I had always assumed the lack of good stories about heroism of the US Military in the MSM was due to bias, or the fact that few reporters wanted to risk their lives embedded with the troops.
Well I was wrong.
According to a story in today’s Baltimore Sun, it was the Defense Department’s legal department who is to blame:

Army lawyers and bureaucrats have blocked requests by The Sun and others to open these war stories to the public. They cite, among other reasons, potential threats to soldiers’ privacy and safety…

Through six years of war, the Army and Marine Corps have awarded the Silver Star to about 350 men and women, including three from Maryland. But the acts of heroism behind those medals remain largely unknown.

StrategyPage confirms the story, saying that this failure to allow good stories to be publiciezed is resented by many of the troops.

CBS PublicEyeBlog agrees:

Right now, the military men get their name in the paper but we are left in the dark about the reasons why. …Their stories need to be told by someone, though. … It’s difficult to hear people complain that of too little good news coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan when the military is actively suppressing such brave tales.

Those posting comments on the CBS site are busy implying conspiracy theories, but as a doctor who worked at a Federal facility (IHS) I had to contend with the Federal Privacy laws which were so broad that if taken literally would have forbidden me to talk to a senile old lady with her daughter present, or tell a visiting family what was wrong with their loved ones.

Sounds like the Defense Department has a similar bunch of lawyers. 

As the saying goes: “never ascribe to malice what should be attributed to stupidity” …


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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