Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Bill Cowan

  • Iran Policy Committee: Member, Military Committee
  • Fox News: Contributor

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Bill Cowan, a decorated veteran of three tours in Vietnam and a former military intelligence officer, is a Fox News contributor who serves on the military committee of the Iran Policy Committee (IPC), a controversial advocacy group founded by Raymond Tanter that has promoted U.S. support for the exile Iranian opposition group People's Mujahedin Organization (or Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK). The MEK has been on the State Department's list of international terrorist organizations since 1997, after it assassinated several U.S. citizens involved in selling weapons to the Shah. Other IPC members and associates include retired military officers Chuck Nash, Thomas McInerney, and Paul Vallely.

Cowan is also an adviser to the Intelligence Summit, a privately funded "charity" whose activities include providing education programs—or “summits—in order “to provide an opportunity for the international intelligence community to listen to and learn from each other, and to share ideas in the common war against terrorism.” [1] Other summit advisors and leaders have included IPC’s McInerney and Vallely, Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy, Rachel Ehrenfeld, and Brigitte Gabriel

Cowan’s hardline Iran stance was evident in 2009 when Cowan compared Obama’s diplomatic strategy toward Iran to “Neville Chamberlain trying to deal with Hitler” on Fox News, claiming Obama was more interested in engagement rather than toughening sanctions on the Iranians. [2]

Cowan was one of the “military analysts” used by President George W. Bush’s “Pentagon information apparatus to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance,” according to an extensive examination by the New York Timesin April 2008. [3] Wrote David Barstow, “Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as ‘message force multipliers’ or ‘surrogates’ who could be counted on to deliver administration ‘themes and messages’ to millions of Americans ‘in the form of their own opinions.’… The documents released by the Pentagon do not show any quid pro quo between commentary and contracts. But some analysts said they had used the special access as a marketing and networking opportunity or as a window into future business possibilities” [4] Barstow found that a September 2003 tour of Iraq, “composed of four analysts from Fox News, one each from CNN and ABC, and several research-group luminaries whose opinion articles appear regularly in the nation’s op-ed pages,” was timed to “help overcome the sticker shock from Mr. Bush’s request for $87 billion in emergency war financing.”

For Cowan, whose firm wvc3 had recently been launched, the trip also provided direct access to senior military and civilian leaders who controlled the war budget spending. Adds Barstow, “Information and access of this nature had undeniable value for trip participants like William V. Cowan and Carlton A. Sherwood. Mr. Cowan, a Fox analyst and retired Marine colonel, was the chief executive of a new military firm, the wvc3 Group. Mr. Sherwood was its executive vice president. At the time, the company was seeking contracts worth tens of millions to supply body armor and counterintelligence services in Iraq. In addition, wvc3 Group had a written agreement to use its influence and connections to help tribal leaders in Al Anbar Province win reconstruction contracts from the coalition. ‘Those sheiks wanted access to the C.P.A.,’ Mr. Cowan recalled in an interview, referring to the Coalition Provisional Authority.” [5]

According to the wvc3 website, the company is a “Service Disabled Veteran Owned business with offices in the Washington, D.C. area” that provides “studies, analyses and training based on our expertise in counterterrorism, homeland security, domestic preparedness, and the global war on terror, and for our keen understanding and experience with the programs, systems, and technologies which support them. We share that expertise with government and commercial clients who want to expand their own capabilities through solutions developed to meet client-specific requirements.” [6]

According to his IPC bio: “Bill Cowan is an internationally acknowledged expert in areas of terrorism, homeland security, intelligence, and military special operations. Cowan served three tours of duty in Vietnam and was awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat. The Pentagon sent Cowan to Beirut in 1983. A military intelligence officer at the time, Cowan had the task of determining who was responsible for bombing the U.S. Embassy there. In the 1980s, he was selected to serve as one of the first members and only Marine in the Pentagon’s most classified counterterrorist unit, the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). There, Cowan served as a senior military operations officer and field operative on covert missions to the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. Following retirement from the Marine Corps in 1985, he worked two years on the staff of U.S. Sen. Warren B. Rudman as a legislative assistant and as the senator’s primary staff assistant during the Iran/Contra hearings. From 1989 through 1994, he was involved in numerous operations in the Middle East in response to terrorist incidents and the holding of Western hostages in Beirut and Kuwait. He was directly involved in the Beirut hostages drama, including international negotiations leading to their release in 1991. In 1990, on behalf of a major New York law firm and working with former Director of Central Intelligence Bill Colby, Cowan organized and successfully conducted a series of operations resulting in the repatriation of a number of Western hostages from Iraqi-occupied Kuwait. Cowan is a FOX News Channel contributor and a co-founder of wvc3, a company providing homeland security services, support and technologies to government and commercial clients.” [7]

Share RightWeb

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources

[1] Intelligence Summit, http://www.intelligencesummit.org/about2.php.

[2] “Fox News analyst Cowan compared Obama's diplomatic strategy with Iran to "Neville Chamberlain trying to deal with Hitler," MediaMatters.org, September 28, 2009, http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200909280010.

[3] David Barstow, “Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” New York Times, April 20, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/us/20generals.html?_r=1.

[4] David Barstow, “Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” New York Times, April 20, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/us/20generals.html?_r=1.

[5] David Barstow, “Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” New York Times, April 20, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/us/20generals.html?_r=1.

[6] wvc3, “Who We Are,” http://www.wvc3.com/whoweare.cfm.

[7] Iran Policy Committee, “IPC Scholars and Fellows,” http://www.iranpolicy.org/scholarsandfellows.php (accessed 20 February 2011)

Share RightWeb

Bill Cowan Résumé

Affiliations

  • Iran Policy Committee: Member, Military Committee
  • Intelligence Summit: Advisory Council
  • Fox News: Contributor


Government

  • Defense Department: Former military intelligence
  • U.S. Marine Corps: Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.)
  • U.S. Navy: Enlisted
  • Office of U.S. Senator Warren B. Rudman: Legislative Assistant


Business

  • wvc3: Cofounder and President


Education

  • U.S. Naval Academy: 1966

Related:

Bill Cowan News Feed

Stu Cowan: Stick bills can be huge for Canadiens and other NHL teams - Montreal GazetteDatebook March 19, 2019 | Datebook - Murray Ledger and TimesBowing out after career of saving lives - Aspen Daily NewsCity's planning director position filled | News, Sports, Jobs - The Review - The ReviewPSU softball splits twin bill with Robert Morris - WJAC JohnstownHouse passes Democrats' campaign finance, ethics bill - WHTC NewsQuadriplegic Bill Bradley’s dream is to travel from Cowan to Jerusalem Bay - Daily TelegraphMurray State, Ja Morant romp; Kentucky wins in a rout - The Washington PostThe 'Steely-Eyed Killer' Who Became a Star on Fox News – Then Lost It All - POLITICOTransportation projects consent bill gets mixed reviews | Spotlight - SoMdNews.comHouse passes bill rejecting Trump's border wall emergency - ReutersMuch-Hyped U.S. CBD Market May Reach $16 Billion by 2025, Cowen Says - BloombergSenate Republican delivers blow to Trump border emergency - WHTC NewsStu Cowan: A new chant for Canadiens' Carey Price: 'Lar-ry! Lar-ry!' - Montreal GazetteBill Shorten defends trips in ‘festival of the west’ - The AustralianTHE MEMORY OF WATER Comes to Nottingham Playhouse - Broadway WorldTurlay reconsiders, won't seek re-election to Vancouver City Council - The ColumbianCowan, Liebowitz & Latman Launches CLE4Good Initiative - Associated PressFolk Music and Dance Calendar 3.24.19 | New Hampshire Public Radio - New Hampshire Public RadioDSS can help some with heating bills - The Robesonian

Right Web is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The Right Web Mission

Right Web tracks militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

Featured Profiles

Donald Trump’s second attorney general, William Barr is the focus of a growing controversy over the Robert Mueller report because his decision to unilaterally declare that the the president had not obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation.


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the more effective U.S. lobbying outfits, aims to ensure that the United States backs Israel regardless of the policies Israel pursues.


Erik Prince, former CEO of the mercenary group Blackwater, continues to sell security services around the world as controversies over his work—including in China and the Middle East, and his alleged involvement in collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia—grow.


Gina Haspel is the first woman to hold the position of director of the CIA, winning her confirmation despite her history of involvement in torture during the Iraq War.


Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) is a pressure group founded in early 2019 that serves as a watchdog and enforcer of Israel’s reputation in the Democratic Party.


Richard Grenell is the U.S. ambassador to Germany for the Donald Trump administration, known for his brusque and confrontational style.


Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


RightWeb
share