Saturday, April 19, 2008

The New York Times Exposes The Pentagon's Propaganda

update below

According to tomorrow's New York Times, The Pentagon has from the beggining of the Iraq war, used ex-General's to talk up the war. These Generals have been used hundreds of times as Network news "analyst". But there is evidence of a conflict of interest...
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. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

via The New York Times
emphasis mine

It is truly sickening the depth of corruption in Bush Administration. What this says about Bush and his allies in the Pentagon is that the lives of our soldiers are worth nothing as long as a buck can be made from a war that never should have been fought.

Who's patriotic, again?

Glenn Greenwald exposes the New Times expose for the fact that this was known 5 years ago by the New York Times
The single most significant factor in American political culture is the incestuous, extensive overlap between our media institutions and government officials. The former is a dependent appendage of the latter far more than they are anything else. This article discloses some new details and proof of how that toxic process functions, but the fact that our major news organizations -- with some exceptions -- largely serve as government propaganda outlets is not news. It's the central fact of American political life, and the NYT itself -- along with every other news organization -- more than five years ago was obviously aware of this specific problem but not particularly concerned about it.

via Glenn Greenwald

How is a democracy to function if we can't even trust the very organizations we get the information we need to make informed decisions from?

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