According to the MediaGuardian, the Pentagon’s propaganda effort in Iraq has roots in England. The two-year old Lincoln Group – recipient of a June 2005 $100 million “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” military contract – is “run” by its executive vice president, a 30-year-old Oxford University graduate named Christian Bailey. And while he has no military public-relations experience, his senior director of insight and influence, Andrew Garfield, is “a former British military intelligence officer and an expert in psychological warfare.”
Company creation appears opportunistic. From its Web site: “Lincoln Group formed to pursue private sector opportunities in Iraq.” It is also a very small-scale operation when compared to the two other firms with propaganda contracts.
The Pentagon plans to spend $300 million on propaganda efforts abroad over the next five years. Two groups have contracts in addition to the Lincoln Group: Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) and SYColeman. SAIC – the largest employee-owned research and engineering firm in the country, according to its web site – “won a no-bid Pentagon contract in 2003 to run an Iraqi media network that Defense Department investigators later said was mismanaged,” according to USA Today. In addition, SYColeman “is led by a retired general who was a top official in the Defense Department agency that gave SAIC its Iraqi media contract.”
The founder of SAIC formerly worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1950s. Annual revenues exceed $7.2 billion. SYColeman is a wholly owned subsidiary of L-3 Communications and was formed in 2002 by merging two defense businesses. Its president since 2004 is Lt. Gen. Jared L. Bates, who is retired from the US Army. He was recalled to service from January to June 2003 “to help establish and deploy the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance to Baghdad as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Ostensibly, the US did not decide to go to war until March 2003.
This article first appeared at uspolitics.about.com