Monday, August 31, 2009

Pentagon ends profiling contract

August 30, 2009

Rightardia comment: We published an expose from Russia Today on Rendon Group. Russia Today interviewed one of the Stars and Stripes reporters, Kevin Baron, who revealed the role of Rendon Group, who had a $1.5 million contract to investigate reporters. Reporters who were too critical of Armed Services in the past were rejected for embedded assignments. 

The Pentagon had initially denied that an embed profiling program was used to reject reporters covering the war in Afghanistan, until Stars and Stripes proved otherwise. The Pentagon has now canceled its contract with the controversial Rendon Group that had been receiving government contracts for many years.

The Rendon Group is 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.
“The decision to terminate the Rendon contract was mine and mine alone. As the senior U.S. communicator in Afghanistan, it was clear that the issue of Rendon’s support to US forces in Afghanistan had become a distraction from our main mission,” said Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith. 
Stars and Stripes first broke the news that the Pentagon hired Rendon. This firm was involved with a PR campaign pushing pre-war intelligence -- to evaluate reporters' work as "positive," "negative," and "neutral."

While Rendon refused  to tell Washington Independent reporter Spencer Ackerman if he was profiled, some reporters were leaked copies of their evaluations.

Foreign correspondent P.J. Tobia described his profile on True/ Slant as "creepy" and like "perusing the diary of your stalker."


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