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Pentagon “Message Force Multiplier” Back on CNN

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TPM reports on retired Brig. General David L. Grange making an appearance on CNN discussing Iran.  General Grange was listed as one of the Pentagon’s “message force multipliers” in a report released last month, when it was found that the Department of Defense used retired military “analysts” to push their talking points on the Iraq war.

What Barstow has revealed is the degree of coordination between these “analysts” and the civilian leadership at the Pentagon as well as the astounding conflicts of interests these former officers had. Not only did these officers who dominated our television screens on Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC, loudly beating the war drums during the months leading up to the U.S. invasion, have special access to Pentagon “talking points” to promote the lies that led us into war (i.e. WMDs, Saddam-Al Qaeda links, etc.) but these men also were poised to line their own pockets through their lobbying firms and by serving on the boards of military contracting corporations that stood to make fortunes if the war became a reality.

Grange is now back on CNN speaking wih Lou Dobbs who did not mention Grange’s previous participation as a “message force multiplier.”  Here is a transcript of the exchange:

DOBBS: Well, here is — on another issue. Let’s take a listen to what General Petraeus had to say today about Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, CMDR. MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ: Iran continues to be a destabilizing influence in the region. It persists in its nontransparent pursuit of nuclear technology and continues to fund, train and arm dangerous militia organizations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: What are we supposed to do with that?

GRANGE: Believe it.

DOBBS: OK. Then what?

GRANGE: Then we take — make sure that we take the diplomatic informational (ph), military and economic measures to make sure Iran understands the line in the sand that must be drawn.

As reported on TPM:

Grange, who led much of the U.S. military operations in the Balkans in the 1990s, is now the president and chief executive of the McCormick Foundation, a Chicago-based charity.

Apparently, Grange doesn’t really see himself as a direct surrogate. He told the New York Times that he thought all those background sessions with Pentagon leaders were “just upfront information.”

But a Pentagon memo called them “message force multipliers.” The Defense Department often paid their travel expenses and hired a private defense contractor to monitor everything the analysts said in public.

Irancove @ May 27, 2008

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