This material had been posted to the page on John Rendon -- with the execption of one par which I have left in the original location, the rest is about the Rendon Group. Given the article on TRG is reasonably comprehensive I have posted the surplus material here in case there is something in it worth salvaging-- bob
The Rendon Group (TRG) is an American public relations firm with connections at the highest levels within the U.S. intelligence community and the Democratic Party. Over the past decade, it's received more than $100 million in U.S. government funds, both to provoke instability within Iraq and to prepare the American public for war.
Of special note: > In 1991-1992, TRG vigorously "spun" news to downplay humanitarian concerns over sanctions. > TRG was influential in the formation of the Iraq National Congress. > TRG most recently surfaced as a key player in the "Office of Strategic Influence", the Pentagon's planned (dis-)information initialtive following 9/11.
The history of TRG and Iraq reads like the children's rhyme where an old woman swallows a fly (and next swallows a fly-eating-spider, bird, cat etc.).
Beginning with the Gulf War ... (1) The demonization of Saddam Hussein by TRG and others was so successful, that post-war diplomatic progress became politically impossible. (2) Therefore, containing Iraq through sanctions became the most politically expedient solution, and here TRG led the initiative to forestall any question of humanitarian impact. (3) Through TRG's efforts, Iraqi opposition coalesced around the Iraqi National Congress (... though the INC had no credibility within Iraq. The INC is the first proxy army in history that requires a proxy army.) (4) Today TRG retains close ties with the INC and has strong ties with Pentagon conservatives per the 'War on Terror'. Thus, TRG becomes a driver behind the frequent Iraq scare stories that have nudged the American public toward war (anthrax/Prague/al-Qaida in Kurdistan/defector al-Haderi). (5) And now America verges on war without pretext, with no credible post-war plan (save an occupying army), with no discussion of sanctions impact on Iraq's society, and with little thought to regional stability and global economics.
The children's rhyme ends: "There was an old woman Who swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die."
Following are The Rendon Group's highlights:
TRG FUNDING RELATED TO IRAQ: >> 1991-1996: TRG was "paid close to a hundred million dollars by the C.I.A." for press issues related to the Iraqi opposition, according to an INC official quoted by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker (Issue of 2002-03-11, http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?020311fa_FACT).
Rendon's own records show he spent $23M during the first post-war year alone, according to ABC News (quoted in TNR (http://www.tnr.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20020520&s=foer052002)).
A source of journalist Jeff Stein (familiar to many as Khidir Hamza's co-author) calls it 'a $150 million rip-off'." (http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/5188/view/print)
>> 1998 Onward: Congress authorizes expenditure of $97-million under the terms of the Iraq Liberation Act (though much of the money remains unspent amid questions of INC accounting practices).
>> Post 9/11/2002: Citing two Pentagon sources, Franklin Foer in the right-wing New Republic says, "The Rendon Group has billed the government at least $7.5 million for its post-9/11 services." (http://www.tnr.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20020520&s=foer052002).
Regarding the "Office of Strategic Influence", although it's now disavowed note that TRG's contract with the Pentagon remains in place (http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?020311fa_FACT).