Pentagon OK's Its PR Program's Money Funneling

Once again, the U.S. Defense Department is trying to absolve itself of wrongdoing. The Pentagon's Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) has ruled that the American Forces Information Service and the Stars and Stripes military newspaper "did not break the law in how they handled money for the America Supports You program." America Supports You (ASY) is a Pentagon program tasked with boosting troop morale. Under Allison Barber, a former Pentagon official and public relations professional, ASY's funding practices, close ties to corporate sponsors and massive spending on public relations made the program controversial. Last year, the Defense Department Inspector General's office reported that ASY funneled $9.2 million through Stars and Stripes, against Pentagon rules and with so little oversight that officials "lost visibility of about $4.1 million." Yet, the Pentagon's WHS, an administrative office, ruled that the Antideficiency Act, "which prevents government agencies from spending money in ways not authorized by Congress," had not been violated.