"The Pentagon military analyst program was an information operation of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that was launched in early 2002 by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke. The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing retired commanders for network and cable televisionappearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts;Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Pentagon's intent is to keep the American people informed about the so-called War on Terrorism by providing prominent military analysts with factual information and frequent, direct access to key military officials.[3" Wiki on the program.
Ten years ago this was a hot issue. The intention of the Rumsfeld Pentagon in that program was clearly to control and create the media delivered narrative with regard to the "Global War On Terrorism."
Is this happening again?
I watch a lot of 24/7 television news. This is a personal failing that I acknowledge freely. I fritter away my time in this way to "feed" my obsession with this blog.
We now have several very contentious overseas military crises; Boku Haram and the Lost Girls, Ukraine, Syria, a deteriorating politico-military situation in Afghanistan and the truly big "Kahuna," Iraq. The temptation must be severe among the Public Affairs squirrels to want to "handle' these problems by manipulating the message. After all, these PAO people have to justify their continuing existence.
In the last week I have heard several suspicious statements made on the air by retired US officers under contract to the media, statements that indicate to me that some sort of communication has been re-established between DoD and the media military "analysts."
On two occasions a retired officer said on the air that he had been in communication with "the Pentagon" and had been told the true story on Iraq. He seemed to think that was normal and that this injection of "the poop" into his knowledge base made his statements worthwhile.
On another occasion a retired four star general who works for a different network, described the 300 special operations advisers going to Iraq as "very mature, very skilled and capable of accomplishing their missions." This retired general never served in special operations, has never been particularly friendly towards special operations forces, and has no present contact with these forces. My question: how would he know all this unless he has been privately assured by the Obama Administration and DoD of what it is that he should think about "the advisers."
Does history repeat itself? Perhaps it does. pl