I havent read too much more about the Pentagon Propaganda story since it came out in the NY Times almost two weeks ago. I havent found anything in either the Independent, Times of London, Guardian, Washington Post, etc. I really dont watch TV so I cant say whether or not it’s been on network TV. I know it has been covered by Glenn Greenwald and CNN had a piece on it. What I find most disturbing on this whole issue is not the fact that our government was feeding American citizens military propaganda in the run up to and aftermath of the War in Iraq. I am cynical and expect some level of propaganda by the government. Not to say this isnt an extreme example because it is. But, we’re talking about the same media that said nothing to challenge the McCarthy Hearings until Edward R. Murrow showed the courage to do so. What I find most disturbing is that these retired military generals went along with this propaganda program for money. Many of the people involved had financial interests in seeing the war carried out. They were involved in defense companies either by direct ownership or through lobbying. Two mentioned by Glenn Greenwald are two that were on NBC as military experts: Barry McCaffrey and Col. Wayne Downing. Quoting Glenn Greenwald who is quoting “The Nation” from 2003
NBC News has yet to disclose those or other involvements that give McCaffrey a vested interest in Operation Iraqi Freedom. McCaffrey, who commanded an infantry division in the Gulf War, is now on the board of Mitretek, Veritas Capital and two Veritas companies, Raytheon Aerospace and Integrated Defense Technologies–all of which have multimillion-dollar government defense contracts. Despite that, IDT is floundering — its stock price has fallen by half since March 2002 — a situation that one stock analyst says war could remedy. Since IDT is a specialist in tank upgrades, the company stands to benefit significantly from a massive ground war.
So, clearly, there were military analysts who had a financial interest in seeing the war carried out. The NY Times article stated that some of these retired generals knew the WMD information lacked credibility. Over 4,000 American Soldiers have died in this war. Over 30,000 have been wounded. I dont know how many thousands have mental illness in the form of PTSD or other stress related mental illness’. This has all happened to some extent because some people had a financial interest in seeing the war carried out. I find this just astonishing, disgusting, and appalling. To me, it’s saying that the pocketbook was more important than the lives of these human beings. It says to me that all this death and horror does not matter as long as I’m making money. How can these people act with such avid disregard for living breathing human beings. This war has not just affected American lives but Iraqi lives as well. Over 100,000 Iraqi’s have died and over 5 million people are refugees. Both internally and externally displaced. Many neighbourhoods have been ethnically cleansed. Neighbourhoods that contained integrated marriage between Sunni and Shi’a are gone. Certain neighbourhoods of Baghdad have been walled off, physically separated from one another to help reduce fighting. We have taken a country that was the seat of civilization and broken it. For what? For money. Are these people proud of themselves for what they did? Do they see no culpability? Do they see no wrongdoing in causing a war, costing so many lives and so much money so they could line their pocketbooks just a little? I dont mean to curse but with Iraq broken, so many lives lost and people wounded mentally and physically I sure hope it was fucking worth it.