By: The Associated Press
Military officials will need Pentagon clearance for interviews and other dealings with reporters, according to an order from Defense Secretary Robert Gates not long after the top general in Afghanistan was fired for his comments in a magazine article.
The order, issued by Gates on Friday in a brief memo to military and civilian personnel worldwide and effective immediately, tells officials to make sure they are not going out of bounds or unintentionally releasing information that the Pentagon wants to hold back.
The order has been in the works since long before Gen. Stanley McChrystal stunned his bosses with criticism and complaints in a Rolling Stone article that his superiors did not know was coming.
The memo does not spell out exactly how the new directive will work but appears to require hundreds of thousands of officers to funnel interview requests through a small central office at the Pentagon.