Rendon Group’s Journo-Profiling Contract Cancelled
Kudos to Stars and Stripes. Its dogged reporting has now ended a contract that the Rendon Group, a CIA-tied communications firm, had with the Pentagon to profile journalists looking to embed with with the military in Afghanistan. But there’s no concession that the actual profiling occurred:
“The decision to terminate the Rendon contract was mine and mine alone. As the senior U.S. communicator in Afghanistan, it was clear that the issue of Rendon’s support to US forces in Afghanistan had become a distraction from our main mission,” said Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, in an e-mail sent Sunday to Stars and Stripes.
“I have been here since early June and at no time has anyone who worked for me ever conducted themselves in a manner as your newspaper alleged. I cannot and will not speculate on the past, although I have found no systemic issues with fairness or equity in the way U.S. forces have run their media embed program.”
Fun fact: Smith was until recently the strategic-communications director for Gen. David Petraeus at U.S. Central Command, and no one ever accused Petraeus of treating the press disdainfully.