Here’s an important story that I should have noted earlier in the week. As the Fayetteville Observer reports here:
The Fayetteville Observer was denied access to a soldier’s arraignment Wednesday on Fort Bragg because a reporter refused to sign military ground rules that legal experts say appear to violate the First Amendment.
The rule contested by the Observer required media outlets to agree not to name any victims in the case of Spc. Aaron Pernell as a condition of entry to his arraignment.
Why would the Army even try to limit the freedom of the press in this manner?
The article explains:
The Observer’s policy is to not publish names of victims of sexual crimes. But in the Pernell case, not every victim is a sexual assault victim. The 82nd Airborne Division’s ground rules prohibited naming any of Pernell’s alleged victims, no matter the crime, even though some have testified at a previous hearing.
Wednesday’s arraignment was open without restriction to anyone who was not a reporter.