Pentagon's Message Multipliers

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Another week, another outrage.

Seventy-five former military officers "inserted" into mainstream media to be used as  "message multipliers." No wonder the world is an absolute mess. You didn't get off your beer-stained sofa to throw a plutocracy-wrenching riot when the news broke.

The New York Times made headway in its penance for reporting us into Iraq via Judith Miller-Chalabi by busting open a story on Psyops operations that have infiltrated all the major domestic TV networks with vested-interest generals to keep America sold on the increasingly profitable (for a few) Occupation of Iraq.

It read in part:

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as "military analysts" whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

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 administration'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.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves.

Some groups, like the PR watchdog Center for Media and Democracy were all over it.

Only problem was that only Public Television would venture a serious telecast on the topic. Representatives of all the network affiliates implicated declined to appear with Judy Woodruff on the NewsHour and their audience of, like, dozens.

Partial transcript:

JOHN STAUBER, Center for Media and Democracy: Well, Judy, first of all, congratulations to the NewsHour for doing this report. And it's a shame on the networks who were duped this way that they didn't show up to defend or explain their actions.

What happened here was a psy-ops campaign, an incredible government propaganda campaign whereby Donald Rumsfeld and Torie Clark, the head of public relations for the Pentagon, designed a program to recruit 75, at least 75 former military officers, as your report said, most of them now lobbyists or consultants to military contractors, and insert them, beginning in 2002, before the attack on Iraq was even launched, into the major networks to manage the messages, to be surrogates.

And that's the words that are actually used, "message multipliers" for the secretary of defense and for the Pentagon. This program continues right up to now.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And is the essence of this that what they did was--what the Pentagon did was illegal?

JOHN STAUBER: Yes, what they did was illegal. Now, the Pentagon might contest that, but we've had various laws on the books in our country going back to the 1920s. It is illegal for the U.S. government to propagandize citizens in this way.

In my opinion, this war could have never been sold if it were not for this sophisticated propaganda campaign. And what we need is congressional investigation of not just this Pentagon military analyst program, but all the rest of the deception and propaganda that came out of the Bush administration and out of the Pentagon that allowed them to sell and manage this war.

Full Transcript.

Maybe when we're done absorbing Obama's distancing from his former pastor, we'll listen to Jeremiah Wright.

And if we caught wind of liberation theology, we'd understand revolution.

And, (huff, huff), then?

Well, hell, it'll either be pipebombs or voting booths, I wreckun.


Top image courtesy of The New York Times.

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