The US military is waging a multimillion-dollar campaign to plant paid propaganda in the Iraqi news media for political gains, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The military also paid "friendly" Iraqi journalists monthly stipends, according to the report.
One such example is an article appeared this week in the Iraqi press which was scornful of outsiders' "pessimism about the country's future."
However, Pentagon documents showed it is far from being the heartfelt opinion of an Iraqi writer, it was actually prepared by the US military.
The article was one of several in a "storyboard", the US military's term for a list of articles, that was delivered Tuesday to a Washington-based public relations firm named the Lincoln Group paid by the Pentagon.
The firm's job is to translate the articles into Arabic and submit them to Iraqi newspapers or advertising agencies without revealing the Pentagon's role.
Documents showed that the intended target of the article mentioned above was a leading Iraqi newspaper named Azzaman.
In addition to paying Iraqi newspapers to print US military propaganda, Lincoln has also paid a dozen Iraqi reporters each several hundred dollars a month.
The White House expressed its concern about the reports of the Pentagon's paid propaganda campaign in Iraq, saying it will seek more information on this from the military.
A White House spokesman said Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Pentagon are looking into the reports, although a US military spokesman in Baghdad said there is no formal review of the campaign.