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· Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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04 September 2020


The Pentagon has ordered the military's independent newspaper, Stars and Stripes, to cease publication at the end of the month, despite congressional efforts to continue funding the century-old publication.

The order to halt publication by Sept. 30, and dissolve the organization by the end of January, follows the Pentagon's move earlier this year to cut the $15.5 million in funding for the paper from the Defense Department budget. And it is a reflection of the Trump administration's broader animosity for the media and members of the press.

Members of Congress have objected to the defunding move for months. And senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper this week urging him to reinstate the money. The letter, signed by 15 senators — including Republicans and Democrats — also warns Esper that the department is legally prohibited from canceling a budget program while a temporary continuing resolution to fund the federal government is in effect.

"Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nation's freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom," the senators said in the letter.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in a separate letter to Esper in late August, also voiced opposition to the move, calling Stripes "a valued 'hometown newspaper' for the members of the Armed Forces, their families, and civilian employees across the globe." He added that "as a veteran who has served overseas, I know the value that the Stars and Stripes brings to its readers."

In the memo, the department says Esper made the decision as a result of his department-wide budget review. Signed by Army Col. Paul Haverstick, acting director of the Pentagon's Defense Media Activity, the memo says plans to close the paper are due on Sept. 15 and the last newspaper is to be published on Sept. 30.

The memo adds that if the paper continues to be funded by either a continuing resolution "or other unforeseen circumstances" then Stripes must submit a plan by Sept. 15 to shut down at the end of the next budget year, Sept. 30, 2021. Haverstick's memo says that in that case, the last date for publication of the newspaper will be determined based on budget or other circumstances.

The Stripes ombudsman, Ernie Gates, told The Associated Press on Friday that shutting the paper down "would be fatal interference and permanent censorship of a unique First Amendment organization that has served U.S. troops reliably for generations."

The first newspaper called Stars and Stripes was very briefly produced in 1861 during the Civil War, but the paper began consistent publication during World War I. When the war was over, publication ended, only to restart in 1942 during World War II, providing wartime news written by troops specifically for troops in battle.

Although the paper gets funding from the Defense Department, it is editorially independent and is delivered in print and digitally to troops all over the world.

The Pentagon proposed cutting the paper's funding when making its budget request earlier this year, triggering angry reactions from members of Congress.

The House-passed version of the Pentagon budget contains funding for the paper's publication, but the Senate has not yet finalized a defense funding bill.

Missouri School of Journalism professor Kathy Kiely wrote an opinion piece for USA Today on the shutting down of the newspaper, calling it the Trump administration's "latest attack on the free press."

"The eagerness to kill Stars and Stripes is hard to fathom," Kiely wrote. "As the senators note in their letter to Esper, the $15.5 million saved by eliminating the newspaper's subsidy would have a 'negligible impact' on the Pentagon's $700 billion budget.

"But it would have an enormously negative impact on the paper's more than 1.3 million readers. It would eliminate a symbol of the U.S. commitment to press freedom, flout the judgment of generations of military leaders and usurp the authority that the Constitution gives Congress to make decisions about how the government spends money."




 

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A decision arrived at through "military intelligence", from the General Officer Corp.

Just as an aside, how many General and Admiral officers are on our payroll, now? Given that Afghanistan has gone on "forever", the number of officers must be in the "scads".
 

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I think it is wrong for them to end it. Other than attack on trump over it, I believe it was spot on. I am NOT a either party supporter right now. people like me were abandoned by them, March 18, 2020. in MN
 

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I’ll bet Trump doesn’t even know. I’ll further say that when he finds out, the paper will be saved. Sometimes things like this are done ether stupidity by people down the chain or done as a strategic move for political reasons.
 

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Stars and stripes is censored propaganda. I enjoyed reading it though. I picked it up almost every chance I had. I think back in the eighties it was 50¢ which was fairly expensive. It had no ads but being away from home overseas I would have liked to have seen ads.
 

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So now the real story.....Trump himself gave the order to close Stars & Stripes, not the Pentagon or Generals.
When the news broke and the stink started he reversed his order.
But of course he loves the military????????????🕵
 

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Kindly state the meaning of SECDEF so it can be added to the "Soup of letters" tread
Thanks.
 
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