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Sun

26

Aug

2007

Preparing the Environment for the Next War
Sunday, 26 August 2007 21:23
by Larry C. Johnson

I do not know whether or not the Bush Administration will attack Iran in the next six months as my friend and former CIA colleague, Bob Baer, predicted in a recent Time magazine interview. But one thing is certain, the Bush Administration continues to bombard the American public with a comprehensive and dishonest information warfare operation, known in polite circles as propaganda, and is busy trying to build political support to stay in Iraq and to justify a new war with Iran.

To put this into the proper context you must first read (or perhaps reread) James Bamford’s masterful piece in Rolling Stone from November 2005, The Man Who Sold the War. It is a profile of John Rendon and the role he has played in helping sell a variety of wars to the American public. Bamford tells how fabrications from an Iraqi defector were used to fabricate a case for war:

The fabrication might have ended there, the tale of another political refugee trying to scheme his way to a better life. But just because the story wasn’t true didn’t mean it couldn’t be put to good use. Al-Haideri, in fact, was the product of a clandestine operation — part espionage, part PR campaign — that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling the world a war. And the man who had long been in charge of the marketing was a secretive and mysterious creature of the Washington establishment named John Rendon.

Rendon is a man who fills a need that few people even know exists. Two months before al-Haideri took the lie-detector test, the Pentagon had secretly awarded him a $16 million contract to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda. One of the most powerful people in Washington, Rendon is a leader in the strategic field known as “perception management,” manipulating information — and, by extension, the news media — to achieve the desired result. His firm, the Rendon Group, has made millions off government contracts since 1991, when it was hired by the CIA to help “create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power.” Working under this extraordinary transfer of secret authority, Rendon assembled a group of anti-Saddam militants, personally gave them their name — the Iraqi National Congress — and served as their media guru and “senior adviser” as they set out to engineer an uprising against Saddam. It was as if President John F. Kennedy had outsourced the Bay of Pigs operation to the advertising and public-relations firm of J. Walter Thompson.
Next, you should check out the latest effort to link the war on terrorism with the war on Iraq. Rendon does not appear to be directly involved but we should look into this. Steve Watson, at Info Wars, has an excellent piece on this that is also worth your time. Watson notes:

A newly formed non-profit organisation made up of former Bush administration officials is to spend $15 million to run pro-war television and radio ads in more than 20 states which falsely link the 9/11 attacks to the war in Iraq in an effort to strong arm Congress into withdrawing support for a de-escalation.

According to its own press release the group, Freedom’s Watch , will run the ads as of today and feature an 800-number for the public to call their representatives and urge them “not to surrender to terror”.
If you think for a minute that the campaign to keep us in Iraq is not linked to the campaign to justify a war with Iran then you have not learned anything from the last five years. This use of propaganda against the American people must be exposed and stopped.

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