Pentagon officials won't confirm Bush propaganda program ended
The covert Bush administration program that used retired military analysts to generate favorable wartime news coverage may not have been terminated, Raw Story has found.
In interviews, Pentagon officials in charge of the press and community relations offices — which worked in partnership on the military analyst program — equivocated on the subject of whether the program has ended.
Last May, the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General issued a memorandum rescinding a Bush administration investigative report on the retired military analyst program because it “did not meet accepted quality standards for an Inspector General work product.” The now-retracted report had exonerated officials of using propaganda and referred to the program as just "one of many outreach groups."
Yet Donald Horstman, Pentagon Inspector General deputy director, also stated in the memorandum that his office wouldn’t probe further because the “outreach program has been terminated and responsible senior officials are no longer employed by the Department.”
Raw Story’s investigation, however, has shown that some “responsible senior officials” are still employed by the Defense Department, including Bryan Whitman, who remains a chief Pentagon spokesman and head of all media operations, and Roxie Merritt, who is head of the Pentagon’s community relations office.
Raw Story has discovered that Horstman’s other justification for not reopening an investigation at the time – “because the [retired military analyst] outreach program has been terminated” – remains an open question.