Pentagon’s Pundits: A Look at the Defense Department’s Propaganda Program [read/watch online for free] by Democracy Now, April 22, 2008.

Excerpt: Media critics have long pointed out the discrepancy between the overwhelming number of pro-war military voices versus the almost complete absence of antiwar voices.

“It turns out the pro-war slant of military analysts was in fact part of a carefully orchestrated propaganda effort from the Pentagon. … Newly disclosed Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as message force multipliers or surrogates who could be counted on to deliver administration themes and messages to millions of Americans in the form of their own opinions.

Excerpt: The Pentagon even hired a private contractor to monitor the analysts’ broadcast interviews. Brent Krueger, a senior official who helped oversee the propaganda effort, said, We were able to click on every single station, and every one of our folks were up there delivering our message. You’d look at them and say, This is working.

Excerpt: The propaganda campaign also extended into the nation’s newspapers.

Excerpt: The campaign that the Pentagon designed had three elements. … The first was to make the news be theirs 24/7, and they did that… We wanted to control the printed media, and that was primarily done… …the military analysts…were giving context.

One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex [read online for free] by David Barstow, New York Times, November 29, 2008.

Excerpt: Only when the invasion met unexpected resistance did General McCaffrey give a glimpse of his misgivings. We’ve placed ourselves in a risky proposition, 400 miles into Iraq with no flank or rear area security, he told Katie Couric on Today.

“Mr. Rumsfeld struck back. He abruptly cut off General McCaffrey’s access to the Pentagon’s special briefings and conference calls.

“General McCaffrey was stunned. I’ve never heard his voice like that, recalled one close associate who asked not to be identified. He added, They showed him what life was like on the outside.

Excerpt: Within days General McCaffrey began to backpedal, professing his great respect for Mr. Rumsfeld to Tim Russert. Is this man O.K.? the Fox News anchor Brit Hume asked, taking note of the about-face.

“For months to come, as an insurgency took root, General McCaffrey defended the Bush administration. I am 100 percent behind what the administration, what the president of the United States, is doing in Iraq, he told Mr. Williams that June.

Threats and Responses: Intelligence; Rumsfeld Says U.S. Has Bulletproof Evidence of Iraq’s Links to Al Qaeda [read online for free] by Eric Schmitt, New York Times, September 28, 2002.

Excerpt: Mr. Rumsfeld said that recently declassified intelligence reports about suspected ties between Al Qaeda and the Iraqi government, including the presence of senior members of Al Qaeda in Baghdad in recent periods, were factual and exactly accurate.

“His comments today were the latest in a string of statements this week by senior administration officials -- including Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, and Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman -- that seemed to raise the prospects of new proof linking Al Qaeda and Iraq.

“But in each case, the officials have offered no details to back up the assertions. Mr. Rumsfeld said today that doing so would jeopardize the lives of spies and dry up sources of other information.

Excerpt: The administration had set aside serious efforts to prove this link in favor of a strategy that focused on what it contends is the threat from Iraq posed by weapons of mass destruction.

Excerpt: On Wednesday night, Ms. Rice said that there are some Al Qaeda personnel who found refuge in Baghdad after the American air campaign in Afghanistan began last October.

Excerpt: On Thursday, Mr. Rumsfeld said that contacts between Al Qaeda and Iraq had increased since 1998. We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad, he said. We have what we consider to be very reliable reporting of senior-level contacts going back a decade, and of possible chemical- and biological-agent training.

Excerpt: Secretary Powell said that there were confirmed linkages between Al Qaeda and Iraq…

Press Conference by the President [read/watch online for free] [watch video excerpt online for free] by George W. Bush, Office of the Press Secretary, August 21, 2006.

Excerpt: Now, look, part of the reason we went into Iraq was -- the main reason we went into Iraq at the time was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't…

Excerpt: …my answer to your question is, is that, imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.

“You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of we're going to stir up the hornet's nest theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

“Q What did Iraq have to do with that?

“THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?

“Q The attack on the World Trade Center?

“THE PRESIDENT: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.

Updated on December 28th, 2013