Pentagon Propaganda Is Booming

Posted on Feb 5, 2009

USAF / Tech. Sgt. Charlein Sheets

Air Force Maj. Robert Brooks (right) waits for his cue from Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Posten, with the Army and Air Force Hometown News Service, to begin taping a holiday greeting at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The military’s spin budget—covering recruitment, advertising and public relations—has jumped 63 percent over the last five years, to $4.7 billion, according to a yearlong investigation by the Associated Press. The Pentagon pays nearly as many people to influence public opinion as the State Department has in its entire work force.

Ever hear of the Hometown News Service? You’re not supposed to. It’s an arm of the military’s influence regime that tries to place stories in mainstream news outlets. It is against the law for the Pentagon to propagandize at home, but that line has blurred over the years.

AP via Google:

An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That’s almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006.

This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department.

“We have such a massive apparatus selling the military to us, it has become hard to ask questions about whether this is too much money or if it’s bloated,” says Sheldon Rampton, research director for the Committee on Media and Democracy, which tracks the military’s media operations. “As the war has become less popular, they have felt they need to respond to that more.”