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CENTCOM Setting the Record Straight

October 17th, 2006 | by Ken Grandlund |

[From Raw Story]

The United States Central Command (CENTCOM), an arm of the federal military apparatus, is now engaging with bloggers through e-mail invitations to get “news stories and press releases about US military and coalition forces operations, humanitarian and reconstruction efforts” directly from their website, even going so far as to imply that they can give bloggers ’scoops’ by saying, “Most of the time we can get CENTCOM information out to bloggers before it appears in the main stream media.”

Apparently, this is part of an effort to ” engage bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information.” Or is it an effort to fill the blogosphere with officially approved versions of the latest events in the rapidly deteriorating war zone(s)?

The Raw Story article also quotes Maj. Richard J. McNorton, chief of CENTCOM “engagement operations” as saying, “Now [online readers] have the opportunity to read positive stories. At least the public can go there and see the whole story. The public wants to hear these good stories.”

No doubt that there are positive things taking place in many microcosms in the Middle East. No doubt that we don’t hear much of these things in the MSM. But the reality is that all of those little good things don’t come close to balancing all the horrible things going on, nor do they seem to be ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of the occuppied masses in Iraq.

I guess what bothers me most about this ‘engagement policy’ is the feeling that the military seems to be creating it’s own, new propaganda publicity apparatus, and to me, that is a step in the wrong direction. It isn’t the job of the military to sell this, or any, war to the general public. That’s the job of the civilian government. If the military begins to try to persuade public opinion, they are blurring the line that separates the military from its civilian masters. Such a move is troubling as it represents a possible first step towards co-opting the military’s historical impartiality regarding the political mechanisms of the day.

It’s even more troubling when they propigate the perceptions the administration favors, regardless of refutation after refutation that ’staying the course’ isn’t working at all.

(And for the conspiracists among us, this could also be an attempt to identify those bloggers who are most vocal in criticizing the war or the administration. Watch out- you’ve been added to another Watch List!)

[tag]Raw+Story, CENTCOM, bloggers, propaganda, military[/tag]

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  1. 2 Responses to “CENTCOM Setting the Record Straight”

  2. By Liberal Jarhead on Oct 17, 2006 | Reply

    Military blogging is to blogging as military music is to music… and I say that as a retired officer.

  3. By Froenx on Oct 17, 2006 | Reply

    smells like another psyop to me.

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