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Iraq Update Nature of the Enemy Letters to the Editor Heroes Special Reports

Newsweek Declines Pentagon Request to Examine Reporting

DOD asks magazine to reconsider refusal

Oct. 20, 2006In response to a Newsweek article on Afghanistan (“The Rise of Jihadistan,” October 2, 2006), the Department of Defense sent Newsweek a lengthy rebuttal of points of fact and opinion, as well as a request for an “opportunity to submit a stand-alone column that not only rebuts some of the more sensational charges, but offers your readers a clearer view of the very real challenges we face in Afghanistan—as well as the many achievements of the past five years.”

Newsweek dismissed the rebuttal as the “government position,” as well as the request for a stand-alone column. The Pentagon’s response to that letter read in part: “First, a ‘concise’ letter to the editor, of say, 200 words, cannot adequately address an [sic] 2200-word article containing a series of false assertions. Second, the issue is not Newsweek’s position versus the ‘government position.’ The issue is that your readers were given a one-sided, opinion-laced article on Afghanistan based on falsehoods—which is something that journalists and editors are usually concerned about. Your dismissive reply is disappointing, to say the least.”

Read the whole exchange here
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