Lawmakers Fault CNN for Sniper Video

Associated Press
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Republican lawmaker has asked the Pentagon to bar CNN reporters from traveling with U.S. military units in Iraq because the network showed insurgent snipers shooting at U.S. troops.

The footage, aired last week on CNN, does not show the death or wounding of any service member. In one instance, the tape shows a service member milling around a public area. A shot is fired, and the tape fades to black.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that airing the video was irresponsible because it could encourage more attacks on U.S. troops.

"Does CNN want America to win this thing?" Hunter asked yesterday on the network. In past wars, he said, the media was more pro-American.

"You can't be on both sides of the war," Hunter said.

CNN issued a statement saying that the decision was "a difficult one, but for a news organization, the right one. Our responsibility is to report the news." The video was delivered to the network through a contact with an insurgent leader.

In a letter released yesterday, Hunter and two other Republican House members from California asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to remove CNN from the military embedding program, in which journalists spend time with combat units in Iraq.

"CNN has now served as the publicist for an enemy propaganda film," wrote Hunter and Reps. Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa.

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