Friday, May 02, 2008


Oh lord, wont you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends

--Mercededs Benz
, Janis Joplin

When he heard the words 'integrity' or 'moral rectitude'

he reached for his dictionary, and when he heard the chink

of ready money in large quantities he reached
for the rule book
and threw it away.
--Restaurant at the End of the World
, Douglas Adams


The Pentagon has stopped primping retired military officers to deliver propaganda to the press, for now. This move comes after a Sunday
New York Times story on the program (which first appeared in Stars and Stripes 4/18/08.)

"Records and interviews show that the Bush administration worked to transform the analysts into an instrument intended to shape coverage from inside the major networks."

"Internal Pentagon documents showed that Defense Department officials referred to the retired officers as “surrogates” or “message force multipliers” who could be counted on to deliver administration 'themes and messages' in the form of their own opinions (Pentagon Suspends Briefings for Analysts)."

These Orwellian talking heads have been coached to sling positive news since 2002 about the Department of Defense and a Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) that has little to recommend itself.

Does this sound like criminal activity? The DoD has been spending public funds on a program to brainwash citizens. DoD funds are for defense and not propaganda efforts.

The nefarious underbelly of the undertaking is the implication that
should the U.S. citizens have gotten the real scoop, public reaction might have gone powerfully against administration actions. The Bush administration shoved this Good News down our throats in much the same way it ramrodded through the invasions.

The Pentagon claims it did not know of the ties of some of the "analysts" to military contractors. If the DoD does not know what their retired General officers are doing, how can they have an inkling of what al-Qaeda is doing? This is simply turning a blind eye, and afterwards CYA.

"The documents, which included transcripts of private briefings between senior military leaders and the military analysts, also reveal a symbiotic relationship in which the usual dividing lines between government and journalism have been obliterated.

"Military analysts have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated."

Ranger is disgusted by the perfidy of these retired military personnel. This behavior flushes the integrity of the officers corps down the toilet.

In the ultimate hypocrisy, Secretary of Defense Gates recently addressed the Air War College with the the challenge of the late Colonel John Boyd:

". . .you [can] be a member of the club and you will get promoted and get good assignments. Or you can go [the other] way and you can do something – something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself … If you decide to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself … To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you have to make a decision. To be or to do? (Gates Remarks to Air War College)"

He ended saying, "[f]or the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services, and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism." Presumably, he then excused himself to upchuck.

Secretary Gates can go to the USAF Academy and tell future officers it is their duty to inform their bosses -- both military and civilian -- the harsh truths, yet the American people are not afforded the same respect. And that is because the officers chose to be, over to do.

When there is no clear line between government utterances and legitimate news functions, then we have crossed the line into a fascist state. Will anybody be punished for this program? Ranger bets not.

More likely:
promotions all 'round, and a Legion of Merit medal to boot.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

too bad we didn't have more john paul vann's in viet nam. he spoke out, with passion and paid the ultimate price. he backed it up too. his programs showed promise of working, even to the point of bringing the ARVNs around sometimes.

the main problem was that they weren't "romantic" and didn't produce tangible sexy things like "body counts."

there have been far too many quiet resignations. those who do try to speak out (like batiste and several others who have since been roundly ignored and/or viciously swiftboated) find themselves marginalized quickly.

during the run-up to the invasions (both afghanistan and iraq) the drumbeats were quick and incessant to hasten the march. nobody even bothered to pause and ask questions like "if we can't muster a real coalition maybe it isn't such a great idea ya think?"

the stifling of honest debate was the first, and the biggest lie told.

we have a saying in AA, a partial truth is a whole lie. there were a few partial truths scattered among the outright lies and fabrications.

they keep wanting to make it easier for a president to commit troops to combat. this is directly counter to the thoughts, philosophies and intentions of our founders.

they wanted the route to war to be clumsy, slow, and full of obstacles.

they were wise and thoughtful men. unlike the eejits we have now.

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 1:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They would make Joesph G. proud.

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 2:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yes, liars always throw in a soupcon of truth, just enough to make you wonder.

The Founding Fathers were a rare group. Their contemporaries are mostly hustlers, and the people are as they have ever been. Cowed and afeared, clinging to a cloddish, dumb chauvanism.

Sad, really, to see their incessant patronization. Everyone interprets for them because they don't understand, or are too lazy or tired to put in the effort.

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 2:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

A war worth fighting is a war worth declaring. As envisioned by the FF's . jim

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 9:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

jo, in all fairness to Joe G. he was a sophisticated and highly educated man. Therefore his msg had subtlties lacking in crude US efforts to emulate his expertise. jim

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 9:44:00 AM GMT-5  

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