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Fishy circumstances

Several questions already being asked about beheading
and a couple of websites
Here are a couple of websites for you:

 link to www.unobserver.com


pay close attention to the article,"Fishy circumstances,and flawed timelines
surround American's beheading"

U.N. Observer site - above - has the most/best links 12.May.2004 21:44

see also

Questions surround young American shown decapitated in video
By Robert H. Reid, Associated Press, 5/12/2004 17:09

Berg's company subcontracted with CIA-sponsored Iraqi Media Network 12.May.2004 22:31

FBI visited him 3 times

 link to www.boston.com

However, in a Jan. 18 e-mail, Berg said his company had been announced as an approved subcontractor for a broadcast consortium awarded a contract for the U.S.-controlled Iraqi Media Network.

''Practically, this means we should be involved with quite a bit of tower work as part of the reconstruction, repair and new construction of the Iraqi Media Network,'' he wrote, referring to the network as ''something like NPR in the U.S.''

It was unclear whether the contract was revoked.



Editor-In-Chief Of U.S.-Funded Iraq Newspaper Quits: "We Are Being Suffocated."

Zayer had sought to break Al-Sabah away from the Iraqi Media Network, which groups the paper, Al-Iraqiya and a number of radio station and is run by Harris Inc., a Florida-based communications company that won a $96 million Pentagon contract in January to develop the media.


Iraq to get CIA-TV

Rendon Makes Iraq Media Bid
"The Rendon Group is part of a nine-member consortium that has made a $98 million bid to rebuild the Iraqi Media Network. WorldSpace Corp., the Washington, D.C.-based satellite broadcaster, leads the group," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "The Coalition Provisional Authority is awarding the contract to repair the infrastructure, provide programming and train workers for Iraq's national TV, radio networks and Al-Sabbah newspaper. Al-Sabbah is Iraq's largest paper with a daily circulation of more than 60,000. One of its two printing presses was bombed during the Iraqi invasion. The contract also calls for development of an 'exit strategy' to pave the way to the privatization of IMN. The one-year pact, which is supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, has two six-month extension options. WorldSpace's satellite radio service has been broadcasting into the Middle East since 1999. It provides entertainment content to XM Satellite Radio in the U.S." Source: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, December 11, 2003

What is the Rendon Group?

From PR Watch's Disinfopedia, the encyclopedia of propaganda:

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.

In a 1998 speech to the National Security Conference (NSC), John Rendon described himself as "an information warrior, and a perception manager. This is probably best described in the words of Hunter S. Thompson, when he wrote 'When things turn weird, the weird turn pro.'"

"Through its network of international offices and strategic alliances," the Rendon Group website boasted in 2002, "the company has provided communications services to clients in more than 78 countries, and maintains contact with government officials, decision-makers, and news media around the globe."

Company founder John Rendon began his career as an election campaign consultant to Democratic Party politicians. According to Franklin Foer, "He masterminded Michael Dukakis's gubernatorial campaign in 1974; worked as executive director of the Democratic National Committee in the Jimmy Carter era; managed the 1980 Democratic convention in New York; and subsequently worked as chief scheduler for Carter's reelection campaign." In the mid-1980s, however, he began working for clients in the Caribbean and other places outside the United States. His "career took an unlikely turn in Panama, where his work with political opponents of Manuel Noriega kept him in the country straight through the 1989 American invasion. As U.S. forces quickly invaded and quickly pulled out, he helped broker the transition of power." This in turn led to contacts with the CIA, and in 1990 the government-in-exile of Kuwait hired him to help drum up support for war in the Persian Gulf to oust Iraq's occupying army.[1] According to Rendon's web site, 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."

Rendon'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."

Rendon was also a major player in the CIA's effort to encourage the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In May 1991, then-President George Bush, Sr. 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 worked closely with 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 says the Rendon Group was "paid close to a hundred million dollars by the CIA" for its work with the INC.[2]

ClandestineRadio.com, a website which monitors underground and anti-government radio stations in countries throughout the world, credits the Rendon Group with "designing and supervising" the Iraqi Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) and Radio Hurriah, which began broadcasting Iraqi opposition propaganda in January 1992 from a US government transmitter in Kuwait. According to a September 1996 article in Time magazine, six CIA case officers supervised the IBC's 11 hours of daily programming and Iraqi National Congress activities in the Iraqi Kurdistan city of Arbil. According to a Harvard graduate student from Iraq who helped translate some of the radio broadcasts into Arabic, the program was poorly run. "No one in-house spoke a word of Arabic," he says. "They thought I was mocking Saddam, but for all they knew I could have been lambasting the US government." The scripts, he adds, were often ill conceived. "Who in Iraq is going to think it's funny to poke fun at Saddam's mustache," the student notes, "when the vast majority of Iraqi men themselves have mustaches?"[3] In any case, the propaganda campaign came to an abrupt end on August 31, 1996, when the Iraqi army invaded Arbil and executed all but 12 out of 100 IBC staff workers along with about 100 members of the Iraqi National Congress.

Franklin Foer reports that Rendon has been dogged throughout his career "by complaints of profligate spending--even charged with being the PR equivalent of the Pentagon's $400 toilet seat. In 1995 CIA accountants demanded an audit of his work. As ABC reported in 1998, Rendon's own records show he spent more than $23 million in the first year of his contract to work with the INC. Several of his operatives in London earned more than the director of Central Intelligence--about $19,000 per month. Rendon shot across the Atlantic on the Concorde, while his subordinates flew on open business-class tickets. According to one of those subordinates, 'There was no incentive for Rendon to hold down costs.'" Others have complained that his work is often inept and ineffective. However, he continues to win contracts because he is "superbly networked" with friends in high places in Washington.[4]

Newspapers reported in October 2001 that the Pentagon had awarded Rendon a four-month, $397,000 contract to handle PR aspects of U.S. military strikes in Afghanistan. Rendon and Pentagon officials declined to discuss details of the firm's work, which reportedly included monitoring international news media, conducting focus groups, creating a web site about the U.S. campaign against terrorism, and recommending "ways the U.S. military can counter disinformation and improve its own public communications."[5]

. . .

In 2003, Rendon launched a web site called "Empower Peace," through which they called on young people throughout the world to "help us develop an International Youth Pledge of Peace." Does this mean they've joined the anti-war protests? Not exactly. Empower Peace wants people "not to refer the current political situation going on in the world today but rather focus and emphasize on the importance of breaking down cultural barriers in order to achieve peace." [8]


This war brought to you by Rendon Group

The Rendon Group is a DC-based public relations firm with close ties to the US government. The Rendon Group is no novice in the field. For decades, when US bombs have dropped or foreign leaders have been felled, the public relations shop has been on the scene, just far enough to stay out of harm's way, but just close enough to keep the spin cycle going.

video is at information clearinghouse 12.May.2004 23:13

for download

watch at your own risk!!

this video is extremely graphic!!!!!!!


Rendon Group didn't get the IMN contract - Harris did. 12.May.2004 23:18

current status of Iraqi Media Network

Live from Baghdad

The Iraqi media is hardly modern, or massive, compared with its neighbors in the region. However, it is receiving a boost of sorts under a new contract awarded to communications firm Harris Corp.

Last week, Harris announced it had won a contract on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority that governs Iraq to develop "an existing but antiquated media network into a modern media organization," the company said in a statement. That will entail repairing and building broadcast infrastructure and training, through a network of subcontractors, employees who will run broadcast and print media organizations, said Harris chief executive Howard Lance.

Harris is taking over work begun last year by Science Applications International Corp. [SEE MORE ON SAIC's PREVIOUS ROLE HERE:  http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EH16Ak02.html HERE  http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=9508 AND HERE  http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EH16Ak02.html HERE  http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=9508 AND HERE  link to www.warprofiteers.com] Lance said the project eventually will be handed over to Iraqis. But for now, the company reports directly to the coalition authority, which Lance said has hired a former television news producer as a senior media consultant.

The one-year media contract is worth $96 million and has two six-month extensions, which Harris said could raise the total value to $165 million.


On January 9, Florida-based Harris Corporation announced that it had won a $96 million Pentagon contract to run an Iraqi media network, including operating two national television stations, two national radio stations and a national newspaper. A CPA senior media adviser, Dorrance Smith, will take responsibility for the new "Iraq Media Network".


Iraq: American Firm Awarded Contract to Run Iraqi Media Network

Online NewsHour
January 12th, 2004

The Pentagon has awarded a $96 million contract to a U.S. communications equipment company to develop Iraq's existing but antiquated media network for the next 12 months.

The Florida-based Harris Corp. will upgrade and operate Saddam Hussein's old radio and TV networks, now called al-Iraqiya, and the national newspaper, previously headed by Saddam Hussein's son, Uday, the firm announced Friday.

The contract includes the provision of equipment, operation, training and content for two radio channels, two TV channels and the national newspaper, collectively called the Iraqi Media Network.

"We are extremely pleased to be selected to play this role in the rebuilding of Iraq's critical broadcast and media infrastructure," Harris Corp. Chairman Howard Lance said in a statement posted on the company's Web site.

"The free flow of information is crucial to any modern society, and we are committed to making this ambitious goal a reality," Lance said.

To assist with the project, Harris Corp. will partner with the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. International (LBC), a Middle Eastern media network, and Al Fawares, a Kuwaiti company with Iraqi ownership which publishes a newspaper in Kuwait and Newsweek in Arabic.

LBC is responsible for training and content programming for the two radio and two television channels (one of news and one for entertainment). Al Fawares will manage the newspaper and train its journalists, and will help expand the newspaper's reach.

Harris will lead the project and provide all the necessary transmitters, integration and automation broadcast equipment.

Lance said he and the two partners hope "soon to have up and running a high-quality news and entertainment network."

After the collapse of Hussein's government, coalition forces seized control of Iraq's state-run media network. Since then, Iraq's broadcast stations and newspaper have been run by a U.S. defense contractor, Science Applications International Corp. However, under SAIC's direction, the network failed to attract viewers and listeners because the content was considered too pro-American and the coverage of breaking news was criticized as too slow, The Washington Post reported Monday.

This is the second contract Harris has won in Iraq; the first was awarded in September to start an Iraqi radio station. Harris in July 2003 created an Iraq Initiatives Office to pursue possible business opportunities in the rebuilding of Iraq.

The IMN contract can be extended for two additional six-month periods for a total potential value of $165 million, the company press release stated.

But, Haider Abadi, the Iraqi communications minister, said he was not consulted about the contract and threatened to overturn it when the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority turns over power to a sovereign Iraqi government in July.

"We very much welcome the help of others to reshape our media, but to relinquish our responsibilities and to give control to foreign media is politically and socially wrong," Abadi said, as quoted by the Financial Times. Abadi said the contract was only "temporary."


Broadcast Blues - Wasteful

Now, the Defense Department has turned to another contractor to manage the project. Last week, the Pentagon gave the Harris Corp., a Florida concern, a $96 million contract. SAIC did not bid, and a company official says the planned pullout of the American governing coalition in July led it to back out of the competition. But critics say poor performance and wasteful practices were also factors in the company's decision.

SAIC, a diversified San Diego-based company with close ties to Washington power brokers, concedes some missteps but defends its work. "We started with virtually nothing, and today we're broadcasting to more than 80 percent of the population," says Kenneth Van Dillen, an SAIC vice president. "Given working conditions in Iraq, it's a pretty good achievement."

Ambassador Paul Bremer, who heads the U.S. governing coalition in Baghdad, is so dissatisfied with the fledgling Iraqi media network that he may create a new private-public effort modeled on America's Corporation for Public Broadcasting or Britain's BBC, according to a U.S. official. However, it is not clear how such a scheme would be implemented, given the new contract award to Harris Corp. and its partners in the Middle East.


Rebuilding media, dodging death
The Florida company in charge of Hussein's old networks must face not only Iraqis' distrust, but also a paralyzing wave of violence.
By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN, Times Senior Correspondent
Published April 19, 2004
 link to www.stpetetimes.com

Industry: Information / Communication Technology
 link to techexpousa.com

Detailed Description: Harris Corporation is a global provider of mission-critical Assured communications systems. Within the communications industry Harris is highly regarded as a technology innovator and recognized industry leader in reliable, responsive, secure communications products and services. Harris provides its customers nesxt-generation technology that solves their communications needs in markets for advanced government systems, RF communications, broadcast, microwave, and network support sytems. R&D efforts span optical, RF, microwave, satellite, wireless, networking and signal processing technologies. Harris leadership in product development includes secure communications and electronic equipment and systems for ground, ship, aircraft, spacecraft, missiles and munitions: MILSATCOM - Military satellite communications; Advanced avionics and support for military aircraft; Specialized antenna systems for military spacecraft, aircraft, ships and vehicles; Information and image processing systems and software; Weather processing systems; High-reliability air traffic control communications and telecom systems; Secure wireless RF radio communications and encryption products and systems; High-frequency modems; Digital video imaging products and systems; Wireless e-mail and messaging systems; Employment opportunities exist at Harris Corporation in Florida (Melbourne and Palm Bay), Rochester NY, northern Virgina, Washington DC, Annapolis Junction, MD, Colorado, Los Angeles, Cailfornia. Visit our web site at:  http://careers.harris.com/


Wednesday, January 14th, 2004
U.S. Journalist Quits Pentagon Iraqi Media Project Calling it U.S. Propaganda


The other Media Network

by Andy Sennitt, 15 January 2004
 link to www.rnw.nl

The Harris Corporation, a US technology company which builds transmitters, is going to be responsible for the Arabic language programmes on Iraqi domestic radio. At least, that's the impression you would have had if you read the 14 Jan edition of the Washington Post, which a lot of Americans - including those in high places - did.

This misinterpetation of the simple word 'operate' in a press release is symptomatic of the muddle and confusion that has surrounded efforts to rebuild the Iraqi media since the Coalition took control of the country nine months ago. And unless major changes are made to the approach of the US-led Coalition, I see no prospect of an improvement.

"Disgusted of Baghdad"
It's significant that a number of experienced journalists hired to help run the Iraqi Media Network (IMN) have walked out in disgust. One is veteran TV producer Don North, who described the IMN in Television Week as "an irrelevant mouthpiece for Coalition Provisional Authority propaganda, managed news and mediocre programmes." This week, on the radio programme Democracy Now! North said that "The Coalition Provisional Authority, Ambassador Bremer's organisation, doesn't seem to be able to differentiate between public diplomacy, in other words telling Iraqis and the world what we Americans are trying to do in Iraq, and giving the Iraqis a voice of independence that they need themselves." If that's what an insider thinks, imagine how the Iraqis must feel!



Key dates in decapitated American's visit to Iraq 12.May.2004 23:48

By Associated Press, 5/12/2004 19:05

Key dates in Nicholas Berg's visit to and disappearance in Iraq:

March: Berg, a telecommunications expert, travels to Iraq through Jordan after first working in Iraq in December and January. He inspects communications facilities and makes plans to return to the United States at the end of March, his father says.

March 24: Iraqi police arrest Berg in the northern city of Mosul because local authorities believed he may have been involved in ''suspicious activities.'' During his subsequent detainment, FBI agents interview Berg three times and conclude he was not involved in any criminal or terrorist activity.

April 6: Berg is released from custody and advised by U.S. officials to take a flight out of Iraq with their assistance. Berg refuses the offer and instead checks into the Al-Fanar Hotel in Baghdad.

April 9: The last time Berg makes contact with his family.

April 10: The last time Berg is in contact with U.S. officials in the Iraqi capital. Berg does not return to the hotel.

May 8: The U.S. military discovers Berg's remains in Baghdad.

May 11: A video posted on an al-Qaida-linked Web site shows Berg's beheading and says the execution was carried out to avenge abuses of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison.

Latest Updates - Assassins Speaking / Communicating in RUSSIAN 13.May.2004 00:02

Starroute, DU


Russian accent?
By Starroute, DU

"...The terrorists in Berg's beheading video are communicating to each other in Russian ! One of them tells to the executioner who was cutting Berg's head: "Davay pozhivee !" meaning "Do it quicker !", or "Hurry up !" in pure unaccented Russian. Initially, I thought I was the only one who noticed it, but other Russian speakers confirmed it as well independently from me. So, who actually killed Berg ? BTW, "Allah o Akbar" they pronounce not with Arabic, but with a Russian-like accent. Also, their demeanor was not Arabic at all, but resembles that of people from the North Caucasus. Those were not Arabs ! "

there are alot of muslims in the caucasus 13.May.2004 02:01


I have no idea what relevance it has but I would guess al-qaeda does have some "volunteers" from this region and alot of their people aren't Arabs anyway. I don't know if ex-Soviet Muslims speak Russian or not but I would guess they do.

Chechyans Anyone? 13.May.2004 07:51


Aren't they muslims and aren't they taught to speak Russian in the government schools. Or perhaps more clever disinfo. to draw us away from what they wish us to ignore.

so fishy! 13.May.2004 07:59


i watched the video and was astounded at how mr. berg put up such little (no) resistance as he was being decapitated. it is SO fucking obvious that he was either, as someone mentioned on the alex jones website, either very drugged or already dead. and what a clean cut with not even a drop of blood coming from the prized head held high. what B.S.!