Pentagon Propaganda Spending Explodes: 'We Have Such a Massive Apparatus Selling the Military to Us'
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Associated Press (via Fox News):
As it fights two wars, the Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing the money it spends to win what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, it is raising concerns of spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law.
An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006.
This next bit is stunning, when you think about it:
This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations -- almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department.
"We have such a massive apparatus selling the military to us, it has become hard to ask questions about whether this is too much money or if it's bloated," says Sheldon Rampton, research director for the Committee on Media and Democracy, which tracks the military's media operations. "As the war has become less popular, they have felt they need to respond to that more."
Almost $5 billion to sell American empire. Are we getting good value for our dollar? Actually, no ...
Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.