July 08, 2006

Iraq The Model For Plagiarism

Leaked Baghdad Intel briefing matches Iraq blog entry?

(hat tip to Indigo from the comments)

Latest from the WSJ:
"A daily intelligence brief on Iraq, prepared by a private contractor for the U.S. military and companies working in Iraq, paints a grim picture of life in Baghdad. The daily report for July 7 documents a slew of sectarian attacks and car bombings around the capital and says that “the levels of torture and execution-style killings…illustrate the increasing disregard for human life by the perpetrators for those not of their own grouping.”

But the report, marked “for official use only,” also goes on to describe Baghdad as a city without spirit — in a long passage lifted straight from a popular Iraqi blog called Iraq the Model. “Baghdad looks so exhausted these days and so do her people; the relentless violence, the lack of basic services and the scorching heat abolishes human desire to do anything or to even think of anything,” says the daily report, which is compiled by SOC-SMG Inc., a Nevada-based contractor. The language of this and several other passages mirrors almost exactly a posting for the July 6 edition of Iraq the Model. “Living for many Iraqis was reduced to existence a long time ago; dreams and desires are shrinking under the heavy shadows of the situation.”

The company’s interim CEO, Robert Shields, said he was unaware of the overlap and would look into it. But “we draw information from a variety of sources,” he said. –Neil King Jr."
So are US contractors lifting stories from ITM, or are the boys at ITM picking up a few extra bucks working for US contractors, and getting lazy at it? Either way, this is a clear case of plagiarism.

Iraq The Model used to be wildly pro-US, but reality has set in. The comments are still full of the same rabid nut-jobs, but the blog is now trying to present itself as an alternative news source.

Let's not forget that these ITM boys once travelled to the White House to meet with Bush and Wolfowitz, who frequently cited ITM as a recommended source for US journalists.

More ITM background here for the uninitiated.

So Who Is SOC-SMG?

SOC-SMG Inc., of Minden, Nevada, was awarded a $6,266,287 security contract on Aug. 17, 2005. From the company FAQ:
What is SOC-SMG doing in Iraq?

We are providing security support to US Defense Contractors to recover and dispose of Captured Enemy Ammunition (CEA) within Iraq. As you have all probably seen on any of the major news programs the Iraqi Army under Sadam Hussein has amassed a huge arsenal. The majority of this ordnance is located in Ammunition Supply Points (ASPs), which are numerous and located throughout the country. Additionally, there are considerable caches of ordnance consisting of small amounts located in residential homes to substantial amounts located in schools, hospitals and other structures where the Iraqi military believed they would be safe from coalition air strikes. This is a monumental and extremely important task that requires professional and effective security. Your job is to provide security for these sites, the personnel working these sites and their living compounds. In addition, security will be provided for convoys and other operations as needed.
Employees are basically vets:
"recruited from the ranks of U.S. Government Special Operations Units, U.S. Government Intelligence Agencies, and the Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement community."
Clients include the DoD and (former, I assume) CPA. Their listed Services do not show anything about compiling intelliegence briefs: it's non-stop 24/7 action for these dudes. Fuck yeah! They only recruit vets with experience in "Special Operations, preferably in Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Rangers, or Marine Force Recon Forces." Priority is given to "those who can deploy from the Continental United States (CONUS) immediately; within 10 days."

The SMG in "SOC-SMG" stands for their parent company, SF-based Security Management Group LLC. It's basically just the same group of people. Maybe having a parent company is a tax dodge, or maybe they just think it impresses people.

These are basically small-time operators, as far as I can see. One of their cited clients is a Silicon Valley boss who thanks them for helping with "hostile terminations". I guess the Iraq War is a dream come true for people like these...

Update here.


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