We all know America’s military-industrial complex is replete with war profiteering. But few are aware of the details in the War on Terror. The NYT, thankfully, uncovered this long ago, though unfortunately it hasn’t been spread enough.
The American public was intentionally duped for profits. “Bush lied people died” is a common anti-war trope, but it’s factually correct. But how?
An array of common “military analysts” were used to exploit the American taxpayer and deflect criticism of the Bush administration. They had ties to over 150 defense contractors, each competing for billions of dollars worth of defense contracts.
Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.
Analysts have been wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior military leaders, including officials with significant influence over contracting and budget matters, records show. 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, including Mr. Cheney, Alberto R. Gonzales and Stephen J. Hadley.
In turn, members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access.
These analysts were given special access to Guantanamo, Iraq, and classified intel to sway public opinion in favor of the Bush administration. They decried Amnesty International and making absurd claims, like “all detainees are treated humanely.” They shaped the way viewers interpreted events in the War on Terror. “They were military men, many of them ideologically in sync with the administration’s neoconservative brain trust, many of them important players in a military industry anticipating large budget increases to pay for an Iraq war.”
The Pentagon paid a private contractor, Omnitec Solutions, hundreds of thousands of dollars to scour databases for any trace of the analysts, be it a segment on “The O’Reilly Factor” or an interview with The Daily Inter Lake in Montana, circulation 20,000.
Omnitec evaluated their appearances using the same tools as corporate branding experts. One report, assessing the impact of several trips to Iraq in 2005, offered example after example of analysts echoing Pentagon themes on all the networks.
“Commentary from all three Iraq trips was extremely positive over all,” the report concluded.
Amazing how hundreds of thousands of our own tax dollars were used to analyze propaganda against ourselves. The irony.
All three of the above companies have or had lobbyists working for the US government.John Rood works for Lockheed and was the Undersecretary for Defense, Mark Esper works for Raytheon and is the Secretary of Defense who replaced Patrick Shanahan who works for Boeing.
I find it funny when some folks say “if Muslims didn’t support terror, they’d be all over Fox news denouncing terrorism.” As if Fox news would actually broadcast such an unprofitable thing. The defense lobbyists would be up in arms.
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