Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"message force multipliers"

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 Fox News analyst, 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 NBC military analyst who taught information warfare at the National Defense University, 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 Pentagon 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."

We report. You decide. Isn't that what Fox says at the start of it's "news" shows? This is why, time after time, you see people on Fox telling you that the mainstream media is only showing you the worse parts of Iraq. Well, the President of Iraq recently signed a bill into law that states, him and the office of the Presidency can not be investigated for any claims of bribes, kick-back's or fraud. Why would he do this? The retired Iraqi judge whose job it was to investigate corruption at the various Iraqi ministries now lives in fear for his life in America. Almost every ministry in Iraq has a degree of corruption in it. That's not to different from any other government probably, but according to the investigator, half of these government offices are controlled by people we refer to as; the insurgents. How about that? The people who are shooting at our forces are getting American tax dollars to do it. So yes, it is getting better in Iraq. Just not for our guys. Fox news is correct too when they say, the mainstream media is not giving you an accurate picture. Both sides believe that if they repeat what they want you to think enough times, it will become reality.

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.


sandy said...

Your CNN watching skills are shining bright!
I think that this war, and how it came about, will always be filled with those secrets that only certain people, in higher places, are privy to. It is fertile ground for conspiracy theorists everywhere. It’s a he said, she said, he said, he said… pass the buck mentality. Death… war…I wish it were past tense already.
Good post… makes me think I should try and dust off my CNN watching skills. Though it might be less scary to take up sky diving or I dunno… ** insert something really scary sounding here **

Joe said...

None of this came from CNN though. I watch them to check it against the stuff I get in the London Times and on the Internet. Fox is of course my favorite to watch. They are just crazy over there!
What CNN does to news, muzak does to songs. Why think when you can watch a story about a dog saving a boy from a fire. Now that's news!
I see these bits of info swept under the rug as good ammo for conversations with anyone conservative. Sure, Obama doesn't wear a flag pin, but he sure as hell didn't sink the dollar, allow oil to go through the roof and conduct a war of choice that has failed on every reason they dreamed up to give us. Throw some of this information into the conversation and watch the fire in their eyes dim for a moment before they launch into a reflexive Rush rant about morals and values.

sandy said...

Oh...**blush** well, I guess it shows that I've not been watching CNN or Fox. My tv is sorta gathering dust. This past year I've been more an internet/cliff-note/top-page reader...
LOL at CNN muzak analogy! :D
So you cross/check the news??