Glock Shock in Iraq (Or, What the Lincoln Group Did Last Year With Your $19 Million)

Willem Marx, a recent graduate from Oxford, dreamed of becoming a foreign correspondent. He applied for an internship in which he would "pitch story ideas" and "interact with the local media" in Iraq. That's how the U.S. government-funded Lincoln Group advertised it. Sent off to Baghdad with virtually no training, Marx was soon packing a loaded Glock and helping buy good press for America--$3 million in cash in his apartment safe and another $16 million coming for "news," PR and advertising. Until, he writes, he could bear no more. "We create something called a Rapid Response Cell... . Working in the violent cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, the journalists would be paid by Lincoln Group to report news that bolstered the U.S. military message." That included advance notice of "breaking stories" in order to ensure that the reporters would "'positively' portray events before the insurgency could put out its own account." Marx's account has stimulated a lively discussion on and offers an epilogue to CMD's The Best War Ever.