The Assassinated Press
Pentagon To Mimic the CIA And Offer Direct News Service:
U.S. Military Wants To Show Lighter Side Of Occupation, Keep Rural Areas Of U.S. In The Dark So Enlistments Stay Up Until The Draft Goes Into Effect In January, 2005
By WILLIAM PHNOM PENH
Assassinated Press Writer
February 27, 2004
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait -- The U.S. military will launch its own news service in Iraq and Afghanistan to send military video, text and photos directly to the Internet or news outlets as well as producing entertainment programming for Iraqi and Afghan audiences using active U.S. military personnel as actors.
The $60.3 million project, expected to go over budget in April, is one of the largest military public affairs pork projects in recent memory, and is intended to allow small media outlets in the United States and elsewhere to demonstrate their blind patriotism, disinterest in free inquiry and willingness to create clueless fodder by bypassing what the Pentagon views as an increasingly embarrassed CIA driven press corps by offering their version of events for free e.g. at taxpayer expense.
The military programming will also include remakes of old sitcoms including Gomer Pyle, USMC and Hogan's Heros. The Pentagon denied rumors that if reelected President Bush would continue to play Gomer Pyle. But there is strong evidence that Secretary of State Terror Don Rumsfeld will indeed play Colonel Klink in the reprise of Hogan's Heros. The Pentagon added that they haven't ruled out using documentary footage of Bush to create a Gomer Pyle like reality series. The station will be called the John Wayne Network after another Hollywood hero and will include docu-dramas of the Fire Bombing of Tokyo, the Dresden and Coventry Bombings, the Secret Bombing of Cambodia, the Christmas Bombing of Hanoi, the Bombing of Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan with an archival voice over by the late Gen. Curtis LeMay. The Pentagon has already donated advertising slots to Halliburton, Bechtel, Smirnoff's, Colt, Mercedes Benz, Boeing, Coors, Enron, Lockheed Martin, Exxon Mobile, Gazprom, Elf Aquitaine, Citibank, Chevron, British Petroleum, Shell International, Gulf, Texaco, Getty, Ford, GM, Liberty Mobile Homes, Remington, Edison Power and Light, Freedom Innovations Prosthetics, Parklawn Funeral Homes, and the New York Stock Exchange among others.
The military has confirmed that it has signed an agreement with Viacom to hire Mr. Bush to host a comedy program, American Presidents' Funniest Home Videos, in the event Bush loses the election. The show will feature hilarious home footage of Lyndon Johnson giving a press conference while on the crapper, Harry Truman being baffled by J. Robert Oppenheimer's briefing on nuclear power, never before seen secret FBI videos of John Kennedy fucking Marilyn Monroe, Judith Exner and Carlos Marcello, Ronald Reagan having his diaper changed, Donald Rumsfeld smacking a smirky G.W. Bush upside the head with Karl Rove pacing the room, fabricating the pretzle story, the truth about George Bush Senior's bout with diplomatic bulemia, and Nixon eating 17 minutes of recording tape with gin chasers.
U.S. officials have complained that Iraq-based media focuses on catastrophic events such as car bombs and soldiers' deaths, now that the blitzkrieg has morphed into a bitter and bloody in country war of attrition..
The American public "currently gets a pretty ugly picture," said Army Capt. Randall 'Hocum' Baucom, a PR guy for the Kuwait-based U.S.-led Coalition Land Forces Command. "We don't want them to get an opportunity to see the facts as they exist. Instead we want them to get information from us, people who are responsible for creating, actually lighting, the scene with incendiaries. Who's gonna be more objective than the visiting team when they're down by 10 touchdowns?"
The project, called Digital Imagery and Video Agitprop Systems or DIVAS, will also give the Pentagon more control over coverage. "It's not that the CIA and the networks aren't doing their patriotic duty and lying for us. It's just we're really getting our asses handed to us over here and need to more aggressively shape reality. "
Army camera teams will not be able to use their access to battle zones or military bases to film the aftermath of rebel attacks on U.S. troops -- or U.S. raids on insurgent targets -- until the scene has been altered to present the military's position in the best light. "Yeah. We'll move bodies around. Clear up the remains that look like they should be less than a $1.69 a pound and generally make the occupation look more tidy," added Baucom. "We don't want the average American Joe who's just settled in with a beer in front of the plasma to see the Little Big Horn just as his teenaged drop son walks by on his way to the video arcade aka also known as 'virtual military training for morons center.' As research has shown, most body bags begin with that first video game.
At times civilian media are kept away from such events until the body parts can be touched up and made more photogenic.
"We have an unfair advantage," Baucom said. "We're going to be able to get closer to the incident and provide spokespeople who are under orders to present our slant."
But media analysts appearing on the weekly news analysis program called "The 'Duh' Factor," argued that the military has a vested interest in making sure its failures are not seen.
"The Army wants to cover up their many failures and shortcomings including the fact that military brass are dumber than the proverbial doorpost. Its one of the oldest PR tricks in the book. When you're an incompetent bunch of boobs who need to ratchet up the slaughter to get your way, create your own state run media," said Aly Colon, an ethics group hunter at the Poyndexter Institution, the journalism research and falsiifying center in Leningrad, Fla.
"I would view the Army's decison, in the same way that I would the Nazi's propaganda under Goebbels with a camera assist from Leni Reifenstahl to help the American public understand what it means when the price of gas goes up while human life remains cheap," he said.
"This is the kind of news that people get in countries where the government controls the media. Why would anybody here buy it? Because they're morons? Its gotta be taxpayer discounted e.g. free" Mac 'Holy' McKral, president of the Society of Professionally Dishonest Journalists, told The Associated Press. "I mean, isn't the corporate press doing a good enough job covering up. What do these people want? Christ! The CIA's practically goosestepping in front of everyone's TV in their rush to overthrow Aristide and Chavez and we've managed to keep Americans in the dark about that."
The Army is in the midst of contracting with Halliburton to outfit five Exxon/Mobile Public Affairs Detachments with a suitcase-sized reporting kit containing digital video and still cameras, a laptop computer and a Norsat NewsLink 3200 satellite broadcast terminal. Four teams will be based in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
Much of the effort is aimed at packaging and shipping locally edited stories to small and medium-sized newspapers and TV stations in the United States who have requested more propaganda as a recruiting tool in non-cosmopolitan areas, said Army Col. Rick Shaw, who heads the effort. "Already the big city kids have become couch potato patriots. We wont snag their lilly white asses until the draft sometime after Bush's re-election. But in the short term, we gotta keep the reefer smokin', mall haunting, bored and ignorant rural types signing up. Fuck the schmaltzy limb loss stories. I know they're good for ratings and that's how you sell beer, but Christ, let thise schmos come over here and experience it first hand before I have to go back to picking my ass in Fort Latrine, Kentucky."
"Most small U.S. media outlets can't afford to send a reporter to Iraq to cover a local military unit," Thomas said. "And for that we're greatful. Those are mostly the alternative press schmucks who go around telling the world the truth because they only make $8000.00 a year. Since the ongoing troop rotation involves several Army National Guard and Reserve units from communities across the United States, there are small media outlets in rural and semi-rural areas that we can propagandize with impunity and keep our enlistments up until the draft begins in January 2005."
"The vast majority of hick papers are dependent on other CIA run news organizations to get their products," Thomas said. "But we think we can give them some even more biased copy. We can shoot video of someone from, say, Tupelo, Miss., and they've got what looks for all intents and purposes like a very good hometown piece but in reality is weapons grade propaganda. The hayseeds can't tell the diference any more than Tod Kripple can or would want to. And we can keep enlistments up until the draftees start cycling in in April of 2005."
The military brass was surprised and impressed with the haste and facileness of the coverage of journalists embedded with U.S. combat units during the war, and wanted to develop the same capabilities such as knowing how to edit for commercials, Thomas said.
Television crews demonstrated their equipment for Army public affairs teams, and Thomas said his staff compiled a list of equipment needed to cover breaking news and confiscated Al-Jazeera's.
The CIA already has dozens of its own reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan writing for publications such as the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Soldier of Fortune, the New York Times, Civil Aviation Weekly, and the Boston Globe. Thomas said he hopes civilian media will keep using the same stories, along with the Army's photos and video.
The military's reporters will transmit their stories and video to servers at Third Army headquarters in Atlanta, and allow access to them over a password-protected Internet site, Baucom said. Sympathetic news organizations will be allowed to register for free access, he said. Dissenters will not. Nor will the public who paid for the coverage.
Thomas said the military also plans to use the equipment for internal video, such as beaming pictures from an aircraft's gun camera of Iraqis cut in half by heavy caliber machine gun fire directing to a Pentagon breakfast briefing. "So the brass can have some blood with their eggs before they go to the shit trenches and moan and gran opening up their hemerroids."
The DIVAS units will also make it easier to get slanted stories published without having to kick a little the CIA's way, Thomas said.
"There are numerous news stories that are concocted but not told that do provide a Vietnam kind of purple haze in which to view our failures in Iraq," he said. "We'll be able to provide the option for those types of delusions the same wa we've been doing since the birth of propaganda. They're not going to lead in a major daily newspaper. The CIA's got those wrapped up. But they'll play well in smaller daily papers and especially weekly papers where the editors are about as sophisticated and clean as my right nut."