WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- The Pentagon has dropped its practice of having the defense secretary brief retired military officers who work as TV news analysts, officials said Friday.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Robert Hastings said he suspended the briefings this week after The New York Times published a story on ties between the Pentagon and the retirees-turned-analysts, CNN reported Friday.
The Times reported Sunday that many such analysts -- who began appearing on TV during the run-up to the Iraq war -- were fed information by the Pentagon, which used the military experts in a campaign to generate favorable coverage of the Bush administration's wartime performance.
The Times story said some military analysts had business dealings with the Pentagon, contacts that viewers -- and even the networks employing the analysts -- were rarely informed of.
Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.H., Thursday called on Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass. -- chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs -- to look into the matter.
Hodes said it was unacceptable for the administration to try to "manipulate the public with false propaganda on matters of war and our national security."