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November 21, 2005
Selling War

Via Andrew Tobias today, a Rolling Stone article that lays out yet more of the Bush Administration's construction of a web of lies to lead us to war.

For months, hawks inside and outside the administration had been pressing for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Now, thanks to Miller's story, they could point to "proof" of Saddam's "nuclear threat." The story, reinforced by Moran's on-camera interview with al-Haideri on the giant Australian Broadcasting Corp., was soon being trumpeted by the White House and repeated by newspapers and television networks around the world. It was the first in a long line of hyped and fraudulent stories that would eventually propel the U.S. into a war with Iraq -- the first war based almost entirely on a covert propaganda campaign targeting the media.

The corporation mentioned, The Rendon Group has already offered a rebuttal of the article. Or, bits of it, anyhow. They don't address the parts of the story about their complicity in murders in Panama or our betrayal of the Kuwaiti people under GHWBush. They do "rebut" one thing that's already denied in the article. (Still, to be fair, I'm offering the link.)

The most damning Iraq-related claims don't necessarily involve them directly. For instance, why was this highly unreliable and explosive "intelligence" source being interviewed by Judith Miller and Paul Moran only days after his outrageous story was heard and identified as demonstrably false?

There can be no explanation for this except the deliberate spreading of lies to the USofA and, indeed, the world public. (I'm looking at Judith Miller with new eyes these days. I have to say, it looks like she was set up.)

The key element of Rendon's INC operation was a worldwide media blitz designed to turn Hussein, a once dangerous but now contained regional leader, into the greatest threat to world peace. Each month, $326,000 was passed from the CIA to the Rendon Group and the INC via various front organizations. Rendon profited handsomely, receiving a "management fee" of ten percent above what it spent on the project. According to some reports, the company made nearly $100 million on the contract during the five years following the Gulf War.

Rendon made considerable headway with the INC, but following the group's failed coup attempt against Saddam in 1996, the CIA lost confidence in Chalabi and cut off his monthly paycheck. But Chalabi and Rendon simply switched sides, moving over to the Pentagon, and the money continued to flow. "The Rendon Group is not in great odor in Langley these days," notes Bruner. "Their contracts are much more with the Defense Department."

It's a truly astonishing article. The Man Who Sold the War.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:01 AM