The recent revelaltions by former Bush press secretary, Scott McClellan, about efforts to sell the Iraq invasion by Republicans, has once again raised questions concerning the role of the military in how it presents itself to the American public. Is it conveying information or is it part of a propaganda machine trying to sell administration policies? Democrats in Congress are pushing a bill that would prohibit the miitary from enaging in “any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinion, emotions, attitudes or behavior of the people of the United States of America in order to benefit the sponsor either directly or indirectly.” Of course, it would still allow the military to conduct recruiting campaingns which glorify military service.
In April, the New York Times reported how the Pentagon spent years propagandizing retired mlitary officers by providing information to them about wonderful conditions in the Guantanamo Bay prison. The new legislation may have noble goals, but at the end of the day, the Pentagon will be selling itself as the defender of America. All organizations attempt to portray themselves as being necessary to the needs of America.