(CBS/AP)I guess they felt it was working so well here, they should use the same techniques in Iraq.
Two other federal agencies have been investigated in the past year for similar activities, leading Congress' Government Accountability Office to condemn one, the Education Department, for engaging in illegal covert propaganda.
The Los Angeles Times quoted unidentified officials as saying that some of the stories in Iraqi newspapers were written by U.S. troops and while basically factual, they sometimes give readers a slanted view of what is happening in Iraq. Some of those officials expressed fear that use of such stories could hurt the U.S. military's credibility, the newspaper said.
In the last year, the Bush administration has been called to task for paying journalists to promote its programs. GAO slammed the Education Department for illegal propaganda when the agency paid columnist Armstrong Williams to publicize the "No Child Left Behind" education law.
And the GAO is looking into the Heath and Human Services Department's contract with syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher to help promote a marriage initiative.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon's inspector general's office said it was investigating a program that paid journalists to write articles and commentary for a Web site called Southeast European Times that was aimed at influencing opinion in the Balkans.