Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Military-Industrial-Media Complex

The New York Times has a long article up, headlined "Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand." It's a stellar piece of investigative journalism, based on a mountain of documentation not previously available, that details the relationships between the Pentagon, the White House, military contractors, lobbyists, and all those retired generals you always see on TV. The article describes the development and maintenance of an enormous message machine, and how it has been used in efforts such as the selling of the invasion of Iraq, the masking of the horrors of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and promoting an ongoing, rosy outlook of The SurgeTM.

Most likely, you already have a sense that a lot of these talking brass hats have agendas and conflicts of interest that make their "analysis" more than a little suspect. The NYT's article, however, will not fail to astonish you with the extent of the organization, the amount of money involved, and the one-sidedness of the messages to be promulgated. Ditto the failure of media outlets to understand the ties that bind those whom they hire to opine on all matters military. Ditto the purging and banishing of those who strayed off message. It's well worth a look. If nothing else, it will give you an understanding of why so many liberals were initially snowed, and how people who get their information exclusively from Fox News are still so convinced of the wonderfulness of our excellent adventures in war.

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