A black eye for the McCain campaign:

Seven on-duty Army personnel participated in a campaign event for Senator John McCain earlier this month in Londonderry, N.H., in an apparent violation of a Pentagon directive against partisan political activity, two military officials confirmed this week.

The Sept. 14 rally at an American Legion hall was part of McCain's "No Surrender" tour of early-primary states, a martial pageant designed to draw attention to the Arizona Republican's continued support for the war in Iraq …

A Department of Defense directive signed in August 2004 by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz prohibits on-duty members of the armed forces from "speak[ing] before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause." …

A Pentagon official did not dispute that the 2004 directive would apply in this instance.

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