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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Pentagon developing public relations response team
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon has begun a new "rapid response" operation to quickly respond to news media stories critical of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq, as well as other stories the Defense Department leadership doesn't like.

The operation is similar to those used in political campaigns, but officials say the new organization was not started specifically because of rising criticism of the war.

Defense Department Press Secretary Eric Ruff could not immediately provide statistics regarding the cost of the new operation or the number of people involved. He confirmed, however, that it is expected some of the new staff members will be political appointees or contractors.

-- CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr
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