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July 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rolling Stone interview with former Afghan Commander Stanley McChrystal might well be described as a watershed incident in the war, but the Pentagon now seems determined to ensure that no such incident is ever repeated. On Tuesday, ABC News’s Martha Raddatz and NBC’s Richard Engel, who are covering the war, said that new orders issued by Defense Secretary Gates, requiring military leaders to clear all media interviews with the Defense Department’s public affairs unit, is already interfering with their ability to report accurately about the war. Raddatz, who is ABC’s chief foreign correspondent, told Yahoo! News that she worries about the order, which was first reported by the New York Times on Friday. “When you add a layer like that, and when we’re in the field and they have to get clearance from someone else, I think it does make it more difficult.” Engel said that almost immediately after the Rolling Stone story was disclosed, soldiers in the field were ordered not to discuss it with the news media. “We could interview troops about other issues, military officials said, but not ask about McChrystal or the Rolling Stone article,” Engel told Yahoo! News. He added that he had never seen “military spokespeople go into lockdown to the degree they did following the Rolling Stone article.”