US Defence Secretary
Robert Gates has issued stricter rules for top military officials in dealing with the media after General Stanley McChrystal was relieved of his command in Afghanistan for remarks made in a news report.
Gates said in a three-page memorandum Friday that officers and Defence Department civilian leaders must consult with the Pentagon's assistant secretary for public affairs on interviews "with possible national or international implication," The New York Times reported after receiving a copy of the memo from an official, DPA reported.
The process of laying out new media ground rules began before McChrystal was summoned to Washington last week and removed from his post after the appearance of a Rolling Stone magazine article in which he and his staff were critical of the White House and President Barack Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.
But Defence Department officials told the Times that the controversy renewed Gates' desire to create clearer media ground rules while still insisting on allowing as much transparency as possible.