|NMU||WASHINGTON, D.C.||Newsgathering||Mar 6, 2002|
Pentagon embeds reporters among troops in Afghanistan
- Journalists agreed to withhold reports in order to witness assault on suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters regrouping in eastern Afghanistan.
More than four months after the United States launched its attack on Afghanistan, the Pentagon quietly began allowing a handful of American journalists to join U.S. ground troops in active combat.
Reporters joined the troops in eastern Afghanistan so they could witness assaults on suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters that had regrouped near the town of Gardez.
“This is one of the few situations where Special Forces are actually engaged in an activity where press people have been embedded with them,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told journalists on March 4.
The reporters joined the operation last week and agreed to withhold filing their reports until U.S. military officials give them permission.
Rumsfeld stated that he’s certain someone won’t like the embedding arrangement.
“But the fact remains they’re in there and they will be allowed to report,” he said. “In what time frame and with what protection for the people’s names and faces who are engaged in this, who are in units where their names and faces don’t get reported, I can assure you of this. Anyone who’s in there accepted the ground rules when they went in.”
© 2002 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press