Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Basil L. Plumley, a renowned career soldier whose exploits as an Army infantryman were portrayed in a book and the movie "We Were Soldiers," has died at 92 _ an age his friends are amazed that he lived to see.
The Vietnam War and the Walter Cronkite legend inculcated a strong distrust of the media in the military establishment. The sentiment is that if the press can lose America's wars, it is something to be dealt with warily, if at all. But what comes across as bias is often the product of structural and unavoidable aspects of reporting. The primary role of the press is to expose and publicize information, while the military norm, based on the need for operational security, is to withhold and control information.
"I am here to argue for more openness, more contact, more freedom between your profession and mine," he said at an appearance at the U.S. Air Force's Air War College in 1996. "In this one instance I believe familiarity would breed not contempt but trust and respect."