(A video from CNN's Reliable Sources, from back in February.)
The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason
was the actual title of Kathy Kiely's piece in today's Stars and Stripes. Just yesterday they published an Associated Press story entitled, Report claims Trump disparaged US war dead as 'losers,' 'suckers'. Such reports have had the Stars & Stripes, a venerable publication since 1861 in Donald Trump's crosshairs almost his entire presidency. I'm almost never shocked at the depths that Trump will stoop to but this really is beyond the pale.
Back in February the Stars and Stripes was notified their funding would be cut in 2021. Their editorial independence from Pentagon oversight proving too much to bear for Trump. One assumes the sudden shutdown was related to the coming election, when all dissent must be squashed beforehand.
Source: USA Today
Even for those of us who are all too wearily familiar with President Donald Trump’s disdain for journalists, his administration’s latest attack on the free press is a bit of a jaw-dropper.
In a heretofore unpublicized recent memo, the Pentagon delivered an order to shutter Stars and Stripes, a newspaper that has been a lifeline and a voice for American troops since the Civil War. The memo orders the publisher of the news organization (which now publishes online as well as in print) to present a plan that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” by Sept. 15 including "specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide.”
“The last newspaper publication (in all forms) will be September 30, 2020,” writes Col. Paul Haverstick Jr., the memo’s author.
The first Stars and Stripes rolled off presses Nov. 9, 1861 in Bloomfield, Missouri when forces headed by Ulysses Grant overran the tiny town on the way to Cape Girardeau. A group of Grant’s troops who had been pressmen before the war set up shop at a local newspaper office abandoned by its Confederate sympathizer publisher. Since then Stars and Stripes has launched the careers of famous journalists such as cartoonist Bill Mauldin and TV commentator Andy Rooney. And its independence from the Pentagon brass has been guaranteed by such distinguished military leaders at Gens. John G. Pershing, George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower once reprimanded Gen. George Patton for trying to censor Mauldin cartoons he didn’t like.
A bipartisan group of Senators is pushing back on the plan.
Fifteen senators signed a letter urging Defense Secretary Mark Esper to maintain support for Stars and Stripes. https://t.co/RssPEz8ELG
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) September 3, 2020
Trump is killing Stars and Stripes while the Bannon associate he appointed to oversee Voice of America, Michael Pack, is turning that agency into Breitbart International, and Bill Barr is selling propaganda on TV. The fascist coup is in its final stages. https://t.co/5cNCrjI7lI
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) September 4, 2020
UPDATE: President Shit-for-Brains seems to have gotten cold feet after the immediate backlash.
The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch. It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020
Note: The slashing of Stars and Stripes funding was proposed earlier this year in *Trump's own budget request to Congress* https://t.co/UDT50dcJ11
— Paul Sonne (@PaulSonne) September 4, 2020