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 Post subject: ‘Virtual censorship’ alleged
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:41 am 
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Virtual censorship’ alleged
Officials sought to bar citizens critical of Bush from a U.S. speakers program, inquiry finds.

By JONATHAN S. LANDAY
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON | U.S. officials screened the statements and writings of private citizens for criticism of the Bush administration before selecting them for foreign speaking projects, a State Department review has found.

The screenings amounted to “virtual censorship” in the State Department’s selection of speakers, said the internal report by the department’s inspector general’s office.

McClatchy Newspapers obtained a copy of the 22-page report, which was completed in September.

The vetting practice appears to have been part of the Bush administration’s pattern of controlling information, muffling dissenting views and promoting positive assessments of its policies to foreign audiences.

Other examples include the dissemination of pro-administration videos that were passed off as legitimate news stories, payments to Iraqi journalists for pro-U.S. reports, and the exclusion of perceived critics from President Bush’s domestic events and campaign rallies.


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