Not Done It Pundit

January 16, 2009

pundits Another brick in the wall.
The DOD’s IG says the DOD did nothing illegal in the DOD’s TV news military analysts program:

  • But in the new report, the inspector general’s office, noting the absence of a clear legal definition of propaganda, said there was an “insufficient basis” to conclude that the program had violated laws prohibiting the government’s domestic use of it.

(Illustration found here).

Last April, the New York Times ran a huge piece on the Pentagon’s use of retired military officers on TV news programs — instigated before the Iraqi invasion — and used DOD talking points in pushing the run-up to the war and all the military bullshit that appeared in the wake of the disaster.
Read the entire Times piece here.
Since the broadcast news organizations were up to their CBS’ eyeballs in the whole sordid business, there’s been a near-complete TV news blackout of the entire affair, even with the Pentagon quietly closing down the program last summer.
This IG report has already churned up a bit of a stir — the whole inquiry was restricted, as related in the Times story today, the IG itself limited itself in “search parameters” of different subjects, especially looking into the shenanigans of one slime-ball retired general, Barry R. McCaffrey, claiming investigators had been unable to document any instance where military analysts had used their special access — scores of meetings with senior officials, trips to Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, hundreds of pages of briefing materials — “to achieve a competitive advantage for their company.”

Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) told TPM the report a nice parting gift to the Bush White House from the Pentagon.
And Hodes is also quoted by the Times with a similar remark: “To say there are factual inaccuracies in this report is the understatement of the century. I think it is a whitewash.”

Next month, the Government Accountability Office is supposed to complete its own report on the Pentagon’s pundit program.
The Federal Communications Commission, which has regulatory oversight of broadcasters, is also reportedly investigating.

Piss poor Pentagon pundit planning, if you ask me.

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