Are “Vets for Freedom” a PR Ploy?

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From the annals of propaganda news: Apparently a group called Vets for Freedom, which bills itself as “America’s largest non-partisan organization,” has been trying to convince newspapers to run stories by two of its combat veterans who are now embedded reporters in Iraq, on the theory that their reporting will offer “balanced and credible viewpoints.” But it turns out the group has ties with the Bush-Cheney public relations team, as first reported by the Buffalo News. And a former Bush spokesperson, Taylor Gross, has been hyping the group to newspapers without mentioning that he’s a former political operative.

But the Buffalo story hasn’t received much broader attention. Meanwhile, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post have all run op-eds by Vets for Freedom “without any reporting on who they actually were.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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