Pentagon propaganda over torture and Iraq revealed
The Pentagon and the US media have been exposed for using pre-programmed “military analysts” to win hearts and minds of Americans over the war in Iraq, torture and detentions in Guantanamo Bay.
Kenneth Allard, an NBC military analyst and teacher at National Defence University, described the propaganda exercise as a "coherent, active," sophisticated information operation."
"Night and day, I felt we'd been hosed," he said.
The New York Times revealed that close ties exist between the Bush administration and former senior officers who acted as paid TV analysts on CNN and other channels. The analysts have received private briefings, trips and access to classified intelligence to influence their comments.
Robert Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, told the newspaper, "It was them (the Bush administration) saying, 'We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you.'"
In one episode CNN’s Donald Shepperd, a retired Air Force general, speaking live from Guantánamo said: “The impressions that you’re getting from the media and from the various pronouncements being made by people who have not been here in my opinion are totally false.”
A number of the analysts used by US television also have extensive business interests in promoting the pro administration views.
"Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse - an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks," the newspaper said.
The Pentagon said the analysts were given only accurate information. Many of the commentators have ties to military contractors committed to the US war efforts, but those business links are almost never disclosed to viewers.
The report was based on 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records which described years of private briefings, trips.
The Pentagon documents referred to commentators as "message force multipliers" or "surrogates" who would deliver "themes and messages" on command to millions of Americans "in the form of their own opinions."
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.