Pentagon’s New ‘Law of War’ Deals Mortal Blow to Press Freedoms – Don North…”new “Law of War” manual is equating journalists to al-Qaeda terrorists, branding them as “unprivileged belligerents”

Thursday, August 20, 2015
By Paul Martin

SputnikNews.com
20.08.2015

The Pentagon’s new “Law of War” places some journalists in the same ranks as Al-Qaeda terrorists, meaning that reporters can be now tried as spies by military tribunals, US war correspondent Don North notes.

US veteran war correspondent Don North calls attention to the fact that the Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual is equating journalists to al-Qaeda terrorists, branding them as “unprivileged belligerents”; which means that honest war correspondents and photographers who try to show what is really happening on the ground can be now tried as spies, if the manual is accepted by US military commanders.

“The 1,176-page manual, published on June 24, is the first comprehensive revision made to the Defense Department’s law of war policy since 1956. One change in terminology directly targets journalists, saying ‘in general, journalists are civilians,’ but under some circumstances, journalists may be regarded as ‘unprivileged belligerents.’ [p. 173] That places reporters in the same ranks as Al Qaeda, since the term ‘unprivileged belligerents’ replaces the Bush-era phrase ‘unlawful combatants’,” Don North elaborated.

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