Sunday, April 20, 2008
"Good evening, I'm respected, four-star general (insert name here) to tell you that we are making significant progress in Iraq"
In a long, detailed and well-researched article in this morning's New York Times, David Barstow makes clear what many of us have felt in our gut for years - the military analysts, mostly retired high-ranking military officers, who showed up on talk shows, and op-ed pages in support of the war in Iraq, were reading from a script written by the Pentagon. Most of these retired officers were simultaneously working as consultants to military vendors hoping to procure large war goods contracts from the Pentagon.
In a cozy, perverse daisy chain of cronyism, the Pentagon rewarded these "analysts" (who the Pentagon called, "message force multipliers) their support of Pentagon causes, by giving them access to leaders who could help guarantee contracts for clients of these on-air war cheerleaders.
Most networks and print media outlets allowed these analysts to propagandize without checking their credentials. Another argument about the failure of the press to deliver accuracy to their readers and viewers.
As a child of the sixties, who learned that trusting the government, the military or the press was a mistake, I can only say, "Sing that chorus one more time General Petraeus."