Columnist Glenn Greenwald writes about journalist David Barstow's report on retired military Generals, who were co-opted by the Pentagon to go on airwaves, during the Bush travesty, posing as "analysts," to make a bogus case for the U.S. attack on Iraq [Salon.com, 4/21/09]. Many of these so-called analysts had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended. Barstow's story, although never denied by any of the principals cited, was suppressed by every major network and cable news show.
By whom were these "ties to companies" undisclosed and for whom did these deeply conflicted retired generals pose as "analysts"? ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox -- the very companies that have simply suppressed the story from their viewers. They kept completely silent about Barstow's story even though it sparked Congressional inquiries, vehement objections from the then-leading Democratic presidential candidates, and allegations that the Pentagon program violated legal prohibitions on domestic propaganda programs.
The Pentagon's secret collaboration with these "independent analysts" shaped multiple news stories from each of these outlets on a variety of critical topics. Most amazingly, many of them continue to employ, as so-called "independent analysts," the very retired generals at the heart of Barstow's story, yet still refuse to inform their viewers about any part of this story.
Greenwald describes NBC's news anchor Brian Williams' attempts to "contain P.R. damage," as NBC executives sought to downplay their conflicting connections to their "independent analyst" former General Barry McCaffrey. The media bought the war story, as sold by Bush operatives, and then found the people who would help to nurture it further.
Read complete Greenwald column here.