the technological challenge. The U.S. established a military occupation ill-equipped to neutralize the information weapons available to the enemy in the 21st century. Saddam Hussein had prohibited satellite TV and controlled popular access to the Internet; the Americans did neither, and could not deal with the avalanche of anti-American propa¬ganda that ensued. Within days of the U.S. entry into Baghdad, satellite antennas were everywhere, making it impossible to control information. Radi¬cal websites, too, sprouted everywhere without the Americans having any possibility of control.

Moreover, no positive propaganda message can be effective when the target area is not secure. To succeed as an instrument of change, a military occu¬pation must be able to create stability in conditions of acute social turmoil.39 The German case exempli¬fies this principle. In Germany, the U.S. Army and OMGUS monopolized violence and imposed and guaranteed security. This allowed OMGUS and its German partners to begin physical reconstruction of the American zone and sector while setting in motion a political, social, and cultural revolution. In terms of information control, the Americans blocked the spread of propaganda coming from old-regime loyalists and competing groups trying to exploit the political vacuum generated by the tran¬sition. In Iraq, OIF spawned military insurgency, terrorism, sectarian violence, and civil disorder. Without security, infrastructure projects lagged and the positive American propaganda message was only marginally effective.

The Iraqi case shows how important it is to have a correct war hypothesis before launching a military conflict aimed at regime change and occupation. In 1945, OMGUS allowed the German population very limited freedom and exerted an unprecedented degree of political control. Joint Chiefs of Staff Directive 1067 (JCS 1067), the military directive that informed OMGUS policy from 1945 to 1947, explic¬itly rejected the idea that the U.S. was liberating a population held captive by a dictatorship. It stated that Germany “will not be occupied for the purpose of liberation but as a defeated enemy nation.” Accord¬ing to JCS 1067, Germans had to be controlled and monitored and their political, religious, and cultural activities approved by the American military authori¬ties. JCS 1067 was explicit: “No political activities of any kind shall be countenanced unless authorized by you…You will prohibit the propagation in any form of Nazi, militaristic, or pan-German doctrine…No German parades, military or political, civilian or sport, shall be permitted.”40 The directive allowed freedom of religious worship and freedom of speech only to the extent that they did not jeopardize U.S. military and political priorities.

The Iraq fiasco is the logical result of conceiv¬ing the American mission as a liberation, not as the occupation of an enemy country. According to the CJTF-7 Public Affairs Guidance, OIF’s objective was “to liberate the people of Iraq from the Saddam Hussein regime.”41 The underlying assumption was that removing Saddam and suppressing the Ba’ath Party would lead naturally, automatically, and inexo¬rably to a democratic, liberal, secular, pro-American Iraq. The idea of spontaneously converting the Iraqi population to democracy led the Pentagon and the State Department to underestimate the importance of postwar information control and propaganda.42

Democratization of the press after radical regime change is a long-range project that requires, in the short term, the use of anti-democratic methods. Even in 1948, there was evident tension between the professed American aim of encouraging a free press and the authoritarian reality of occupation. The military government was aware of the basic contradiction, as an OMGUS report shows:

The press officers were primarily concerned with preventing former Nazi journalists from participating in the new, democratic German press. In 1945, when the occupation began, it was a major policy of the American Mili¬tary government to guarantee to the German population an independent and free press. MG [Military Government] envisaged a press which would be free of any form of governmental domination. Yet, ironically, MG itself in 1945 found it necessary to exercise certain temporary controls. Many of the newspaper plants were in the hands of Nazis. The publishers, editors and personnel of the newspapers were the same persons who had been carrying out the policies of Goebbel’s Propaganda Ministry. So MG set up a licensing system to place the newspapers in the hands of editors dedicated to giving the German people unbiased news coverage.43

Democratization by force is inherently a source of paradoxes. A military government involved in nation-building is, by definition, an authoritarian regime involved in a project of social engineering. It tries to impose, by force, new social standards and a new set of normative values. Therefore, its actions will be incompatible with the notion of democracy.

Carl J. Friedrich, who directed the school that trained military personnel for American military gov¬ernments abroad and later served as General Clay’s constitutional and governmental affairs advisor (1947 to 1948), tried to resolve the contradiction. He argued that OMGUS was a “constitutional dictator aiding in the reestablishment of constitutional democracy rather than dictating democracy.”44 According to Friedrich, a military government run by a constitu¬tional democracy, unlike a conventional dictatorship, progressively relaxes repression and moves toward establishing a constitutional system. Friedrich admit¬ted that OMGUS censored and repressed, but claimed that it did so to impose restraints on antidemocratic elements and antidemocratic efforts.

The CPA did not comprehend that the construction of Iraqi democracy required the imposition of rigor¬ous restraints on antidemocratic information outlets. Its flawed media policy led to the emergence of an assortment of information sources that included newspapers, journals, and TV stations with authori¬tarian, religious-fundamentalist, and other illiberal agendas. Iraqi newspapers are funded by political and religious parties, and the information they carry is often incomplete, unverified, and biased.

The deterioration of American standing in much of the so-called “Third World” is the result of abys¬mal failures in two areas of foreign policy: global strategy and public diplomacy.45 If these failures are not addressed, it is likely that the U.S. will embark on further military adventures that result in occupa¬tions aimed at radical change. Therefore, analysis of the shortcomings of the American information con¬trol policy in Iraq is not simply a matter of historical interest. The U.S. cannot afford more blunders in this key area of psychological warfare.


1. The Soviet counterpart to OMGUS, the Sowjetische Militaradministration in Deutschland, did the same in attempting to spread Moscow’s messages to the German people.

2. Alfred H. Paddock Jr., U.S. Army Special Warfare. Its Origins: Psychological and Unconventional Warfare, 1941-1952 (Washington DC: National Defense Uni¬versity Press, 1982), 41.

3. By January 1947, ICD had distributed 89 press licenses. Among the licensees were 38 Social Democrats, 24 Christian-Democratic Union/Christian Socialist Union supporters, and 4 German Communist Party members. The breakdown by religion was 33 Catholics, 28 Protestants, 3 Jews, and 1 Unitarian. Twenty-four licenses were issued to nonreligious organizations. Larry Hartenian, Controlling Information in U.S. Occupied Germany, 1945-1949: Media Manipulation and Propaganda (Lewiston, 2003), 115-16, 127. See also Norbert Frei, Amerikanische Lizenzpolitik und Deutsche Pressetradition: Die Geschichte der Nachkriegszeitung Suedost-Kurier (Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 1986).

4. Edward C. Breitenkamp, The U.S. Information Control Division and Its Effect on German Publishers and Writers 1945 to 1949 (North Dakota: Grand Forks, 1953), 1.

5. Earl Zimke, The U.S. Army Occupation of Germany, 1944-1946 (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1975).

6. Rebecca Boehling, A Question of Priorities: Democratic Reforms and Economic Recovery in Postwar Germany (New York: Berghahn Books, 1996), 26.

7. Wolfgang Schivelbusch, In a Cold Crater: Cultural and Intellectual Life in Berlin 1945-1948 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 33.

8. For an in-depth discussion of the Neue Zeitung, see Jessica C.E. Gienow-Hecht, Transmission Impossible: American Journalism and Cultural Diplomacy in Postwar Germany 1945-1955 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999). See also Hartenian, 152-154; and Gienow-Hecht, “Friends, Foes, or Reeducators? Feinbilder and Anti-Communism in the U.S. Military Government in Germany, 1946-1953,” in Enemy Images in History, eds. Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase and Ursula Lehmkuhl (Providence, RI: Berghahn Books, 1997), 281-301.

9. For an in-depth discussion of the case, see Gienow-Hecht, Transmission Impossible. See also Hartenian, 152-54; and Gienow-Hecht, “Friends, Foes, or Reeducators?” 281-301.

10. Hartenian, 179. See also Cedric Belfrage, Seeds of Destruction (New York: Cameron and Kahn, 1954).

11. Hartenian, 180.

12. For further discussion, see Clare Flanagan, A Study of German Political-Cultural Periodicals from the Years of Allied Occupation, 1945-1949 (Lampeter, Wales: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2000), 151-82.

13. Joyce Battle, compiler, “Iraq: the Media War Plan,” National Security Archives, 8 May 2007, www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB219/index.htm .

14. Sandra J. Callaghan, “Iraq,” World Press Encyclopedia, 2003, findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5223/is_2003/ai_n19143124 .

15. Kimberly Tabor, “The Press in Iraq,” PBS–Frontline World, November 2002, www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq/press.html#overview.

16. “The press in Iraq,” BBC News, 12 January 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6256985.stm .

17. Until 1992, Al-Bazzaz headed both the Iraqi News Agency and the Iraqi Radio and Television Establishment and was editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Al-Jumhuriya (The Republic). Middle East Forum website, http://www.meforum.org/article/277.

18. “The press in Iraq,” BBC News.

19. Fariba Nawa, “U.S. Curtails Iraq’s Newfound Media Freedoms,” Village Voice, 27 July 2003.

20. Matthew Price, “Baghdad’s media explosion,” BBC News, 12 August 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/3144363.stm .

21. Jeffrey Gettleman, “G.I.’s Padlock Baghdad Paper Accused of Lies,” New York Times, 29 March 2004.

22. Ellen Barry, “US Restrictions on Iraqi Media Spark Criticism,” Boston Globe, 19 June 2003.

23. Combined Joint Task Force 7 Public Affairs Guidance, 091200DJul 2003, 8.

24. In Iraq, the Bush administration inaugurated a new approach to psychologi¬cal warfare by outsourcing public diplomacy and propaganda. Since 2003, the U.S. government has often relied on profit-oriented corporations created by Republican Party loyalists to conduct intelligence and psychological warfare operations. These private corporations are a de facto parallel intelligence apparatus, disconnected from the CIA and the National Security Agency, that receive government contracts worth millions of dollars. In fact, these corporations are now reaching out to academia much in the same way as government intelligence agencies did in the past. On 25 January 2007, the Lincoln Group was awarded a new contract to conduct focus groups on a variety of topics throughout Iraq. On 7-8 November 2005, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College sponsored a symposium in Washington on “Counterinsurgency in Iraq: Implications of Irregular Warfare for the USG.” Among the participants were Andrew Garfield, from the Lincoln Group, and Steve Rader, from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). On 6 April 2007, the Harvard Defense & Security Initiative hosted a seminar, “The Privatization of National Security,” at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The seminar had three panels: “Does privatizing security pay off?” “Beyond security; outsourcing intelligence,” and “After Iraq: what’s next for the security industry?” Attendance was restricted to invited guests, and all panel presentations and discussions were off-the-record and followed Chatham House rules. Invited panelists came from the ArmorGroup, Blackwater USA, Booz Allen Hamilton (a subsidiary of Halliburton), Cerberus Capital Management (formerly chaired by John Snow, secretary of the treasury from 2003 to 2006), the Cohen Group, Control Risks, Commonwealth Consulting, Covenant, DynCorp, Kellog Brown Root, the Lincoln Group, Military Professional Resources Inc., SAIC, Total Intelligence Solutions, Triple Canopy, and ViaGloblal Group. Seminar organizers also invited “members of Congress working on related legislation” and “members of the DoD working on the issue.”

25. On 17 August 2006, a car bomb partially destroyed the offices of Shabaqeh magazine and Al-Sabah. It was the second car bomb attack against Al-Sabah that year. On 19 June 2007, Flieh Waddai, the managing editor of Al-Sabaah, was killed. According to Reporters Without Borders, in 2006 Iraq was the world’s most dangerous country for the media for the fourth year running. Since fighting began in 2003, 139 journalists have been killed, 64 in 2006. About 90 percent of the victims were Iraqis. Reporters Without Borders, “Press Freedom Round-Up,” 31 December 2006, www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=20286.

26. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 130.

27. Al Arabiya , a 24-hour Arabic-language TV station launched from Dubai on 3 March 2003, had a budget of $60 million; Chandrasekaran, 132

28. Ibid., 136.

29. Lawrence Pintak, “Cairo Ignores U.S. Request to Pull Plug on Jihadi TV in Iraq,” Columbia Journalism Review, 4 January 2007; and Pintak, “A Controversial TV Channel That Is the Voice of Iraq’s Anti-American Insurgents Looks Set to Open Another Front in the Propaganda War Against the U.S.,” Columbia Journalism Review, 10 January 2007.

30. For a detailed account of trends and controversies involving satellite TV in the Arab and Muslim worlds, see Media on the Front Lines: Satellite TV In Iraq, Transnational Broadcasting Studies vol. 2, no. 1 (Cairo: American University in Cairo, 2006).

31. See Evan F. Kohlmann, “The Real Online Terrorist Threat,” Foreign Affairs (September/October 2006): 115-25. In June 2007, Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo, from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, released a report on the Iraqi Sunni insurgency’s media network, http://www.realaudio.rferl.org/online/OLPDFfiles/part 1.pdf.

32. Don North, statement before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing “An Oversight Hearing on Waste, Fraud and Abuse in U.S. government Contracting in Iraq,” 14 February 2005. North was a former Coalition Provisional Authority contractor hired by SAIC to build Al-Iraqiya.

33. Anne Marie Baylouny, “Alhurra, ‘The Free One’: Assessing U.S. Satellite Television in the Middle East,” Strategic Insights 11, vol. 4 (November 2005).

34. George W. Bush, “President Congratulates Iraqis on Election,” 30 January 2005, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/01/20050130-2.html .

35. Mark Mazzetti and Borzou Daragahi, “U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Sto¬ries in Iraqi Press: Troops Write Articles Presented as News Reports. Some Officers Object to the Practice,” Los Angeles Times, 30 November 2005.

36. Lincoln Group website, http://lincolngroup.com>.

37. See Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (John Wiley & Sons, 2004).

38. Daniel L. Baggio, “The Dawn of the New Iraq: The Story Americans Almost Missed,” in Information as Power: An Anthology of Selected United States Army War College Student Papers, vol. 1, eds. Dennis M. Murphy, Jeffrey L. Groh, David J. Smith, and Cynthia E. Ayers (Carlisle Barracks: U.S. Army War College, 2006), 59-86; Chandrasekaran, 128-146.

39. See Earl F. Ziemke, “Improvising Stability and Change in Postwar Germany,” in Americans as Proconsuls: United States Military Government in Germany and Japan, 1944-1952, ed. Robert Wolfe (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1984).

40. The complete text of JCS 1067 can be found in Germany 1945-1949: The Story in Documents (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950), 21-33.

41. Combined Joint Task Force 7 Public Affairs Guidance, 091200DJul 2003, 1.

42. Cora Sol Goldstein, “Irak: Befreier in Ketten,” Internationale Politik, 60, Jahr 11 (November 2005): 104-110.

43. Report, Public Information Office, OMGUS, 16 December 1948, Landesarchiv Berlin: OMGUS, RG 260, MF # 4/1-3/9.

44. Carl J. Friedrich, “Military Government and Dictatorship,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 267 (January 1950): 1. See also Friedrich, “Military Government as a Step Toward Self-Rule,” The Public Opinion Quarterly 7, no. 4 (Winter 1943), 527-41. Friedrich was born in Germany and joined the Harvard faculty in 1926. He participated in drafting the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1955, Harvard appointed Friedrich Eaton Professor of the Science of Government. For biographical details, see papers of Carl J. Friedrich, Harvard University Library.

45. For recent data on the levels of anti-Americanism worldwide, see the Pew Global Attitudes Survey, June 2007, http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/256.pdf.


I would like to thank William M. Darley, Charles Krohn, Montgomery McFate, Lawrence Pintak, Bill Rugh, and Guy Shields for sharing contacts and information about American media policy in Iraq.

Also available online at:
Center for Strategic Leadership, United States Army War College