The Costly Price of Political Propaganda

A recent lengthy, detailed report from The New York Times (NYT) revealed a Pentagon propaganda machine that, aided by the Bush administration, was used to sell the “war on terror,” starting with fanning the flames to illegally invade Iraq that still continues to this day, effectively transforming “military analysts” into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks — while exemplifying the complicity of major media.

These ‘military analysts’ were reportedly presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio to give ‘authoritative and unfettered judgments’ about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

An investigation by the NYT revealed that hidden behind the appearance of objectivity is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those ‘military analysts’ in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the Bush administration’s wartime performance.

Most of the ‘military analysts’ have ties to military contractors — although they rarely if ever disclosed that information to the viewers — vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air, representing more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. As noted by the Nation, spreading “covert propaganda” is illegal under federal law. More information can be found in the article from the NYT. It’s a lengthy report, but well worth the read.

The Bush administration and their Joint Chiefs of Staff are ramping up their intention to bomb Iran despite the fact that the military has been damaged too much already and is wearing thin. 

The Expensive Price Vets Pay

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published a report detailing how the U.S. lacks a comprehensive plan to destroy the terrorist threat in Pakistan. True to Bush administration form, the so-called war on terror has been a failure. More information can also be found from the Information Paradox.

While George Bush continues delusionally lying about  the ‘surge’ working and the Pentagon continues spewing propaganda littered with lies and false information, U.S. troops and their family members are paying a heavy price.

USA Today reported that the Army has accelerated its policy of involuntary extensions of duty to bolster its troop levels. The military has become stretched too thin. Reuters reported that the Army and the Marines are allowing more felons and convicts to serve.

As a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than half of returning wounded troops are reportedly slipping through the cracks. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) alleging that the VA is denying hundreds of thousands of wounded veterans needed medical treatment while forcing them to wait months or years for the disability benefits they’ve earned.

Noted by AlterNet: “We’re dealing with people who are almost totally disabled; people who have lost arms, lost legs in these wars, people who have come home with post-traumatic stress disorder or physical brain injury,” explained Gordan Erspamer, an attorney with the law firm Morrison and Forrester who is handling the case pro bono. “We can’t have these people waiting for months and years for the treatment they need.”

Military Purposely Misdiagnosing Soldiers

The Nation has a disturbing report titled “How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits” detailing Army Specialist Jon Town and his battle with the military. Town — a soldier honored twelve times during his seven years in uniform — was in Ramadi, Iraq in 2004 when a 107-millimeter rocket struck a doorway two feet above his head where he was standing.

After coming to, shrapnel was removed from his neck and his ears stopped leaking blood. His hearing never really recovered, nor has his life. Town has spent the last three years struggling with deafness, memory failure and depression. By September 2006 it was determined that Town was no longer combat-ready.

Instead of sending Town to a medical board and discharging him due to his injuries, doctors at Fort Carson, Colorado claimed Town’s wounds were actually caused by “personality disorder.” Town was then booted from the Army and told that because of the personality disorder discharge, he would never receive disability or medical benefits.

Sadly, Town is not alone — after a six-month investigation multiple cases of soldiers wounded in Iraq and diagnosed with ‘personality disorder’ were uncovered. It seems the military is purposely misdiagnosing soldiers for one reason: to cheat them out of a lifetime of disability and medical benefits to save billions in expenses. Nothing like being appreciated for a job well done…

If you’re not outraged, you should be. For someone who claims to ‘support the troops,’ the Bush administration has repeatedly shown quite the opposite. The Bush administration VA purposely concealed the number of suicides — as many as 18 a day — by veterans returning from Bush’s wars. More information regarding Specialist Town can be found in the article from The Nation. More information regarding the suicide crisis can be found from the Associated Press, CBS and OpEdNews. The VA reportedly won’t do anything to help vets register to vote either.

Meanwhile, the man who wants to be the next Republican president and continue Bush’s war reportedly collects a tax-free disability pension and refuses to co-sponsor a GI Bill for Post 9/11 Vets. There is something majorly wrong with this picture.

FISA Follies and National Security Lies Redux

Speaking of propaganda, once again the allegedly nonpartisan ‘Defense of Democracies‘ — which in this case is a complete oxymoron — is running deceitful radio ads full of lies that play on national security fears in an attempt to coerce Americans and lawmakers to pass the illicit legislation giving ‘patriotic’ Telecoms immunity from prosecutions for complying with the illegal activities promulgated by the Bush administration.

The Raw Story has a report regarding the new illicit ads being run by the Defense of Democracies that claim that vital intelligence was lost because of the delay in passing a new law — citing claims from Bush administration officials who never had vital intelligence to begin with. The Los Angeles Times reported on how the administration backtracked from that claim shortly after it was made.

As noted by Daily Kos, here we go again. Politico reported that Democrats, Republicans and administration officials have met to discuss the stalled bill in question attempting to reach a compromise. House Republicans are trying to get enough signatures on a petition to force a vote. Fortunately they’re not having much luck. They should leave well enough alone.

This “compromise” does not need to happen. There is no reason to compromise with a politicized Attorney General who lied about the FISA law, or a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) who has lied both about Democrats and to Democrats in Congress, insulting those who opposed the administration and stood up to the Constitution — a DNI who has also repeatedly lied to the American public.

House Republicans continue digging themselves a deeper hole and aiding and abetting President Bush’s dirty work — they’re also trying to tack telecom immunity onto a war funding bill — they just can’t seem to do anything that isn’t cheating or deceitful. The vast majority of the House Republicans should all be out of a job or behind bars.

Enough of The Propaganda and Lies

All Americans have paid a heavy price because of Bush administration propaganda designed to misinform the public and keep their illicit actions covered and secret.

Some military families want their loved ones funeral services to be shown to the American public but the military will have none of that. If people knew the true costs and damage done to this country because of the illegally started wars and other terrorist acts used by the Bush administration to continue their illicit agendas, they would demand an end to it and hold the Bush administration responsible for their actions.

The time to do so is long overdue.

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