Pentagon expels reporter from Iraq
A freelance reporter has been ordered out of Iraq after the Pentagon said he revealed the location of a Marine unit.world Updated: Mar 28, 2003 11:51 IST
A freelance reporter for
The Christian Science Monitor
has been ordered out of Iraq after the Pentagon said he revealed the location of a Marine unit during a television interview.
Philip Smucker was not embedded but joined the First Marine Division on Sunday along with a Monitor photographer.
Smucker reported the unit's location on Wednesday during an interview on CNN, according to the Pentagon.
"My understanding of the facts at this point from the commander on the ground is that this reporter was reporting, in real time, positions, locations and activities of units engaged in combat," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement to the Monitor.
"The commander felt it was necessary and appropriate to remove (Smucker) from his immediate battle space in order not to compromise his mission or endanger personnel of his unit."
Monitor editor Paul Van Slambrouck wrote on the newspaper's Web site on Thursday that Smucker did not reveal any information not already available.
"We have read the transcript of the CNN interview and it does not appear to us that he disclosed anything that wasn't already widely available in maps and in US and British radio, newspaper, and television reports in that same news cycle," Van Slambrouck wrote.
Smucker, 41, an American based in Cairo, will be reassigned within the region, the Monitor said. The photographer who had been travelling with him remained in Iraq and the paper said it still had two reporters there.