As the United States rushes to remove its troops from Afghanistan this summer, the Pentagon has imposed a de-facto press blackout on their departure. The military has ignored requests for embeds, denied pleas for even perfunctory interviews with troops, and generally worked to obstruct the public’s view of the United States pulling up stakes. Journalists submitted letters of appeal and protest, but they had no effect. The Times editor Dean Baquet intervened, pressing the Pentagon to allow journalists access to troops and requesting a meeting with Miller to make his case. But the general ignored Baquet’s overture, according to people involved in the incident. Martha Raddatz, the longtime ABC military reporter with a track record of Pentagon exclusives, got access to the troops; others did not.
[ The handling of this pullout has been disasterous. Lots of people are going to lose their lives as a result. The Taliban are already lopping off heads, retaking many districts from government forces. Tremendous amounts of military hardware left for Afghan government forces is now in the possession of the Taliban. And just as important, this slippery exit also seriously harms relationships and trust with our allies.]