My Dear Mr. Secretary,
First, I want you to know that I'm on your side in this. When you said, on the 30th instant, during a nationally broadcast press conference, that Iraq was high-stepping along the road to democracy, correctly pointing out that our coalition partner has a free press (indeed, has hundreds of independent radio, television, and newspaper enterprises) no one was more pleased than your correspondent.
Then, the very next day, our domestic communist press, in this instance led by its West Coast mouthpiece, the Los Angeles Times, printed a hit piece headlined, "U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press," whining about how you were mismanaging the information battlespace by paying for fake stories and I don't know what else. Frankly, I didn't read all the way through.
Right away, the corrupt American media piled on with their party-line slander stories. I'm referring to the same gang of liberals you've been butting heads against since this battlespace began, to wit: Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, The Union Leader (New Hampshire), The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), and their ilk.
As I understand it, there's this fellow, Christian Bailey, an Oxford U (England) grad. He migrates to San Francisco in the late '90s and starts an Internet-biz website. Who knows what it was, but he got out before the dot-com crash. Then came short employment stints in mumbo-jumbo jobs like, "automating custom clearance," and, "Entrepreneur-in-Residence." Other stuff happens. Then, he turns up in 2004 as the New York City co-chair for the Republican National Convention. Somewhere along the way he became president of Lincoln Asset Management. Remember, this guy looks like he's 12 years old. Lincoln Asset Management creates a subsidiary, Lincoln Alliance Corporation and...I'm losing you.
Let's say the Lincoln Group has a colorful (if exceedingly short) history, a curious Washington, D.C., mailing address, an executive vice president who can't get into a bar without being ID'ed, and is in possession of a six-million-dollar contract to translate and cleverly place fake news stories in Iraqi newspapers. Quoting from the despised Los Angeles Times, "The Lincoln Group's Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets."
Damn good stories, too. According to the malignant rag mentioned above, Al Mutamar was paid $50 to run a think piece headlined, "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism," and Addustour, a must-read Iraqi daily, was paid $1500 to print, "More Money Goes to Iraq's Development."
Now, Mr. Secretary, you and I are men of the world, and we know that some will ask, "If a journalist is paid $50 to write a story, what happens to the other $5,999,950?" Well, I tell them that paying $50 for a think piece ("Foreign Terrorists Are Eating Your Children") is smart shopping and getting fair value for the American taxpayer!
But, that's not why I'm writing this letter. As I said earlier, I'm on your side. So, I've taken valuable time out of my morning in order to alert you to a dangerous wormhole lurking inside your information battlespace. And as sure as unexpected money draws a crowd, this information battlespace gap will be exploited by your information-battlespace enemies.
Yes, yes, I know a lot has been done already. You've got Pentagon-paid-for think pieces, hard-news reports, and mood-of-the-people stories in the can. But, Mr. Secretary, there is more to life than hard-hitting, insightful, reliable news. Mr. Secretary, I'm talking about...SPORTS!
Don, you need a sportswriter on your payroll. Remember the big picture -- total information battlespace control. Many Iraqis read the sports section and nothing else. Millions remain uninformed about all the good news in their town because Iraqi sports pages contain nothing but sports.
Instead of an Iraqi male (a demographic, by the way, you need to reach) turning to the sports section only to read soccer stories, imagine that same potential terrorist reading stories I could write for you. Stories like, G.I. Joe and Abdul Hussein, the slum-dwelling Baghdad teenager. Joe is a big, tussled-haired farm kid from Montana. Abdul is 18 and a little reckless, a little rebellious. The story opens with Joe on patrol in the slums of Baghdad. He's handing out food stamps and high school diplomas to happy slum residents when...I'll cut to the chase. Joe and Abdul form a soccer team made up of rebellious slum-dwelling Muslim teenage boys and fun-loving G.I. Joes and go on to win an important Muslim soccer match! Listen, Don, I've got 1000 of these. Get back to me while the iron's HOT, HOT, HOT!