When George W. Bush's long-time spin doctor Karen Hughes was sworn-in as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, she said "that our ability to differ freely, openly and respectfully is, in itself, something to be celebrated." But during a "town hall" meeting for State Department employees, she described her plans to improve US image abroad in militaristic phrases, outlining a "rapid-response unit" and "forward-deploy regional SWAT teams" to "formulate a more strategic and focused approach to all our public diplomacy assets." The Washington Post's Dana Milbank writes, "One of her underlings rose to ask how this effort squared with the administration's famously tight control over its message. … Hughes replied that ambassadors are free to talk -- if they use the talking points she sends them. 'If they make statements based on something I sent them,' she said, 'they're not going to be called on the carpet.'"
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