One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex: Barry McCaffrey’s World

David Barstow, One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex: Barry McCaffrey’s WorldThe New York Times, 29 November 2008. Part 2 of a two-part series. (Part 1, Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand, 20 April 2008.) “General McCaffrey offers a case study of the benefits that can flow from favored [military] access: an inside track to sensitive information about strategy and tactics; insight into the priorities of ground commanders; a private channel to officials who oversaw war spending…. More broadly, though, his example reveals the myriad and often undisclosed connections between the business of war and the business of covering it.”

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Message Machine: Behind TV Military Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

David Barstow, Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand. The New York Times, 20 April 2008. Part 1 of a two-part series. (Part 2, One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex: Barry McCaffrey’s World, 29 November 2008.) In a Pentagon campaign, “retired [military] officers have been used to shape terrorism coverage from inside the TV and radio networks.”

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Walter Reed and Beyond: Exposé of the harsh conditions for injured soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Dana Priest and Anne Hull, Walter Reed and BeyondThe Washington Post, numerous articles published between 18 February and 2 December 2007. “Walter Reed and Beyond follows the care and treatment of the men and women who came home from battle in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It examines the promises made, and the reality lived, in the aftermath of war.”

Winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Winner of the 2007 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism.

Winner of the 2008 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting.

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The Man Who Sold the [Iraq] War

James Bamford, The Man Who Sold the War. Rolling Stone, 18 November 2005. (Available on Common Dreams.) Democracy Now!, 21 November 2005: “Investigative journalist James Bamford examines how the Bush administration and Iraqi National Congress used the PR firm Rendon Group to feed journalists — including Judith Miller — fabricated stories in an effort to sell the [Iraq] war.”

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Behind the walls of Ward 54 at Walter Reed Hospital with Iraq war combat veterans

Mark Benjamin, Behind the walls of Ward 54Salon, 18 February 2005. “They’re overmedicated, forced to talk about their mothers instead of Iraq, and have to fight for disability pay. Traumatized combat vets say the Army is failing them, and after a year following more than a dozen soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital, I believe them.”

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Torture at Abu Ghraib: [US] soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go?

Seymour Hersh, Torture at Abu Ghraib. The New Yorker, 10 May 2004. “A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February [2004]. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system [at Abu Ghraib] were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, and also by members of the American intelligence community….”

Excerpts from story:

Taguba’s report listed some of the wrongdoing: Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.There was stunning evidence to support the allegations, Taguba added—“detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence.” Photographs and videos taken by the soldiers as the abuses were happening were not included in his report, Taguba said, because of their “extremely sensitive nature.”…

As the international furor grew, senior military officers, and President Bush, insisted that the actions of a few did not reflect the conduct of the military as a whole. Taguba’s report, however, amounts to an unsparing study of collective wrongdoing and the failure of Army leadership at the highest levels. The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority…