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On Sunday, The New York Times published an explosive report exposing the Pentagon’s secret campaign to use analysts in order to “generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.” Since that time, TV news organizations have largely been silent on their role in the propaganda. Ari Melber notes that last night, PBS’s Newshour finally broke this blackout, but couldn’t convince the other networks to participate:
JUDY WOODRUFF: And for the record, we invited Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC to participate, but they declined our offer or did not respond.
Did it work? Were you duped?
Were you calmly and methodically and rather nefariously led to believe that maybe, just maybe, the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the rest, right along with tales of soldier suicides and torture and staggering civilian body counts and the utterly disastrous Bush military policy weren't really all that bad after all?
Did you watch any CNN or Fox News or MSNBC, lo, these past five or six years, listen to the pundits and ponder the wise, informed comments of all the military experts the networks brought on to discuss Iraq policy, then conclude that maybe this war, this appalling invasion might actually be positive, that maybe the surge is working and torture ain't all that bad and the democracy is taking root and America is proud and perky and victorious once again?
Did you believe any of it? Because oh my God, they sure as hell worked us over like a rabid dog works a hunk of gristle.
Who are "they," exactly? Why, they're the newly discovered and rather unexpected fraternity of expert BS artists, a highly specialized group known to gullible Americans as stoic, stern-faced retired generals, colonels, majors, military advisers, former Pentagon officials, the ones you've heard and seen on TV news for years, but who are known to the Bush administration as a delightfully dishonest gaggle of preferred liars, lackeys, shills, puppets and mouthpieces for Dick Cheney and Donny Rumsfeld and Dubya himself.
The truth is as sad as it is revolting: You have been lied to, again and again, perhaps even more than you imagined, in a rather unexpected way, perhaps like no other time in American history, in a more carefully orchestrated and widespread effort than any presidential administration has managed to attempt in the past.
Here is the New York Times, still managing to do what it does best despite the era of dying newspapers and disrespected journalism, running a simply astonishing piece on all the dishonest "military consultants" who've appeared for the past half decade on every major network — and yes, Fox adores these liars best of all — to discuss Iraq, surges, U.S. military strategy, the works.
Here is the Times revealing, after two years of battling the Defense Department to release the 8,000 pages of incriminating documents by way of instigating lawsuits and leveraging the Freedom of Information Act — and barely even then — that this entire dour fraternity of deceitful military cretins has been in service of BushCo since Sept. 11 — and still is, to this very day.
To clarify: Whenever you've seen one of those dour-faced retired generals discussing details of U.S. war strategy on MSNBC, chances are staggeringly good he was/is in the pocket of Rummy or Cheney. Whenever a wise old colonel has appeared on Fox or CNN or CBS News to say the surge is working or troop morale is strong or that all those suicide bombings aren't really so bad, chances are overwhelmingly good that he is lying outright and you're hearing exactly what Donald Rumsfeld wanted him to say. Isn't that refreshing?
The Times story is simply astounding. Up and down the line, from major to general to colonel to every sort of expert they have, it's the same story. Over and over again, presented "tens of thousands of times" and totaling countless hundreds of TV and radio hours, it's been a near constant stream of calculated deception and misrepresentation and bogus pro-Iraq spin. Neutrality? Fair analysis of the war? Criticism of Bush? Not a chance.
Originally posted by DimensionalDetective
YEEESSS!!! THANK YOU PBS!!!
This is unreal! We have near TOTAL media collusion with gov and military talking heads, spewing propaganda and lies to keep these atrocities going, and they are all trying to cover it up and pretend it didn't happen!
The NYT and now PBS are exposing this fraudulaent sham of a Main stream Media we have!!
Everybody needs to see this, and send it out to everyone you know! This is disgusting and wide spread!
David Barstow of the New York Times has written the first installment in what is already a stunning exposé of the Bush Administration's most powerful propaganda weapon used to sell and manage the war on Iraq: the embedding of military propagandists directly into the TV networks as on-air commentators. We and others have long criticized the
widespread TV network practice of hiring former military officials to serve as analysts, but even in our most cynical moments we did not anticipate how bad it was. Barstow has painstakingly documented how these analysts, most of them military industry consultants and lobbyists, were directly chosen, managed, coordinated and given their talking points by the Pentagon's ministers of propaganda.
Thanks to the two-year investigation by the New York Times, we today know that Victoria Clarke, then the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, launched the Pentagon military analyst program in early 2002. These supposedly independent military analysts were in fact a coordinated team of pro-war propagandists, personally recruited by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and acting under Clarke's tutelage and development.
One former participant, NBC military analyst Kenneth Allard, has called the effort "psyops on steroids." As Barstow reports, "Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as 'message force multipliers' or 'surrogates' who could be counted on to deliver administration 'themes and messages' to millions of Americans 'in the form of their own opinions.' … Don Meyer, an aide to Ms. Clarke, said a strategic decision was made in 2002 to make the analysts the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war."
Clarke and her senior aide, Brent T. Krueger, eventually signed up more than 75 retired military officers who penned newspaper op/ed columns and appeared on television and radio news shows as military analysts. The Pentagon held weekly meetings with the military analysts, which continued as of April 20, 2008, when the New York Times ran Barstow's story. The program proved so successful that it was expanded to issues besides the Iraq War. "Other branches of the
administration also began to make use of the analysts. Mr. Gonzales, then the attorney general, met with them soon after news leaked that the government was wiretapping terrorism suspects in the United States without warrants, Pentagon records show. When David H. Petraeus was appointed the commanding general in Iraq in January 2007, one of his early acts was to meet with the analysts."
Barstow spent two years digging, using the Freedom of Information Act and attorneys to force the Bush Administration to release some 8,000 pages of documents now under lock and key at the New York Times. This treasure trove should result in additional stories, giving them a sort of "Pentagon Papers" of Iraq war propaganda.
This has to do with absolute accountability and transparency in government, nothing less will work
"Government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Instead it has turned against the people. Politicians and government bureaucrats of both parties want to impose their will and take control over every aspect of the lives of the American people. It's time to turn the tables. I will fight on behalf of the people. I will defend the constitution. I will repeal laws, not create new ones. I will cut government, not grow it. I will find programs to terminate, not create new ones. The only power I will relish is the power of the veto. I love the smell of vetoes in the morning! I vow to veto more bills than any President in history."
"Government should be of the people, by the people, for the people. What part of that do politicians and government bureaucrats not understand? Government has no right to keep secrets from the people. The people are paying for it. It's THEIR government. They have a right to know everything going on. I will make government transparent. One big reality show. I will eliminate the back-alley deals, the smoke-filled rooms where secret deals are made. With me, what you see is what you'll get. I'll bring it all out into the open. The people will be back in charge."
--Wayne Allyn Root