Gates Reviewing Media Ban

"Short deadline" for decision

The New York Times reports:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested today that he was open to allowing the media to photograph the flag-draped coffins of fallen soldiers as their bodies and remains are returned to the United States…

[Gates] said he was ordering a review of the military policy that bars photographers from taking pictures of the return of the coffins, most of which are coming from Iraq and Afghanistan and go through Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. He also set a ‘short deadline’ for a decision.

Gates’s review, apparently, is a “separate undertaking” from the review being conducted by President Obama’s “top foreign policy aides,” a review the president referenced at Monday night’s press conference in response to a question from CNN’s Ed Henry as to whether the Obama administration will “overturn that policy, so the American people can see the full human cost of war.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.