The New York Times exposes an especially ugly den of liars, reporting that retired military leaders serving as “military analysts” on major TV news outlets are agents of the administration, parroting talking points handed out by the Pentagon since at least 2002 in an effort to both pitch the war and rebut critical coverage.
These same analysts, the NYT reports, are defense industry lobbyists, consultants and board members who stand to gain from war expenditures. And the news networks were lax in screening these so-called analysts, who have received prodigious airtime, for conflicts of interest.
When your government uses your own tax dollars to shove lies down your throat, treating its own citizens as enemy combatants, it’s bad. But when respected former military leaders (formerly) of the highest caliber eagerly take part, the corruption is breathtaking.
The article is long, but well worth the read.
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administrationâ€™s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.
Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. â€œThis was a coherent, active policy,â€ he said.
Oh and don’t miss this beauty:
On Tuesday, April 18, some 17 analysts assembled at the Pentagon with Mr. Rumsfeld and General Pace, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
A transcript of that session, never before disclosed, shows a shared determination to marginalize war critics and revive public support for the war.
â€œIâ€™m an old intel guy,â€ said one analyst. (The transcript omits speakersâ€™ names.) â€œAnd I can sum all of this up, unfortunately, with one word. That is Psyops. Now most people may hear that and they think, â€˜Oh my God, theyâ€™re trying to brainwash.â€™ â€
â€œWhat are you, some kind of a nut?â€ Mr. Rumsfeld cut in, drawing laughter. â€œYou donâ€™t believe in the Constitution?â€