Military access

Anderson v. Hagel

September 24, 2014

Freelance journalist Wayne Anderson had his "embed" status terminated by the military, and he was removed from Afghanistan. Anderson claimed the termination was in retaliation for his coverage of a conflict between Afghan and American soldiers. His case was dismissed by a federal judge over jurisdictional and service issues. In this brief on appeal, the Reporters Committee argued that Anderson sufficiently pleaded a First Amendment retaliation claim, as a pro se litigant, and the District Court should not have dismissed the claim so early.

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.

Center for Constitutional Rights v. Lind

June 5, 2013

The Center for Constitutional Rights sued Chief Judge Col. Denise Lind in District Court in Baltimore for an injunction to unseal dockets and documents in the Bradley Manning case, which has proceeded with a great deal of secrecy. A military appeals court had already determined it did not have jurisdiction to decide the matter. The Reporters Committee and a coalition of 35 media groups filed an amicus brief in support of the access effort, arguing that the lack of transparency in the case creates a serious obstacle to effective reporting on this matter of significant public interest.

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.

Government argues FOIA would provide sufficient access to Manning court-martial documents

Emily Miller | Newsgathering | News | July 10, 2012
July 10, 2012

The federal government asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces on Monday to become the third court to deny the public access to military court documents in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning. The government’s argument: the Freedom of Information Act is the proper method to obtain the materials.

Letter re: access to records in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning

March 12, 2012

A media coalition comprising 47 national and local news organizations and associations, including The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, wrote the U.S. Department of Defense to express concern about reports that journalists covering the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning have been unable to view documents filed in the proceeding.

Prosecution, defense rest in Manning hearing

Chris Healy | Newsgathering | Feature | December 21, 2011
December 21, 2011

Military prosecutors and the defense have concluded their presentation of evidence in the Article 32 hearing of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, and closing arguments will begin Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

Pentagon launches new Guantanamo commission website

Kirsten Berg | Newsgathering | Feature | September 30, 2011
September 30, 2011

In an effort to address calls for transparency in the trials of accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, the Department of Defense launched a new website that aims to provide the public up-to-date information concerning the military proceedings.

Supreme Court hears arguments in Navy FOIA case

Stephen Miller | Freedom of Information | Feature | December 1, 2010
December 1, 2010

The delicate act of balancing the public’s right to know with national security in a time of terrorism was displayed on the floor of the U.S. Supreme Court in arguments held Wednesday morning.

The case before the court, Milner v. Department of the Navy, concerned the Navy’s decision to withhold documents requested under the federal Freedom of Information Act regarding U.S. Navy maps depicting the placement of explosives at a Washington state naval munitions site.