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Analysis: Pentagon talks openness, but shows little action

By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes, Mideast edition, Thursday, September 3, 2009


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WASHINGTON — Media critics for years have blasted the military for its heavy-handed efforts to control the flow of information coming out of the Pentagon. And now the Joint Chiefs Chairman has agreed with them.

“There has been a certain arrogance in our ‘strat comm’ efforts,” Adm. Mike Mullen wrote in a recent essay in the Pentagon’s Joint Force Quarterly magazine. “We need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate.

“What we need more than anything is credibility,” Mullen added. “And we can’t get that in a talking point.”

But the Pentagon has yet to embrace Mullen’s beliefs, military watchdogs assert, noting that few meaningful changes have been made since President Barack Obama promised an “unprecedented level of openness in government” earlier this year.

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