The Pentagon's Pundits

Pentagon PunditIn early 2002, the Pentagon began cultivating retired military officers who frequently serve as media commentators, so that they would help make the case for invading Iraq. The pundit program continued -- promoting the Bush administration's stance on the Guantanamo Bay detention center, warrantless wiretapping and other hot-button issues -- until the New York Times exposed its existence in April 2008. The Times had obtained 8,000 pages of documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. Shortly after the Times story ran, the Pentagon made the same documents available on its website.

However, the documents released by the Pentagon were formatted in such a way that text searches could not be performed on them. This made systematic analysis of the information nearly impossible. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), a non-profit organization with a mission of exposing media spin and government propaganda, worked to make this information fully accessible to anyone with Internet access.

The Pentagon pundit documents

CMD has made text-searchable versions of the Pentagon pundit documents available:

  • on SourceWatch, CMD's collaborative encyclopedia of the people, issues and groups shaping the public agenda; and
  • on, a document-sharing website.

Note that the easiest way to search for a term across all of the Pentagon pundit documents is to go to this page on and use the "Search within the Pentagon pundit documents Group" option in the left sidebar.

Reporting on the Pentagon's pundits

The following are CMD reports on and analyses of the Pentagon pundit program and documents:

In addition, CMD's SourceWatch website contains an entry on the program, which (among other things) lists all known participants, with links to profiles of many of them. If you would like to add information to this or any other SourceWatch article, you can register here, and learn more about how the site works here, here and here.


If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact CMD by phone at +1-608-260-9713 or by email at (replace "AT" with "@").


I hope you can get some of your peers to help you out on this one Senator Kerry. Seems they're all afraid of big media. I dunno if it's because they take cash from them or are afraid the media might dig up dirt on them. Our 'democracy­' is going illiberal awfully fast. Brain Williams is defending his general "friends" that he bonded with in Iraq on his blog, but zippered his lips on the air. Other than that and a brief mention by Keith Olbermann, not a word from the rest of the for profit broadcast media. It's way past time to revisit media ownership rules.