Straight-Faced Shilling, and a Media Fail.
A report by the Public Accountability Initiative unspools the connections of many voices that advocated military intervention in Syria to manufacturers that stood to benefit from arms sales or other contracts related to such military action.
Along the way, it lays bare as well the defense-industry connections of many supposedly independent think tanks that inform public discourse on American military activities.
Stephen Hadley, above, was lead example. Bold-face below added for emphasis of a key point.
During the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed headlined “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.”
In each case, Hadley’s audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. Hadley earns $128,500 in annual cash compensation from the company and chairs its public affairs committee. He also owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadley’s share’s worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert.
Though Hadley’s undisclosed conflict is particularly egregious, it is not unique. The following report documents the industry ties of Hadley, 21 other media commentators, and seven think tanks that participated in the media debate around Syria. Like Hadley, these individuals and organizations have strong ties to defense contractors and other defense- and foreign policy-focused firms with a vested interest in the Syria debate, but they were presented to their audiences with a veneer of expertise and independence, as former military officials, retired diplomats, and independent think tanks.
Most anyone who examines weapons and their effects knows the Tomahawk is an overrated system (in part because it is a media darling, related to this kind of sales campaign), and that its use has been the source of enduring American government falsehoods (cf, Yemen, Dec. 2009). A hat tip to PAI for pointing to the repeated appearance of a director of the Tomahawk manufacturer advocating, in essence, for more Tomahawk use.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPH
From the WSJ.
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