On today's date in 2004, Army Ranger Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. It is important to remember for a number of reasons. I point it out today as an example of how the media gets manipulated into giving the message the Pentagon wants. You will remember that at first his death was hailed as heroic. An unselfish act of patriotism from a man who left a 3 million dollar a year contract playing professional football. It was, for the military, a shining example.
You know what happened. The following month it came out that he was killed by friendly fire. Questions about why it was covered up and who was responsible for not only the cover up, but who was responsible have never been fully answered. Even after 4 investigation now. We learned that right after his death his body armour was burned by his own troops. This always suggested to outside observers that more was going on than we will ever know. Conspiracy junkies point out that in letters to home, Pat was disillusioned with the war and wanted to speak with leading anti-war activists when he came home for leave. Having the Army's poster boy come out against the war would not have been looked on to kindly. This is demonstration enough that the media, like a bomb or a missile, is also seen as a weapon.
But don't take my thoughts on this. A Times report examining ties between the Bush administration and former senior officers who acted as paid TV analysts said they got private briefings, trips and access to classified intelligence meant to influence their commentsThe NY Times quoted Robert Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former , as saying, "It was them (the Bush administration) saying, 'We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you."'
Kenneth Allard, a former military analyst who taught information warfare at the , told the Times the campaign amounted to a "coherent, active," sophisticated information operation.
As the situation in Iraq deteriorated, he saw a gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequently was revealed in inquiries and books.
"Night and day," he told the Times. "I felt we'd been hosed."
Some analysts said they had suppressed doubts about the situation in Iraq for fear of jeopardizing their access.
The Times said it based much of its report on 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records it secured by suing the Defense Department and which it said described years of private briefings, trips and what it called "an extensive talking points operation."
It said Pentagon documents referred 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."
The big fear now is that Bush & Company will attack Iran before leaving office. Never mind why they would do this, lets look at when they would do this. The Air Force has specially built penetrating munitions. They were specifically designed with Iran's bunkers in mind. The delivery date for these bombs is this month. The modifications to the B-52's that would carry them is scheduled to be complete this month. The bases in the mid-east that also have to be changed to handle the bombers and the weapon are due to be completed this month. Between all the talk of Iran's nuclear weapons program, no one has bothered to ask if we are getting this information from the same sources as those who told us about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. You remember them, don't you? Just like the tooth fairy and Santa Clause, they turned out to be untrue. Not one international nuclear scientist either independently or working for the UN, believes Iran is any where close to developing a nuclear bomb. Not one.