The Man Who Sold the War is an explosive article in Rolling Stone by James Bamford, best-selling author of A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies (2004) and Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency (2001).
The article is about a guy called John Rendon, CEO of the Rendon Group, "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."
Bamford details how Rendon orchestrated the entire "perception management" campaign on behalf of the White House, Department of Defense and Pentagon, to convince the world that the invasion of Iraq was justified.
The most startling news to me in the article was the confirmation that Paul Moran, the Australian journalist/cameraman who frequently worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corp and was killed not long after the invasion happened, was part of Rendon's machinations to justify the invasion. I recall there was some debate back in 2003, just after Moran was killed, as to whether or not he was working for the Rendon Group or not at the time, or if he had ever worked for them in any significant capacity. There was some heated discussion, made all the more sensitive by the proximity to Moran's death. This new article suggests that Moran was indeed integral to Rendon's campaign to justify the war.
Check out this quote from the article:
By law, the Bush administration is expressly prohibited from disseminating government propaganda at home. But in an age of global communications, there is nothing to stop it from planting a phony pro-war story overseas - knowing with certainty that it will reach American citizens almost instantly. A recent congressional report suggests that the Pentagon may be relying on "covert psychological operations affecting audiences within friendly nations."
In this October 2003 ABC story on Moran, ZAAB SETHNA said:
I went on to become a political consultant working with the Iraqi National Congress, the Iraqis opposed to Saddam. I sometimes worked with Iraqi defectors and there was one defector in particular whose name was Adnan Saaid Haideri. He was knowledgeable about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction program, and Paul said, "Look, I'll film an interview with him." I think it's a story that any journalist would have wanted to do.
That story was used by the Bush, Blair and Howard governments as part of the justification that Saddam had WMD.
Only problem was, Haideri failed a CIA polygraph test when he told his story - on December 17th, 2001, 16 months before the invasion.
The great thing about this article is that it isn't Noam Chomsky saying it. It isn't Michael Moore. It isn't appearing in some lefty publication. This is Rolling Stone magazine. Hunter would be so proud.