Reporters Booted Off Guantanamo

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But not because of anything they wrote, the Pentagon swears. It's just that the tribunal they were supposed to be covering was cancelled in the suicide aftermath, and also it's a matter of elementary fairness–other press outlets are currently also barred from direct camp access, so…

From the Editor and Publisher account:

In the aftermath of the three suicides at the notorious Guantanamo prison facility in Cuba last Saturday, reporters with the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald were ordered by the office of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to leave the island today.

A third reporter and a photographer with the Charlotte Observer were given the option of staying until Saturday but, E&P has learned, were told that their access to the prison camp was now denied.

……A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the order to leave the island this morning, but told E&P it was unrelated to the stories produced by the journalists, while admitting that Gordon's [of the Charlotte Observer] piece had caused "controversy." He asserted that the move was related to other media outlets threatening to sue if they were not allowed in.
…….
[Miami Herald reporter Carol] Rosenberg revealed that the admiral in charge of the overall base had given them permission to stay but the Pentagon spokesman told E&P that Rumsfeld's office was overruling that idea.

Well, what we don't know won't hurt us. Or at least it won't hurt the Pentagon. Until later when we do know it. I'm sure this has all been thought through, and apparently at the very highest levels.

An example of the Charlotte Observer's apparently controversial coverage of Gitmo by the now-barred Michael Gordon.

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  1. Move along, nothing to see here…

  2. This would seem to be similar to the solution to the abuses at Abu Ghraib: ban cameras and camera phones.

  3. MOTHERFUCKERS!
    Of all the presidential scandals I’ve lived through (LBJ to present) this is the most egregious. Justice demands that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all do hard time in a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

  4. [Miami Herald reporter Carol] Rosenberg revealed that the admiral in charge of the overall base had given them permission to stay but the Pentagon spokesman told E&P that Rumsfeld’s office was overruling that idea.

    Rumsfeld’s office has an asymmetrical advantage.

  5. You guys are jerks. 3 inmates kill themselves in such a tight knit facility, and your bitching at Donald Rumsfeld for trying to give them a little privacy to grieve in.

    Jeez, I thought Libertarians were supposed to enjoy privacy. But I guess I was wrong.

  6. Jeez, I thought Libertarians were supposed to enjoy privacy. But I guess I was wrong.

    I’ll assume you’re a troll with a great sense of humor. …’cause calling non-coverage of prisoner conditions a privacy issue is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

  7. Not that journalists being removed from Gitmo isn’t news, but Editor & Publisher is one of the *worst* written mags available today, which is doubly ironic seeing as it’s written for the journalism industry. Generally they speak rather noxiously of any person or group or institution they might have reason to beef with, again ironic for so-called journalistic integrity.

    Has anyone found another account from another soure?

  8. As the CO is my local paper, I did notice that the initial story really seemed to have some insider-type quote from the Col. tasked with handling matters. (He was a NC native, which was why the paper was down there to begin with.)

    From that and the Pentagon’s reaction, you can tell that they have a two-tier view of the media: The national outlets, who are a pain in the ass, and the local/regional ones, which can be easily controlled with an access carrot/stick.

    The reporting just seemed basic and solid to me, nothing wow-wee good or intent or making a bad situation worse.

    That Rummy blew a gasket, though, not a surprise.

  9. What suicides? Are you by chance referring to the laundry malfunctions?

  10. Until later when we do know it.

    Yay: Cub Reporter Weigel gets his first crack at a non-pro-bono FOIA.

    A man can dreem can’t he?

  11. Well, if those Cuba-based reporters have nothing to do at Gitmo, perhaps they can wander next door to Fidel’s island paradise and tell us all about what a REAL Gulag looks like.

  12. Well, if those Cuba-based reporters have nothing to do at Gitmo, perhaps they can wander next door to Fidel’s island paradise and tell us all about what a REAL Gulag looks like.

    Yeah, I’m sure living in Cuba’s just like being a prisoner in Gitmo.

    Please, never agree with me on any issue. …ever.

  13. Yeah, I’m sure living in Cuba’s just like being a prisoner in Gitmo.

    I was referring to political prisoners in Fidel’s dungeons, not the country in general.

  14. Jared, you’re an idiot. Privacy to grieve in?

    Its just another way for the American government to shield the public from what is really happening.

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