In February, the U.S. Army asked for proposals to boost its Iraq public affairs work with "three civilian PR specialists and two Arabic-speaking media monitors to work in Iraq and two staffers stateside." Then, the deadline for proposals was extended to mid-March. On March 11, the request was cancelled, as "the Government no longer has a requirement for this service." The original posting (doc) described the Iraq work, based in Tikrit with the Multinational Division-North, as including "local Iraqi and international media monitoring and local media outreach in Iraq." The U.S.-based employees would "conduct media outreach to hometown, regional and national U.S. media," launch "an interactive web site, a troop web 'blog' and upload daily materials." Another goal of the work was to boost Army media relations "beyond traditional recipients of media products in order to garner maximum exposure to publics in the U.S. on a 24 hour basis." O'Dwyer's notes that the PR firm "Lincoln Group has worked alongside military [public affairs officers] in Iraq since early in the U.S. invasion." In 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported that Lincoln Group was covertly paying Iraqi newspapers to run articles written by U.S. information operations troops.
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