Sunday, April 20, 2008


Anyway here is part 2 of Barry Lando's documentary detailing the Reality of Complicity by America in Saddam's War Crimes and the Propaganda the public is fed by Washington and the Pentagon.

The United States for a decade or so supported Saddam and helped to keep him in power in Iraq. The American administration encouraged Saddam to fight an unnecessary war with Iran . They also knew of his ruthless and murderous rule over Iraq but ignored or even down-played how murderously he treated his own people.It was after all western nations including Germany , France and Britain who sold Saddam his so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction which he then used against the Iranian and also against large numbers of Iraqi citizens . Saddam in this way was able with the aid of Western powers to murder some three to four hundred thousand Iraqi citizens mainly Shiites and Kurds.

This is not a matter of paranoia by a few people on the left but has been documented by sincere, serious, investigative reporters etc. For instance we have the recent article from the New York Times which details how the Bush administration and the Pentagon have been able to manipulates the American Media.

It becomes very difficult for the citizens of a country to reasonably weigh an important issue if the information they receive is actually propaganda and has little to do with reality. The war in Iraq from the beginning was hard to sell to the American people and so the government of George Bush and Cheney to a great extent were able to take control of the available information . By these means they were able to convince a large segment the American people as well their government representatives that Saddam was an imminent threat and that America had to invade Iraq. They later had to convince the American people that the War was going well . This had to be reasserted every time there was a set-back or when the real situation in Iraq had somehow become available to the American people . All other problems such as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib also had to be dealt with in such a way to show that the problems were ' just a few bad apples ' or a matter of misinformation or a misunderstanding about what did or did not constitute torture. The fact that the use of torture by US intelligence, the CIA, the military was widespread neede to be played down and out-rightly denied .

One can only hope that if enough Americans read this article they will finally give up on any misinformed belief that the Bush Regime has any scruples when it comes to pushing for its own agenda or any claims to of being forthright with the American people.Maybe now someone like Hillary Clinton can take a step back and begin to seriously question anything which comes out of the White House or the Pentagon or by much of the Media.

For instance on torture see the disturbing book : Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey Through Iraq (2007) by Tony Lagouranis and Allen Mikaelian. The author Tony Lagouranis documents from his own personal experience how a host of harsh techniques became standard practice by American Interrogators and by American soldiers on detainees throughout Iraq . These 'harsh techniques were referred to as ' Torture lite ' . But these techniques the author admits in fact constituted torture no matter how Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice tried to characterize them . But they got their orders he says from higher up that is from the Oval Office .

Anyway I was alerted by Truthout.Org to this recent revealing and damning article in the New York Times detailing in this lengthy article the Manipulation of the Media by Bush , Cheney & the Pentagon entitled :

Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand By David Barstow The New York Times Sunday 20 April 2008

So here are a few choice bits from the article- but I do believe the article is a must read and should be read in its entirety...
..."Five years into the Iraq war, most details of the architecture and execution of the Pentagon’s campaign have never been disclosed. But The Times successfully sued the Defense Department to gain access to 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records describing years of private briefings, trips to Iraq and Guantánamo and an extensive Pentagon talking points operation.

These records reveal a symbiotic relationship where the usual dividing lines between government and journalism have been obliterated."

Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”

Though many analysts are paid network consultants, making $500 to $1,000 per appearance, in Pentagon meetings they sometimes spoke as if they were operating behind enemy lines, interviews and transcripts show. Some offered the Pentagon tips on how to outmaneuver the networks, or as one analyst put it to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, “the Chris Matthewses and the Wolf Blitzers of the world.” Some warned of planned stories or sent the Pentagon copies of their correspondence with network news executives. Many — although certainly not all — faithfully echoed talking points intended to counter critics.

“Good work,” Thomas G. McInerney, a retired Air Force general, consultant and Fox News analyst, wrote to the Pentagon after receiving fresh talking points in late 2006. “We will use it.”

Again and again, records show, the administration has enlisted analysts as a rapid reaction force to rebut what it viewed as critical news coverage, some of it by the networks’ own Pentagon correspondents. For example, when news articles revealed that troops in Iraq were dying because of inadequate body armor, a senior Pentagon official wrote to his colleagues: “I think our analysts — properly armed — can push back in that arena.”

...With a majority of Americans calling the war a mistake despite all administration attempts to sway public opinion, the Pentagon has focused in the last couple of years on cultivating in particular military analysts frequently seen and heard in conservative news outlets, records and interviews show.

Some of these analysts were on the mission to Cuba on June 24, 2005 — the first of six such Guantánamo trips — which was designed to mobilize analysts against the growing perception of Guantánamo as an international symbol of inhumane treatment. On the flight to Cuba, for much of the day at Guantánamo and on the flight home that night, Pentagon officials briefed the 10 or so analysts on their key messages — how much had been spent improving the facility, the abuse endured by guards, the extensive rights afforded detainees.

The results came quickly. The analysts went on TV and radio, decrying Amnesty International, criticizing calls to close the facility and asserting that all detainees were treated humanely.

(and to mobilize the American people to favor a war with Iraq ):

...Charting the Campaign

By early 2002, detailed planning for a possible Iraq invasion was under way, yet an obstacle loomed. Many Americans, polls showed, were uneasy about invading a country with no clear connection to the Sept. 11 attacks. Pentagon and White House officials believed the military analysts could play a crucial role in helping overcome this resistance.

Torie Clarke, the former public relations executive who oversaw the Pentagon’s dealings with the analysts as assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, had come to her job with distinct ideas about achieving what she called “information dominance.” In a spin-saturated news culture, she argued, opinion is swayed most by voices perceived as authoritative and utterly independent.

And so even before Sept. 11, she built a system within the Pentagon to recruit “key influentials” — movers and shakers from all walks who with the proper ministrations might be counted on to generate support for Mr. Rumsfeld’s priorities.

In the months after Sept. 11, as every network rushed to retain its own all-star squad of retired military officers, Ms. Clarke and her staff sensed a new opportunity. To Ms. Clarke’s team, the military analysts were the ultimate “key influential” — authoritative, most of them decorated war heroes, all reaching mass audiences.

...Other administrations had made sporadic, small-scale attempts to build relationships with the occasional military analyst. But these were trifling compared with what Ms. Clarke’s team had in mind. Don Meyer, an aide to Ms. Clarke, said a strategic decision was made in 2002 to make the analysts the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war. Journalists were secondary. “We didn’t want to rely on them to be our primary vehicle to get information out,” Mr. Meyer said.

The Pentagon’s regular press office would be kept separate from the military analysts. The analysts would instead be catered to by a small group of political appointees, with the point person being Brent T. Krueger, another senior aide to Ms. Clarke. The decision recalled other administration tactics that subverted traditional journalism. Federal agencies, for example, have paid columnists to write favorably about the administration. They have distributed to local TV stations hundreds of fake news segments with fawning accounts of administration accomplishments. The Pentagon itself has made covert payments to Iraqi newspapers to publish coalition propaganda.

...Over time, the Pentagon recruited more than 75 retired officers, although some participated only briefly or sporadically. The largest contingent was affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the other networks with 24-hour cable outlets. But analysts from CBS and ABC were included, too. Some recruits, though not on any network payroll, were influential in other ways — either because they were sought out by radio hosts, or because they often published op-ed articles or were quoted in magazines, Web sites and newspapers. At least nine of them have written op-ed articles for The Times.

...The Generals’ Revolt

The full dimensions of this mutual embrace were perhaps never clearer than in April 2006, after several of Mr. Rumsfeld’s former generals — none of them network military analysts — went public with devastating critiques of his wartime performance. Some called for his resignation.

On Friday, April 14, with what came to be called the “Generals’ Revolt” dominating headlines, Mr. Rumsfeld instructed aides to summon military analysts to a meeting with him early the next week, records show. When an aide urged a short delay to “give our big guys on the West Coast a little more time to buy a ticket and get here,” Mr. Rumsfeld’s office insisted that “the boss” wanted the meeting fast “for impact on the current story.”

That same day, Pentagon officials helped two Fox analysts, General McInerney and General Vallely, write an opinion article for The Wall Street Journal defending Mr. Rumsfeld.

“Starting to write it now,” General Vallely wrote to the Pentagon that afternoon. “Any input for the article,” he added a little later, “will be much appreciated.” Mr. Rumsfeld’s office quickly forwarded talking points and statistics to rebut the notion of a spreading revolt.

“Vallely is going to use the numbers,” a Pentagon official reported that afternoon.

The standard secrecy notwithstanding, plans for this session leaked, producing a front-page story in The Times that Sunday. In damage-control mode, Pentagon officials scrambled to present the meeting as routine and directed that communications with analysts be kept “very formal,” records show. “This is very, very sensitive now,” a Pentagon official warned subordinates.

and so it goes,

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