BOSTON (March 27,
2:45 p.m. AST) - A reporter for The Christian Science Monitor has been
ordered out of Iraq after the Pentagon said he revealed the location of a
Marine unit during a television interview.
Philip Smucker, a freelance reporter for the Monitor and The Daily
Telegraph of London, was not embedded but joined the First Marine Division
on Sunday, along with a Monitor photographer.
Smucker reported the unit's location Wednesday during an interview on
CNN, according to the Pentagon.
"My understanding of the facts at this point from the commander on the
ground is that this reporter was reporting, in real time, positions,
locations and activities of units engaged in combat," Pentagon spokesman
Bryan Whitman said in a statement to the Monitor. "The commander felt it
was necessary and appropriate to remove (Smucker) from his immediate
battle space in order not to compromise his mission or endanger personnel
of his unit."
Monitor Editor Paul Van Slambrouck wrote in an editorial posted on the
newspaper's Web site Thursday that Smucker did not reveal any information
not already available.
"We have read the transcript of the CNN interview and it does not
appear to us that he disclosed anything that wasn't already widely
available in maps and in U.S. and British radio, newspaper, and television
reports in that same news cycle," Van Slambrouck wrote.
Smucker, 41, an American based in Cairo, will be reassigned within the
region, the Monitor said. The photographer who had been traveling with him
remained in Iraq and the paper said it still had two reporters there.