Reporters’ Access to Military Coming Under Tighter Controls

Posted on July 2, 2010

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You can’t say you didn’t see this coming. 

From CNN:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday ordered a tightening of controls over military interaction with reporters.

“… I am concerned that the department has grown lax in how we engage with the media, often in contravention of established rules and procedures,” he said in a two-page memorandum.

Before interviews, “all component leaders or their public affairs officers must notify OSD (Office of Secretary of Defense) Public Affairs which, in turn and as appropriate, will ensure that senior department officials with the relevant overall knowledge and situational awareness have been consulted.”

The directive came nine days after President Barack Obama relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of command of the Afghan war and 10 days after Rolling Stone published critical comments about top White House officials by members of McChrystal’s staff.

But Douglas Wilson, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said the memo had been in the works before the magazine article.

After all the ruckus caused by the Rolling Stone article and President Obama’s subsequent cutting loose of General McChrystal, there is no way I’m buying that this memo had been in the works for a while.   Nope, not buying it at all.