Gates Clamps Down on Media/ Pentagon Relations
Worried the department has 'grown lax;' top brass will need clearance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2010 8:38 AM CDT
In this Sunday, June 6, 2010 file photo, Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the media aboard a U.S. Military aircraft, en route to Baku, Azerbaijan, from Singapore.   (Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates is now requiring even top military brass to get Pentagon clearance for contact with reporters in an order issued yesterday to military and civilian personnel worldwide. The order tells officials to make sure they are not going out of bounds or unintentionally releasing information that the Pentagon wants to hold back. "I am concerned that the department has grown lax in how we engage with the media," Gates wrote.

The order has been in the works since long before Gen. Stanley McChrystal stunned his bosses with criticism and complaints in a Rolling Stone article. Nonetheless, one Pentagon official promised that no "Iron Curtain" would fall between the Pentagon and the media. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said that Gates remains committed to open dealings with the media and that he has tried to impress on colleagues that "the press is not the enemy."