Operation Mass Appeal was an operation setup by the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) in the runup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It was a campaign aimed at planting stories in the media about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. The existence of the operation was exposed in December 2003, although officials denied that the operation was deliberately disseminating misinformation.
The former UN arms inspector, Scott Ritter, revealed in his book, Iraq Confidential, the existence of an MI6-run psychological warfare effort, known as Operation Mass Appeal. According to Ritter: “Mass Appeal served as a focal point for passing MI6 intelligence on Iraq to the media, both in the UK and around the world. The goal was to help shape public opinion about Iraq and the threat posed by WMD.” MI6 propaganda specialists, at the time, claimed they could spread the misinformation through “editors and writers who work with us from time to time”.
- Rufford, Nicholas (28 December 2003). "Revealed: how MI6 sold the Iraq war". The Sunday Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article839897.ece. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
- MI6 ran 'dubious' Iraq campaign, BBC, 21 November 2003
- Revealed: how MI6 sold the Iraq war (The Sunday Times, 28 December 2003)
- Iraq confidential by Scott Ritter, Seymour M Hersh
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