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Pentagon Begins Airing Propaganda Broadcasts to Iraq - 2002-12-16

The U.S. military has begun propaganda broadcasts directly into Iraq in an evident bid to discredit Saddam Hussein and to turn his troops and people against him.

The information about the start of the military broadcasts into Iraq was buried in a news release from the U.S. Central Command about the latest leaflet drop over the south of the country.

It said among the nearly half-million leaflets dropped early Monday were some that referred Iraqis to radio frequencies where they could hear broadcasts by coalition forces.

Pentagon officials subsequently confirmed the broadcasts actually began last week and emanate from special aircraft known as Commando Solo planes, which are effectively airborne radio and television stations.

A Pentagon spokesman says the broadcasts contain several themes, among them, Saddam Hussein's diversion of funds intended for food to purchase weapons and his squandering of money for personal pursuits.

Other themes include Saddam's history of using chemical weapons on his own people. Yet another theme is an appeal to Iraqi troops not to support the Iraqi leader in the event of a new Gulf war.

The special Commando Solo aircraft have most recently been used over Afghanistan, especially during the early stages of the U.S. anti-terrorist offensive against al-Qaida and Taleban forces.