Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Duped by the Propaganda Machine

The July/August Columbia Journalist Review has a terrific piece by Douglas McCollam on the vast campaign by the Iraqi National Congress to dupe both the world's major media outlets and western governments in hopes of fomenting US war against Iraq.

The INC's "nformation-collection program" was also feeding this bogus data to DIA and to the OSP at the same time -- as well as directly to the Vice President's office.

In retrospect, it must now be seen as one of the most successful (and heinous) fifth column attacks in world history.

McCollam begins his story by referencing a memo sent by Entifadh Qanbar, the spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress’s Washington office, to the US Congress. The memo notes 108 stories successfully "planted" by the INC in major media outlets between October 2001 and May 2002 (incidentally, this was Laurie Mylroie's heydey too). The INC provided "defectors" who supplied false information about Iraqi WMD and links to terrorism.

The consequences were devastating:
The balance of the stories, however, advanced almost every claim that would eventually become the backbone of the Bush administration’s case for war, including Saddam Hussein’s contacts with al Qaeda, his attempts to develop nuclear weapons, and his extensive chemical and bioweapons facilities — all of which are now in grave doubt. Similar stories appeared earlier and later, but this nine-month period following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 was crucial in creating the perception that the Iraqi dictator was a grave threat to the U.S. “The INC’s agenda was to get us into a war,” says Helen Kennedy, a reporter for the New York Daily News, whose name appears on the list. “The really damaging stories all came from those guys, not the CIA. They did a really sophisticated job of getting it out there.”
Remember, the CIA was preparing its fall 2002 NIE in this climate -- and Bush administration officials were making public speeches at the same time.

I keep meaning to point out, in fact, that Bush gave his most significant speech on Iraq to the UN on September 12, 2002, weeks before the CIA's NIE was even released.

Does that sound like a form of political pressure?

Since INC was getting cash from Congress, and may have used this cash to produce the bogus intelligence, I wonder if they broke any laws that might make them criminally liable?

No comments:

Post a Comment