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Guantanamo Bay Lifts Spiral Notebook Ban

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- It's a new era of transparency at Guantanamo Bay's court facility: reporters can now bring spiral-bound notebooks -- and their own pens -- into the room adjacent to the military courtroom.

Under a prior nonsensical rule, reporters watching the court proceedings could bring only looseleaf paper or notebooks without a metal spiral into an observation room separated by the courtroom by three panes of glass. The rule was put in place when hearings took place in an old courtroom where journalists were actually in the same room as the defendants.

"Our security personnel reviewed their original determination on the threat that spiral notebooks might pose and have reevaluated their original position," Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, told HuffPost.

In a more significant development, reporters are also now allowed to travel on many parts of the base without a military escort.