Sunday, July 05, 2009

Bull Pulpit

According to ABC news, Dick Cheney is worried by America’s pullback in Iraq. Dick wants Americans to support the effort around one more corner, and one more after that, and a thousand more after that. But Dick needn’t worry. We’ll be in Iraq for a long, long time. Ditto for the Bananastans.

Ray “Desert Ox” Odierno got all the U.S. troops out of Iraqi cities by the June 30 deadline. At least that’s what the New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media tell us. The al Maliki government proclaimed the birth of Iraq’s “sovereignty” from the American occupation, but like Cheney’s turned corners and young Mr. Bush’s “mission accomplished,” the sovereignty claim has been made many times before. And oh, 130,000 American troops still occupy Iraq, the number of troops we had there in January 2007 when “King” David Petraeus began his cockamamie surge.

We’ll no doubt have 30,000 or more troops in Iraq well into the 30s. The Status of Forces agreement isn’t worth the latrine linen it’s printed on. Young Mr. Obama’s promise to have all combat troops out of Iraq early in his watch was a sham from the get go. As journalist Gareth Porter explained in March, the transformation of “combat troops” into “support troops” is Orwellian Newspeak. Assign a fistful of “advisers” to a combat brigade and it becomes a peace platoon. Transfer a baker and a butcher into an infantry battalion and it turns into a delicatessen. Augment an armored division with two lap dancers and it’s a USO tour.

The misinformation campaign in the Bananastans is even worse. At his Senate confirmation hearing, Stan “The Man” McChrystal swore on a stack of Army field manuals that “the measure of effectiveness will not be enemy killed. It will be the number of Afghans shielded from violence.” When he landed in the Bananastans, he issued a “tactical directive” that his publicity agent, Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, said would limit use of air strikes to reduce civilian deaths.

Shortly after that, McChrystal ordered a major offensive in southern Afghanistan. U.S. and Afghan troops met little resistance because the Taliban fighters had the common sense to fade away rather than fight a superior force. In eastern Afghanistan, however, insurgents killed two American soldiers in a frontal assault on a U.S. base and forced the defenders to call in airstrikes to avoid being overrun. Unnamed “military officials” said 10 insurgents had been killed in the counterstrikes. So much for the number of enemy killed not being the measure of effectiveness.

In the other Bananastan, Pakistani air strikes, supported by the U.S., killed 12 “suspected” insurgents. There’s no sure way of telling if any of these kill statistics were really insurgents or not. Our intelligence in that part of the world amounts to beating or bribing someone into telling us what we want to hear, and it will never be any better than that.

For almost a decade now, U.S. intelligence has been to intelligence what Pig Latin is to Latin. Someone like Ahmed Chalibi tells a lunatic ideologue like Dick Cheney whatever fairy tale he needs to hear to justify an invasion of a country like Iraq. Dick Cheney passes that fiction on to access-poisoned journalists like Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller. The next thing you know, the handsomely paid for lie pops up on the front page of the New York Times and it becomes gospel truth.

Our entire information environment is polluted, perhaps beyond recovery. Nowhere is this truer than the packaged messages we receive regarding our wars. Admiral Smith calls himself a public affairs officer, but he’s every bit the propaganda operative that Joseph Goebbels was. Military information operations of all sorts have merged; it’s all strategic brainwash now. The firewalls between public affairs and operational deception and black propaganda have vanished like a blind dowager’s jewelry.

The traditional news media are now fully embedded members of the Pentagon’s long war sales force. At one end of the spectrum, we have Pentagon beat veterans like the horrible Thomas E. Ricks, who has pawned whatever integrity he once had for a seat in the front car of Petraeus’s armored motorcade. At the other extreme we have NBC dimwit Jim Miklashevski. I doubt if Jim understands a single word he says on TV about military affairs. The likes of Smith must have to write extra short talking points for Mik, so he doesn’t forget them before he goes on camera.

You can’t trust the media’s retired military experts any further than you can shoot them out of a popgun. Barry McCaffrey, Wayne Downing and Ken Allard were among the many who passed along pro-war propaganda under the guise of “expert analysis” and who profited from the war through their connections with major military contractors.

Most of the military press outlets like are run by ex-Department of Defense public affairs types. Naval Institute Proceedings, the self-labeled “independent forum,” has offices on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy. The head of the Naval Institute is always a retired admiral or Marine general. An editorial board of active duty officers headed by a true-believer bird captain approves all Proceedings articles. Anything that drops out of an admiral’s rear end and lands on a piece of paper becomes a Proceedings cover story. The one military press outfit I tend to trust is the Military Times consortium, but even their material must be filtered through a healthy layer of skepticism.

So it is that the Pentagon can get away with saying one thing and doing the opposite over and over and over. Everyone who knows how to sound like they know what they’re talking about doesn’t really know what they’re talking about, or they’re in the tank, or both.

Dick Cheney has a long-standing, consistent record of being in the tank and not knowing what he’s talking about, but that makes no never-mind. Any time he wants to broadcast his Dr. Doom message, the media will happily give him a bull pulpit and all the bandwidth he wants.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword. Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now.


  1. If you ever find that you need more info, this here is a great article to consider:

    I hope you found this informative!
    Best regards,

  2. Thanks much for the link, Media.


  3. Another good post -- a large chunk of US peoples haven't a clue to the Pentagon analysts NYT story (even won a Pulitzer).
    And what do you think of -- I see your posts are found there?
    What are some good sites where a lot of the military smoke/jibberish is filtered out?

  4. Hi, Bruce. Yes, I write for and other pro-peace sites. I'm hesitant to recommend any one of them as the "best," or as must reads, simply because I don't control all of the content on them. Some stuff is very good, some is downright ghastly.

    Overall, though, I have to say that is very good.



  5. There was a lot of PR in the news when I was growing up, watching Cronkite with my grandpa. He (rest his soul) couldn't watch any network news these days, without calling "BullSHIT!" every 10-20 seconds.

  6. Mr. Huber,
    Once again, you prove why your commentary should be required reading for every thinking human being. An excellent post sir.
    While I was in Vietnam with 5th Marines in 1970-71 I saw how the Army could "fudge" things. We had a radio link to an Army unit. One day we went over there to set up a new radio operator at our end of the link. As we passed through the main gate to the compound, we noticed that they unit name had changed. Funny, all the troops were the very same ones who were there the previous week.
    We were told that the "old" unit had returned to the states. They took the unit flag and a couple of clerks and sent them home. It even made the news in the states that their unit had returned from the war zone.
    Propaganda? As the moose burger bimbo would say, "You betcha!"
    keep up your excellent work sir,
    semper fi,

  7. Thanks, Charlie. Have a great week.


  8. Anonymous11:25 PM


    Having worked for the Military Times media group for a few years, I'd advise you to be very wary of those people. They trip over themselves to spend time with generals and admirals, and are right in step with whatever garbage the Pentagon sends over via press release. They just repackage it and make it look pretty. They are a bunch of war mongers who are lock step with the war crowd, who foam at the mouth to "cover" the war, but don't have the sack to actually sign up themselves. Typical stenographers ... ahem ... journalists.

  9. Thanks, Anon. Military Times earns points with me for having broken several big stories, like the body armor scandal. But, like you said, it and the rest of the military press are always suspect.


  10. I thought I'd heard Stan the Man's immortal words somewhere before. It seems he was quoting, almost word for word, the late Robert McNamara. Only the location has changed.

    "'This is not primarily a military problem. It’s a battle for the hearts and the minds of the people of South Vietnam. As a prerequisite to that, we must be able to guarantee their physical security.'"

    Noam Chomsky, in a lecture he gave in Harlem not long ago described The Man as "...General Stanley McChrystal, who’s taking charge. He’s a kind of a wild-eyed Special Forces assassin."

    What an unbelievable mess.

  11. Oh! what a lovely site. A good relation is established between pen and sword.


    Free Satellite TV

  12. Also popular as a way to fashion, China Wholesalers let people around the world about the wholesale from china , china wholesale purchase and let the world buy products wholesale to such a good product.

  13. Ed hardy shirts to tattoos tattoo art and graffiti into the street among the ed hardy clothes. Puma basketby the majority of consumers, Puma basket of products that were sold out on a listing. Cheap puma shoes and match various types of clothing, belts, cheap jacket, Wholesale Handbags, watches, pens and other products are also beautifully designed, excellent technology, elegant shape. People buy nike max shoes, they are also no longer pick Association other goods.

  14. Lacoste polo shirts to the people's feeling is natural and pro-and the Burbrery polos comfortable, affordable good wear burberry polo shirt both in Europe and the United States or Asia, almost Everyone must become a wardrobe in the style of clothing! There are so many beautiful coat, but also with the needs of others can be more perfect. Levi jeanshave a straight trouser leg, it looks clean and able; Diesel Jeans and Levis Jeansis pet fashion, elegance and fashion, with a polo shirt and holding babolat aeropro driveor cheap tennis racquets, what you can think of.

  15. 1

    polo shirts

    polo shirts supplies.wholesale polo shirts with great price. offers lot of 10 polo shirts and lot of 20 polo shirts. offers classic fit polo shirts.polo clothing All our shirts made in original factory.

    spyder jackets offers spyder jackets :

    north face jackets

    north face jackets,north face jacket. Here is a black The North Face Women's mountain jacket .

    Women's Sky Blue The North Face Original Twinset Parka/Jacket

    This is a style of sky blue The Women's North Face outdoor and mountaineering apparel .The North Face offers advanced fabrics and technologies for all-weather performance and protection during demanding outdoor action. The design adds darts at the elbow, allowing for easier arm movement and a full range of motion. The internal wind skirt effectively keeps snow and wind out.
    100% Omni-Tech!


    polo shirts

    new polo shirts,polo shirts,polo shirt,Ralph Lauren polo shirts,polos .Paypal payment. we have best price.Welcome to wholesale Lacoste polo shirts


    cheap polo shirts

    Buy cheap polo shirts,polo shirt,lacoste polo shirts,ralph lauren polo shirts,wholesale polo shirts


    Lacoste Polo Shirts

    Retail and Wholesale Lacoste Polo Shirts Cheap Lacoste Polo Shirts Polo Shirts Cheap Polo Shirts at cheap price with PayPal free shipping


    ugg boots

    UGG short Boots
    UGG 5245 tall Boots
    UGG 5325 classic Boots
    UGG 5359 womens Boots
    UGG 5815 tall Boots
    UGG 5819 womens Boots
    UGG 5825 short Boots


    chi flat iron

    chi flat iron
    InStyler rotating hot iron with a heat resistant carrying bag
    New BLUE CAMO CHI Camo Colletion 1" flat iron
    New CHI Turbo 2 Big Flat Iron
    New GREEN CAMO CHI Camo Colletion 1" flat iron
    Black CHI Ceramic Flat Iron Original Farouk Hair Straightener

    CHI hair straightener

    Very Cheap! is a professional supplier to supply CHI hair straightener Welcome to wholesale hair straighteners at
    CHI Straightener Blue Camo
    CHI Straightener Green Camo
    CHI Straightener Pink Camo
    Original CHI Hair Straightener
    CHI Turbo Big 2-Inch Hair Straightener


    spyder jackets
    new discount spyder women's insulated ski jacket in orange
    2009 new women's syder jackets insulated in white and red
    women's discount spyder ski jacket insulated in red
    women's cheap spyder ski suit insulated in pink
    brand new men's spyder ski jackets in gray

  16. Present-day society, the rapid development of science and technology makes cell phones wholesale is no longer a simple phone communications equipment only. Wholesale cell phones have many features, entertainment, scalability, and so have a good expression of the discount cell phones will be to maximize the effectiveness of multimedia technology.
    Cell phones from simple communication became a full-featured entertainment terminal . Can be said that cell phone china new milestone in the industry. This fully demonstrates that, cheap cell phones entertainment has become the most sought after consumer applications and has become the focus of the mobile phones market.

  17. There was this guy who believed very much in true love and decided to take his time to wait for his right girl to appear. He believed that there would definitely be someone special out there for him, but none came.
    Every year at Christmas, his ex-girlfriend would return from Vancouver to look him up. He was aware that she still held some hope of re-kindling the past romance with him. He did not wish to mislead her in any way. nike shoxsSo he would always get one of his girl friends to pose as his steady whenever she came back. That went on for several years and each year, the guy would get a different girl to pose as his romantic interest. So whenever the ex-girlfriend came to visit him, she would be led into believing that it was all over between her and the guy. nike womens shoes The girl took all those rather well, often trying to casually tease him about his different girlfriends, or so, as it seemed! In fact, the girl often wept in secret whenever she saw him with another girl, but she was too proud to admit it. Still, every Christmas, she returned, hoping to re-kindle some form of romance. But each time, she returned to Vancouver feeling disappointed.
    Finally she decided that she could not play that game any longer. puma mens shoes Therefore, she confronted him and professed that after all those years, he was still the only man that she had ever loved. mens puma shoesAlthough the guy knew of her feelings for him, he was still taken back and have never expected her to react that way. He always thought that she would slowly forget about him over time and come to terms that it was all over between them. nike shox Although he was touched by her undying love for him and wanted so much to accept her again, he remembered why he rejected her in the first place-she was not the one he wanted. nike 360 air maxSo he hardened his heart and turned her down cruelly. nike running shoesSince then, three years have passed and the girl never return anymore. They never even wrote to each other. NIKE air shoes The guy went on with his life..... still searching for the one but somehow deep inside him, he missed the girl.
    On the Christmas of 1995, he went to his friend's party alone. "Hey, how come all alone this year? Where are all your girlfriends? What happened to that Vancouver babe who joins you every Christmas?", asked one of his air max He felt warm and comforted by his friend's queries about her, still he just surged on.
    Then, he came upon one of his many girlfriends whom he once requested to pose as his steady. He wanted so much to ignore her ..... not that he was impolite,wholesale nike shoes but because at that moment, he just didn't feel comfortable with those girlfriends anymore. nike shox torchIt was almost like he was being judged by them. The girl saw him and shouted across the floor for him. Unable to avoid her, he went up to acknowledge her.
    " are you? Enjoying the party?" the girl asked.
    "Sure.....yeah!", he replied.
    She was slightly tipsy..... must be from the whiskey on her hand.

  18. Truely a nice blog and thanks for your great work. By the way, welcome to our websites: cheap adidas shoes and ghd hair straightners. Every men like sport, then, it is quite important to have a pair of right sports shoes to make you fully enjoy the sports. We provide nike sport shoes , cheap sport shoes, puma cat shoes, cheap nike shox shoes, cheap nike max shoes, shox shoes, nike shox r4running shoes which are brand new and in perfect condition but on discount.
    All of the shoes, including the popularferrari shoespuma running shoes, nike tn dollar,which is the representative shoes of nike air max tnshoes are authentic and original of top quality. For people like running and playing basketball and other field sports, nothing would be more suitable than the puma shoes and nike shox nz basketball shoes. In addition to the shoes mentioned above, you may also be interested in the cheap adidas shoes , JORDAN WOMEN SHOES and nike running shoes, puma shoes , Nike Air Max Tn shoes and so on. The Nike air max series are specially designed and made for runners. It is the professional NIKE WOMEN SHOES for running . Wholesale and retail are both acceptable to us. Welcome to our site and free to look! Thank you and wish you a nice day. Good Luck!Everybody like beauty, which is quite commen, especailly womens. Welcom to our store which is focused on sellingghd hair straighteners mk4and hair straightners. For women, especially the young girls, this pink ghd hair straightenersis the best choice. ghd hair straightnersis famouse for the pretty outlook and the top quality. The price of this cheap ghd hair straightenersis acceptable and rational.
    The ghd iv styler hair straightener is the newest product with a nice outlook and top quality.ghd mk4 hair straightener, purple ghd hair straighteners is beautiful, favourite by girls. ghd hair straightnersis necessary for you. It will be not difficult to you to become beautiful.

  19. Really trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it

    to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading..
    sesli sohbet
    sesli chat