The Pentagon Propaganda Machine
by Senator J. William Fulbright
Vintage Books, 1971, paper
Since the I950s, as we have moved from crisis to crisis, the constitutional
responsibilities of the Congress have been eroded in dangerous
measure by the diversion of power to the President and the Joint
Chiefs and the Department of State.
It seems to me we have grown distressingly used to war. For more
than fourteen of the past twenty-eight years we have been fighting
somewhere, and we have been ready to fight almost anywhere for
the other fourteen. War and the military have become a part of
our environment, like pollution.
Violence is our most important product.
We have been spending nearly $80 billion a year on the military,
which is more than the profits of all American business, or, to
make another comparison, is almost as much as the total spending
of the federal, state, and local governments for health, education,
old age and retirement benefits, housing, and agriculture. Until
the past session of the Congress, these billions have been provided
to the military with virtually no questions asked.
The military has been operating for years
in that Elysium of the public relations man, a seller's market.
Take the climate into which the Sentinel ABM program was introduced.
Many people looked on it, as they now look on Safeguard, not as
a weapon but as a means of prosperity. For the industrialist it
meant profits; for the worker new jobs and the prospect of higher
wages; for the politician a new installation or defense order
with which to ingratiate himself with his constituents. Military
expenditures today provide the livelihood of some ten percent
of our work force. There are 22,000 major corporate defense contractors
and another 100,000 subcontractors. Defense plants or installations
are located in 363 of the country's 435 congressional districts.
Even before it turns its attention to the public-at-large, the
military has a large and sympathetic audience for its message.
These millions of Americans who have a
vested interest in the expensive weapons systems spawned by our
global military involvements are as much a part of the military-industrial
complex as the generals and the corporation heads. In turn they
have become a powerful force for the perpetuation of those involvements,
and have had an indirect influence on a weapons development policy
that has driven the United States into a spiraling arms race with
the Soviet Union and made us the world's major salesman of armaments.
A Marine war hero and former Commandant
of the Corps, General David M. Shoup, has said, "America
has become a militaristic and aggressive nation." He could
be right. Militarism has been creeping up on us during the past
thirty years. Prior to World War II, we never maintained more
than a token peacetime army. Even in 1940, with Nazi Germany sweeping
over Europe, there were fewer than half a million men in all of
the armed services. The Army, which then included the Air Corps,
had one general and four lieutenant generals. In October I941,
six weeks before Pearl Harbor, the extension of the draft law
was passed by but a single vote. Many of those who voted no did
so for partisan political reasons, but antimilitarism certainly
was a consideration for some. Today we have more than 3.5 million
men in uniform and nearly 28 million veterans of the armed forces
in the civilian population. The Air Force alone has twelve four-star
generals and forty-two lieutenant generals. The American public
has become so conditioned by crises, by warnings, by words that
there are few, other than the young, who protest against what
The situation is such that last year Senator
Allen J. Ellender of Louisiana, hardly an apostle of the New Left,
felt constrained to say:
"For almost twenty years now, many
of us in the Congress have more or less blindly followed our military
spokesmen. Some have become captives of the military. We are on
the verge of turning into a military nation."
This militarism that has crept up on us
is bringing about profound changes in the character of our society
and government-changes that are slowly undermining democratic
procedure and values.
We cannot, without doing ourselves the very injury that we seek
to secure ourselves against from foreign adversaries, pursue policies
which rely primarily on the threat or use of force, because policies
of force and the pre-eminence given to the wielders of force-the
military- are inevitably disruptive of democratic values. Alexis
de Tocqueville, that wisest of observers of American democracy,
put it this way:
War does not always give democratic societies
over to military government, but it must invariably and immeasurably
increase the powers of civil government; it must almost automatically
concentrate the direction of all men and the control of all things
in the hands of the government. If that does not lead to despotism
by sudden violence, it leads men gently in that direction by their
During the twenty years Senator Ellender
cited we have not only been infected by militarism but by another
virus as virulent-an ideological obsession about communism. The
head of steam built up in the country by the late Joe McCarthy
has never really been blown off, and the extremists of the right
utilize it to keep the hatreds that have developed over the years
as hot as possible. This heat and the ideas espoused by these
extremists produce such deceptively quick and simple solutions
as "Bomb Hanoi!" Or "Overthrow Castro!" Or
"America: Love It or Leave It!" --If we would only proclaim
and pursue our dedication to total victory over world communism,
they say, root out the subversives-real and imaginary-at home,
make our allies follow our lead in world affairs, all of our troubles
would soon be solved.
This heated climate makes militarism luxuriate,
for the military solution is also the simple solution. I am not,
of course, implying that the men of our military forces are of
the extreme right. They are in the main patriotic, hardworking,
worried men, but their parochial talents have been given too much
scope in our topsy-turvy world. There is little in the education,
training, or experience of most soldiers to equip them with the
balance of judgment needed to play the political role they now
hold in our society.
The nation needs its military men as brave
and dedicated public servants. We can get along without them as
mentors and opinion-molders. These roles have never been and,
in a time when subtlety of mind and meticulous attention to questions
of right over might ought to command us, should not now be their
During the past several years, there have been too many instances
of lack of candor and of outright misleading statements in treating
with the public. Too often we have been misled by the very apparatus
that is supposed to keep us factually informed or, in the very
strictest sense, honestly guided.
Even without breaking the limits of honest
presentation, any President and the heads of his "newsmaking"
departments can shape the flow of information the public gets.
The President has ready access to the
nation's television networks whenever he feels the need to use
them, and his press conferences attract hundreds of newsmen. His
statements and the statements of the Secretary of State and the
Secretary of Defense usually get front page treatment.
Through selectivity and timing, they can
command attention that at times is far greater than that deserved
by the content of the information released. They can give new
luster to old ideas and obliterate embarrassing events with announcements,
actions, trips, and "summit meetings." In a pinch, what
have been called "pseudoevents" can be created.
The word "propaganda" ... [stems] from the title Congregatio
de propaganda fide (Congregation, or College, for the Propagation
of the Faith)-an organization set up in I673 to train Roman Catholic
missionaries - the word through usage over the years has taken
on the meaning set forth in Webster's New International Dictionary
(Second Edition): "Now, often, secret or clandestine dissemination
of ideas, information, gossip, or the like, for the purpose of
helping, or injuring, a person, an institution, a cause, etc."
From 1951 to I959, the Congress in its annual appropriations for
the military limited the amount that could be spent on public
relations to $2,755,000. According to Hohenberg, the services
complied with the spending limit:
... by specifying that only particular duties could be classified
as public relations. They even made out weekly slips giving the
total number of hours spent in the "public relations"
function-sometimes none at all, sometimes 30 to 45 minutes out
of an entire week. It was not considered "public relations"
to "answer queries from the public," i.e. respond to
a newspaper inquiry, or to draft statements, write speeches, or
do so many of the things that are a normal part of a public relations
The congressional restriction on spending
was removed in I959.
The military public relations campaign is directed at all of the
American people ("targets," they are called in the manuals,
a nice military word adopted by Madison Avenue and readopted by
military PR people in its new sense). The audience ranges from
school children and teachers to ranchers and farmers, from union
leaders to defense contractors, from Boy Scouts to American Legionnaires.
The principal target of the military PR men, however, is the media.
Very few Americans, I am convinced, have much cognizance of the
extent of the military sell or its effects on heir lives through
the molding of their opinions, the opinions (and votes on appropriations)
of their representatives in the Congress, and the opinions of
their presumed ombudsmen in the American press.
When Congress passed the National Security Act in t947, it voted
to end the rampant rivalry among the military services and to
require each to subordinate its parochial interests to those of
the military establishment as a whole. But here we are twenty-three
years later with the Army, Navy, and Air Force each spending millions
of tax dollars annually on persuasion of the public that its particular
brand of weaponry is the best. Competition for the public's affections-and
their representatives' votes in Congress-rivals the hucksterism
of detergent manufacturers. This is hardly the conduct the public
deserves from organizations that, taken together, consume almost
half of all federal revenue.
Besides the millions spent by the separate
services on publicity, other millions are spent by the office
of the Secretary of Defense itself in its role as coordinator
of military information and as a purveyor, too.
There is little doubt that the Department of Defense and the separate
services are hard at work providing positive information to the
American public and initiating and supporting activities to build
up good public relations, but these efforts, in my view, are more
designed to persuade the American people that the military is
"good for you" than genuinely to inform.
The seminars are heavily larded with discussions of foreign affairs
covering such topics as Africa, South Asia, Comparative Political
Systems, Geopolitics, International Economics, Communist China,
and World Agriculture. The contents of those of the lectures that
I have reviewed present a simplistic, often outdated, and factually
incorrect view of complex world problems. The poor quality of
the lectures alone is sufficient justification for abolishing
the program. But the real issue is of far more fundamental importance.
It is not a proper function of the Department of Defense to educate
civilians on foreign policy issues or to teach them to be better
citizens, even if the material presented is completely objective,
which is frequently not the case.
An Anchorage, Alaska, man who attended
one of the seminars wrote to me objecting to the approach taken
by the speakers.
"Charges," he wrote, "were
made at every opportunity against most liberal activities on university
campuses and at one point condemnations were made of what were
referred to as 'skeptical congressional powers.' Outbursts of
applause followed charged comments about social disruption and
personal testimonials were made by the civilians on the floor
of the auditorium after the speakers had effectively silenced
a man asking about disarmament. At several points what could be
called nothing else but 'scare tactics' were used to intimate
that long lead [preparation] time considerations necessitated
immediately the increase of our nuclear arsenal and strategic
bomber squadrons. The C-5-A cost overruns were pooh-poohed as
'just one of those things'.... The seminar did suggest one important
thing to me. The greatest threat to American national security
is the American Military Establishment and the no-holds-barred
type of logic it uses to justify its zillion dollar existence."
The military's "education" activities are but a small
part of the total effort the Department of Defense expends on
the citizenry. Like any organization of high visibility, it has
to worry about "community relations." The presence of
large military installations and large numbers of military personnel
in populated localities naturally cause day-to-day problems with
local governments and local residents for, whatever economic advantage
may accrue due to the presence of the military near a community,
the demands put upon them are burdensome. Community relations
programs obviously are necessary. But, as with so many of its
activities, the Defense Department carries "community relations"
far beyond what would seem to be necessary. Possibly it does so
because of the normal panache of the military, but the more likely
reason is the enormous resources at its disposal.
The Pentagon can pick up a town's leading
citizens and fly them to Florida or California. It can provide
generals and admirals whose names make the headlines as speakers
for the local Kiwanis Club or Chamber of Commerce. Military units
and bands and color guards are available for celebrations. Skydiving
paratroopers can enliven the county fair. Towns with deep water
harbors can be visited by impressive Navy ships, open to public
visiting. Local high schools can have ROTC units equipped and
supported. And all at no expense to the local citizen-except in
his tax bill.
Department of Defense Directive 5410.18
of February 9, 1968, defines a "Community Relations Program"
as "that command function which evaluates public attitudes,
identifies the mission of a military organization with the public
interest, and executes a program of action to earn public understanding
and acceptance." The activities to be carried on are listed
in interesting order: "liaison and cooperation with industry,
with industrial, technical and trade associations, with labor"
lead all the rest. (Until a year or so ago, the Office of the
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs each month published
a magazine tided Defense Industry Bulletin, described in the Community
Relations Directive "as a means of direct communication with
the industrial community." It has been taken over by the
Defense Supply Agency, a more appropriate organization- if it
is appropriate to have such a close military-industrial connection.
The expressed purposes of military community
relations programs stretch beyond what would seem to be their
normal purview. Besides "developing public understanding
of and cooperation with the DoD in its community relations program"
and "assisting recruiting," the purposes include "informing
the public on the state of preparedness of the DoD" and "promoting
national security and stimulating patriotic spirit." The
multi-million-dollar public relations programs conducted by the
Pentagon and the services apparently are not enough to keep people
informed. As for "stimulating patriotic spirit," in
our present-day society where patriotism seems to be equated with
approval of billions for defense and where superpatriotism is
burgeoning, it seems to me that the military is reaching too far.
Of considerable importance to the Defense
Department in selling the military point of view is the stream
of American citizens who pass through terms of military service.
We have become a nation of veterans-now more than 28 million.
This means that more than one-fifth of our adult population has
been subjected to some degree of indoctrination in military values
and attitudes. And all have been, whether they liked it or not,
that dream of the public relations man-a captive audience.
The Pentagon today has a captive audience
numbering more than 3 million Americans in uniform, and a very
large part of Defense Department information activity is directed
at them, although not charged to general public relations activities.
The responsibility of reaching this audience, in large part, rests
with the Office of Information for the Armed Forces, a part of
the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and
Reserve Affairs). The purposes of this office, according to the
Defense Department, are "to help the commander insure that
the military men and women are fully informed in order that they
may (I) comprehend the values of our Government and our American
Heritage; (~) be fully aware of the threat to free nations; (
3 ) understand ideologies inimical to the free institutions upon
which the United States is founded; and (4) realize the responsibilities
and objectives of the individual military citizen."
All of the members of the armed forces
are exposed to programs furthering these ends throughout their
periods of service, and the 1.5 million stationed overseas beyond
the normal sources of information available at home are a truly
For soldiers, sailors, and airmen abroad
the news from home-and the news of what is happening in the world-
comes from the Office of Information for the Armed Forces. Last
year it sent to military units 8.5 million copies of 70 publications,
104,000 clip sheets for service newspapers, and 1.5 million posters,
but its largest effort was put into the Armed Forces Radio and
Television Service. AFRTS, as it is known, is the world's largest
television and radio network under single control. Its land-based
facilities consist of 704 radio stations and 80 television stations,
extending from Thailand eastward around the world to Iran, and
it has 56 radio stations and 11 television stations on Navy ships
at sea. Troops in Vietnam are served by 6 AM and 5 FM radio stations
and 6 television stations. There are 68 radio stations in Europe
and I0 television stations, some in both categories of such high
power that they blanket their areas. One television station in
Iran serves fewer than 800 servicemen, but many Iranians, it is
reported, have adapters on their TV sets so that they can watch
the latest fare from the American television networks. The cost
of operating this network, without including associated military
salaries, runs into the tens of millions of dollars annually.
Programming costs, however, are relatively
small, since ABC, CBS, and NBC provide videotapes of their entertainment
programs free to AFRTS's Los Angeles office for distribution world-wide.
For its radio programming, both news and entertainment, AFRTS
draws on the three major networks, the Mutual Broadcasting System,
Metromedia, and the Sports Network, and for news has the network
output plus that of the Associated Press and United Press International.
With this enormous amount of programming
available- 450,000 radio program transcriptions and 60 million
feet of TV film annually-it would seem that the serviceman abroad
would be very well served and very well informed. He is well served-by
entertainment, for entertainment makes up the bulk of the broadcasts.
But the news he gets first has to go through several military
sieves before it reaches the uniformed listener or viewer overseas,
and the sievers are people conditioned by the purposes of the
Office of Information for the Armed Forces described above.
Historically, there have been barriers in the United States against
the military establishment's acquiring political influence. These
barriers have been anchored in the country's non-military traditions,
the principle of civilian supremacy, and the fact that until World
War II we never tried to maintain a large permanent military force.
Today, however, as a result of thirty
years of hot and cold war, the military has become an active participant
in national policy processes. The influence of the Defense Department
and its component parts in making national policy is not limited
to Presidents, Secretaries o£ State, and the military and
foreign policy committees of the Congress. This influence extends
also to the "think tanks" and universities to which
Defense parcels out lucrative research grants, to the corporations
and labor unions which profit from Defense contracts, and (s preceding
pages of this book have tried to demonstrate to public opinion.
Although I cannot conceive of a single top-ranking officer in
any of the armed services who today would consider an attempt
to overturn our constitutional government ... militarism as a
philosophy poses a distinct threat to our democracy. At the minimum,
it represents a dangerously constricted but highly influential
point of view when focused on our foreign relations. It is a viewpoint
that by its nature takes little account of political and moral
complexities, even less of social and economic factors, and almost
no account of human and psychological considerations.
Rarely does a general officer invoke the
higher loyalty of patriotism-his own concept of it, that is-over
loyalty to civilian political authority, as General MacArthur
did in his defiance of President Truman. But if, as time goes
on, our country continues to be chronically at war, continues
to neglect its domestic problems, and continues to have unrest
in cities and on campuses, then militarism will surely increase.
And even if the military itself does not take over the government
directly, it could-because of increasing use in domestic crises-come
to acquire power comparable to that of the German General Staff
in the years before World ,War I. I hope this never comes to pass.
It may not seem likely now, but it is by no means so inconceivable
that we need not warn against it and act to prevent it.
I have often warned those students who
talk of the need to revise our system by revolution that if such
a revolution were to take place, the government that would emerge
for our country would not be the one they seek. It would rather
be authoritarian and controlled by the very forces who today promote
military solutions to foreign policy problems.
The leadership of professional military
officer corps stems from a few thousand high-ranking officers
of unusual ability and energy that comes of single-mindedness.
Marked as men of talents by their rise to the highest ranks through
the rigorous competitiveness of the military services, they bring
to bear a strength in conviction and a near unanimity of outlook
that gives them an influence, in government councils and in Congress,
on public policy disproportionate to their numbers. Disciplined
and loyal to their respective services, with added prestige derived
from heroic combat records, they operate with an efficiency not
often found among civilian officials.
The danger to public policy arises from
civilian authorities adopting the narrowness of outlook of professional
soldiers-an outlook restricted by training and experience to the
use of force. As we have developed into a society whose most prominent
business is violence, one of the leading professions inevitably
is soldiering. Since they are the professionals, and civilian
bureaucrats refuse to challenge them, the military have become
ardent and effective competitors for power in American society.
The services compete with each other for
funds, for the control of weapons systems, and for the privilege
of being "first to fight." Constantly improving their
techniques for rapid deployment, they not only yearn to try them
out but when opportunities arise they press their proposals on
civilian authorities. The latter group all too often is tempted
by the seemingly quick "surgical" course of action proposed
by the military in preference to the long and wearisome methods
of diplomacy. For a variety of reasons- from believing it the
only course of action to testing equipment and techniques of counterinsurgency,
or just to avoid the disgrace of being "left out"-all
the military services were enthusiastic about the initial involvement
in Vietnam. By now they should have had their fill, but they still
push on, trying out new weapons and new strategies-such as "destroying
sanctuaries" in Cambodia.
The root cause of militarism is war, and
so long as we have the one we will be menaced by the other. The
best defense against militarism is peace; the next best thing
is the vigorous practice of democracy. The dissent against our
government's actions in Southeast Asia, the opposition to the
ABM and MIRV, and the increased willingness of many in the Congress
to do something about the hitherto sacrosanct military budget
are all encouraging signs of democracy being practiced. But there
is much in American polity these days that is discouraging.
There seems to be a lack of concern among
too many people about the state of the nation, and a too easy
acceptance of policies and actions of a kind that a generation
ago would have appalled the citizenry. The apparent broad acceptance
of the "volunteer army" idea comes to mind- a concept
completely at variance with our historic development. Up to now,
a blessing of our system has been that those who go into the military
service, whether by enlistment or through the draft, could hardly
wait to get out. But today, because of the exigencies of the times,
there is a chance that we may turn our back on this fundamental
principle: a large, standing professional army has no place in
Along with promoting militarism as part
of our society, the mindless violence of war has eaten away at
our moral values as well as our sensitivity. Reporters covering
the domestic aspects of the My Lai massacre story in the home
area of Lieutenant Robert Calley were surprised to find loud support
for the accused-not sympathy, which might be expected, but support.
Among these people there seemed to be no recognition of possible
wrongdoing or criminal act in the alleged massacre.
Beyond the discouragements-and even the
disturbing things such as the Cambodian adventure and our activities
in Thailand and Laos-one has to hope, with reason drawn from our
history, that the traditional workings of our system and the innate
common sense of Americans will prevail. The task certainly is
not going to be easy. We have been so stunned, almost desensitized-like
Lieutenant Calley's supporters-by what has gone on during the
recent past that it is almost possible to turn to total pessimism.
History did not prepare the American people for the imperial role
in which we find ourselves, and we are paying a moral price for
it. From the time of the framing of our Constitution to the two
world wars, our experience and values-if not our uniform practice-conditioned
us not for the unilateral exercise of power but for the placing
of limits upon it. Perhaps it was vanity, but we supposed that
we could be an example for the world-an example of rationality
Our practice has not lived up to that
ideal but, from the earliest days of the Republic, the ideal has
retained its hold upon us, and every time we have acted inconsistently
with it-not just in Vietnam and Cambodia-a hue and cry of opposition
has arisen. When the United States invaded Mexico two former Presidents
and a future one-John Quincy Adams, Van Buren, and Lincoln-denounced
the war as violating American principles. Adams, the senior of
them, is even said to have expressed the hope that General Taylor's
officers would resign and his men desert. When the United States
fought a war with Spain and then suppressed the patriotic resistance
of the Philippines, the ranks of opposition numbered two former
Presidents - Harrison and Cleveland-Senators and Congressmen,
including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and such
distinguished-and differing-individuals as Andrew Carnegie and
The incongruity between our old values
and the new unilateral power we wield has greatly troubled the
American people. It has much to do, I suspect, with the current
student rebellion. Like a human body reacting against a transplanted
organ, our body politic is reacting against the alien values which,
in the name of security, have been grafted upon it. We cannot,
and dare not, divest ourselves of power, but we have a choice
as to how we will use it. We can try to ride out the current convulsion
in our society and adapt ourselves to a new role as the world's
nuclear vigilante. Or we can try to adapt our power to our traditional
values, never allowing it to become more than a means toward domestic
societal ends, while seeking every opportunity to discipline it
within an international community.
It is not going to help us to reach these
ends to have a -president fearful that we are going to be "humiliated,"
nor for him to turn to the military as a prime source of advice
on foreign affairs. In the case of Cambodia the President accepted
military advice during the decision-making process, apparently
in preference to that of the Department of State, thereby turning
to an initial military solution rather than a diplomatic or political
one. Of course the Senate was not consulted. Once the treaty power
of the Senate was regarded as the only constitutional means of
making a significant foreign commitment, while executive agreements
in foreign affairs were confined to matters of routine. Today
the treaty has been reduced to only one of a number of methods
of entering binding foreign engagements. In current usage the
term "commitment" is used less often to refer to obligations
deriving from treaties than to those deriving from executive agreements
and even simple, sometimes casual declarations.
The Department of State is not alone among the agencies of government
awed as well as outmanned, outmaneuvered, or simply elbowed aside
by executive military decision-making. The Defense Department
has established a massive bureaucracy, like that at the Department
of Commerce, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare, and all the rest who protect their positions
and interests within the mechanism of governmental power and appropriations.
When war was abhorrent to the American
people, the military was considered only as a tool to be used
if needed. Today, with our chronic state of war, and with peace
becoming the unusual, the military has created for itself an image
as a comforting thing to have around. In reality, however, it
has become a monster bureaucracy that can grind beneath its wheels
the other bureaucracies, whatever their prescribed roles in the
process of government and their legitimate needs.
One of the arms of the Defense Department
monster bureaucracy is the military public relations apparatus
that today is selling the Administration's Southeast Asia policy,
just as it sold the Vietnam policy of the previous Administration,
with increasing emphasis on patriotic militarism and activity
directed against its critics. The enthusiasm and dedication of
the purveyors of the hard military line are such that their present
course could easily be changed so as to direct attention to the
removal of those in the Congress who question actions of the executive
branch and the growth of military influence.
The real solution to militarism, of course, requires a central
attack on the previously uncontrolled size of the military establishment.
The growth of the military attitude began in perilous times when
an implacable Stalin and . world communism were a major threat
to the noncommunist world recovering from a devastating war. But
the growth of real Pentagon political power did not begin until
we became increasingly involved in Vietnam seven years ago.
... there is danger to our democracy from the dehumanizing kind
of war we are fighting [in Vietnam] that produces among the military
an insensitivity to life hard for the civilian to comprehend.
We have fought many wars before, but none since our Revolution
has lasted as long as the present one. Officers and noncoms go
back to Southeast Asia for second and third tours of duty, to
engage in second and third rounds of killing. Such long immersion
in violence of the kind peculiar to this war cannot but brutalize
many of those who go through it. Harper's magazine in its May
I970 issue ran an excerpt from Seymour M. Hersh's book on the
My Lai massacre.
Hersh wrote, "One brigade commander
ran a contest to celebrate his unit's 10,000th enemy kill. The
winning GI received a week's pass to stay in the colonel's personal
quarters. Many battalions staged contests among their rifle companies
for the highest score in enemy kills, with the winning unit getting
additional time for passes." I recall nothing during World
War II that equals in callousness a statement that Hersh attributes
to the colonel-son of a famous general: "I do like to see
the arms and legs fly." Horrifying words, but no more so
than the euphemisms "body count," "free-fire zone,"
and others the military use to camouflage their deadly business.