I disagree strongly with Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta in their column ''Pentagon Dampens the Right to Know'' {Metro, Jan. 21}. Adversarial reporting and commentary by the media erode the most precious ingredient of our military units facing the enemy in the field: morale and spirit. When the media engage in this type of reporting, they are conducting psychological warfare against our own forces just as Saddam Hussein is doing, but all the more effectively because the denigration is coming from people all the soldiers look to for support.

Our men and women in the Persian Gulf are fighting to defend our freedoms, including the precious freedom of speech. A ''rival account'' of government performance does indeed play an important role in informing the public, ensuring that our leaders and public servants are acting in our best interests. However, the competitiveness of the media seems to lead to excessive fault-finding in some quarters, apparently with little regard for the impact on the war effort. It is a curious syndrome that some reporters are constantly testing the resolve of our armed forces and the public by criticizing what they are doing. It is really hard to understand the motivations of some people when one sees the similarities between what they are saying and the propaganda of Saddam Hussein.