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Archive for Saturday, July 3, 2010

Defense Secretary Robert Gates tightens interview rules

July 3, 2010

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— Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered military officials Friday to get Pentagon clearance for interviews and other media contacts after President Barack Obama fired the top general in Afghanistan for embarrassing comments in a magazine article.

Gates’ order, which is effective immediately, tells officials to make sure they are not going out of bounds or unintentionally releasing information that the Pentagon wants to hold back.

The order was issued in a brief memo sent to military and civilian personnel worldwide. It does not spell out exactly how the new directive will work but appears to require hundreds or thousands of officers to funnel interview requests through a small central office at the Pentagon.

“I am concerned that the department has grown lax in how we engage with the media,” Gates wrote.

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