WASHINGTON: The Defense Department's inspector general (IG) as well as the General Accountability Office (GAO) began investigations last week into the Pentagon's private briefings of retired military analysts.
Following an in-depth report by the New York Times on the business and lobbying ties of retired military officers who provide TV networks with commentary, the US House of Representatives included an amendment in its version of the 2008 defense bill that would require the IG and GAO investigations.
The Pentagon had earlier launched an internal investigation into the briefings shortly after the Times report came out, but did not set any timetable for when it might be completed.
Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary for media operations, told PRWeek earlier this month that current managers of the public affairs program to brief retired military analysts on current operations denied ever "disinviting" any officer from briefings as a result of their negative commentary, contrary to claims by one retired officer in the Times story.
Whitman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new IG and GAO investigations.