Bloggers are no doubt going to be snacking on the NY Times article on the cozy relationship between the Pentagon, retired military "analysts" (the 12 year old in me wants to call them "anal cysts" and I think I'll indulge him) and the traditional media for the next week or so. There's a lot to munch on. So instead of adding in my own incisive commentary (anal cysts--heh), I'm just going to pick out the parts I found particularly tasty and let them speak for themselves--sort of.
Mr. Di Rita, though, said it never occurred to him that analysts might use their access to curry favor. Nor, he said, did the Pentagon try to exploit this dynamic. “That’s not something that ever crossed my mind,” he said. In any event, he argued, the analysts and the networks were the ones responsible for any ethical complications. “We assume they know where the lines are,” he said.Color me amazed. A Bush administration official never had conflicts of interest occur to him? Slide the fainting couch under me, quick.
“We knew we had extraordinary access,” said Timur J. Eads, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and Fox analyst who is vice president of government relations for Blackbird Technologies, a fast-growing military contractor.Glad to know that you went to the Ted DiBiase school of ethics and honesty.
Like several other analysts, Mr. Eads said he had at times held his tongue on television for fear that “some four-star could call up and say, ‘Kill that contract.’ ” For example, he believed Pentagon officials misled the analysts about the progress of Iraq’s security forces. “I know a snow job when I see one,” he said. He did not share this on TV.
“Human nature,” he explained, though he noted other instances when he was critical.
Mr. Bevelacqua and another Fox analyst, Mr. Cowan, had formed the wvc3 Group, and hoped to win military and national security contracts.Yeah, wouldn't want to have to make an honest living, now would you?
“There’s no way I was going to go down that road and get completely torn apart,” Mr. Bevelacqua said. “You’re talking about fighting a huge machine.”
“I’m an old intel guy,” said one analyst. (The transcript omits speakers’ names.) “And I can sum all of this up, unfortunately, with one word. That is Psyops. Now most people may hear that and they think, ‘Oh my God, they’re trying to brainwash.’ ”Now, because this is a transript, I can't quite tell if Rumsfeld is saying that he would be opposed to brainwashing because it would be unconstitutional, or if he was saying it sarcastically, as in "are you worried about those whiny fucks who actually care about little things like legality?" but I know what I'm betting on.
“What are you, some kind of a nut?” Mr. Rumsfeld cut in, drawing laughter. “You don’t believe in the Constitution?”