Monday, April 21, 2008

Cirque de Military Analysts

By J. Thomas Duffy

Back in the early 1980s, during my brief period of performing stand-up comedy, we are at a Open Mike Night at The Comedy Store up on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CA:

A young ventriloquist got his time on stage and up he went, with his dummy, taking a moment to move the stool and get himself situated -- and placing the dummy in front of the microphone.

A small wave of titters and laughs went about the room, believing, as one could easily at the moment, that this was part of the routine ... The ventriloquist began his set, barely audible for the packed room and soon, the small titters and laughs stopped ... After a few more moments, it became clear, that the ventriloquist was keeping the dummy in front of the microphone.

Some in the crowd began shouting at him, telling him, quite directly, to move the microphone, to use the microphone ... He continued, through the seemingly never-ending five-minutes without moving the dummy away from the microphone

To be kind, it wasn't part of the act.

Not totally unlike the blockbuster news broken last night by the NYT, with the Cirque de Military Analysts being mouthpieces for the Pentagon and Bush Grindhouse.

Dummies, up in front of the microphone, pouring out the words of their masters.

We riffed on this late last evening and, in the light of day, rereading the article, as well as all the blowback out on the WWW and Blogosphere, it leaves a more disgusting aftertaste.

While we, and others touched on it, it really is colossal, that the overarching goal of the Bush Grindhouse, and the likes of Torie Clarke and Rumsfeld, wasn't that welfare of the soldiers being sent into this blunder (or the lives of the innocent Iraqi citizens), but whether or not they could control the message, control the media.

That was what was most paramount.

Hell, they planned (and executed) which military man would speak on which network, and give this message or that message, better than anything they planned on the ground in Iraq.

They were more upset by a general speaking out-of-turn, speaking truth, than whether-or-not our soldiers were safe, that they had the proper training, equipment, and armor.

It was Wag The Dog, Director's Cut!

While this is wrong on so many levels, including the NYT publishing this, perhaps as a Mea Culpa, being they were, perhaps, the biggest cheerleader as to WMD's and going into Iraq, that retired military people engaged in this, with total disregard, abdicating, even, in retirement, the moral equivalent, of protecting their soldiers.

Much like a bevy of other Bush Cronies, they simply were looking to cash-in on it.

Larisa Alexandrovna, on her blog At-Largely, has a good post, in which she offers clear vision:

An excellent article in the NYT today illustrates our continued march toward the marriage of corporate and state interests, otherwise known as fascism...

As does Greg Mitchell, out on the HuffPo:

But to get you started, a few points to keep in mind:

-- The article has at least three tracks: One, the Pentagon deploying the analysts (some 75 in number) and the TV outlets happy to run with them; two, the analysts' further conflict-of-interest in being tied to defense contractors with billions of dollars invested in the war effort; three, the complete lack of interest by the TV outlets in either of the first two connections, or ignoring what they did know. In fact, the networks raised no objections to the Pentagon paying for trips by the analysts.

-- The effort began in "selling the war" -- going where even Judy Miller feared to tread -- and there are some startling admissions by some team members that they knew they were being sold a fairy tale on WMD, but went along with it anyway. The moral bankruptcy is truly disgusting."

And Libby, over at Newshoggers, speaks for many:

No surprises here. Simply more proof that we have more to fear from our own government than we do from terrorists.

Haven't seen or heard the three major candidates weigh in on this yet.

And, likely, for at least two of them -- Hillary and Obama -- we won't hear anything, it being two-days out from PA voting (and if they have the balls to call this repugnant, or such, Christ, make sure they're wearing a Flag Lapel Pin when the do it ... We don't want to stress out Nash McCabe any further).


Some More Links

Praire Weather: "We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you..."

Steve Benen: Puppets of the Defense Department

Mustang Bobby/Shakesville: The Puppetry of the Pentagon

Think Progress: Pentagon uses military analysts as ‘puppets’ to push talking points

"I'm sorry, can you lie a little louder?"

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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