And Lucian Truscott IV, the former West Point man, observed:
The Pentagon may have been dragged kicking and screaming into its current embrace of the news media. But it is making the most of it. Planners must have contemplated advances in media technology and decided that if they can't control the press, they may as well use it.
And make no mistake: the news media are being used -- in more ways than they realize. When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld first announced that reporters would be welcome in the trenches, members of the media were suspicious. After all, this was the same Pentagon that kept journalists far from the front lines during the Persian Gulf war.
Yet from reporters inhaling the exhaust of infantry units to bleary-eyed New York anchors spellbound by squads of generals analyzing the data stream, the news media have marched practically in lock step with the military.
Greg Mitchell's book "So Wrong For So Long," on the media and the Iraq war, was published today in an updated edition and for the first time as an e-book, with preface by Bruce Springsteen.Not since the halcyon days of Ronald Reagan has an administration been so adept at managing information and manipulating images. In Iraq, the Bush administration has beaten the press at its own game. It has turned the media into a weapon of war, using the information it provides to harass and intimidate the Iraqi military leadership.