The Counter-Information Team, a "Cold War-era office with a shadowy name and a colorful history of exposing Soviet deceptions" in the U.S. Department of State, resumed operation in October 2002.
[Note that the "Team" has also been called the "Counter-Disinformation/Misinformation Team" but is more currently known as the "Counter-Information Team."]
"In coordination with the CIA, FBI and others," the "Team"'s mission -- now "watching Iraq" -- was said to help "U.S. embassies identify and rebut other nations' disinformation, most often fabrications about the United States planted in foreign newspapers or television shows and, these days, on the Internet." 
The "Team" was described in March 2003 as "part of a broader Bush administration project to shore up America's reputation when sentiment against a possible war with Iraq is running high overseas." 
It was also reported in March 2003 that Todd Leventhal, "the last man in the counterdisinformation office," laid off in 1996, "was rehired in October ; now he has a researcher and a part-time writer, too." 
"Team": Saddam and WMD
"The head of the State Department's Counter Mis-Information 'Team' is Todd Leventhal, a long-time neoconservative propaganda operative who once worked for the U.S. Information Agency's (USIA) Bureau of Information to counter Soviet and other disinformation with his own Brand X of American disinformation. [Journalist Jyri] Raivio reports that Leventhal was part of the Bush administration’s effort to convince the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Leventhal also contends in the Helsingin Sanomat report that any suggestion that false WMD intelligence was cooked up by the Bush administration is merely a conspiracy theory and that the faulty intelligence on Iraqi WMD was merely a huge 'mistake.'" --Wayne Madsen, Online Journal, April 18, 2005.
"Even though a story can be incredibly preposterous in the Western mind, it can resonate deeply in other parts of the world," Todd Levanthal, a U.S. Information Agency specialist on disinformation, told the New York Times (9/16/90)." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bureau of International Information Programs
- Office of Strategic Communication
- Office of Strategic Influence
- Rendon Group
- war propaganda
- "Gulf War Stories the Media Loved -- Except They Aren't True," Natural Solutions Radio, September 7, 2002.
- Connie Cass, "A secretive office stands up for U.S. version of events. Focusing on Iraqi claims about U.S.," Associated Press (CNN), March 10, 2003; also here.
- "The casualties of his convictions," Kurdish Life, Spring 2004.
- "Accuracy in the Media: Misinformation, Mistakes, and Misleading in American and Other Media," Todd Leventhal, Chief of the Counter-Information Team, U.S. Department of State; Dante Chinni, Senior Associate, Project for Excellence in Journalism, Foreign Press Center Briefing, Washington, DC, April 6, 2005. Includes Real Audio link of the briefing.
- Wayne Madsen, "Bush administration's 'Ministry of Truth' attacks American journalists who fail to adhere to the official line," Online Journal, April 18, 2005.
- Stephen Johnson and Helle Dale, "How to Reinvigorate U.S. Public Diplomacy,", Heritage Foundation, April 23, 2003.
- Diaa Hadid, "Splinter groups source of most disinformation," Gulf News, May 5, 2005: "The US State Department is planning to launching an Arabic website to counter 'false stories that appear about the US,' a senior official said. ... Todd Leventhal, from the Office of Strategic Communication at the US State Department, was in Dubai this week as part of a regional tour to raise awareness about the new site and his department's work."