Does anyone remember the Rendon Group? If not, let me refresh your memory.
The Rendon Group is a public relations firm that has specialized in creating propaganda for various US military interventions over the last few
decades in places as varied as Panama, Haiti, Colombia, Zimbabwe, and Puerto Rico. Most recently, the Rendon group helped the US government to win
hearts and minds for the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Because it has worked with the US government for a long period of time, it has been
willing to justify US military actions for both Democratic and Republican administrations, although the Rendon Group's founder, John Rendon, got his
start in the propaganda business back in the 1970s as a campaign consultant for the Democratic Party.
There is a lot more information on the Rendon Group at Sourcewatch. James Bamford, whom many will remember as the first guest on The Boiling Frogs
podcast interviews, wrote what may be the most definitive article explaining the raison d'etre for the Rendon Group. Bamford named John Rendon as
"The Man Who Sold the War" to the American public for the Bush Administration. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, indeed, long before September 11, the
Rendon Group created the Iraqi National Congress (INC) and appointed Ahmed Chalabi as the head of the organization. It created the Iraqi Broadcasting
Corporation (IBC) and Radio Hurriah, both of which ineffectively broadcast propaganda against the Saddam regime in the early 1990s, first from Kuwait
and later from Arbil in the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region. In 1996, Saddam's army invaded Arbil and killed the vast majority of Rendon's IBC
employees and some 100 INC members. What prompted the response by Saddam's army had less to do with the content of Radio Hurriah's propaganda, which
was described as "poorly run" by one Iraqi Harvard graduate student, and more to do with the fact that the CIA had poured millions of dollars into
the Rendon Group, which then funneled the money into the INC.
According to Bamford, while the CIA dumped money into the INC through the Rendon Group, Ahmed Chalabi dumped questionable "intelligence" information
into the New York Times' now discredited war drummer, Judith Miller. Bamford later wrote about Chalabi's secret dealings with Iran, including the
possible passing of NSA code-breaking information.
As a result of the Rendon Group's deep and widespread involvement with those who want to maufacture consent for any goal of any American
administration, it should come as no surprise that last week the Reuters and the Washington Post revealed news from the US military's Stars and
Stripes indicating that the Rendon Group has been hired by the Pentagon to vet journalists for embedded reporting from Afghanistan. From the Reuters
The U.S. military in Afghanistan defended itself Thursday against accusations that a company it employs was rating the work of reporters and
suggesting ways to make their war coverage more positive.
Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for U.S. troops, said it had obtained documents prepared for the U.S. military by the Rendon Group, a Washington-based
communications firm that graded journalists' work as "positive," "neutral" or "negative."
The newspaper, partly funded by the Pentagon but editorially independent, said the journalists' profiles included suggestions on how to
"neutralise" negative stories and generate favourable coverage.
It published a pie chart which it said came from a Rendon report on the coverage of a reporter for an unidentified major U.S. newspaper until mid-May,
judging it to be 83.33 percent neutral and 16.67 percent negative with respect to the military's goals.
The U.S. military command in Afghanistan said the Rendon Group provided a range of services under a $1.5 million (921,330 pound) one-year contract,
including analysis of news coverage -- but it did not grade journalists.
This is Sibel Edmonds Homepage: 123realchange.com
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[edit on 4 Sep 09 by Gools]