Marines evacuate Wash. Post reporter from war zone -- to attend movie premiere? 

Gawker is reporting that Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran may have pulled some questionable shenanigans to get the Marines to evacuate him from his war zone embed:

The "personal reason" that Chandrasekaran needed out of Marja, it turns out, was so he could attend the New York premiere of The Green Zone, the new Matt Damon film based on Chandrasekaran's 2006 book Imperial Life in the Emerald City. Chandrasekaran's last byline from Marja appeared on February 23, and here he is at the premiere on February 25.

"I had a number of reasons for needing to come back," Chandrasekaran told Gawker. "Certainly attending the premiere of a movie inspired by a book that I wrote was among them. Unfortunately, there was a scheduling conflict and I had to leave Afghanistan when I did." But Chandrasekaran never told the military officials who bent the rules for him and his paper why he needed the special treatment, and at least one of them was under the impression that it was some sort of family emergency. "I didn't go into my reasons for needing to leave," he said, "but I didn't keep anything from them, and I certainly did not at any point say that there was a family emergency. They evaluated our request and they made their decision. They have their usual procedures, but I believe the public affairs staff recognizes that they'd like to have certain large news organizations covering significant military operations. That includes the Washington Post and others."

It's hard to tell what exactly happened here, but I hope Washington Post gets to the bottom of it.

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Mark Hemingway

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