WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered top military officials to tell the Pentagon's public affairs branch before giving interviews.
The move follows an embarrassing episode that led to the removal of the commanding general in Afghanistan. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said the move to tighten control on information was being planned long before that.
Morrell says the order Gates issued Friday isn't meant to restrict information or press access to officials.
In the memo, Gates wrote that he wants the military to be as accessible as possible but is concerned it "has grown lax" in how it engages with the media.