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CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar (AP) -- Gen. Tommy Franks said Monday there were no operational security breaches involving embedded reporters in the war against Iraq and that the U.S. military would bring journalists along with front-line forces in the future.
"It will happen again. Embedding will happen again," Franks said in an interview broadcast to The Associated Press' annual meeting in Seattle.
Franks has been a longtime supporter of the embedding program, in which more than 600 journalists traveled with American ground, naval, Special Operations and air forces during the Iraqi conflict.
"The further one gets away from the point of action, the less fidelity one gets in terms of what's really happening," Franks said. "I believe embedding journalists ... provided the opportunity to have a great deal of very precise information about what was going on in the war."
When asked whether he had learned of any security issues involving embedded reporters, Franks said he hadn't.
"I was very pleased with the fact that the journalists to my knowledge were very, very cooperative. They were very honest. When we asked that they not give away an operational construct they didn't do that. So I was pleased with that as well."
But he acknowledged media outlets faced a challenge in trying to make sense of the very pinpointed reports embedded journalists gave, likening them to "looking through five, six hundred straws at one time."
"For any network or any aggregation of those soda straws to have meaning is where one finds the difficulty," he said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)