... While Tripping Up on Propaganda Abroad

American officials run into criticism over planted stories in Iraqi newspapers

Top aides at the Pentagon and State Department are furious that the President's big speech last week touting progress in Iraq was largely drowned out by disclosures that the U.S. command in Baghdad had been secretly planting rosy stories in Iraqi newspapers. Administration sources say Karen Hughes, who is in charge of improving the U.S.'s image abroad, is fuming and that neither she--as the State Department's Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy--nor such senior Pentagon officers as Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace knew of the program until the Los Angeles Times broke the story last week.

Under a $5 million contract negotiated...

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