State Department Uses Political 'Litmus Test'

"The State Department has been using political litmus tests to screen private American citizens before they can be sent overseas to represent the United States, weeding out critics of the Bush administration's Iraq policy, according to department officials and internal e-mails," Knight-Ridder reports. "The practices appear to be the latest examples of the Bush administration's efforts to tightly control information, maintain 'message discipline' and promote news about the United States and its policies." President Bush's confidante Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes oversees the effort, which is part of a larger campaign to boost international opinion of the United States.