Calling John Rendon

John Rendon is CEO of the Rendon Group, a secretive public relations firm that often provides behind-the-scenes advice to the U.S. military. Over the years, we've received dozens of phone calls from journalists who have sought interviews with Rendon about his work on behalf of the Iraqi National Congress, but no one has been able to get him to say more than "no comment."

We were a little surprised, therefore, when a telephone message was left for Rendon in our office by someone identifying himself as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. A transcript of that message is as follows:

"Hi, it's Lieutenant Colonel Mike O'Brien at General Robert Elder's office at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. I'm calling for Mr. Rendon. Sir, if you could give me a ring here concerning, uhh, the engagement on the Second of February? It pertains to whether or not General Elder will be available to be here during your time here. And, if you could, give me a ring please at Area Code (PHONE NUMBER OMITTED).

Lieutenant Colonel Mike O'Brien. Again, Second of February. That's a Wednesday. And, uhh, appreciate it sir. Thank you very much. Buh-bye."

Why would O'Brien think to call the office of the Center for Media and Democracy? Occasionally we get calls or email from people who visit our Disinfopedia and mistakenly assume that we are affiliated with the organizations and individuals profiled there. We've done what we can to design the site so that these misunderstandings are rare, but mistakes do happen -- especially, it seems, when dealing with that oxymoron known as "military intelligence." (And if this is indeed an example of that sort of misunderstanding, it's all the more odd since our Disinfopedia article on the Rendon Group lists its phone number in the "contact information" section, while our own phone number appears nowhere on the page.)

In any case, Lt. Col. O'Brien can rest assured that we'll give Rendon his message personally -- just as soon as he phones our office.


A reliable source has suggested to me that Rendon might be coming to speak at the Air War College. This would be in line with his past speaking egagements. On February 29, 1996, Rendon spoke before an audience of cadets at the US Air Force Academy. Sheldon Rampton and I reported this in our book "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq." Rendon bragged about his firm's work, saying: "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician. I am a politician, and a person who uses communications to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager." Rendon reminded the Air Force cadets that when victorious troops rolled into Kuwait City at the end of the first war in the Persian Gulf, they were greeted by hundreds of Kuwaitis waving small American flags. The scene, flashed around the world on television screens, sent the message that US Marines were being welcomed in Kuwait as liberating heroes. "Did you ever stop to wonder," Rendon asked, "how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held American, and for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries? Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs then."

Yeh, military is a powerful orG. :) Email me for any questions. [ ReplicaMagazine]