Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Propaganda

Broadcast Ruse

Ian Urbina 11.12.2002

“Word got around the department that I was a good Arabic translator who did a great Saddam imitation,” recalls the Harvard grad student. “Eventually, someone phoned me asking if I wanted to help change the course of Iraq policy.” So twice a week, for $3000 a month, the Iraqi student tells the Voice on condition of anonymity, he took a taxi from his campus apartment to a Boston-area recording studio rented by the Rendon Group, a DC-based public relations firm with close ties to the US government. His job: Translate and dub spoofed Saddam Hussein speeches and tongue-in-cheek newscasts for broadcast throughout Iraq.

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