Former generals serving as â€œmilitary analystsâ€ on television may not be the independent observers that most viewers assumed. Many of them have been recruited by the Pentagon and have financial ties to military contractors, the New York Times reported.
â€œRecords and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse â€” an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks,â€ the Times determined after suing to obtain Pentagon e-mails and other documents. â€œAnalysts have been wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior military leaders, including officials with significant influence over contracting and budget matters, records show.Ã¦. . . In turn, members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access.â€
No doubt many military analysts are independent and arenâ€™t improperly influenced by the Pentagon or business ties. But internal documents show that the Pentagon was involved in recruiting and cultivating â€œmessage force multipliersâ€ and â€œsurrogatesâ€ it could count on to deliver administration â€œthemes and messages.â€