133McCaffrey Used Office Firm re: Lawsuit v. Sy Hersh
- Dec 25, 2000McCaffrey Used Office's Law Firm to Research Lawsuit v. Hersh
The issue grew out of a critical article that the New Yorker magazine
published in May. It charged that during the Persian Gulf War in
1991, troops led by McCaffrey--then an Army general--used unnecessary
force in a battle with Iraqi soldiers following a cease-fire.
McCaffrey branded the article "nonsense" at the time it appeared.
GAO investigators found that McCaffrey received professional advice
on how to handle the fallout from the article from Paul Johnson, a
regional president for Fleishman-Hilliard Inc. The public-relations
powerhouse receives about $10 million a year from McCaffrey's office
for its media campaign work.
"Director McCaffrey denied to us that anyone had assisted him in his
response to the article," GAO investigators said in their report. But
investigators said Johnson acknowledged that McCaffrey had called him
because he was very concerned about the effect the article might have
on the war on drugs, and Johnson said he spent three to four hours
helping to shape a response to the New Yorker and also referred
McCaffrey to a libel attorney.
Johnson said he did not bill McCaffrey or the drug policy office for
his time because "he did this as a personal favor to Director
McCaffrey," according to the report.
Through his spokesman, McCaffrey said that there was nothing
Johnson could not be reached for comment, and officials at Fleishman-
Hilliard said they would not be able to discuss the issue.