Pentagon ends Guantnamo reporters’ ban

The Pentagon has allowed two previously-banned reporters, including a Toronto Star employee, back onto the
naval base at Guantánamo Bay after a news organization coalition called
the ban unconstitutional.

No news has come about two other reporters who were also banned in May.

The New York Times reports:

“But the reinstatement of the reporters, Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald and Michelle Shephard of The Toronto Star, was conditional and left many of the issues that have strained relations between the news media and the Pentagon unresolved, likely prefacing a longer fight over the right of journalists to cover the secretive military proceedings at Guantánamo Bay.”

NYT continues:

“Ms. Rosenberg and Ms. Shephard had to acknowledge in writing to the Defense Department that they understood that they had violated military rules by disclosing the identity of an Army interrogator, even though his name was already publicly known. The reporters also had to reaffirm that they would abide by the rules the Pentagon sets for reporters covering the Guantánamo military commissions.”

The NYT explains that Rosenberg’s lawyer is still fighting the Pentagon to loosen restrictions on journalists covering the naval base. The coalition included The Miami Herald, NYT, Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press.

Ms. Rosenberg and Ms. Shephard were two of four reporters barred by the Pentagon for printing the identity of an Army interrogator who testified in the case of Omar Khadr, a Canadian being held at Guantánamo on charges that he lobbed a hand grenade in Afghanistan in 2002 that killed an Army sergeant.”

“The interrogator’s name became public after he gave an interview to Ms. Shephard in 2008. Under the Pentagon’s rules for journalists covering the Guantánamo commissions, reporters are not allowed to disclose information that the military deems “protected,” even if that information has already been disclosed.”