August 22, 2006

A Paid Propagandist Talks

Willem Marx has written a piece in the latest edition of Harper's magazine called "Misinformation Intern: My Summer as a Military Propagandist in Iraq." He talks to Democracy Now about working for the Lincoln Group:
I carried a gun very often with me when I traveled outside of the Green Zone, a small sort of Glock revolver, and carried it in my belt, and as I sat down to talk to this man, after a few moments, I realized that the revolver was very uncomfortably placed inside my belt. And as I started asking these very accusatory questions, I pulled the gun out of my belt and put it on the table between the two of us and suddenly realized that was a horrifically threatening motion. And I was really quite disgusted with myself, and the man left. He ran away out of the office when I was questioning someone else.

The two men who had been sent to help me put pressure, along with my own translator friend, to help me put pressure on these employees were former Mukhabarat officers, part of Saddam's intelligence service, and they told me the best approach would be to sort of threaten this guy with a CIA investigation, telling me that those three letters were the most threatening three letters to any Iraqi. And once I had learned that the man I’d probably gone on, as it were, had left the building, I decided, you know, it was getting dark, and I needed to get the hell out of there, and this was not at all the sort of thing I should be spending my time doing if I wanted to be a journalist...


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