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Saturday, October 14, 2006
Letter From Michael Yon
Pajamas Media recently reported that there are only 9 embedded reporters in Iraq. Many are blaming this on the media, and while I can never be called an apologist for mainstream media, I can say with certainty that the United States military is censoring.
It remains unclear if this is a general policy, though there are recent inquiries to the office of the Secretary of Defense. I await response. Or, perhaps, the censorship is merely the policy of LTC Barry Johnson who is responsible for operations involving embeds. Barry Johnson is said to be the most quoted man in Iraq . I've learned to trust nothing he says. I do know for a fact that Johnson has been untruthful with the media. If Johnson calls me on this, I'll take the time to prove it.
While sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers and friends, fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military apparently is preventing journalists from telling the story. They attempt to deflect accusations of censorship by allowing in just enough reporters to appear transparent.
I'll post updates on the website as the situation unfolds.
Meanwhile, we have several new dispatches on the site from Walt Gaya who traveled to Iraq. Gaya earned two Purple Hearts last year, but LTC Barry Johnson denied his request for an embed despite having direct invitations from the 4th Infantry Division and from Brigadier General Dana Pittard. Walt Gaya entered Iraq without US forces.
My final dispatch from Afghanistan, The Perfect Evil was originally published on National Review Online, picked up by CBS and the Council for Foreign Relations. Part One of the three-part series is posted on the site, with extensive supporting material. At this critical time in Afghanistan it’s important to keep this mission on the front page because the window for change is closing fast.
Most people know this site runs entirely on support from readers, and sales of books and photos. Accordingly, reader patronage is greatly appreciated and essential. I'll keep the dispatches coming: Good, bad and ugly.
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