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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:06 PM
Original message
You paid for Iraq propoganda: PR firm cashes in on * connections
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:33 PM by NVMojo
I am beginning to think that Reid, Kennedy and Lautenberg know exactly where they are taking their information demands of the Bush administrations' PR PROGANDA CONTRACTS .....

Thursday, September 2, 2004

The $14,390 that the Rendon Group received for videotaping a state police graduation is a drop in the ocean of money it has received helping support the Bush administration's war on terrorism.

The firm, headed by veteran Democratic operatives John and Rick Rendon, has also piled up an impressive roster of state contracts even under Republican administrations over the past 13 years.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist hijackings, the Pentagon hired the Rendon Group to orchestrate sympathetic media coverage around the globe, including Muslim countries. The firm has worked for the government of Kuwait since the Persian Gulf War.


In the 1990s, the CIA hired the Rendon Group to wage a public relations war against Saddam Hussein, spending a reported $23 million. Some of the disinformation efforts, such as fake radio newscasts making fun of Hussein and beamed into Iraq, were produced in Boston, according to published reports.


and this one...

The Rendon Group is a secretive public relations firm that has assisted a number of U.S. military interventions in nations including Argentina, Colombia, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Panama and Zimbabwe. Rendon's activities include organizing the Iraqi National Congress, a PR front group designed to foment the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

and this ...

This war brought to you by Rendon Group

WASHINGTON - "Word got around the department that I was a good Arabic translator who did a great Saddam imitation," recalls the Harvard grad student. "Eventually, someone phoned me, asking if I wanted to help change the course of Iraq policy."

So twice a week, for US$3,000 a month, the Iraqi student says, under condition of anonymity, that he took a taxi from his campus apartment to a Boston-area recording studio rented by the Rendon Group, a DC-based public relations firm with close ties to the US government. His job: translate and dub spoofed Saddam Hussein speeches and tongue-in-cheek newscasts for broadcast throughout Iraq.

snip ....

"Were it not for Rendon," a State Department official remarked, "the Chalabi group wouldn't even be on the map."


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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:59 PM by NVMojo /

interesting article here ...

this folks have been involved with both Republican and Democrats for a long time, as long as they've been involved in Iraqi stuff.
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. War Needs Good Public Relations
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:47 PM by NVMojo
this is fascinating, really ...

October 25, 2001

By Norman Solomon
For some people, war is terror, disaster and death. For others, it's a PR problem.

At the Rendon Group, a public-relations firm with offices in Boston and Washington, pleasant news arrived the other day with a $397,000 contract to help the Pentagon look good while bombing Afghanistan. The four-month deal includes an option to renew through most of 2002.


Writing a decade ago, Secunda foreshadowed the kind of coverage we're now seeing. "In the aftermath of the war with Iraq, strategic planners, preparing for future wars, are unquestionably examining the lessons gleaned from this triumphant experience. One of the most important lessons learned is the necessity of mobilizing strong public support, through the projection of a powerful and tightly controlled PR program, with particular effort directed toward the realization of positive news coverage."

As bombs routinely fall on Afghanistan, that's the kind of coverage that dominates television screens in the United States. For now, anyway, the Pentagon is winning its PR war at home.


and this ...

How To Sell a War
The Rendon Group deploys perception management in the war on Iraq

By Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber | 8.4.03

As U.S. tanks stormed into Baghdad on April 9, television viewers in the United States got their first feel-good moment of the wara chance to witness the toppling of a giant statue of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.


"Of course, we have no way of knowing whether Rendon or any other PR specialist helped influence the toppling of Saddams statue or other specific images that the public saw during the war in Iraq. Public relations firms often do their work behind the scenes, and Rendonwith whom the Pentagon signed a new agreement in February 2002is usually reticent about his work. But his description of himself as a perception manager echoes the language of Pentagon planners, who define perception management as actions to convey and (or) deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover, and deception, and psyops .

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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. this is not really different then the Williams case ...
you may not agree with me but I see a pattern and I am from the Democratic X-Files group...

"Paul Morans work for the INC and the Rendon group has raised the issue of whether he should have been employed by the ABC. Former weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, speaking on the Australian program Dateline, accused the Rendon Group of peddling lies and distortions to the media on behalf of the US government. Norman Solomon, the Executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-author of Target Iraq: What the News Media Didnt Tell You told me that:

I believe that while its possible for a journalist to work for the Rendon Group, its impossible for anyone to function as a journalist while working for the Rendon Group. In other words, journalistic work is supposed to be about seeking truth and reporting truthfully. Public relations is about spinning and often distorting to benefit the paying client."
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Kucinich questioned the Rendon contract in relationship with to Wilson and
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 01:31 AM by NVMojo
Iraq and lies in general isn't just me ...I just didn't know about this group at the time ...and their involvement today ...

To me, hiring a pr firm to promote the Bush war agenda in Iraq with the media is no different than the Armstrong Williams quarter of a million dollar contract to market NCLB for Bush to black's all the same ...only the war marketing killed people...

Kucinich Sends Letter To Rumsfled Demanding

Answers On His Role In Promoting Misinformation

In The Lead Up To The War Against Iraq

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), joined by Reps. Lee (D-CA), Sanders (I-VT), Maloney (D-NY), Carson (D-IN), Grijalva (D-AZ), and Clay (D-MO, today, sent the following letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to demand answers on his role in promoting misinformation in the lead-up to the war against Iraq:

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

While it has now been widely reported that evidence President Bush used in the 2003 State of the Union, purporting to show that Iraq was trying to acquire nuclear uranium from Niger, was known to be inaccurate even before the State of the Union was delivered, your own role in the dissemination of that disinformation has not been explained by you or the White House:

You emphasized the uranium claim in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee on September 19, 2002, seven months after it was determined to be false by Ambassador Wilson and General Fulford;

At your direction, a new intelligence office within the Department of Defense was created specifically to reassess evidence of Iraqs WMD, and

At your direction, the Pentagon entered into a contractual relationship with The Rendon Group, a public relations firm which has also worked on behalf of the Iraqi National Congress and Ahmed Chalabi.


and some tie Rendon to the "staged" Hussein capture.


The capture of Saddam constitutes the climax of the Rendon Group's gruesome media spin. TRG President John Rendon refers to "perception management" as a psych-ops used to mislead people and change their perceptions through disinformation and distorted images.

Saddam had allegedly "begged his captors to meet with Chalabi". Whether this meeting actually took place remains to be established.

Not only is Saddam Hussein denigrated and humiliated, Chalabi, a man with a criminal record, created from scratch by The Rendon Group on the orders of the CIA, is now portrayed as the new "Democratic" leader of Iraq. Chalabi was convicted in Jordan for 31 counts of embezzlement, theft, and currency speculation, and sentenced to 22 years. Perhaps that's what is meant by "regime change": install a man with a criminal record, who will always obey orders.


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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Will Pitt knows ....wish I'd seen this back in September ...
hopefully Reid and company have ...this is what the bush admin did with Armstrong Williams ....

"Companies like The Rendon Group are a bellweather for exactly how depraved our journalistic institutions have become. Millions of dollars in government contracts are there for the taking by anyone who wants to scam the media with bogus stories. The media is more than happy to oblige, because it relieves them of having to put the necessary work in. Meanwhile, stories that might negatively affect the parent companies go by the boards, and everyone is happy. "

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Donna Zen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:21 AM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for posting this:
I took the time to type out a bit from Bamford's book "A Pretext for War" and posted it on another thread. And while my feelings weren't hurt, it was discouraging that no one bothered to comment. I think this is very important. Anyway, here's what I wrote:

At the same time, a similar exclusive TV deal was offered to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation through freelance tele-journalist Paul Moran...But it was later discovered the Moran was anything but a disinterested journalist. It turns out he had previously worked extensively for Chalabi and the INC, making anti-Saddam propaganda films. Worse, he also worked for a shadowy American company, The Rendon Group, that had been paid close to $200 million by the CIA and Pentagon to spread anti-Saddam propaganda worldwide...

The firm is headed by John W. Rendon, a rumpled man often seen in a beret an military fatigues, who calls himself an information warrior and a perception manager. Its specialty is manipulating thought and spreading propaganda...Soon after the attacks of September 11, the company received a $100,000-a month contract from the Pentagon to offer media strategy advice...

The Rendon Groups specialty--to gin up the American publics fear over Saddam Hussein. If so, it would have been illegal under U.S. law, which forbids the use of taxpayer money to propagandize the American public. (A Pretext for War, Bamford, 295-298)

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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. that situation is sort of like the Ketchum contract with Bush and Williams
to promote NCLB, embedding a journalist who is on the employ of a government funded pr agency instead ...

Don't feel bad, I think this stuff is over some people's heads or just boring ...we all know we were lied to about WMD, etc. but it is rude to understand we paid for the lies.

here's a new story:

Wanted: Ad agency to aid global battle on terrorism
Special Operations Command seeks a private firm to put a more persuasive face on U.S. efforts overseas.

U.S. Special Operations Command, whose antiterrorist missions are usually conducted in utmost secrecy, is in the market for an ad agency.

But the group's commanders, headquartered at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base, aren't seeking professional help to promote their troops' real-life Rambo exploits to potential recruits.

Instead, Special Operations Command, or SOCom, wants help making slick multilingual audio, video, print and Web packages to support its global psychological war against terrorism.

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Donna Zen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. They just blamed Clinton this morning.
Well you knew they would. On MTP, the reporter from the NYT said that Clinton was worse.

First: WTF difference does it make? When taxpayer money is used to propagandize them, how many ways can one say Big Brother. R v D is NOT the issue.

Second: Let's apply the "apples and oranges" test. It is one thing to sell the American people an illegal, unnecessary, and friggin stupid-ass deadly war, it is by many degrees a different thing to hire a firm to package a domestic policy. Did Clinton use public funds to pay (read bribe) news commentators to shill for a pork laden piece of shit? or a war?

I don't know why people aren't interested in this although I'm not ready to write it off. Judith Miller while not accepting bribes outright, got lots of goodies for going around with her hair on fire. The "Faith Based" money grab is yet another example of how the game is now being played.

These are great links you are providing. Thanks again.
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