Pentagon Bans Four Of The Most Knowledgeable Reporters on GTMO From GTMO

GUANTANAMO BAY — I came here for the first time in 2005. One enduring memory from that trip was a public affairs officer talking shit about Carol Rosenberg from the Miami Herald. What was the problem with her? I asked.

Well, the guy said, she was so–so– so PUSHY. Relentless, she just wouldn’t let things GO…

I didn’t feel it necessary to say that the guy just described everything that reporters value. He then proceeded to talk shit about Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, who in my opinion is the best national-security journalist alive.

Since then, I’ve never come back to Guantanamo Bay. Carol has made dozens of trips. She knows more about this place and what happens here than anyone alive. Public-affairs officers come and go. Military deployments end. Officials and administrations change. Carol stays. She is the institutional knowledge of Guantanamo Bay.

This afternoon, the Pentagon banned Carol from returning to Guantanamo, for publishing the name of Interrogator #1, along with three of our colleagues for doing the same: Steven Edwards of Canwest, Paul Koring of the Globe & Mail, and Michelle Shephard of the Toronto Star. Read this post of mine for the details including the letter from the Pentagon informing my colleagues of their violation. All are being told they can’t return, although their news organizations can still report on this place — but those publications are On Notice. They’re not being thrown off the island. All of us will leave tomorrow on the same flight. But I have to say that all four of these reporters are invaluable resources about this place and this trial — Michelle literally wrote the book on Omar Khadr — to their readers and their colleagues.

We’re all in the press center working. We’ve already become darkly humorous, even, because that’s how reporters are. All of us in the press room are working on filing our stories for our next editions. As am I. Just under a somber cloud.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman