“Mr. Whole Earth” shills for the “War on Terror”
John Rendon: The man who sold you
Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraq War
Spook love fest in the Bay Area (2006)
Long-time Pentagon operative in counter-culture clothing Stewart Brand invites fellow spook John Rendon to speak before the Bay Area liberal intelligentsia in an attempt to launder Rendon’s reputation as a paid-for-hire liar on behalf of mass murderers.
If you actually listen to Brand, he tells you everything you need to know about him. During the talk he quotes Gregory Bateson: “The first thing you do in a war in line up all the liberals and point them at the enemy.” This in fact has been Brand’s job since he left the formal military to pose as a counterculture techno-hippy in the early 60s and it’s a job he’s done masterfully.
Some of Rendon’s handiwork:
Helped smooth the way for the violent overthrow of Panama by manufacturing credibility for a highly dubious replacement for the legally elected Manual Noriega.
Manuel Noriega, a good soldier in the Bush family “drug war,” had a falling out with his partner George Bush I and learned the hard way that with the help of a good PR spook like Rednon, the US was able to re-start its long standing habit of invading Central American countries and deposing their leaders without missing a beat.
PR Watch reported in 2001, “The Rendon Group’s website states that during the Gulf War, it ‘established a full-scale communications operation for the Government of Kuwait, including the establishment of a production studio in London producing programming material for the exiled Kuwaiti Television.’ Rendon also provided media support for exiled government leaders and helped Kuwaiti officials after the war by ‘providing press and site advance to incoming congressional delegations and other visiting US government officials.’ Several of Rendon’s non-governmental clients also have headquarters in Kuwait: Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Kuwait University, American Housing Consortium, American Business Council of Kuwait, and KPMY/Peat Marwick.
The Rendon Group’s work in Kuwait continued after the war itself had ended. ‘If any of you either participated in the liberation of Kuwait City … or if you watched it on television, you would have seen hundreds of Kuwaitis waving small American flags,’ John Rendon said in his speech to the NSC. ‘Did you ever stop to wonder how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held American flags? And for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries? Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs.'”
When NATO initiated Operation NOBLE ANVIL air operations directed at Serbian targets, it became immediately apparent that the coalition’s message was not reaching audiences in the region that were being bombarded. The Rendon Group established the Balkan Information Exchange under contract with U.S. European Command in seven languages including Serbo-Croatian. A different company administers the site today in a ten-language format as the Southeast European Times.
According to PR Watch, Rendon was also a major player in the CIA’s effort to encourage the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In May 1991, then-President George H. W. Bush signed a presidential finding directing the CIA to create the conditions for Hussein’s removal. The hope was that members of the Iraqi military would turn on Hussein and stage a military coup. The CIA did not have the mechanisms in place to make that happen, so they hired the Rendon Group to run a covert anti-Saddam propaganda campaign. Rendon’s postwar work involved producing videos and radio skits ridiculing Saddam Hussein, a traveling photo exhibit of Iraqi atrocities, and radio scripts calling on Iraqi army officers to defect.
A February 1998 report by Peter Jennings cited records obtained by ABC News which showed that the Rendon Group spent more than $23 million dollars in the first year of its contract with the CIA. It set up the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an opposition coalition of 19 Iraqi and Kurdish organizations whose main tasks were to ‘gather information, distribute propaganda and recruit dissidents.’ According to ABC, Rendon came up with the name for the Iraqi National Congress and channeled $12 million of covert CIA funding to it between 1992 and 1996.
Writing in the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh said the Rendon Group was “paid close to a hundred million dollars by the CIA” for its work with the INC.” Journalist James Bamford reported in the Rolling Stone that Rendon came up with the name for the INC and helped install Ahmad Chalabi as its head. Francis Brooke, adviser to Ahmed Chalabi and former employee of The Rendon Group said, “Those arguments are false. Mr. Rendon was a consultant. The Iraqi National Congress was founded independently by Dr. Chalabi, and Mr. Rendon provided consulting services during that period.”
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