Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dillon and spokesmen for the Iraqi Security Forces brief the media on the Liberation of Mosul in the Pentagon Press Briefing Room, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2017. (DoD/U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

The Pentagon used to be known as the building that speaks, but it has been more than 300 days since an official Defense Department spokesman has conducted a televised briefing. (Gerard Butler doesn't count.)

One day in the future, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will talk to reporters on camera from the podium of the Pentagon's briefing room, Defense Department spokesman Charles Summers Jr. vowed on Thursday.

However, Summers was unable to say when or how such a herculean feat might take place.

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Many of the world's news organizations have been instructed to not say nearly 200 "false and defamatory" statements about Julian Assange or WikiLeaks, according to an email marked "confidential legal communication" and "not for publication" that was, ahem, subsequently leaked.

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A U.S. Marine with Task Force Southwest patrols through a village near Bost Kalay, Afghanistan (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

At the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump expressed intense dismay about ongoing oversight provided by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the U.S. government's main watchdog for the 17-year-long effort to rebuild the country.

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Photo via Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs waited until just before 5 pm on the Friday before Labor Day weekend to release eye-popping job vacancies data: the agency currently has a whopping 45,239 overall vacancies, 40,456 (89%) of which belong to the Veterans Health Administration.

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U.S. Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. Joe Harwood

The recent Air Force freeze on public affairs interactions is troubling for a number of reasons. Among other things, it may counter the Department of Defense’s “Principles of Information,” which state that, “It is Department of Defense policy to make available timely and accurate information so that the public, the Congress, and the news media may assess and understand the facts about national security and defense strategy. Requests for information from organizations and private citizens shall be answered quickly.”

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U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado

The Department of Defense has a very clear message to the American public: Shut up for a second and let us wage forever war in peace.

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