By Robert Parry
April 21, 2008
"After prying loose 8,000 pages of Pentagon documents, the New York Times has proven what should have been obvious years ago: the Bush administration manipulated public opinion on the Iraq War, in part, by funneling propaganda through former senior military officers who served as expert analysts on TV news shows......
In the investigation of how the Pentagon used TV military analysts to sell the Iraq War – thus allowing George W. Bush to “complete the job” left unfinished by his dad – the New York Times also traced the administration’s P.R. theories back to the Vietnam War and to the early days of the Reagan era.
“Many [TV military analysts] also shared with Mr. Bush’s national security team a belief that pessimistic war coverage broke the nation’s will to win in Vietnam, and there was a mutual resolve not to let that happen with this war,” the Times reported in the article by David Barstow.
“This was a major theme, for example, with Paul E. Vallely, a Fox News analyst from 2001 to 2007. A retired Army general who had specialized in psychological warfare, Mr. Vallely co-authored a paper in 1980 that accused American news organizations of failing to defend the nation from ‘enemy’ propaganda during Vietnam.
“‘We lost the war – not because we were outfought, but because we were out Psyoped,’ he wrote. He urged a radically new approach to psychological operations in future wars – taking aim not just at foreign adversaries but at domestic audiences, too.
“He called his approach ‘MindWar’ – using network TV and radio to ‘strengthen our national will to victory.’”
But the danger of “MindWar,” aimed by the U.S. government at the American people, is that it turns inside-out the concept of a democratic Republic in which a well-informed people exercise meaningful control over their government.
Instead, you end up with a duplicitous government using propaganda, fear and intimidation to whip the people into line. Rather than the government being the servant of the people, the people become the servant of the government........"