The Associated Press’s Secret Deal with Nazi Germany

On Wednesday, the Associated Press (AP) released a detailed report on its cooperation with the Third Reich during World War II, which involved publishing photographs provided to it by Nazi officials and providing American photographs in return. Michael Rosenwald explains:

The report includes documents recently declassified at the request of AP’s management. . . . As part of the arrangement [with the Nazis], AP shared pictures of U.S. war operations and Allied advances, which were reviewed by Hitler and published in Nazi publications. . . .

John Daniszewski, AP’s vice-president for standards and editor-at-large, said that the organization’s journalists “were doing their best to get out information that the world needed.” He defended the photos—they are still available for purchase on an AP website—by noting that blatantly staged propaganda was excluded and that AP’s captions made the Nazi origins clear. But a review of photos published in American newspapers shows that wasn’t always the case. . . .

Photos were traded in Lisbon, [the capital of neutral Portugal], via diplomatic pouch with the help of another AP correspondent. A route through Sweden later emerged. At least 10,000 photos went back and forth.

AP officials notified the U.S. censorship office of the deal on July 13, 1942. The office was run by Byron Price, a former AP executive editor, recruited personally by President Roosevelt, according to the AP report. The report does not detail the Americans’ rationale for approving the deal, except to indicate that there might be “information value” to the backdoor relationship.

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More about: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, History & Ideas, Media, Nazism, World War II

 

The Syrian Civil War May Be Coming to an End, but Three New Wars Are Rising There

March 26 2019

With both Islamic State and the major insurgent forces largely defeated, Syria now stands divided into three parts. Some 60 percent of the country, in the west and south, is in the hands of Bashar al-Assad and his allies. Another 30 percent, in the northeast, is in the hands of the mostly Kurdish, and American-backed, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The final 10 percent, in the northwest, is held by Sunni jihadists, some affiliated with al-Qaeda, under Turkish protection. But, writes Jonathan Spyer, the situation is far from stable. Kurds, likely linked to the SDF, have been waging an insurgency in the Turkish areas, and that’s only one of the problems:

The U.S.- and SDF-controlled area east of the Euphrates is also witnessing the stirrings of internal insurgency directed from outside. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “236 [SDF] fighters, civilians, oil workers, and officials” have been killed since August 2018 in incidents unrelated to the frontline conflict against Islamic State. . . . The SDF blames Turkey for these actions, and for earlier killings such as that of a prominent local Kurdish official. . . . There are other plausible suspects within Syria, however, including the Assad regime (or its Iranian allies) or Islamic State, all of which are enemies of the U.S.-supported Kurds.

The area controlled by the regime is by far the most secure of Syria’s three separate regions. [But, for instance, in] the restive Daraa province in the southwest, [there has been] a renewed small-scale insurgency against the Assad regime. . . .

As Islamic State’s caliphate disappears from Syria’s map, the country is settling into a twilight reality of de-facto division, in which a variety of low-burning insurgencies continue to claim lives. Open warfare in Syria is largely over. Peace, however, will remain a distant hope.

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More about: ISIS, Kurds, Politics & Current Affairs, Syrian civil war, Turkey