Through newly obtained internal documents, The New York Times has uncovered an elaborate PR campaign run by the Pentagon that coached former military officials — or as they’re known on television, Serious Independent Military Experts — on how best to shill for Donald Rumsfeld during the fallout from the “General’s Revolt,” when numerous high-ranking retired Generals broke long standing tradition and began speaking out harshly against the former Secretary and his prosecution of the War in Iraq.
The New York Times full article is lengthy at 11 pages, but it’s a stellar exposé of how politicized, coordinated and deceitful the media campaign is under Bush. With the assistance of Peter Pace, Rumsfeld would literally convene meetings with former military brass — who, according to the article, consisted of “more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants” — and conspire on how best to manage the press. Worse still, these compromised soldiers would then manipulatively go on television as Serious Independent Experts to parrot administration talking points and secure lucrative defense contracts. The Military-Industrial Complex is not alive and well, but thriving under the auspices of the Bush administration.
Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. “This was a coherent, active policy,” he said. […] It was, he said, “psyops on steroids”
And it wasn’t limited to the mainstream media alone. Bloggers were also hired and paid to shape opinions at home. But don’t be surprised Sunday when this story is neglected in favor of endless discussions about bowling scores and various other “distractions.”