Take That, Propaganda!

2 comments May 23rd, 2008at 07:30am Posted by Eli

Woohoo!  House passes amendment to investigate the DoD’s use of generals to spout administration talking points on teevee in the guise of “analysis”:

Tonight, the House passed an amendment introduced by Reps. Hodes, DeFazio, and DeLauro to the Defense Authorization Act for FY2009 requiring that “not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and the Comptroller General of the United States shall each conduct a study of, and submit to the Congress a report on, the extent to which the Department of Defense has violated the prohibition on propaganda” and defines propaganda as “any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of the people of the United States in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly.”

On passage of the amendment, Speaker Pelosi said:

In his farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that “only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” The Pentagon media influence program reported by the New York Times struck at the heart of this principle – not only denying citizens the knowledge they deserve but also using the media to manipulate public opinion, and as a consequence, damaging our democracy.

The President and members of his Administration led the country to war on the basis of unproven assertions, later confirmed to be false, and have continued to misrepresent the truth on the ground. The Hodes-DeFazio-DeLauro Amendment which prohibits the Department of Defense from using funds for propaganda purposes and initiates a GAO and IG investigative report into past use of propaganda, is a vital step toward restoring the public’s faith in information stemming from the Pentagon.

Rep. Hodes:

The American people were spun by Bush Administration “message multipliers.” They were fed Administration talking points, believing they were getting independent military analysis. Days after, the Pentagon suspended the program. The news outlets have been remarkably silent. The Department of Defense Inspector General has begun an internal review of the program but given the possibility as well as decision makers in this Congress were misled about the war in Iraq, I believe it is absolutely critical that a public investigation happen that is transparent to this body as well as to the American people. Congress cannot allow an Administration to manipulate the public on false propaganda on matters of war and national security.

Awesome. Be even better if the media were to report on it. I couldn’t find a story about this vote in either NYT or WaPo, so who knows if they’ll bother to write about the investigation’s results either.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,War


  • 1. elmo  |  May 23rd, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Funny how reluctant they are to report what they are smack dab in the middle of. It’s about time some in the media got knocked off their high horse…

  • 2. Cujo359  |  May 23rd, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I’ve been trying, elmo. The news programs that hired these people have a lot to answer for. That’s particularly true since they don’t seem to be too concerned about their lack of curiosity (or is it honesty?)

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