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Transparency groups decry Air Force media crackdown as new details emerge

Good government groups and former Air Force officers are bashing the Air Force’s new policy cracking down on public outreach and media engagement.

It’s “really troubling because we know the Air Force is confronting a number of problems and the best way, usually, to get those problems fixed is to be transparent about them both to the public and to Congress,” Mandy Smithberger, director of the CDI Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight, told Federal News Radio.

The Air Force is cutting base visits and media interviews for fear of “giving insights to our adversaries, which could erode our military advantage” in what it calls a public relations reset, a memo first obtained by Defense News stated.

The memo bans new interviews with media related to operational matters and even makes participation in community, band and public engagements subject to headquarters approval.


“We’ve seen the secretary of defense crack down on communications with the press by not having announced press conferences, being stupidly cagey about troop numbers when that information is publicly reported elsewhere and you have a lot senior leaders that fail to…

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