Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos issued a statement Wednesday saying “there was never any intention to ban” the independent newspaper Marine Corps Times from base exchange stores. His statement, released on the service’s official Facebook page, comes three days after Marine Corps Times published a report revealing that inquiries were made, at his behest, about the possibility of banning or relocating the publication.
“There was never any intention to ban the Marine Corps Times from the PX — period, none,” Amos’ statement says. “I’m probably not the first commandant that’s been frustrated with the way the Marine Corps Times handles information and how they put it out and how they write their stories, and I’m probably not going to be the last, but I want to be clear to all Marines, there was never any intent nor will the Marine Corps Times be banned from the Marine Corps exchanges.”
Last week, Marine Corps Times obtained and authenticated an internal email discussion between a top public affairs officer at Marine Corps headquarters, the commandant’s top civilian attorney and a senior civilian federal employee whose command oversees exchange store operations.
The email exchange took place May 15, 2013, four days before Marine Corps Times published an investigative report into allegations Amos abused his authority in the legal proceedings for several Marines connected to a war-zone scandal. The email’s subject line reads “CMC OPTIONS,” which stands for commandant of the Marine Corps. It seeks guidance on the possibility of banning the newspaper from the exchanges or moving it to a less prominent store location.
Marine Corps officials at the Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Amos’ statement.