Monday, June 18, 2007

Perspective: Regulations make telling the true story of the Iraq war impossible

Every day, thousands of American men and women perform untold acts of bravery and drudgery on behalf of what our leaders have defined as vital American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But much of the current campaigns go on without notice because the media that cover them are leaking away, worn out by the danger and expense of covering a war that refuses to end.

Many of the journalists in Iraq have been backed into fortified corners, rarely venturing out to see what soldiers confront. And journalists embedded with the troops in Iraq — the number dropped to 92 in May from 126 in April — are risking more and more for less and less.

Since last year, the military’s embedding rules require that journalists obtain a signed consent from a wounded soldier before an image can be published. Images that put a face on the dead, that make them identifiable, are prohibited.

If Joseph Heller were still around, he might appreciate the bureaucratic elegance of paragraph 11(a) of IAW Change 3, DoD Directive 5122.5.

Read the rest at Army Times