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133McCaffrey Used Office Firm re: Lawsuit v. Sy Hersh

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  • Al Giordano
    Dec 25, 2000
      McCaffrey 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.