The world is conspiring to destroy any vestige of respect I have for Barry McCaffrey. Last year, the New York Times published a massive story about how McCaffrey shilled on cable news repeatedly for the interests of defense corporations that keep him on the payroll without disclosing any ties to corporations like DynCorp. Now, MediaMatters catching NBC, having evidently learned nothing, letting McCaffrey argue against Afghanistan withdrawal without so much as mentioning that winding down the war would impact DynCorp’s bottom line.
Now, for all I know, McCaffrey believes that setting a date for withdrawal would be a disaster for U.S. interests. But it doesn’t matter. As long as he’s tied to a defense company that profits from the war, we have no choice but to suspect that he’s acting as an agent of the company on television, not the independent defense analyst NBC presents. The greater sin here is NBC’s. If McCaffrey wants to sell out, he’s within his rights. I’m also within mine not to respect that position. But NBC has no right to deceive its viewers.