The Pentagon made it clear it won't be telling reporters much if and when a military conflict occurs.
According to a transcript of a meeting held last Friday by Washington bureau chiefs and Pentagon public affairs staff, it is unlikely the Pentagon will even let soldiers give last names or home towns in order to protect their families.
"In the past we may have been even encouraging the building of public support by telling family stories," said one unidentified Pentagon spokesman during last week's meeting. "Now we have the very real possibility that in this shadowy conflict, since they can't get that soldier, instead they target the family. And it would be very easily done if [the family has] a high media profile. And the effect on morale would be absolutely disastrous."
Torie Clarke, assistant secretary of public affairs, said the Pentagon won't respond to "anything to do with operations, anything that has to do with classified information."
Finally, Pentagon spokespersons told bureau chiefs repeatedly that it is unlikely reporters will be going tout with any Special Forces teams and are unlikely to have aqccess to many battles that may take place. Clarke said she may have more concrete rules today or Wednesday, but she doesn't ever expect them to be that solid.
- Paige Albiniak
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