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[] "Maulkorb" des Thomas Jefferson Center u.a. an das Pentagon verliehen,

Der Preis wird seit 1992 für besondere Verletzungen der Meinungsfreiheit
verliehen. Hier die Begründung für Donald Rumsfeld und das Pentagon.

The United States Department of Defense and Secretary Donald Rumsfeld 

"Journalists have been denied access to American troops in the field in
Afghanistan to a greater degree than in any previous war involving U.S.
military forces." 
- Neil Hickey, in "Access Denied," Columbia Journalism Review,
January-February, 2002

Coverage of U.S. military operations on foreign soil inevitably entails
a delicate balancing of complex forces. Despite some nostalgia about
World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, there have always been
restrictions on media activity in theatres of hostile engagement, and
not least in order to enhance the safety of American journalists
themselves. Thus media coverage of the brief invasions of Panama and
Grenada was virtually unavailable; American readers and viewers
essentially learned about these forays well after the fact. Defense
Department policies restricting coverage of the Persian Gulf War were
not universally popular with the media, and drew several court
challenges, although the war ended before the legal issues could be

Criticism of the lack of press coverage of these earlier military
operations had not fallen on deaf ears. In response to the lack of
coverage of the 1983 invasion of Granada, the Pentagon and
representatives of the media conceived the Department of Defense
National Media Pool. The Pool-a group of reporters whose membership
changes every three months-was designed to ensure independent press
coverage of the nation's most sensitive military operations. In
addition, after the Gulf War the Pentagon and the major media worked out
a detailed set of guidelines - on which there was virtually complete
agreement among the parties - to govern news coverage of future foreign
engagements. Further, when U.S. operations were contemplated in
Afghanistan, Assistant Secretary of Defense Victoria Clarke invited
media comment during a lengthy, on the record conference which promised
substantial cooperation. Unfortunately, however, when the raids in
Afghanistan actually began - first in the air and later on the ground
-no members of the National Media Pool or any other journalists were
allowed to cover them. "The problem is," Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld told bureau chiefs on October 18, "we're in a country that is
not happy [to have reporters around]." That statement may explain in
part why access on the ground was denied, but it fails to justify why
reporters were denied access to the aircraft carrier from which strikes
were launched. 

On The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Jamie McIntyre, CNN's Pentagon reporter
stated that Rumsfeld has "issued an edict essentially telling everybody
not to talk about anything. So even the flow of routine information has
shut down." In an article in the Columbia Journalism Review, National
Public Radio reporter Tom Gjelten was quoted on a recent encounter with
a general in a Pentagon hallway who had been a source for Gjelten in the
past. The general reportedly told him, "I just hope nobody sees me
talking to you." Says Gjelten: "That's the atmosphere now." The nadir of
media-military relations came in early December, the day on which the
first U.S. casualties were being transferred. Not only were reporters
and photographers in the field not allowed to cover these events; they
were in fact confined to a warehouse throughout the day. For that
confinement, Ms. Clarke did apologize, blaming the lapse on the heat of
battle. Improvements were promised, and relations seemed briefly to
improve. But two weeks later, on December 20, Afghan forces detained
three photographers, apparently at the request of U.S. officers, and
their photo images were seized, although the Pentagon had openly
discussed the presence of American troops. 

Recognizing the exigent needs of national security and the risks of
unauthorized disclosure, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department
policy limiting media coverage of military activities to an
unprecedented degree nonetheless warrants a 2002 Jefferson Muzzle.

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