Petraeus to probe illegal manipulations

Feb. 24, 2011 at 5:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. military commander in Afghanistan will probe allegations the Army illegally tried to convince visiting U.S. legislators to increase war funding.

A report in Rolling Stone magazine Wednesday said Gen. David Petraeus will investigate whether soldiers at Camp Eggers in Kabul were repeatedly directed by Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, who is in charge of training Afghan troops, to use "psychological operations" to pressure senators and other dignitaries to support funding for the war, The Hill reported.

Legislators allegedly targeted by the operations include Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member John McCain, R-Ariz., senior Senate Armed Services Committee member Jack Reed, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y.

Caldwell ordered an "information operations" officer to collect background data on visiting U.S. officials and information that would provide a "deeper analysis of pressure points we could use to leverage the delegation for more funds" for perpetuating the war, Rolling Stone reported.

"I am confident that the chain of command will review any allegation that information operations have been improperly used in Afghanistan," said Levin.

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