4/27/08

A New York Times report shines a light on how the military-industrial complex tries to shape broadcast news

Many times I have pointed out to my friends at Lucianne.com that Fascism is the political ideology toward which Americans should be most on guard..... it is insidious, and the modern Republican Party has already made decades of progress in moving the public psyche ever to the right..... to the degree that now we have experienced eight years of a Republican administration that is in essence the fruition of "movement conservativism" itself. Modern Republicans are FAR from being "conservatives". A true American conservative would be conservative about the Liberal tradtion and foundations of this great Nation!

If Americans wish to regain a sense of who they are, they need only return to the ideas found in foundational documents of this Nation.... America was founded on a bedrock of revolutionary concepts for Liberal governance.... the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights not only affirm the freedom and dignity of the individual, but also provides for a Liberal structure for governance that ensures that Freedom..... The current Republican administration has taken every opportunity to undermine America's Liberal Democracy and concentrate power in the Executive Branch to avoid checks and balances from the Congress and the Judiciary....... Liberalism is hated by Communists, Fascists, Theocrats and the Republican Party of the United States for that reason..... it is a revolutionary concept, yet one that does not accommodate extremist ideologues easily. Ladies and gentlemen, the political and economic ideology of the Republican Party in America is an extremist ideology that can no longer be considered part of the American tradition.

This Nation has moved to far to the right, and it is time to take it back..... make America America again.....

One of the things that has to change is the notion that the American
Government can simply propagandize and manipulate the American People.

Here is an article concerning that very issue:

TV Military ‘Analysts’ Are Part of What Ike Warned Against

by Nancy Grape

Maine Sunday Telegram, Sunday, 27 April 2008

The faces dominating the front page of The New York Times last Sunday were male, strong-jawed and familiar. Indeed, that was the point.

They were the faces of nine retired military officers (there were more inside the paper) who appear regularly on network and cable television news to give viewers informed, independent assessments of the war in Iraq.

At least that was the idea.

What viewers have been getting, the Times revealed, is something quite different. The paper reported convincingly that some retired officers appearing as “military analysts” have been pushing Pentagon propaganda in return for continued access to top officials and financial benefit for themselves.

According to the Times report, “Analysts have been wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior military leaders, including officials with significant influence over contracting and budget matters. They have been taken on tours of Iraq and given access to classified intelligence. They have been briefed by officials from the White House, State Department and Justice Department.

“In turn, members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated,” the report said. “Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access. A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, an enthusiastic golfer in his presidential years, left behind more than spike marks on the White House floor. He stood at a convergence in American history. He knew it. And he gave voice to a solemn warning, delivered in 1961, three days before he left office.

Eisenhower, a renowned World War II general, declared, “Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

“In the councils of government,” he warned, “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes,” he declared. “We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The Times’ report on the military analysts is a tale of propaganda, hidden loyalties and financial interests. It reveals a vulnerability that reaches all the way to the survival of the United States as a country governed by the informed opinion of its people.

The newspaper’s investigation shows that in case after case, the military analysts take their cues and their information from specially prepared Pentagon briefings and trips.

A number wear more than one hat. In addition to offering their “analysis” on television, they work for pay for defense-related industries. Employers range from military equipment manufacturers and contractors to lobbyists and consulting firms on the hunt for defense-related business.

The report is important for the glimpse it provides into how powerful forces help keep us enmeshed in Iraq.

The 17 military analysts pictured include such oft-seen faces as retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey on NBC News, retired Brig. Gen. James Marks on CNN and retired Lt. Gen. Tom McNerney on Fox. Even so, television news audiences haven’t heard much about the report. Up it popped on Sunday morning, and by Sunday night, it was smothered like a Philadelphia cheese steak in rehashed political news.

“This article would have come sooner, but it took us two years to wrestle 8,000 pages of documents out of the Defense Department that described its interactions with network military analysts,” reporter David Barstow explained on the Times’ Web site. “We pushed as hard as we could, but the Defense Department refused to produce many categories of documents in response to our requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act.”

Ultimately the Times went to court. Yet even then, Barstow said, “the Pentagon failed to meet several court-ordered deadlines.” Finally, the judge had enough. He threatened the Defense Department with sanctions if it continued to defy court deadlines. The stalling stopped.

The television networks and cable fiefdoms involved probably would prefer this story follow another military tradition and just fade away. Like it or not, however, the report on the Pentagon puppets leaves an indelible mark.

Eisenhower, president and general, would see it and heed it. So should we.

Nancy Grape comments on state and national issues for the Maine Sunday Telegram

14 comments:

Utah Savage said...

I read this story in both the NY Times and the Washington Post. Then it died. Do we have a "broadcast news media?" Is there anything but an underground of legitimate honest journalists? What the fuck happened in America to the free press? Was it cable new? Was it Rupert Murdock and Ted Turner gobbling up all the media markets?

Ghost Dansing said...

this is a very sensitive issue because in is a multi-edged sword..... on the one hand we see deliberate Republican propaganda efforts directed at the American People, co-opting and manipulating not only the current military leadership and retired military leadership, but the corporate media itself.....

you are quite correct..... where is the Free Press?

we better find it, otherwise it becomes a simple mouthpiece of right-wing corporatists; Fox News being the model, but all others similarly subverted.

Utah Savage said...

I think Bus is going to drop the big one on Iran just before he leaves office and the dance out the door smiling. It will be his las big fuck you to us all.

Which reminds me of a Randy Newman song. I think It's call Drop the Big One. But I would be wrong. Are you too young to be a Randy Newman fan? It's a song I'd like to post on my site, but I don't know how to do that sort of thing. I'm asking a lot, but with your ghost dansing skills I know you're up to it, if you have time.

Utah Savage said...

Never mind. TomCat came to my rescue. It's a great song, but in these times, I can't listen to it without crying.

Mary Ellen said...

I hate to say it, but there is propagandizing on both sides, Conservative (R) and Liberal (D). I see it not only within our government but in the MSM. Blogs are also tools for propaganda. The way I figure it, I decide who I can trust and listen to them...anything else, it means nothing.

Ghost Dansing said...

i understand what you are saying ME. propaganda in the most benign definition is simply communicating a point of view in a positive way to influence people...... marketing uses propaganda.

this is about a deceptive technique being used by this Republican administration in which we see a deliberate manipulation of the corporate media by the government to create the appearance that the government's talking points have some external, independent validation, specifically intended to undermine the credibility of other experts.

it is the deliberate deception that makes this nefarious.

this is what the military calls psychological operations, and at one time conducting psychological operations against your own populace was strictly forbidden.

if a "Liberal" administration would do this, it would be just as bad. however, it would be the Liberal position that this sort of thing is unethical; probably un-Constitutional.

Psychological Operations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_operations_%28United_States%29

Ghost Dansing said...

Psychological Operations

Utah Savage said...

Sometimes you seem so ...smart, mature, well informed, uber-articulate, I'm so damn stupid about some things--like spelling and knowing the difference between bear and bare--but i know when I'm reading something well thought out, researched, and stated so clearly that the questioner, or commenter goes away having learned something and feeling good about it.

You could, easily, make us all feel like morons, but you don't. This shows a level of maturity, I, at 63, do not yet posses. And yet you are like a teenaged boy sometimes when you come visiting. All pop music geeky and coy. Like the very definition of a callow boy. What is you dansing game? M

My evil Daddy was an eager student of Psychological Operations. His PhD was in Experimental Psychology. His Daddy was an early and enthusiastic proponent of the ice-pick lobotomy and he was one of Salt Lake City's most prominent surgeons. He was on the board of directors of The Primary Children's Hospital, Chief of Staff at St Mark's Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital. He was also a pedophile and a child pornographer. Oh the stories I am telling. All the major players are finally dead--only cousins and an Uncle by marriage. The real villain's are dead. At least the one's in my family.
Too much information, huh? And what does this have to do with your post? It's the microcosm of your macrocosm. That's my guess.

Utah Savage said...

And please, someone tell me what the MSM is?

Scarlet W. Blue said...

We are so ripe for fascism in this country.

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks for the compliment (i think) Utah. MSM is Mainstream Media. Everybody uses it.

i think of it as the corporate media.

i think we already pegged the fascism meter with this Republican administration Scarlet Blue..... give it more time and "movement conservativism" will dismantle the Liberal governmental architecture of America, and we will be just like any other 2nd or 3rd world kleptocracy..... and the militarism.... what can i say?

SaoirseDaily2 said...

This UFO looks pretty real hu? Should have been over W's ranch. LOL. Thanks for visiting. Have a terrific Thursday.

Ghost Dansing said...

they look like real UFO pictures alright..... is suspect Dubya has already been abducted by aliens and his brain replaced with a raisin.

Mary Ellen said...

Hey Ghost Dansing!

Sorry to everyone..this is OT.

Just wanted to stop by and tell you thanks for the great video you put up at my blog. Since you were there, I added a little note to my closing post. I should have done that sooner...bad manners on my part.

I'll still be posting at All That Is...just not a new post everyday. Maybe I'll see you there?

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks. I'll stop over here as often as I can to say hello and read your posts.

Take care,

Mary Ellen
The Divine Democrat