Reporters invited to Guantanamo, then sent home by Rumsfeld

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The admiral in charge of the prison at Guantanamo Bay invited the news media to come to the base on Saturday to cover the suicides of three of the prisoners. Reporters responded, but on Tuesday night, the Pentagon sent an email citing a directive from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

Media currently on the island will depart on Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 10:00 a.m. Please be prepared to depart the CBQ [quarters] at 8:00 a.m.

A flight had already been arranged to expedite the reporters’ exit from the base, and though they protested the change of plans, they had to leave.

Editors of the Miami Herald and the Charlotte Observer said called the reversal “bad public policy” and “a panicked move.”

A Pentagon spokesman, J.D. Gordon, said that the reporters were sent home because other media outlets were threatening to sue to get equal access.

In the meantime, George W. Bush as stated that he would like to close the Guantanamo Bay facility as soon as he has a plan to deal with the “darn dangerous” prisoners there.

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