Good Lord, people. Read this lede to a press release
by a Navy journalist and then tell me I'm wrong about American service members being roped into doing the work of neocon propagandists
. (Emphasis Nitpicker's)
Rice Explains How Iraq Fits in Terror War
By Petty Officer 3rd Class John R. Guardiano, USN
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2005 – Critics of the Iraq War allege that there was no connection between Iraq and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice maintains the attack and actions in Iraq are linked.
This is both editorializing and burying the lede. A proper news story would have begun this way:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2005 - Four years after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested in an interview on Sunday that the Bush Administration hasn't decided whether al Qaeda--or even the terrorists on the planes themselves--are to blame for the attacks.
"The fact of the matter is that when we were attacked on September 11, we had a choice to make," Rice told NBC's Tim Russert on "Meet the Press." "We could decide that the proximate cause was al Qaeda and the people who flew those planes into buildings and, therefore, we would go after al Qaeda…or we could take a bolder approach."
"Proximate cause" is a legal term which means "a happening which results in an event, particularly injury due to negligence or an intentional wrongful act." Rice's statement, then, suggests that it cannot be decided at this time whether the flying of planes into buildings were the actual events responsible for the flying of those planes into buildings.
"She's just absolutely, batshit crazy," said a State Department official who asked not to be named. Other officials could not comment on Rice's statement as they were too busy hanging their heads and shaking them slowly from side-to-side.
Now, for extra points, tell me why this story was written in the first place. Here's the mission
of American Forces Information Service, which put out this release:
Command information provides the defense leadership with the ability to speak directly to military service members and their families. Command information - whether it is delivered in person, through military world wide web sites, over Armed Forces Radio and Television, or in military publications - is the clear, accurate, and unfiltered voice of military leadership.
OK. So why write this story? Rice isn't a military leader
! Doesn't Foggy Bottom have someone who can write these kinds of stories or is it just common practice to hand off these sorts of egregiously neocon-fluffing pieces to E-4s?