Apparatus of Lies: Saddam's Disinformation and Propaganda 1990-2003   [open pdf - 4MB]

In December 1998, when U.N weapons inspector Dr. Richard Spertzel became exasperated by Iraqi evasions and misrepresentations, he confronted Dr. Rihab Taha, the woman the Iraqis identified as the head of their biological weapons program and asked her directly, "You know that we know you are lying. So why do you do it?" She straightened herself up and replied, "Dr. Spertzel, it's not a lie when you are ordered to lie." Dr. Taha's brief reply is one symbol of a highly developed, well disciplined, and expertly organized program designed to win support for the Iraqi regime through outright deceit. Apparatus of Lies discusses the lies that Iraq has used to promote its propaganda and disinformation in four broad categories: crafting tragedy, exploiting suffering, exploiting Islam, and corrupting the public record. An important priority of Saddam's deception apparatus is to manipulate the televised images the world sees. The regime's most cynical strategy is to actually cause severe civilian hardship or even deaths and then exploit the Iraqi people's suffering by placing the blame on UN-imposed sanctions or other nations. Recent U.S. government reports, including A Decade of Defiance and Deception, have documented Saddam's deceit regarding UN resolutions and weapons inspections. In order to raise awareness of many of the regime's other forms of deception, particularly those likely to be repeated, Apparatus of Lies examines the facts behind Iraqi disinformation and propaganda since 1990. Given the nature and history of the regime, evidence of further deception is almost certain to come to light.

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Office of Global Communications
Public Domain
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