The Washington Post finally realized today that virtually every pundit allowed space in its paper and allowed time on the mainstream corporate news is an advocate for war, and that, further, each of them seem to have a personal stake in the promotion of war. Today the Post reported on a new study by the Public Accountability Initiative which found that:
The media debate surrounding the question of whether to launch a military attack on Syria in August and September of 2013 was dominated by defense industry-backed experts and think tanks. These individuals and organizations are linked to dozens of defense and intelligence contractors, defense-focused investment firms, and diplomatic consulting firms with strong defense ties, yet these business ties were rarely disclosed on air or in print.
That the Washington Post reported on this study is a revelation. Not because we didn’t already know the mendacity of that endless queue of ex-generals and connected neocons and “humanitarian interventionists” who parade in front of us telling us about cakewalks and the need to project US power or the importance of removing the horrible dictator of the day. It was a revelation because it was published in the Washington Post, one of the chief enablers of these war profiteers.
Indeed, the Washington Post’s own editorial page editor, the hyper-interventionist neocon Fred Hiatt, was incriminated in the article. Hiatt, who from Africa to the Middle East to Russia to Asia has never seen a conflict to which he didn’t want to send other Americans’ kids to fight, published former George W. Bush’s national security advisor Stephen Hadley’s bombastic opinion piece demanding that President Obama enforce his red lines in Syria. Hadley is not a man to mince words when war is the question. He wrote in the Post on September 8, as a US attack on Syria seemed all but inevitable:
Every American committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon should urge Congress to grant President Obama authority to use military force against the Assad regime in Syria.
It was all about US interests, Hadley argued solemnly. In reality, it had a lot to do with Hadley’s own interests. As in investments. As the Post piece pointed out today:
While Hadley’s role in the Bush administration was always noted, there was no mention of his ties to Raytheon, manufacturer of Tomahawk cruise missiles, which likely would have been fired from Navy destroyers stationed in the eastern Mediterranean in strikes against Syria. Hadley has been on the board of directors of Raytheon since 2009 and, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from June included in the new report, owned 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, now worth about $875,000. Hadley was also paid $128,500 in cash compensation by the company last year, according to a filing with the SEC.
Likewise, the Public Accountability Initiative study cited in the Post found at least 22 other “experts” featured in the media on over 100 occasions pushing for war on Syria who had direct financial stakes in the outcome. Additionally, “think tanks” like the Institute for the Study of War, which gave us undercover war cheerleader Elizabeth O’Bagy, are funded to the tune of millions of dollars by the military industrial complex to appear to impartially come to the intellectual conclusion that war is not only the best option always, it is the only option ever.
It is unfair, though, to suggest that Hadley and his fellow warmongers are only motivated to promote murder and mayhem by the promise of personal profit. A more accurate analysis would find that Hadley and his ilk, who are allowed exclusive access to the American public by the corporate media (ever seen a peace expert featured in these “news” pieces?) are true believers first and profiteers as a consequence of that philosophy.
If Jeff Bezos wants to turn the Washington Post around, perhaps he might think about cleaning out the cesspool inhabited by the likes of Fred Hiatt and his editorial page. Bezos understands how the market works, to be sure, and he might start putting two and two together to see why readers have abandoned the Post in droves…
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