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Murtha Condemns Military Analysts, Media

The Military Has Been ‘Dishonored’ By The ‘Untruths’ Of The Pentagon’s Propaganda Program
 
 
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Two weeks ago, the New York Times revealed a secret Pentagon program that uses retired military analysts to “ generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.” Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino defended the program, claiming “ it’s absolutely appropriate to provide information to people who are seeking it.”

In an interview with ThinkProgress today, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) called the program “unfortunate,” adding that “it hurts us in the long run.” Murtha said he was especially “disappointed” that some of the analysts involved in the program “didn’t even believe what they were saying” in support of the administration:

MURTHA: I saw that some of the officers that were saying that didn’t even believe what they were saying. Well, the military’s held in the highest level and the highest esteem in this country. All of us appreciate their sacrifices. I’ve gotten to the point where I now distrust the military because they have been dishonored by these kind of untruths. It used to be that I could listen to the military, they would come to me, and what they said privately they were willing to say publicly. With Rumsfeld’s tenure, they distorted everything. And that’s the way they got by for four years because the public said, well, the military’s saying that. Well, the public’s no longer accepting that. The public realizes we made a mistake when we went in, much of the information was inaccurate and they continue to say these kind of things.

Murtha also said that he was “dissapointed in the news media” for allowing the Pentagon to exploit them, noting that “blogs have been so important to bringing out the truth.”

Watch it.

As Murtha noted, the Times reported that some of the analysts toed the administration’s line to such an extent that they publicly contradicted what they privately believed:

“I saw immediately in 2003 that things were going south,” General Vallely, one of the Fox analysts on the trip, recalled in an interview with The Times.

The Pentagon, though, need not have worried.

“You can’t believe the progress,” General Vallely told Alan Colmes of Fox News upon his return [from a Pentagon-provided trip to Iraq in Sept. 2003]. He predicted the insurgency would be “down to a few numbers” within months.

 
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