| GEO World|
| Pentagon tightens media rules for US military|
| Updated at: 1309 PST, Saturday, July 03, 2010|
WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has tightened rules on media relations for the US military, only days after the top general in Afghanistan was sacked over disparaging comments he and aides made in an interview.
In a three-page memo sent to senior military and civilian Pentagon staff, Gates said he was "concerned that the department has grown lax in how we engage with the media, often in contravention of established rules and procedures."
The former Central Intelligence Agency director said "leaking of classified information is against the law, cannot be tolerated, and will, when proven, lead to the prosecution of those found to be engaged in such activity."
The memo instructs Pentagon officials to notify the Defense Department's assistant secretary for public affairs "prior to interviews or any other means of media and public engagement with possible national or international implications."