The PR People in the Lost Chapter on Iran / Contra

To understand how the Bush administration "could fool tens of millions of Americans, intimidate Democrats, and transform the vaunted Washington press corps from watchdogs to lapdogs," look to the 1980s, suggests Robert Parry. On, Parry publishes the "lost chapter" (pdf) of the Congressional report on the Iran-Contra scandal, which was excised in order to win "the votes of three moderate GOP senators." The chapter details how a "public / private network set out to accomplish what a covert CIA operation in a foreign country might attempt -- to sway the media, the Congress, and American public opinion in the direction of the Reagan administration's policies." The chapter describes a 1983 meeting between CIA director William Casey and PR professionals, including Philip Morris' Bill Greener. The topic was how "to sell a 'new product' -- Central America -- by generating interest across-the-spectrum." Edelman is also mentioned as being paid $92,000 to organize "press conferences and speaking tours by persons supporting the Contras." Another PR firm, International Business Communications, was "awarded a secret contract for $276,186," from the State Department's Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean.