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Fri Jun 28, 2013, 10:02 AM Jun 2013

Pentagon propaganda efforts continue


Pentagon propaganda efforts continue
Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY 12:13 p.m. EDT
June 27, 2013

The Defense Department wants to continue working with contractors to pump propaganda into Afghanistan despite a recent Government Accountability Office report that shows the programs are inadequately tracked, their impact is unclear, and the military doesn't know if it is targeting the right foreign audiences.

The military deems the capability so integral to its effort in Afghanistan that it has extended the contract of the Leonie Group, its top private producer of propaganda, according to Air Force Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman.

The company's co-owner, Camille Chidiac, was suspended for a time last year for admitting that he launched an online smear campaign against USA TODAY. The campaign, which Chidiac said in a letter to the Army, was started by public relations firm he had hired and wasn't his fault. The campaign began after the paper learned that Chidiac and his sister, Rema Dupont, the company's co-owner, owed the federal government $4 million in back taxes.


In any event, the Pentagon is taking bids until July 19 for its propaganda enterprise in Afghanistan, known in miltiary-ese as, Military Information Support Operations (MISO).
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