Josh Marshall

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Given that there's been essentially no congressional oversight in six years and way more than six years worth of wrongdoing have occured, there's no shortage of things to investigate. But following up on the piece about the US government, under President Bush, paying US-based reporters to write anti-Castro copy, this is one investigation I'm really eager to see: a full and detailed catalog of which journalists the US government has had on the take during the last six years.

In a way what's most telling is that it doesn't even appear to be part of one program. I doubt very much that the same bureaucrats and appointees were paying these anti-Castro guys as were paying Armstrong Williams to yap about No Child Left Behind. Or Maggie Gallagher about pre-marital sex, or whatever it was they paid her to do.

It's like a culture of propaganda that has suffused the whole administration. And the specific instances we've found out about all appear to have been revealed by specific investigations or random squealers. And that suggests that once subpoenas get handed out, we'll find out about a lot more.

Reuters ...

At least 10 Florida journalists received regular payments from a U.S. government program aimed at undermining the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, The Miami Herald reported on Friday.

Total payments since 2001 ranged from $1,550 to $174,753 per journalist, according to the newspaper, which said it found no instance in which those involved had disclosed that they were being paid by the U.S. Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

That office runs Radio and TV Marti, U.S. government programs broadcast to Cuba to promote democracy and freedom on the communist island. Its programming cannot be broadcast within the United States because of anti-propaganda laws.

The Cuban government has long contended that some Spanish-language journalists in Miami were on the U.S. government payroll.

The Herald said two of the journalists receiving the payments worked for its Spanish-language sister publication, El Nuevo Herald, and a third was a freelance contributor for that newspaper, which fired all three after learning of the payments.

Embarrassed for your country yet?

The tide turns? From the NYT ...

Under growing pressure from Democrats and aides to former President Bill Clinton, ABC is re-evaluating and in some cases re-editing crucial scenes in its new mini-series “The Path to 9/11” to soften its portrait of the Clinton administration’s pursuit of Osama bin Laden, according to people involved in the project.

Among the changes, ABC is altering one scene in which an actor playing Samuel R. Berger, the former national security adviser, abruptly hangs up on a C.I.A. officer during a critical moment in a military operation, according to Thomas H. Kean, a consultant on the ABC project and co-chairman of the federal Sept. 11 commission.

Devil will certainly be in the details.

Or guiding the souls of the producers.

One or the other.

So al Qaida -- or what's left of it -- releases a five-plus year old tape of bin Laden with two of the 9/11 hijackers as well as Ramzi Binalshibh, one of the baddies just transfered to Gitmo. Right in time for the president's big kangaroo court role out.

If you didn't know that bin Laden and Bush were the two polar opposites in the global battle between good and evil, you'd think the two were coordinating their media blitzes.

And on the subject of al Qaida, don't miss James Fallows piece on bin Laden and Co. in the current issue of The Atlantic. Good stuff.