Sunday, July 11, 2010

Who's ripping up the Constitution now?

New requirements that even top brass get Pentagon approval before talking to the press will not muzzle the media's watchdog role or stop soldiers on the front lines from speaking freely, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

Gates defended the directive issued last week but offered few new specifics about how it will work.

The brief, stern memo from Gates also restated prohibitions on release of classified material. But it is the requirement for pre-approval of media contacts that has raised free-speech concerns and sown confusion about what and who is covered.

If these rules were enacted by Gates back when he worked for Bush, this would be front page news, with hyperventilating quotes from Con Law professors about "shredding the Constitution", not a 3" item in a column on page 4.

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