Hey, I've Got a Family to Feed
In a rather eye-opening investigative report, the NY Times reveals the close relationship between the "military analysts" one sees being interviewed on TV and the Pentagon, and the business interests that binds them. Most of these guys are lobbyists, consultants, or executives with firms seeking military contracts. The Pentagon gave them unprecedented access, which of course was great for business. And as long as they touted the administration's line in interviews, the access continued. But slip up once, and you're cut off. Here's one analyst describing the bull he proferred to the public:
“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. 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...We're used to financial pundits lying to us without a trace of that "still, small voice" getting in their way as they try to get you to invest in whatever company is paying them consulting fees at the moment. But some of us naively expect military guys not to be selling out their brothers quite so blatantly. Some of us can be pretty stupid. Still, the article is pretty disconcerting - depressing, really, as to how money - and not all that much money - can be used so effectively and subtly to mold public perceptions.