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Bill V. Cowan

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William (Bill) V. Cowan is a retired Marine Corps officer; Fox News military analyst; former participant in the Pentagon military analyst program a Defense Department program using military analysts as Pentagon "message force multipliers"; and the head of the military firm WVC3 Group, Inc..

Pentagon military analyst program: "Psyops on steroids"

In early 2002, as "detailed planning for a possible Iraq invasion" began, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke launched an effort to recruit "key influentials" to help sell a wary public on the war, reported the New York Times's David Barstow in April 2008. Clarke and her senior aide, Brent T. Krueger, eventually signed up more than 75 retired military officers, who appeared on television and radio news shows as military analysts, and/or penned newspaper op/ed columns. The Pentagon referred to the military analysts as "message force multipliers" or "surrogates," and held weekly meetings with them, which continued at least until the time of the April 2008 Times report. [1]

The Defense Department also paid for some analysts to travel to Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, encouraging them to counter negative press with Pentagon talking points. Former NBC military analyst Kenneth Allard called the effort "psyops on steroids." Many of the analysts were also lobbyists for defense contractors, and boasted of their Pentagon access to potential clients. This financial conflict discouraged the analysts from questioning or criticizing the Pentagon's claims. The Pentagon also tracked what the analysts said, via a six-figure contract with Omnitec Solutions, as William V. Cowan learned. He was fired from the Pentagon analysts group after saying on Fox News that the United States was "not on a good glide path right now" in Iraq. [1]

Cowan and his WVC3 colleague, Carlton A. Sherwood, took part in a Pentagon-funded September 2003 trip to Iraq, which was part of the Defense Department's military analyst program. "At the time, the company was seeking contracts worth tens of millions to supply body armor and counterintelligence services in Iraq," reported David Barstow. "In addition, wvc3 Group had a written agreement to use its influence and connections to help tribal leaders in Al Anbar Province win reconstruction contracts from the coalition. ... Cowan said he pleaded their cause during the trip. 'I tried to push hard with some of Bremer's people to engage these people of Al Anbar,' he said." [1]

Profiles

From the Iran Policy Committee biography of its co-Chairman, Lt. Col. Bill Cowan, USMC (ret.), co-founder of WVC3, Inc.:

"Bill Cowan is an internationally acknowledged expert in areas of terrorism, homeland security, intelligence, and military special operations. A retired Marine Corps officer, Cowan spent three-and-a-half years on combat assignments in Vietnam. From 1989 through 1994, Cowan was involved in numerous operations in the Middle East in response to terrorist incidents and the holding of Western hostages in Beirut and Kuwait. He was directly involved in every facet of the Beirut hostages drama, including international negotiations leading to their release in 1991."

Quotes

On the February 15, 2005 edition of Fox's "O'Reilly Factor," on the Abu Ghraib torture scandal: [2]

[T]here are instances certainly of torture happening, and, you know, we have to remember that after Abu Ghraib, after the revelations of what guards, not interrogators, what guards had done at Abu Ghraib to prisoners, that indeed, that reflected in how hostages were then handled inside Iraq.

Affiliations

SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 David Barstow, "Behind Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand," New York Times, April 20, 2008.
  2. "FOX's Cowan denied that interrogators participated in Abu Ghraib abuse," Media Matters, February 17, 2005.

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