Senior official in Bush domestic propaganda program remains Obama’s Pentagon spokesman

Change you can believe in(TM).

From Raw Story:

A key senior figure in a Bush administration covert Pentagon program, which used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage, remains in his same position today as a chief Obama Defense Department spokesman and the agency’s head of all media operations.

In an examination of Pentagon documents the New York Times obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request — which reporter David Barstow leveraged for his April 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose on the program – Raw Story has found that Bryan Whitman surfaces in over 500 emails and transcripts, revealing the deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations was both one of the program’s senior participants and an active member.

Whitman’s conspicuous presence in these records is notwithstanding thousands of documented communications the Bush Pentagon released but for which names were redacted and an untold number the prior administration successfully withheld after its two-year legal battle with the Times.

Barstow’s Times expose revealed a comprehensive, covert Pentagon campaign — beginning during the lead-up to the Iraq War and continuing through 2008 — that shaped network military analysts into what internal documents referred to as “message force multipliers” and “surrogates” who could be trusted to parrot Bush administration talking points “in the form of their own opinions.” Barstow’s reporting also detailed how most of the military analysts, traditionally viewed as authoritative and independent, had ties to defense contractors with a stake in the same war policies they were interpreting daily to the American public.

The program, ostensibly, was run out of the Pentagon’s public affairs office for community relations as part of its outreach and attended to by political appointees, most visibly in these records by then community relations chief Allison Barber and director Dallas Lawrence.

Read entire story

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