A three-year government investigation has found no wrongdoing by Bush-era Pentagon officials when they gave war briefings to retired military analysts who served as TV and radio commentators.
The probe by the Pentagon inspector general was a response to a 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning article in the New York Times that implied the former military officers, some of whom worked for or were defense contractors, received financial favors in return for their commentary and that they were tools in a propaganda campaign.
Sources familiar with the IG’s final report said it will say officials broke no rules or laws when they provided information briefings, some from then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The IG also found no evidence that any analyst or his defense contractor employer received any favorable treatment or procurement contracts due to his work as an on-air commentator, according to the sources.
“The report basically says the Pentagon activities were in compliance with DOD [Department of Defense] directives and instructions,” a government official familiar with the findings told The Washington Times. In terms of financial favors, “they didn’t find any evidence of that,” the source said.