In Part I of this series, Raw Story revealed that Bryan Whitman, the current deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations, was an active senior participant in a Bush administration covert Pentagon program that used retired military analysts to generate positive wartime news coverage.A months-long review of documents and interviews with Pentagon personnel has revealed that the Bush Administration's military analyst program -- aimed at selling the Iraq war to the American people -- operated through a secretive collaboration between the Defense Department's press and community relations offices.
Raw Story has also uncovered evidence that directly ties the activities undertaken in the military analyst program to an official US military document's definition of psychological operations -- propaganda that is only supposed to be directed toward foreign audiences.
The investigation of Pentagon documents and interviews with Defense Department officials and experts in public relations found that the decision to fold the military analyst program into community relations and portray it as "outreach" served to obscure the intent of the project as well as that office's partnership with the press office. It also helped shield its senior supervisor, Bryan Whitman, assistant secretary of defense for media operations, whose role was unknown when the original story of the analyst program broke.
In a nearly hour-long phone interview, Whitman asserted that since the program was not run from his office, he was neither involved nor culpable. Exposure of the collaboration between the Pentagon press and community relations offices on this program, however, as well as an effort to characterize it as a mere community outreach project, belie Whitman's claim that he bears no responsibility for the program's activities.
These new revelations come in addition to the evidence of Whitman's active and extensive participation in the program, as Raw Story documented in part one of this series. Whitman remains a spokesman for the Pentagon today.
Whitman said he stood by an earlier statement in which he averred "the intent and purpose of the [program] is nothing other than an earnest attempt to inform the American public."
In the interview, Whitman sought to portray his role as peripheral, noting that his position naturally demands he speak on a number of subjects in which he isn't necessarily directly involved.
Military AnalystsDocuments and Audio Files
These documents, audio files and photos were released to the New York Times regarding the Pentagon's Military Analyst program.
Monday, 15-Dec-08 23:36:47