The LA Times reported on Nov. 30 that the US military has hired consultants who pose as freelance journalists to write favorable stories about US military operations in Iraq, and then pay the Iraqi newspapers to run these stories.

NPR also interviewed Times journalist Mark Mazetti yesterday about it on “Talk of the Nation.”

One Pentagon official who disagrees with the practice summed up nicely what’s so wrong about it: “Here we are trying to create the principles of democracy in Iraq. Every speech we give in that country is about democracy. And we’re breaking all the first principles of democracy when we’re doing it.”