"Thomas Twetten, the CIA's former deputy of operations, credits Rendon with virtually creating the INC. 'The INC was clueless,' he once observed. 'They needed a lot of help and didn't know where to start. That is why Rendon was brought in.' Acting as the group's senior adviser and aided by truckloads of CIA dollars, Rendon pulled together a wide spectrum of Iraqi dissidents and sponsored a conference in Vienna to organize them into an umbrella organization, which he dubbed the Iraqi National Congress. Then, as in Panama, his assignment was to help oust a brutal dictator and replace him with someone chosen by the CIA. 'The reason they got the contract was because of what they had done in Panama - so they were known,' recalls Whitley Bruner, former chief of the CIA's station in Baghdad. This time the target was Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the agency's successor of choice was Ahmad Chalabi, a crafty, avuncular Iraqi exile beloved by Washington's neoconservatives."
"The key element of Rendon's INC operation was a worldwide media blitz designed to turn Hussein, a once dangerous but now contained regional leader, into the greatest threat to world peace. Each month, $326,000 was passed from the CIA to the Rendon Group and the INC via various front organizations. Rendon profited handsomely, receiving a 'management fee' of ten percent above what it spent on the project. According to some reports, the company made nearly $100 million on the contract during the five years following the Gulf War.
Rendon made considerable headway with the INC, but following the group's failed coup attempt against Saddam in 1996, the CIA lost confidence in Chalabi and cut off his monthly paycheck. But Chalabi and Rendon simply switched sides, moving over to the Pentagon, and the money continued to flow. 'The Rendon Group is not in great odor in Langley these days,' notes Bruner. 'Their contracts are much more with the Defense Department.'"
As Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were to Iraq, Farid Ghadry and the Reform Party of Syria are to Syria. But who is the PR man behind Ghadry and the Reform Party of Syria? Trish Schuh wrote, way back in November, before much of the shit had hit the fan (see also here):
"Reform Party of Syria's Farid Ghadry has been a featured speaker at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and is himself a member of AIPAC. When repeated calls to his organization went unanswered, I visited the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the RFP. Reform Party of Syria is the office of 'super-Zionist' lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Middle Gate Ventures, Abramoff's 'political advisory company' partners with RFP."
The Reform Party of Syria completely denies any involvement with Abramoff (my emphasis in bold):
"Quotes in some anti-democracy Syrian press and American pro-Ba'athist blogs have surfaced that the Reform Party of Syria rents space at the offices of Middle Gate Ventures associated with Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist accused of fraud and illegal contributions to the US Congress.
RPS denies any involvement with Jack Abramoff or the fact that we have a presence in his office. RPS heard of Abramoff the same time that everyone did and from the mainstream media.
Our offices are located at the Mills Building on 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue and we rent them from a company called OfficEscape (www.officescape.com), which runs shared offices around the country."
In response to this denial, Trish Schuh followed up on the matter, and writes to Joshua Landis (scroll down; my emphasis in bold):
"I am the original author of the comment/article on Syria that Mr. Farid Ghadry denied (concerning his relationship w/ Jack Abramoff).
As per Reform Party of Syria not using 'shared office space' with Jack Abramoff: I personally checked with different sources - including the building maintenance crew on duty concerning the RPS, because RPS is not listed in the building's lobby directory - and none of the staff knew of it and the doorman claimed they'd never gotten mail under that name. Nor did the receptionist/secretary on duty know of the RPS. This is not how a legitimate organization usually runs.
I returned to Abramoff's office (2 or 3 times total) and finally insisted they look through Abramoff's client roster. Then the secretary on duty at 'Middle Gate Ventures' found RPS listed in her files. She even gave me RPS's number to call - which accurately matched the number on the official RPS website.
I then requested to speak to a supervisor who could give an RPS statement on the 'latest' in Lebanon. The supervisor declined, saying she didn't know and that they were not authorized to speak to the press."
If they had never heard of Abramoff, the Reform Party of Syria might want to explain what their name is doing in a file in Abramoff's office, and why they appear to have no presence in the building in which they are supposedly located other than in Jack Abramoff's filing cabinet. Unless they can come up with a reasonable explanation, I'd say they were busted. Abramoff connects directly to extreme right-wing Zionists, which is where we should be looking when we see the bizarre and otherwise inexplicable attempts by the United States to cause 'regime change' in Syria.