The secretary of defense will no longer brief retired military officers-turned-network television analysts, the chief Pentagon spokesman said Friday.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Robert Hastings said he suspended the program this week amid media scrutiny of the practice.
An article in the Sunday New York Times alleged that the analysts were used to push the Bush administration's messages topics including the war in Iraq and what was going on in the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The report also claimed that some of the analysts were involved in business contracts with the Pentagon -- information the newspaper said was rarely or never disclosed, even to the networks.
The briefings were started by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2003, during the buildup to the war in Iraq.
Hastings said that since his arrival at the Pentagon this year, the group of analysts has not met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But he was unclear whether the analysts had ever met with Gates, who took over the post in December 2006.
And with good reason--Gates isn't interested in lining the pockets of sycophants. That's the difference between Gates and Rumsfeld. Gates isn't going to let anyone profit from what he controls. Case closed.
That's why I'm so glad we went in-depth with this story and I think we both feel vindicated for our outrage. I was mocked on Sunday and Monday on another blog, which shall remain nameless, for being bent out of shape about this. Well, for those folks, and for the Generals who lied and made money, I got one thing to say:
Who's laughing now, bitches?