1991 February 2

Pentagon Bans Media Coverage of Military Casualties Returning to U.S.


Under President George H. W. Bush, the Pentagon on this day banned the news media from covering the return of U.S. military casualties to the U.S., at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The ban was put in place at the time of the first Iraqi War, Operation Desert Storm. The ban was justified as a way to shield grieving families from media attention. Critics, however, argued that the government was trying to hide the human cost of war, and the policy became especially controversial during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq under President George W. Bush. The Obama Administration lifted the blanket ban on media coverage of the return of fallen soldiers on February 26, 2009.

Read the 1991 Policy: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB136/1991policy.pdf

Read about lifting the ban: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20090226/

Watch a video of military casualties returning at Dover Air Force Base: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYQhvpGmRa4

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