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White House Should Reverse Pentagon Ban on Michael Hastings Embeds

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While I'm not surprised that the Pentagon has barred Michael Hastings from a previously approved "embed", they are not handling this well and are messing up again.

The President and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates should intervene and order the Pentagon to invite Michael Hastings back into the embed fold.

This from Mike Allen's Playbook in Politico this morning:

BULLETIN -- Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone contributing editor who wrote "The Runaway General," tells Mika [Brzezinski]: "Unfortunately, I recently received a letter from the public affairs staff denying me access to an embed that had been approved in June. ... I was scheduled to go on this embed in September. I just received a letter that said I was now DISapproved from going on that embed with the 101st Airborne. So I think that was a very unfortunate decision that was a direct result of the article about General McChrystal."

Hastings played a vital national service in exposing the toxic disdain some in McChrystal's command had for their US government partners in Afghanistan as well as for allies.

Allowing the Pentagon to continue to block Hastings reinforces the notion that he was the bad guy in this -- not the person who was fired by the President of the United States.

Note to National Security Council team -- this is one you should turn around.

It's not wise to punish the media who actually helped bring vital information to the nation and to the White House. Had McChrystal's team continued to operate, tensions between the key U.S. partners in Afghanistan would have become even more destructive.

-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note. Clemons can be followed on Twitter @SCClemons