Inside the Public Relations Blitz to Sell Iraq War Overseas

ByABC News
December 14, 2005, 5:18 PM

Dec. 14, 2005 — -- ABC News has obtained a strategy document called "The Making of Heroes: Lincoln Group and the Fight for Fallujah" -- part of the Pentagon's multi-million dollar public relations campaign to sell the American war effort to the Iraqis.

The Lincoln Group is the influential Washington D.C. public relations firm, which produced positive news stories that the U.S. government paid Iraqi publishers and journalists to print.

A PowerPoint presentation shows how the Lincoln Group sells an idea the U.S. government wants promoted -- in this case, according to the document, the capability of Iraqi forces.

A small number of Iraqi forces were with the U.S. troops in Fallujah in November of 2004, but some Marines and reporters said the Iraqis were only minimally involved.

But under the heading "The Concept," the document shows, the Lincoln Group seeks to promote "the strength, integrity and reliability of Iraqi Forces during the fight for Fallujah."

Under the heading "Rumor Control," according to the document, the Lincoln Group strives to dispel the notion that the war is "America's fight" or that Iraqi forces were defecting.

"It's a little strange to see because even the Pentagon's own estimates and the administration's own estimates of the state of the Iraqi forces in 2004 when these fights for Fallujah occurred were never very glowing," said Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution.

The Lincoln Group said it could not provide a comment about this report under the terms of the Pentagon contract.

ABC News' Martha Raddatz filed this report for "World News Tonight."