conveniently positioned to be slurped down the weekend memory hole…
WASHINGTON (AFP) — An internal investigation has cleared the Pentagon of violating a ban on domestic propaganda by using retired military officers to comment positively about the war in Iraq in the US media.
In a report posted on its website Friday, the Pentagon’s inspector general said “we found the evidence insufficient to conclude that RMA (retired military analysts) outreach activities were improper.”
The report said the controversy, which erupted in April following an expose in the New York Times, warranted no further investigation.
The Times found that the Pentagon laid on special briefings and conference calls for the retired officers, many of whom then repeated the talking points as military experts on television news shows.
It also found that many of the media analysts also worked as consultants or served on the boards of defense contracting companies, but that those ties often went undisclosed to the public.
US law bars government agencies from using funds for domestic propaganda, but the inspector general’s report said the definition of propaganda is unclear.
The report said historically it has been interpreted to mean publicity for the sake of self aggrandizement, partisanship, or covert communications, and that by those standards the evidence did not show a violation of the ban.
“Further, we found insufficient basis to conclude that (the office of the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs) conceived of or undertook a disciplined effort to assemble a contingent of influential RMAs who could be depended on to comment favorably on DoD (Department of Defense) programs,” it said.
It said the Pentagon invited retired military analysts to 121 meetings, 16 Pentagon briefings, 105 conference calls and nine trips — four to Iraq and five to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“We determined that those activities were conducted in accordance with DoD policies and regulations,” it said.
It said some 70 retired military officers were involved with the program at one time of another.
One, retired general Barry McCaffrey, was not invited back after he criticized the war effort, the report said. Another was blocked from attending, possibly because of a dispute with an unnamed senior military officer, it said.
It said it found no instances where retired officers with ties to military contractors “used information obtained as a result of the … outreach program to achieve a competitive advantage for their company.”
“Of the 70 RMAs that we examined, we found that 20 (29 percent) had some type of corporate association,” it said.
…and you’ll just love it to death
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Ivo H. Daalder
After 13 years of providing the most expansive coverage of anti-imperialistic foreign policy journalism, and proving the manipulating liars wrong on a daily basis with all the best sources, all in one place, regardless of political affiliation and not beholden to the admniistration du jour, this is how much appreciation is shown for their exhaustive efforts?
Oh, I get it. Now that the so-called “peace candidate” has prevailed in the latest Circus of Deceit, you can all go back to sleep and everything will be taken care of for you, even so far as paying your bills and saving your mortgage, as claimed by some such euphoric celebrants. Well, here’s a little reality check for you… this new president’s cabinet is filling up quickly with all the same warmongering, vile murderers from the last democratic administration, the current republican administration and even some from behind the scenes at PNAC. So, if you think there’s going to be some kind of ‘change’ from the outgoing war criminal, to the next one in line to be taking his place, well, better hope you’re not under forty because there’s a good chance you could be dead wrong, just as the millions that have needlessly died at the hands of the last two administrations.
If you’re unaware of Antiwar.com, or have never contributed, or are not on their mailing list, or just take for granted that they’re funded by huge corporations as NPR and the MSM are, you need to read this and please help out if you can. You can’t ‘change’ anything if you don’t know what’s going on.
A Personal Appeal From Antiwar.com’s Webmaster
13 Years of Antiwar.com
When I began Antiwar.com in December 1995, a Democrat was in the White House.
His foreign policy was bellicose yet largely supported by the Washington establishment.
As the president bombed Iraq, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Sudan, it was out of fashion
to be antiwar, and opposing the U.S. empire was left to a tiny minority across the
Since then I have seen my “hobby” blossom into the most important and widely read
foreign policy site online. We are consistently ranked among the top political news
sites on the Web, reaching up to 100,000 visitors per day with original reportage
and commentary. We also search far and wide to find and publicize news and analysis
that the mainstream media excludes.
Antiwar.com’s popularity boomed in response to George W. Bush’s post-9/11 global
war on terror, especially his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. But remember:
it was U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East in the 1990s and before that led to
the blowback of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the accompanying assault
on our liberties. We sincerely hope Barack Obama will end the worst excesses of
the Bush administration, but even that will not be enough to secure our peace and freedom
and stop the killing of innocents. The blame for American imperialism and its terrible
consequences transcends party lines. We have no reason to believe these problems
will end on Obama’s watch.
The president-elect has vowed to draw down from Iraq and close Guantanamo, but those
near him have hinted that the changes will not be as dramatic as we have been led
to believe. Meanwhile, he has consistently advocated a bigger military, a surge
in Afghanistan, attacks on Pakistan, and a hardline approach to Iran and Russia.
We also expect a revival of the “humanitarian” interventionism that we saw under
Clinton. On the domestic front, Obama has already caved on surveillance and the
PATRIOT Act. We may hope for the best, but we should prepare for the worst.
Now is not a time for partisanship. The Republicans were handed a deserved rebuke
in the last election. But the unspeakable costs of war are the same regardless of
the party in power. The world needs Antiwar.com as much as ever before, and we need
you to keep us afloat.
We don’t have a huge staff with cushy jobs, living it up on your donations. We appreciate
every penny. We work around the clock. Personally, I work six – sometimes seven – days
a week, from eight in the morning till ten at night. And those are the quiet days…
We don’t take your support for granted. Please don’t take us for granted, either.
Now that most of Bush’s critics have lost their energy and become complacent with
the ascent of Obama, the hard work of watching the War Party falls more heavily
on our shoulders. Please help us carry the load.
And thank you.
~ Eric Garris, Webmaster, Antiwar.com
Antiwar.com Action Alert
Say NO! to Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State
Please let the incoming presidential administration know that you demand real change in our interventionist foreign policy. A Secrectary of State Hilllary Clinton is not change but tacit approval for someone who supported the bombing of Kosovo, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a renewed cold war with Russia.
Demand President Elect Barack Obama make a stand for peace by not appointing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. You can easily let the transition team know your thoughts on this matter by calling 202-540-3000 or pasting the letter below into this form.
Dear President Elect Obama:
You sailed to victory on the promise of change and hope. For those of us who love peace, a change in foreign policy cannot come about by rewarding those who support and argued for the continued occupation of Iraq. You said we must not “to bully it [the world] into submission – we must lead the world, by deed and example.” Please allow your administration to reflect those values you so eloquently expressed.
President Elect Obama, we want change in the White House. We ask you to not to appoint Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
Dr. Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on U.S. national security policy. He is also the author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005). He also writes for Inter Press Service on U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran since 2005.
The show is streamed live from the Antiwar Radio page at Antiwar.com,