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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 081-02
February 20, 2002

RUMSFELD ADDRESSES STRATEGIC INFLUENCE CRITICISM

The Secretary of Defense today made the following statement regarding the Department's Office of Strategic Influence:

"Government officials, the Department of Defense, this secretary and the people that work with me tell the American people and the people of the world the truth. And to the extent anyone says anything that at any time proves to have been not accurate, they correct it at the earliest possible opportunity."

Rumsfeld mentioned in his comments the Office of Strategic Influence, created in November 2001 to assist in crafting policy regarding the military aspects of information operations. The charter of the office is still under development. However, consistent with Defense Department policy, under no circumstances will the office or its contractors knowingly or deliberately disseminate false information to the American or foreign media or publics.

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