Media coalition files comments on restrictive Department of Defense FOIA regulations

Adam Marshall | Freedom of Information | Commentary | November 6, 2014
November 6, 2014

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, joined by a national coalition of media organizations, has filed comments on proposed Department of Defense (DoD) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. As the comments note, the press routinely relies on FOIA to gain access to government records in order to inform the public on the workings of the government and its elected officials. Ensuring agencies implement FOIA in a manner that is faithful to the spirit of the law and President Obama’s stated commitment to transparency is imperative in order for the press to perform its important role in our democracy.

Newspaper files suit after reporters detained outside Defense contractor plant in Ohio

Michael Rooney | Newsgathering | News | April 7, 2014
April 7, 2014

The Toledo Blade filed a lawsuit Friday against various military officials after reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser were detained March 28 outside a contractor-operated Department of Defense facility in Lima, Ohio.

According to the complaint, filed in a U.S. district court in Ohio, the journalists intended to take "file" photos for the newspaper's future use with stories related to the plant. They parked on a public road in front of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center and took photographs of the outside of the facility, according to the complaint.

They began to leave but were stopped by military police and detained for an hour, according to the complaint. Their equipment was confiscated, and their photos were deleted.

Supreme Court rules against protester, avoids First Amendment claim

Emily Grannis | News | February 27, 2014
February 27, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday unanimously declined to address the First Amendment claims of a protester who was banned from a military base , deciding the case solely on property ownership grounds.

Anti-war activist John Apel was banned from Vandenberg Air Force base in 2003 after he was involved in a protest that included throwing blood on a sign at the base. He was arrested and served two months in jail and was barred from the base for three years. After he began protesting there again in 2008, the base commander permanently banned Apel.

Journalist dismissed from embed status loses suit against military officials

Jamie Schuman | Prior Restraints | News | December 10, 2013
December 10, 2013

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., dismissed a freelance journalist's challenge last week to a U.S. Army decision to terminate the reporter's embed status with military in Afghanistan.

The Army had found that the journalist, Wayne Anderson, had published a video in 2010 showing the faces of wounded American soldiers on The Washington Times website in violation of rules governing embedded reporters. Anderson sued five military officials, claiming, among other things, that they violated his free speech and due process rights by ending his position in Afghanistan without a meaningful hearing.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding the enemy; guilty of violating Espionage Act

Nicole Lozare | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 30, 2013
July 30, 2013

A military judge on Monday acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy – the most serious of charges he faced for releasing thousands of classified documents to the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks – but guilty of multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act.

The sentencing hearing for the 25-year-old is scheduled to begin Wednesday morning at a courtroom in Fort Meade, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C. The former low-level intelligence analyst faces up to 136 years in a military prison for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history.

Military appeals court rejects bid for access to Manning documents, setting uncertain precedent for journalists

Rob Tricchinelli | Secret Courts | News | April 17, 2013
April 17, 2013

A military appeals court denied a group of journalists’ attempt to access court filings and decisions in the court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.

In a 3-2 split, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces decided Wednesday it did not have jurisdiction to address the journalists’ arguments, dealing a major setback to the public’s ability to secure its rights of access to military court proceedings.

Military appeals court weighs public access to Manning court-martial documents

Kristen Rasmussen | Secret Courts | News | October 10, 2012
October 10, 2012

Members of the nation’s highest military court questioned Wednesday whether they have the authority to decide a legal challenge to the pervasive secrecy of documents in the court-martial of an Army private accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history.

Supreme Court weighs arguments in Stolen Valor case

Rachel Bunn | Prior Restraints | Feature | February 22, 2012
February 22, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case that questions the constitutionality of a statute which criminalizes false statements about the receipt of military medals.

10th Cir.: lies about military service not protected

Kristen Rasmussen | Prior Restraints | Feature | January 30, 2012
January 30, 2012

A federal appeals court recently upheld the constitutionality of a controversial law that criminalizes lying about the receipt of military honors, just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a case that struck down the statute.

Prosecution nears completion of case against Manning

Chris Healy | Newsgathering | Feature | December 20, 2011
December 20, 2011

Military prosecutors are approaching the conclusion of their arguments against Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army analyst accused of releasing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, The Associated Press reported today. The military proceeding -- known as an Article 32 hearing -- is used to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of Manning's guilt to proceed to a trial on 22 counts, including aiding the enemy.