With the Persian Gulf war over, a federal judge is affirming the Pentagon's right to keep the media from viewing the arrival of American war dead.

"The public interest lies in allowing the Air Force to run their military bases without interference from this court," U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said Friday.Lamberth declined to issue an injunction sought by a group of journalists, veterans and a military family support group who contended the policy was an unconstitutional effort to manipulate public opinion.

The Pentagon announced in January it would no longer allow journalists to view the arrival of soldiers' coffins at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

"I can't substitute my judgment for that of the military," the judge said. "There are reasons to exclude the public from the area."