I'm reading the news today and a central theme seems to emerging on message discipline. The Pentagon is rolling out its new Iraq Communications Desk.
“I would not characterize it as a war room,” Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Friday. “It’s far less sinister than that. It’s more like a library.”
Calling it a “smarter way of doing business” the plan is to "provide information to other federal agencies, including the White House and State Department, so that officials can speak more consistently and accurately about the war."
I don't know about you, but I where I come from that's called making sure the propaganda is consistent. It seems too many of the faithful are straying off message, like John Warner's pathetically limp admonition to Bush that he should start pulling a mere 5,000 soldiers out of Iraq by Christmas.
But even that tiny sidestep off the proscribed rhetorical path earned him a sharp rebuke from the neo-con's newest $15 million propaganda machine, Freedom’s Watch, which is the dream child of Ari Fleisher, among others, and was formed to conduct a five week media blitz in support of extending the occupation of Iraq forever. Money quote from that appearance was the spokesmouth's contention that he couldn't appear on the program with MoveOn’s Tom Matzzie because it's “not a credible group.”
But perhaps Warner can be excused for his timidity in light of this revelation of what happens when good Americans answer to high moral standard and tell the truth. This citizen and Navy veteran was imprisoned and tortured by our own military.
For his trouble, he says, he got 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison outside Baghdad that once held Saddam Hussein, and he was classified a security detainee.
...There were times, huddled on the floor in solitary confinement with that head-banging music blaring dawn to dusk and interrogators yelling the same questions over and over, that Vance began to wish he had just kept his mouth shut.
Vance, by the way, blew the whistle on illegal arms trading in Iraq that was supplying the insurgents, among others, something you would think the military would have rewarded him for, instead of punishing him.
The message is clear. One must not interfere with war profiteering. Shut up and look the other way or the Bush administration and its loyalists will make your life a living hell. Worse yet, even some of your fellow citizens will vilify you and treat you like a traitor instead of a hero. Small wonder that our government has devolved into an unaccountable, political payola ATM when covering up corruption is rewarded, while revealing the truth is punished. Sadly, I remember a time when the whistleblowers would have been revered for exposing treasonous misconduct and criminal misappropriation of the taxpayer's money.
I blame the media myself. If our "serious professionals" were doing their job, Vance would be on the talking head shows instead of Kristol and Rove and the nightly newscasts would lead with this story instead of the celebrity DUI du jour.