Army Probes Firing of Arlington Whistle-Blower

Army Secretary Pete Geren is launching an internal investigation into the firing of a former Arlington National Cemetery public affairs director who exposed that cemetery officials were trying to restrict media coverage of military funerals. When Gina Gray took the job three months ago, she discovered that Arlington administrators were trying to curb media presence at funerals for American soldiers killed in Iraq, despite the wishes of their families-and against Army regulations.

"Gray believed the new restrictions were wrong and were not supported by Army regulations, The [Washington] Post reported. But she was demoted six weeks after The Post first reported on her attempts to restore news coverage, and she was fired on June 27.

"'Had I not put my foot down, had I just gone along with it and not said regulations were being violated, I'm sure I'd still be there,' Gray told The Post, calling her firing retaliatory. 'It's about doing the right thing.'

"Geren is seeking more information on the matter, [Army spokesman Paul] Boyce said. 'The secretary of the Army has asked for an internal review by his staff,' he said.

"In a phone interview yesterday, Gray said, 'I am definitely encouraged by any investigation into the mismanagement at Arlington Cemetery.'" [WP]