Various right-wing bloggers and pundits defend themselves from charges of hackery. They do so about as well as they defend any of their other positions, which is to say, poorly.
UPDATE: There's a couple of other points I want to make. First off, how does it not strike more people as egregious that the military is engaging in a PR campaign to sell success in Iraq and Afghanistan to the American people? Is that what we're paying soldiers in the Pentagon to do? Blow smoke up our collective assses? Could those man-hours and personnel not be better utilized actually fighting the "war on terror" or something?
Second, about a year or so ago TWM got an email from someone in CENTCOM's communications unit, asking us to sign up for CENTCOM's weekly newsletter. It was obviously a form email, which I'm sure went out to hundreds if not thousands of other bloggers, but I signed us up for it anyway. Lo and behold, the newsletter is not so much full of "news" so much as it's a recitation of various "victories" in Iraq and Afghanistan, including weapons caches discovered, insurgents rounded up, schools painted, etc., etc. Now that's not to say that CENTCOM should have a hard hitting news wing that supplies expert analysis on the "war on terror." It would be silly to expect anything else from such a newsletter, and various units all throughout the military publish their own newsletters that are mostly not full of hard-hitting news on the "war on terror." The real issue is, why is somebody spending their time finding bloggers and other writers to disseminate their newsletter to? What's the point, if not to sell their mission, and thus the war, to the American people via these bloggers? And now Ken Silverstein tells us there's a special unit at the Pentagon whose job it is to do exactly that. But they're hardly alone, and hardly the first. How long has this sort of thing been going on? And who else has "super duper secret" contacts in the military that turn into blog posts or columns touting the war in Iraq, or Afghanistan?