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The Buffalo News has revealed that a former spokesman for President Bush has been encouraging U.S. newspapers to run news stories from Iraq written by two combat veterans who are now embedded reporters in Iraq.
The official -- Taylor Gross -- has pitched the stories as "balanced and credible viewpoints gained directly from those closest to and most affected by the Iraq War."
But it turns out the veterans are from a pro-war group called Vets for Freedom that has ties to the Republican Party.
The group is now running website hosted by a firm that previously worked for the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.
Questions about ties between Vets for Freedom and the Republican party were first raised by the group PR Watch and citizen journalists at PR Watch's website SourceWatch.
Former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia from Batavia, Genesee County, will hear President Bush's State of the Union address in person. He's attending the annual event with Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-Clarence, Erie County. Each legislator is allowed to bring one guest to the event.
David Bellavia, who won a Silver Star in Iraq and has been recommended for a Medal of Honor, says Murtha and other Democrats ought to apologize to U.S. forces in Iraq for their repeated claims that the Army is beaten, living hand-to-mouth and doomed to defeat.