When the scandal about planting Pentagon propaganda disguised as news in Iraqi newspapers broke, Jonathan Zasloff suspected that the program was intended in part to influence U.S. opinion, as the planted stories were reported here as Iraqi opinion. Jonathan cited this as an example of what he called “Rovism”: the commitment to treat governing as merely the continuation of politics by other means.
Jonathan may well be right about that. But it turns out that the program was designed for a different sort of political impact as well: the contractor, the Lincoln Group, is run by a major Republican fundraiser. We probably won’t know to what extent the Iraq war and reconstruction budgets (and other sources of secret money) have been used as Republican piggy-banks until and unless the Democrats get control either of one house of Congress or of the Executive Branch. But it may turn out that Duke Cunningham was typical, rather than atypical, except in the extent and blatancy of his corruption.