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Word Count: 1,187
The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances and yet over the last two centuries congress has attempted to do all of the above on many occasions It seems almost barbaric in this day and age to imagine our government still attempting to abridge the freedoms put forth by the Constitution but it does indeed still happen It would take several volumes to detail every occurrence in the history of our Constitution so for the sake of brevity this essay will focus on the government attempts to abridge the freedom of the press in the last dozen years In 1991 the United States entered into a military conflict with Iraq after their leader Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait During the weeks that followed I could not turn on my television without seeing some form of media coverage about the war be it personal stories of soldiers and their family close up footage of our missiles pummeling their buildings or late night television hosts cracking jokes about Saddam Hussein As an average viewer I did not think for a moment that the press was leaving information out of the extensive broadcasts However behind the scenes there was more going on Much more than the press was allowed to report on On February 14 1991 the Pentagon laid down specific guidelines telling the media what they were and were not allowed to disclose Included among these guidelines were Any information that reveals details of future plans operations or strikes including postponed or canceled operations Information on intelligence collection activities including targets methods and results and ten other rules that were most likely meant to protect the United States
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