Buy and Buy: Source in Iraq Payola Story Was Getting Some Himself

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By: E&P Staff

When The New York Times carried a story last month revealing that a Pentagon contractor was paying Iraqi newspapers to run stories favorable to the U.S., it quoted, perhaps for balance, Michael Rubin, a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “I’m not surprised this goes on,” he said. “Especially in an atmosphere where terrorists and insurgents – replete with oil boom cash – do the same. We need an even playing field, but cannot fight with both hands tied behind our backs.”

It turns out that Rubin was getting money from the same contractor, the Lincoln Group, the Times reveals in a Monday article.

The revelation comes at the end of an article that focuses on the contractor paying Sunni religious scholars in Iraq in return for assistance with its propaganda work.

Rubin confirmed to the Times that he had reviewed materials produced by Lincoln during two trips to Iraq within the past two years.

“I visited Camp Victory and looked over some of their proposals or products and commented on their ideas,” Rubin said in an e-mailed response to questions about his links to Lincoln. “I am not nor have I been an employee of the Lincoln Group. I do not receive a salary from them.”

He added: “Normally, when I travel, I receive reimbursement of expenses including a per diem and/or honorarium.” But Rubin would not disclose how much money he may have received from Lincoln.

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