Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pentagon propaganda - it's overt too

Since we're thinking about propaganda today, the Pentagon has also been running its own upfront PR department for decades. It's instructive to take a look at how they drum up support among opinion makers using tactics that fall just short of dirty tactics used by the black-ops crowd.
Every year, thousands of influential civilians are invited to fly in Air Force jets and cruise on Navy warships, all while being fed a diet rich in military boosterism. Many pay for the privilege (or have their employers do so) although the programs are significantly subsidized by the government.

The oldest and most prominent is the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, or JCOC, the tour taken by Zoller and the others. About 70 times since the program's founding in 1948, the Pentagon has used JCOC to impress civilian leaders with the wizardry of its weapons and the determination of its service members.

The JCOC website explains that participants must be "regionally or nationally influential citizens." The program's nomination form makes it clear that a participant must have "an established regional or national audience" and must be "willing to commit to sharing what he/she learns during JCOC with his/her audience."

Several weeks after this year's trip, Pentagon officials could already count their successes.
This tour, by the New England Patriot's cheerleadersseparatete from the one referenced in the article, would also seem to be one of them. Maybe they're hoping to get another Pat Tillman to enlist?
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