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Continuity Über Alles: Massaging the Message in Afghanistan
First published in Empire Burlesque yesterday, 24 August 2009
Obama is paying millions to a shadowy PR firm to "vet" the political leanings of journalists reporting on his ever-expanding "Af-Pak War." This is the same PR firm used by the Bush-Cheney regime to help mislead the nation into the murderous war of aggression against Iraq: the Rendon Group.
Continuity, continuity, in all things, continuity.
This has been the battle cry of Barack Obama's administration, especially when it comes to waging the Terror Wars -- and trying to manipulate public opinion about these intractable conflicts.
As Stars and Stripes reports, Obama is paying millions to a shadowy PR firm to "vet" the political leanings of journalists reporting on his ever-expanding "Af-Pak War." This happens to be the same PR firm used by the Bush-Cheney regime to help mislead the nation into the murderous war of aggression against Iraq: the Rendon Group. S&S:
Not to worry, though. The Pentagon says it doesn't deny anyone access because of their background; they just use the information to let the relevant commanders know if they've got some nosy pinko commie islamofascist left-wing wacko in their midst. Just so they can be extra careful that, you know, nothing happens to the little American-hating bastard during the visit.
Yet strangely enough, it seems that the Pentagon is, well, lying about not barring anyone because of their past reporting. Who have they barred? Why, a reporter from Stars and Stripes, just two months ago:
Of course, Obama's continuity in using the Bush-serving professional manipulators only continues Bush's continuity with the Clinton Administration, which also used the Rendon Group to, among other things, do exactly what George Bush later did: peddle war-fomenting lies about Iraq. Of course, this was simply Bill Clinton's continuity with the policies of his predecessor, the other George Bush. (It sounds confusing, but it's really not; all you have to do is follow the policies -- and the money. The name of whoever happens to be managing the imperial war machine at any given moment hardly matters.) As SourceWatch reports:
And those millions keep on rolling in, no matter who sits in the White House. And why not? The group's founder, John Rendon, was a long-time political operative in the top levels of the national Democratic Party, while his eagerness to serve the imperial agenda has endeared him to Republican courtiers as well. SourceWatch again:
These guys are wired from way back, and they are wired still. Rendon's Job 1 is to make the destructive and expensive imperial wars appear palatable to the yokels back home, so the rubes will keep sending their sons and daughters off to die -- and to kill, in vast numbers -- for the profit and privilege of the small, bipartisan American elite. Sure, our rulers squabble amongst themselves as they jostle at court and scramble for the choicest bits of roast suckling from the feast table, and it can get pretty vicious. But this is just a matter of personalities and factions. When it comes to actual policy -- militarism, manipulation, domination -- the watchword remains: continuity.
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on August 25, 2009.
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