I almost missed this must read article in yesterday's NY Times. It details a propaganda operation run out of the Pentagon to sell the war in Iraq to the American people, involving the "military analysts" we see on television all the time. The article notes a preponderance of these "analysts" who worked for Fox News, but there are many who work for all the other main news outlets as well, both broadcast and print.
Those "analysts", it turns out, are mostly lobbyists for military contractors with a strong vested interest in toeing the administration and the Pentagon's line in their "analysis" of what's been going on in Iraq, from the lead up to the war, right through the present day. The article also reports details from contemporary e-mails (secured through FOIA requests) that make it clear that the Pentagon worked that vested interest very specifically and very consciously, in an organized program that involved special access, tailored "fact-finding" trips, regular conference calls, and overt appeals to the "analysts" in question to act as administration "surrogates" in getting the "good news" about Iraq out to the public.
Not only has the professional judgment of the Pentagon been subverted in the same way that the Justice Department has by this administration and its water carriers, but in this case, it has managed to co-opt and dramatically twist coverage of the war by supposedly independent media sources, who appear to have completely failed to recognize or even look for the conflicts of interest at the heart of the cadre of "analysts" giving the "authoritative analysis" (astonishingly, considering their influence, the article notes that these people don't have the same rules about disclosing conflicts that reporters do).
It's a thoroughgoing disgrace, and I'm at a loss to describe the magnitude of the deception it involves. Read the article.