U.S. will continue paying Iraq papers for favorable news

NATION DIGEST

March 04, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military plans to continue paying Iraqi newspapers to publish favorable articles after an inquiry found no fault with the practice, the top U.S. general in Iraq said yesterday.

Army Gen. George W. Casey said the review has concluded that the U.S. military has not violated any American laws or Pentagon guidelines by running the information operations campaign, in which U.S. troops and a private contractor called Lincoln Group write pro-American stories and pay to have them planted without attribution in the Iraqi media.

The information program has been heavily criticized both inside and outside of the military as detrimental to U.S. credibility and contrary to the principles of a free press in a nascent democracy.

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