Anti-terrorism training materials currently being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) teach its personnel that free expression in the form of public protests should be regarded as “low level terrorism.” ACLU attorneys are calling the approach “an egregious insult to constitutional values” and have sent a letter to the Department of Defense demanding that the offending materials be changed and that the DoD send corrective information to all DoD employees who received the erroneous training.
“DoD employees cannot fully protect our nation and its values unless they understand that a core American value is the constitutional right to criticize our government through protest activities,” said ACLU of Northern California attorney Ann Brick. “It is fundamentally wrong to equate activism with terrorism.”
Another great informative video by CollateralNews.
In the 2009 Defense Authorization Bill, it included language in response to criticism about the promotion of propaganda that has been going on with the media military analysts, the Pentagon and the defense contractors – according to Media Matters. The bill has been sitting on President Bush’s desk since Monday, any word from the media on this important matter “crickets” or is the media saying move along – nothing to see here folks.
The Congressional Members responsible for the inclusion of this provision are Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)-which was brought to the forefront by an article in The New York Times.
A subsequent analysis by Media Matters documented more than 4,500 appearances of military analysts in the media, many of whom worked for or had clients with companies that have an interest in obtaining Pentagon contracts.
The bill includes the following provisions:
1.) Prohibits taxpayer money from being used for “publicity or propaganda purposes” by the Department of Defense.
2.) Requires the Department of Defense Inspector General to investigate the media analysts program and report the findings back to Congress 90 days after the bill is enacted.
3.) Directs the Comptroller General of the GAO to issue a legal opinion to Congress on whether the media analysts program violated the law within 120 days of enactment.
The DOD has decided to drop $300 million to produce news stories and public service advertisements in Iraq to support pro-America messages and themes. The pentagon has awarded three year deals to private U.S. contractors-last week to four companies- which means this could last long after our withdrawal from Iraq.
This will expand and consolidate what the U.S. military calls “information/psychological operations” in Iraq far into the future, even as violence appears to be abating and U.S. troops have begun drawing down.
The military’s role in the war of ideas has been fundamentally transformed in recent years, the result of both the Pentagon’s outsized resources and a counterinsurgency doctrine in which information control is considered key to success. Uniformed communications specialists and contractors are now an integral part of U.S. military operations from Eastern Europe to Afghanistan and beyond.
Iraq, where hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on such contracts, has been the proving ground for the transformation. “The tools they’re using, the means, the robustness of this activity has just skyrocketed since 2003. In the past, a lot of this stuff was just some guy’s dreams,” said a senior U.S. military official, one of several who discussed the sensitive defense program on the condition of anonymity.
See the Pentagon is trying to compete with the propaganda market dominated by al-Qaeda, as Secretary Gates puts it “We’re being out-communicated by a guy in a cave.” So basically, the government is admitting that anyone with a Web site is doing better than they are at spinning their doctrine. Psst..that might not be a good thing to tell the American people.
It’s starting already. George W Bush is demanding more money to fund his wars. In the meantime, gas prices are skyrocketing, food prices are soaring, people are losing their homes, health care is becoming more and more expensive and good paying jobs are being sent overseas. When will this stop? When-will-this-stop?
Hasn’t Bush stolen enough money from the American taxpayer? No, it is never enough for these greedy, war hungry chickenhawks. Cheney and Bush won’t be happy until they have it all… the whole world at their feet… just more to steal from. They don’t care about the destruction that lies in their wake.
Bush is threatening to lay-off government employees that work for the Department of Defense while at the same time ignoring other Americans that are losing their jobs because of “free trade agreements”, tax breaks to corporations that send jobs overseas and the burden of covering the cost of employees’ health insurance. The point that I am making is that government workers are no more valuable then any other worker and it is wrong for the president to use “government lay-offs” as an excuse while ignoring non-government workers that lost their jobs.
To show you how little Bush cares about Americans, he also threatened to veto any defense spending bill that includes spending for domestic issues. White House Budget Director, Jim Nussle warned Congress to this effect. In other words, George W Bush just said “Let them eat cake” to the American people. Wow, what a useless president.
If John McCain becomes president, it will be more of the same stealing from the middle class so that the rich don’t have to pay taxes and war profiteers can keep reeling in the money.
Is this what the American people want? Is this what our country deserves?
Here, read more about it.