Propaganda Fine and Danda: Justice
Democrats aren't the only ones angered by the Justice Department's memo to federal agencies on March 11 telling them to ignore a key finding by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO has declared that video news releases -- or prepackaged TV segments -- that fail to reveal they were produced by the government constitute illegal propaganda. "It's highly unusual for the Justice Department to take this action. Sending out a memo may be unprecedented," says David Walker, comptroller general of the United States and head of the GAO. He adds, "The Justice Department is not independent on this matter." Department spokesman Kevin Madden could not say how common the issuance of a memo was, but noted that because GAO findings are nonbinding, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has final say over executive branch legal matters.