The Pentagon is reportedly ordering the military newspaper Stars and Stripes to shut down.
In a recent memo, the Pentagon told Stars and Stripes' publisher to present a plan by Sept. 15 for the newspaper to be dissolved, asking for a "specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide" and saying the "last newspaper publication (in all forms) will be September 30, 2020," according to USA Today. The independent publication for the military dates back to 1861, and according to its website, it "has published a newspaper continuously since World War II."
USA Today opinion contributor Kathy Kiely slammed the reported move, describing it as President Trump's "latest attack on the free press" and stressing the importance of the newspaper being delivered to U.S. troops, including in areas "where the internet is spotty or inaccessible." Kiely also questioned the constitutionality of such a move to shutter Stars and Stripes while noting that this would only save $15.5 million from the Pentagon's $700 billion budget.
A bipartisan group of senators recently wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper objecting to the "proposed termination of funding" for Stars and Stripes, arguing this could have a "significantly negative impact on military families," The Hill reports.
Reports on the potential shutdown of Stars and Stripes, which come as Trump denies a report that he described U.S. troops killed in battle as "losers," quickly sparked outcry on Friday, with The Atlantic's Adam Harris writing, "I grew up on military installations around the world and a lot of times [Stars and Stripes] was all we had." Stars and Stripes reporter Steve Beynon tweeted in response to the story that "this doesn't stop the journalism," adding, "I'm juggling 3 future news stories today."