Reporters invited to Guantanamo, then sent home by Rumsfeld

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The admiral in charge of the prison at Guantanamo Bay invited the news media to come to the base on Saturday to cover the suicides of three of the prisoners. Reporters responded, but on Tuesday night, the Pentagon sent an email citing a directive from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

Media currently on the island will depart on Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 10:00 a.m. Please be prepared to depart the CBQ [quarters] at 8:00 a.m.

A flight had already been arranged to expedite the reporters’ exit from the base, and though they protested the change of plans, they had to leave.

Editors of the Miami Herald and the Charlotte Observer said called the reversal “bad public policy” and “a panicked move.”

A Pentagon spokesman, J.D. Gordon, said that the reporters were sent home because other media outlets were threatening to sue to get equal access.

In the meantime, George W. Bush as stated that he would like to close the Guantanamo Bay facility as soon as he has a plan to deal with the “darn dangerous” prisoners there.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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