US officials defend Iraq propaganda program

US military officials have for the first time detailed and broadly defended a Pentagon program that pays to plant stories in the Iraqi media, part of an effort the country's top military commander said aimed to "get the truth out" there. But facing critics in the United States - including lawmakers from both parties - the military raised the possibility for the first time of making changes in the program. "If any part of our process does not have our full confidence, we will examine that activity and take appropriate action," Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a military spokesman in Iraq, said Friday. "If any contractor is failing to perform as we have intended, we will take appropriate action." Johnson did not specify what changes, if any, might be considered.
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