The military-pundit-think tank complex

When it comes to issues of war, we are aware of the famous military-industrial complex that exerts enormous influence in setting the agenda and driving the nation into one war after another. But what is less noted is the military-pundit-think tank complex where people pose on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and blogs as disinterested analysts when in actual fact they are often paid, directly or indirectly (by the Pentagon, companies, and think tanks) by interests that benefit directly from war.

News organizations are notoriously lax about requiring full disclosure of these conflicts of interest and informing the public, especially when some of their own internal paid consultants are involved. The lead up to the Iraq war saw people serving as military experts on TV who had undisclosed consulting agreements with the US military or with companies that had an interest in the war.

The group Public Accountability Initiative has published a report on the conflicts of interest of people who were in the media during the build up to the attack of Syria and were enthusiastically urging the US to bomb that country.


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