Military Crackdown Extends Further Than Walter Reed

John had linked to Arthur's post about the evidentally punitive measures the brass are taking at Walter Reed, in retribution for the soldiers speaking out about the horrible conditions they were enduring during their convalescence and rehabilitation.

Well, unfortunately, Walter Reed is not the only facility, nor the only crackdown from the Department of Defense.

E&P: A report today that soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are being told not to speak with the press is apparently just the latest move in a recent effort to tighten restrictions on journalists' access to many military facilities, according to the president of Military Reporters and Editors.

James Crawley, a military reporter with MediaGeneral and MRE president, said today's revelation by Army Times that Walter Reed patients had been barred from speaking with reporters is not the first case of tightened restrictions. In recent months, he says several MRE members have reported similar crackdowns. What's worse, many of the denials are apparently in reaction to the potential negativity of a planned story.

"It is starting to look like it is becoming a policy in some areas where they are not allowing reporters on the base unless it is an absolutely positively good news story," said Crawley. "The military is making it harder and harder to do stories on bases, as far as doing man on the street interviews."But some MRE members said that the clampdown is in place at other military facilities, not just medical centers.

[..]"This is troublesome because it keeps the average person from learning the real facts here," he said. "They are trying to censor the news, in this case it is bad news. The military has gone into a bunker mentality." He also had heard reports from some reporters that casualty numbers were not being released as freely as in the past. "They are trying to manage the news," he said. "There has to be some middle ground and in the past there has been middle ground."


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