Military Generals as Defense Department Wind-up Toys

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Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin

Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon”™s Hidden Hand
by David Barstow
New York Times
April 20, 2008


In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantà¡namo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

The administration”™s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantà¡namo.

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.

Read the rest of the article here. It’s long but fascinating.

And, check out this New York Times multi-media report, How the Pentagon Spread Its Message also by David Barstow, April 20, 2008.

Barstow, an investigative reporter for The Times, examines primary source documents detailing the Pentagon”™s response to criticism of then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld by a group of prominent retired generals.

thanks Nancy