Best Defense

1st Cav commander throws tantrum, bans reporter over quibble about story wording

Maj. Gen. Michael Bills, commanding general of the first Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, banned Rose Thayer, a reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald, over the wording of a story.

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Best Defense is in summer re-runs. This item originally appeared on September 24, 2014.

Maj. Gen. Michael Bills, commanding general of the first Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, banned Rose Thayer, a reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald, over the wording of a story.

General Bills seems to have forgotten that part of the Constitution, which he has sworn to uphold, is the 1st Amendment.

There also is an element of bullying here. General Bills commands thousands of heavily armed soldiers. Ms. Thayer (who is married to a soldier, btw) works for a tiny newspaper with a staff of six.

General, here’s today’s advice from Best Defense: Quit whining, rescind the ban, and offer an apology.

If he doesn’t, then Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the corps commander, whom I know to be a reasonable man, needs to tell Bills to grow up.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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