In the wake of three detainee suicides and some unusually close press scrutiny, military officials are throwing journalists out of Guantánamo Bay.
According to Editor and Publisher, so far reporters from the the Miami Herald, the Charlotte Observer and the Los Angeles Times have all been sent packing. One Pentagon official said the reporters were sent home as part of increased security measures imposed after the detainee suicides. Another Pentagon official told Editor and Publisher that the reporters were expelled because other reporters were demanding the same sort of access that they were getting.
In an e-mail to Editor and Publisher, Charlotte Observer editor Rich Thames suggests that the expulsions may have had more to do with the critical reporting the Observer's Michael Gordon was doing at Guantánamo. "The Pentagon appears to have panicked when it discovered it couldn't manipulate a first-class reporter, so it shoved him and all other press out," Thames said. "Michael Gordon was invited by the commander to report on the base for six days, and he was doing that in a very professional manner. His stories helped the world understand the actual circumstances our soldiers faced in managing a very difficult situation. It's unfortunate that the military couldn't see the value of that."