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A Matter Of Opinion

Pentagon spinners

Interesting article in the New York Times about the administration’s media campaign in the run-up to the war. They granted access to military analysts they felt would repeat the proper talking points. Those who criticized the war effort were frozen out.

Plus, many of the analysts used their positions to further their own business interests. Many worked in defense-related industries.

Excerpt:

A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis.

“It was them saying, ‘We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you,’ ” Robert S. Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, said.

Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. “This was a coherent, active policy,” he said.

As conditions in Iraq deteriorated, Mr. Allard recalled, he saw a yawning gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequent inquiries and books later revealed.

“Night and day,” Mr. Allard said, “I felt we’d been hosed.”

The major networks don’t look so good either. They really need to revisit their ethics policies.


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