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Critics accuse US military of trying to censo -

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ELEANOR HALL: Now to the moves by the US military to shape Hollywood's take on the continuing wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The military says it wants to help a new generation of filmmakers present what it calls a "more
realistic" representation of America's men and women in uniform.

But critics say the US military is trying to censor films and that Hollywood studios are selling
out.

Washington correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: Many of the movies about Iraq have been controversial.

MALE (movie excerpt): With a shortage of guys and no draft they're shipping back soldiers who are
supposed to be getting out.

KIM LANDERS: The film Stop Loss deals with a veteran who refuses to go back for another tour of
duty. It's no surprise movies like this haven't won the approval of the US military.

But one man is trying to change that. Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale was stationed in Iraq in
2006. Now this former artillery officer works in public affairs for the US Army.

With posters from movies like "Black Hawk Down" and "War of the Worlds" on the walls of his Los
Angeles office, Todd Breasseale is embarking on a different mission - helping movie makers deliver
what he calls a "more realistic" version of the US army.

TODD BREASSEALE: In fact I'm looking at my desk right now and I have seven scripts on the desk
right now that are yet to be cracked in to.

Sometimes the scripts just want some technical advice - how would the chain of command work, how
would a given army specific manoeuvre happen and how could we best capture it on film; sometimes
they just want equipment, and sometimes they will send us a script that will literally have pages
blank with just sort of notes that say "military dialogue", whereby they want me to sort of help
them with generational specific dialogue.

You know, the US army just like the Australian forces is a generational force and our vernacular
changes as we evolve.

KIM LANDERS: What do you say to some people in Hollywood who could argue that your script advice is
really some sort of censorship, some sort of attempt to spin the war?

TODD BREASSEALE: Well I would ask them to define what censorship is then, because as our US Supreme
Court has defined censorship, and as I understand it from legal definitions, censorship is where I
as a government entity would go to someone who is expressing an artistic vision and saying "not
only are you not going to do this, but I'm going to tell you how to do it, and if you do it any way
then I'm going to make sure that you don't work again". That to me is censorship.

When I offer advice, or when my colleagues here offer advice it's because we have been solicited to
do so.

KIM LANDERS: David Robb is the Los Angeles-based author of the book "Operation Hollywood", which
investigated the relationship between film makers and the Pentagon.

DAVID ROBB: The truth is they could hire former military people for that. Any former military,
there are plenty of military, former military people in Hollywood who could tell them how things
work.

What filmmakers really want is the equipment, the stuff that would cost them a lot of money to try
to rent or create with computer-generated imaging. The producers want to save money and the
military want to put positive portrayals of the military in front of the American people.

KIM LANDERS: Not many of the latest batch of movies about Iraq or Afghanistan have been box office
hits.

Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale thinks he knows why.

TODD BREASSEALE: Well, ma'am I think you're dealing with an increasingly sophisticated audience who
knows what to look for.

So when you have a movie that paints soldiers in this sort of massive, broad brushstroke where
they're essentially, every soldier who returns from Iraq is a broken soldier or every soldier who
comes back has an extreme PTSD issue, or every soldier who goes over and then comes back is a
hapless victim - the American public know better than that, and I think the publics around the
globe simply do not appreciate being preached to.

ELEANOR HALL: Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale ending that report from Washington correspondent
Kim Landers.