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Published On: Fri, Sep 5th, 2014

LA Times reporter Ken Dilanian worked with CIA to cover up drone program casualties

A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

The reporter, Ken Dilanian, appears to compromise any honest representation in the stories, even submitting revised drafts to appease the CIA.

Casualties from drone use has been covered up by the press - says emails newly acquired Screenshots of YouTube video by JDUS2020

Casualties from drone use has been covered up by the press – says emails newly acquired
Screenshots of YouTube video by JDUS2020

“I’m working on a story about congressional oversight of drone strikes that can present a good opportunity for you guys,” Dilanian wrote in one email to a CIA press officer, explaining that what he intended to report would be “reassuring to the public” about CIA drone strikes. In another, after a series of back-and-forth emails about a pending story on CIA operations in Yemen, he sent a full draft of an unpublished report along with the subject line, “does this look better?” In another, he directly asks the flack: “You wouldn’t put out disinformation on this, would you?”

Dilanian’s emails were included in hundreds of pages of documents that the CIA turned over in response to two Freedom of Information Act requests seeking records on the agency’s interactions with reporters, says the Intercept in a Sept. 4 article.

The documents reviewed “include email exchanges with reporters for the Associated Press, Washington PostNew York TimesWall Street Journal, and other outlets. In addition to Dilanian’s deferential relationship with the CIA’s press handlers, the documents show that the agency regularly invites journalists to its McLean, Va., headquarters for briefings and other events. Reporters who have addressed the CIA include the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius, the former ombudsmen for the New York Times, NPR, and Washington Post, and Fox News’ Brett Baier, Juan Williams, and Catherine Herridge.”

Dilanian’s drone story appears to be of the biggest concern, a “good opportunity” for the government after critics raised concerns about the drone program and use overseas. Intercept notes “The letter from lawmakers, which was sent in the wake of a flurry of drone strikes that had reportedly killed dozens of civilians, suggested there was no meaningful congressional oversight of the program. But Dilanian wrote that he had been “told differently by people I trust.”

Dilanian writes:

 

Not only would such a story be reassuring to the public, I would think, but it would also be an opportunity to explore the misinformation about strikes that sometimes comes out of local media reports. It’s one thing for you to say three killed instead of 15, and it’s another for congressional aides from both parties to back you up. Part of what the story will do, if you could help me bring it to fruition, is to quote congressional officials saying that great care is taken to avoid collateral damage and that the reports of widespread civilian casualties are simply wrong.

 

In one email, he suggested that a New America Foundation report alleging that drone attacks had killed many civilians was exaggerated, writing that the report was “all wrong, correct?”

A number of early news accounts reported that more than a dozen people died in the June 4, 2012, drone strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in Pakistan. But in a June 20 email to the CIA, Dilanian shared a sentence from his story draft asserting that al-Libi had died alone. “Would you quibble with this?” he asked the CIA press officer.

This incredible article details a “Friendship” rather than a reporter covering news – check it out for yourself HERE

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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