Dec 13, 2013
Posted on Jun 9, 2008
By Scott Ritter
Bloom was able to provide the specifications of his idea to his NBC bosses, and in just 40 days engineers from Maritime Telecommunications Network and NBC were able to modify a Ford F-450 to not only withstand the rigors of the Iraqi desert, but also to accommodate the electronics and satellite dish. Four weeks before the start of the war, the vehicle was tested, only to have the signal drop every time the vehicle turned. The engineers worked frantically to fix the problem, and the modified F-450, nicknamed the “Bloommobile,” was airlifted to Kuwait, arriving just days before the start of the invasion.
The cost of the Bloommobile has not been formally revealed, but is thought to run into seven figures. This vehicle would never have been made without the support of GE, which underwrote the cost of its construction. GE also fronted for NBC in negotiating special clearances with the Pentagon and State Department on exceptions to policy and import-export control. The Pentagon’s official policy while the Bloommobile was being built was for embeds to ride in vehicles provided by their respective unit, and that the media were not to provide their own transportation. Clearly, the Bloommobile represented a stark exception to that rule.
Keep in mind that the entire time GE/NBC was investing millions of dollars into building the Bloommobile so the TV network could get crystal-clear live video transmitted from the “tip of the spear,” the Bush administration was playing coy on the subject of war with Iraq. With GE/NBC News so heavily invested in exploiting a war, was there any pressure placed on NBC reporters/correspondents concerning how they dealt with the Bush administration’s case for war? It is a fair question, and one that could best be dealt with through an examination of the internal GE/NBC documents concerning the Bloommobile. Who in GE/NBC served as the project manager for the Bloommobile? Certainly Bloom, the brain trust, was away in Kuwait. Who oversaw the project back in the United States? What did the Bloommobile cost? What was the internal debate within GE/NBC concerning the merits/faults of the Bloommobile? An organization like GE/NBC does not allocate millions of dollars on a whim. There had to be some sort of oversight that was documented. Who in GE/NBC fronted for the Bloommobile with the U.S. government? What is the record of communication between GE/NBC and the U.S. government concerning the vehicle? Did GE/NBC have to provide the U.S. government with any guarantees concerning the use of the Bloommobile?
In investing in the vehicle, GE/NBC News was investing in the war. There are quid pro quo arrangements made every day, and the link between the U.S. government granting NBC News so many exceptions in the creation and fielding of the Bloommobile, and the crackdown within the GE-controlled NBC/MSNBC family on anti-war and anti-administration sentiment, cannot be dismissed as simply circumstantial. But a review of the available documents would clarify this issue.
The old proverb notes that “a fish stinks from its head,” something that aptly describes the GE/NBC News team regarding the issue of Iraq. I challenge David Gregory to demonstrate otherwise.
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