The Pentagon, which serves as the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense and "the nerve center for command and control," located in Arlington County, Virginia, "presently houses approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel." 
Pentagon Inspector Clears Planting Stories As Legal
"U.S. military websites that pay journalists to write articles and commentary supporting military activities in Europe and Africa do not violate U.S. law or Pentagon policies," concluded the Pentagon's inspector general. The websites, the Southeast European Times  (launched in 1999 by President Clinton) and Magharebia  (launched in 2004 by President Bush), often use "freelance reporters hired by Anteon Corp." 
The U.S. military's Pacific Command in Asia and Central Command in the Middle East are also developing "regional information websites." The Pentagon inspector general's report did not address the fact that U.S. audiences, which the government is forbidden from propagandizing, can access the websites. A related investigation into Pentagon-planted stories in Iraqi newspapers by the Lincoln Group, headed by Navy Rear Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, is expected to be completed soon. 
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Related SourceWatch articles
- American Forces Radio and Television Service
- U.S. Department of Defense
- Lincoln Group
- Loose Cannon Pentagon
- Pentagon Channel
- Pentagon Papers
- The Pentagon's Papers
- "Pentagon" in the Wikipedia.
- Hsing Lee, "Remember 9/11," Common Ground, September 17, 2003.
- Jeff Gerth, "Military's Information War Is Vast and Often Secretive", New York Times, December 11, 2005.
- Lisa Myers, Douglas Pasternak, Rich Gardella and the NBC Investigative Unit, "Is the Pentagon spying on Americans? Secret database obtained by NBC News tracks 'suspicious' domestic groups," MSNBC, November 14, 2005.
- Matt Kelley, "Pentagon rolls out stealth PR", USA TODAY, December 14, 2005.
- Mark Mazzetti, "Pentagon Calls Its Pro-U.S. Websites Legal: An internal review finds that efforts aimed at the Balkans, northern Africa break no laws. But a Defense official says they might backfire", Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2005.
- Mark Mazzetti, "Military Will Keep Planting Articles in Iraq", Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2006.
- David S. Cloud, "U.S. Urged to Stop Paying Iraqi Reporters," New York Times, May 24, 2006.