Most Corrupt Agencies


The USDA on Iraq: Everything's Coming Up Rosy

By Al Kamen

WASHINGTON POST, May 8, 2006--Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive emailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points"--saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq"--in every speech they give for the department.

"The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and subcabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began.

An attachment gives examples of how easy it is to work a little upbeat Iraq talk into any speech about agriculture. Example: "Before I talk about U.S. agricultural productivity, I'd like to take a moment to talk about a nation that is just now beginning to rebuild its own agricultural production: Iraq."

Scripts can be viewed at

"Please use these message points as often as possible and send Harry Phillips, USDA's director of speechwriting, a weekly email summarizing the event, date and location of each speech incorporating the attached language. Your responses will be included in a weekly account sent to the White House."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company


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