Tuesday, May 23, 2006

When you want war -- call BENADOR

The whiff of war pervades the air, and we all know what the first casualty is. emptywheel at the Next Hurrah notes that
...Judy is back on the Neocon payroll (or at least some faction thereof), and that John Bolton is pursuing regime change. And that, by association, Judy got her toes wet on the Iran warmongering at the same time as her former speakers bureau, Benador Associates, started placing outrageously fraudulent stories to justify a war.
The reference is to Amir Taheri, the guy behind the recent propaganda yarn that Iran had passed a law to make Jews wear identifying insignia. From Greg Sargent at The Horse's Mouth:
Meanwhile, Amir Taheri, the fellow who penned one of the original stories, has posted a press release on the site of his rep Benador Associates that is anything but a mea culpa. Taheri seems to be standing by the story, though he concedes that his "column was used as the basis for a number of reports that somehow jumped the gun." He doesn't address the small problem that the law appears to have made no mention of religious minorities, only saying that his "sources" are telling him that the ideas of special markers for followers of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are "being discussed," though we're not told by whom.
Obviously, Taheri still hopes to convince the gullible that his fiction is factual.

Here is the web page for Benador. And here is a very revealing quote about Benador from the Asia Times of August 15, 2003 :
When historians look back on the United States war in Iraq, they will almost certainly be struck by how a small group of mainly neo-conservative analysts and activists outside the administration were able to shape the US media debate in ways that made the drive to war so much easier than it might have been… But historians would be negligent if they ignored the day-to-day work of one person who, as much as anyone outside the administration, made their media ubiquity possible. Meet Eleana Benador, the Peruvian-born publicist for Perle, Woolsey, Michael Ledeen, Frank Gaffney and a dozen other prominent neo-conservatives whose hawkish opinions proved very hard to avoid for anyone who watched news talk shows or read the op-ed pages of major newspapers over the past 20 months.
New York-based Benador Associates is less than two years old, but has a star-studded client roster of 38 people, most of them Middle East specialists. Benador estimates that she arranges for her clients each week between 15 and 30 interviews on US and foreign television. In the same period, she places an average of about five op-eds by them in the most influential newspapers, such as the Times, the Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.
She acquired that kind of clout in two years? Such things do not happen by accident. Hard work alone won't do the trick. This woman is connected. I would bet that someone else -- some larger organization -- set up Benador.

Her husband, you may be intrigued to learn, is a Swiss art dealer. I don't yet know his name, but I feel fairly sure that he owned the Galerie Benador in Geneva. He may be Emmanuel Benador, the Picasso expert. If that guess is correct, then perhaps Arianna Huffington -- who wrote a book about Picasso -- can tell us more about the Benadors.

I wonder if Eleanor made her initial connections with neocon "parapoliticians" (if I may be allowed such a term) via her involvement in the art world?

Incidentally, another Benador-linked neocon is the well-known propagandist Laurie Mylroie, who co-wrote a book on Saddam Hussein with Judith Miller. Dr. Barry Rubin, the proprietor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (often considered a MOSSAD front) is also in the Benador orbit.

(Whaddya think of my headline? I told you I worked in advertising...!)


Anonymous said...

Headline's awesome, Joseph.

I'm starting to wonder, with this potent and poisonous Peruvian/Swiss Benador For War connection, if we've got a gruesome branch of South American resettled Nazi descendants collaborating with descendants of their Jewish victims, in this evil, evil social circle that is ruining our government, our media, and our country.

Joseph Cannon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph Cannon said...

Operating on the theory that Eleana is married to Emmanuel Benador: It's interesting to contemplate that a man with expertise in the creator of "Guernica" should go to bed each night with the woman who helped give us Fallujah.

What does this tell us about the relationship between art and society? Perhaps this: The affluent fetishize the objects created by artists without hearing the message those artists hope to convey.

Anonymous said...

These guys have publicists? How do they look at themselves in the mirror without hysterical giggles?

Did Ben Franklin have a publicist? Did Rousseau or Voltaire have publicists? What about Churchill? What about Einstein?

Oh, what a sorry state of affairs! When men garner power and influence by having snake-oil pitchmen to advertise and promote them!

Truly, the reality wars are coming.

Anonymous said...

Scott Ritter's big friend, Khidhir Hamza, the so called Iraqi nuclear 'whistle blower' also comes from the stables of Benador Associates.


Joseph Cannon said...

To the first poster: I don't think Eleana is any kind of "Nazi descendant." Not long ago, I was hopping around her web site and discovered that she spells "God" this way: "G_D". Do non-Jews do that?

A side question: How long have Jews put a dash in place of the O? I first noticed the practice in the late '70s. I grew up in a half-Jewish household in the '60s and early '70s, and have always had plenty of Jewish friends -- yet I never saw anyone use that spelling at that time.

Eleana's religious heritage is not really the issue. But her political associates are appalling. And it still troubles me that anyone with a training in art history -- someone who has a background in the humanities -- could become an apologist for, and promoter of, neocon thuggery.

sunny said...

Voting Green in general elections against Dems who couldn't be ousted in primaries could be a very good solution and a powerful message.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just like voting for Nader instead of Gore right? Afterall there is no way Gore could lose right?

gary said...

The good news, I suppose, is that the Iran lies are being exposed faster than the Iraq lies were, but I fear not fast enough.

sunny said...

Hey Anonymous, I didn't vote for Nader. I actually voted for Gore because I like him and thought his motives were pure.

I'm talking about now, and how to get rid of Vichy Dems. If everybody got on the same page to get rid of the likes of DiFi, who is likely to win her primary, what would that tell these people? It would tell them to get on the same page as their constituents, or else.