My first impression, beyond the usual sense of horror and anger I usually experience when I read one of these Bush Administration classics, is simply this; I am consistently amazed at the disparity between what can only be characterized as an innovative, sophisticated, propaganda scheme cooked up by this Administration and the Pentagon, and the utter incompetence bordering on stupidity that goes into planning all that other minor stuff, like the war in Iraq and dealing with the threat posed by Al Queda.
Just go ahead and read the article if you haven't and tell me you aren't struck by how slick that campaign was and is, and how botched up the actual military mission is. Let's look at an example:
Again and again, records show, the administration has enlisted analysts as a rapid reaction force to rebut what it viewed as critical news coverage, some of it by the networks’ own Pentagon correspondents. For example, when news articles revealed that troops in Iraq were dying because of inadequate body armor, a senior Pentagon official wrote to his colleagues: “I think our analysts — properly armed — can push back in that arena.”[emphasis mine]
And they did push back, very skillfully and effectively. But, did they respond to the body armor and vehicle armor issue with that same level of skill and competence?
Instead, they concentrated on the political element, the pushback in the media. Body armor and vehicle armor issues persisted for years to come. That's swell guys. Thank goodness you managed the all important media war and allowed the tangential shooting war to dissolve into chaos and cause all that death. Too bad about the dead people. We'll have to make sure anyone upset about that is Swiftboated or has their right to vote stripped from them in some electoral scheme.
I think these people actually might have made me despise them more. Good Effort Bush Team! Way to keep it up right to the very end!