I am the father of a United States marine. If the report is true, Philip Smucker's actions are indefensible. I would hope The Christian Science Monitor (which I respect as a news outlet) will have a definite understanding about operational security with all of its contracted journalists and reporters. I am trying to control my outrage, but I take a very dim view of, and will hold to account, individuals who report events in this conflict which jeopardize the welfare and safety of my son, or any other soldier, sailor, airman, or marine.
Mr. Smucker is a fine reporter who has made great contributions to the Monitor's overseas coverage. I hope the Monitor will do its utmost to support him in his efforts to clear up any doubts about his qualifications to serve in Iraq, and elsewhere
Laguna Hills, Calif.
Thank you for sponsoring real reporters who aren't afraid to say what they really see.
I agree with the assessment that Smucker was removed because, as an unembedded reporter, he had the freedom to tell the truth and the Bush administration has an obsession with controlling the "truth." It is the least open administration in my memory, and I am 57 years old.
The Christian Science Monitor is one of the most outstanding news publications in the world. And Smucker's reputation and integrity are well established through all of his work. But I cannot help supporting the decision of the Marine commander who had Smucker removed. No reporter has the right to endanger our troops. The safety of our young men and women is of greater importance than the removal of one reporter from the combat theater. It is a privilege, not a right, to be with the troops.
I am sorry to learn that Smucker, one of the few nonembedded journalists, has been ordered out of Iraq. It is one more indication that, by and large, "embedded"" journalists are just in bed with the military.
Let no one feign surprise that Donald Rumsfeld's henchmen have banned Smucker from Iraq. He is an embarrassment to the administration. He's thoughtfully reported about the failed hunt for Osama bin Laden and the disparity between the news Americans read and what the rest of the world reads. It was only a matter of time before the Bush administration struck at his platform - reporting on the war close up.
Walnut Creek, Calif.
Hook, line, and sinker: This is a little fishing metaphor we use in the South for unquestioning gullibility. Smucker was tossed out because he just wasn't swallowing the bait.
Free speech is always a danger to imperialists posing as democratic missionaries. And, as Smucker proved before, telling it like it is can also be very embarrassing for them. Kudos to Mr. Smucker.
Instead of being disappointed that Smucker was removed, you should be pleased that our military leaders are so resolute about protecting our troops from loose lips.
San Jose, Calif.
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