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Divulging intelligence information



Much as WAIS defends press freedom, it must be recognized that many journalists seek not the truth but a scoop and notoriety. This was the motivation of those who sneaked into Afghanistan hidden in women's clothing. Micharl Sullivsn has sent me an article "Press vs. Military: Justice or the First Amendment", by James S. Robbins pf the National Defense University. Here is a key passage:

"There is, in fact, an essential culture clash between journalism and the military, especially in wartime. Military operations rely on secrecy, which is necessary to preserve the element of surprise, a recognized force multiplier since well before Sun Tzu declared it so. Secrecy is particularly important in the type of conflict now being waged, in which covert operations and Special Forces play a leading role. Journalists are driven by the pursuit of objectives at variance with secrecy - sensation, scoops, good visuals. The reporters' bottom line is notoriety; and in the case of commercial journalism, ad revenues for their parents. Wrap this up in some self-inflating rhetoric about "the public's right to know" and you have a war correspondent".

Ronald Hilton - 11/6/01


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