Posts Tagged ‘dehumanization

Pentagon clears itself of propaganda violations

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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.

FDR's propaganda machine

FDR's propaganda machine

“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.


The Mike Wallace Interview: Aldous Huxley

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The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center, has taken on the task of putting many hours of film, from the mid to late fifties, of the early career of reporter/journalist Mike Wallace and the program, The Mike Wallace Interview. I found the one with Huxley to be exceptionally reflective from todays vantage point.

The Huxley interview can be viewed here

The Mike Wallace Interview archive can be found here

There is a percentage of their film holdings available online


Sporadic Folly

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In typical all-knowing arrogant pol fashion, Captain Strawberries played to his adoring fans, and of course the fawning media, on his bumbling mid-east ‘Kill’em All Tour‘ beating his war drum of feardom.


As if that weren’t enough, now one of his sycophants is doled out a slap on the wrist for showing the true face of the campaign to rule the world. Such dementia always seems to make it’s presence known when the imaginary grail is up for grabs, but is not the least bit unexpected from those unwilling to look beyond the prescribed wisdom of federally induced doctrine. Predilection for the conscience of denial and omission is cognate of the false idol, hero-worshiping cult of the modern day militarist.

Of course, many other great events in American history might be examined as I have suggested U.S. participation in World War II ought to be examined – by taking the relevant antecedents fully into account. For historians, this advice should be unnecessary; if they know anything, they know that history did not begin yesterday. The American people at large, however, remain extremely vulnerable to misleading descriptions of the government’s actions, especially its plunges into foreign wars – accounts of which generally disregard many relevant antecedents, particularly those that cast blame on the United States for stirring up enmities abroad. Yet, any honest account of U.S. foreign policy reveals that this country’s government has engaged again and again in foreign interventions whose official justifications cannot withstand critical scrutiny. Many of these interventions amounted to little more than armed errand-running for privileged American business interests seeking to beat foreigners into line and, not coincidentally, to line their own pockets. This aspect of U.S. foreign policy famously led General Smedley Butler to declare that war is a racket.


ummmm… yummy.

Written by mudshark

March 20, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Winter Soldier: Bitter Truths From Those Who Know

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To spite the willful blindness of the coerced, lapdog american media, there are outlets covering this gathering of testimonials, such as uruknet.info. and doing a damn fine job of it.

March 15, 2008

This weekend, as we approach the fifth anniversary of the American invasion of a defenseless oil-rich country which never threatened us, Iraq Veterans Against the War are presenting the testimonies of soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of civilians who have lived through the invasion and occupation of their country.

The event is called “Winter Soldier“, and you can watch it happen (or watch archived video) here.

Apparently it isn’t worth a mention in our allegedly liberal “paper of record”.

Your search – site:nytimes.com “winter soldier” – did not match any documents.

But Saturday’s Washington Post has a piece on page B1, the web version of which (much to the WaPo’s credit) actually links to the IVAW website!

The WaPo piece, by Steve Vogel, gives the Pentagon a chance to speak, and cleverly leaves no doubt as to the value of the verbiage.

A Defense Department spokesman said he had not seen the allegations raised yesterday but added that such incidents are not representative of U.S. conduct.“When isolated allegations of misconduct have been reported, commanders have conducted comprehensive investigations to determine the facts and held individuals accountable when appropriate,” Lt. Col. Mark Ballesteros said.

How laughable this would be if it were not so tragic. Mark Ballesteros hasn’t even seen the allegations but he can already assure us that they’re false!

And a huge thanks to Aaron Glantz and KPFA for their live broadcasting of, and archiving of W/S II that can be found at warcomeshome.org

Written by mudshark

March 16, 2008 at 5:40 pm