Marshalling Information On War Against Terror

By: Todd Shields

Reporters might be allowed to attach themselves to military units. But they might not be able to report full names and hometowns of soldiers and sailors, for fear of exposing stateside families to retaliation.

Those are among the preliminary indications from the Bush administration as it gropes toward accommodating journalists seeking to cover the shadowy war against terror.

The likelihood of deploying the national pool for covering military operations has risen, officials said. But, said top Pentagon spokesperson Torie Clarke, “We would much rather have open reporting” with reporters choosing where to go.

Clarke, in comments Sept. 28 to Washington bureau chiefs, emphasized officials would not talk about operations – even past ones, since they might reveal patterns.

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