The World O' Crap Archive

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Monday, September 12, 2011

I’m Going To Baghdad To Personally Shoot That Blog-Writing Sonofabitch!

Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe To Death
The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops’ online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.
Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq — the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.
The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.
Army Regulation 530–1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to “consult with their immediate supervisor” before posting a document “that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum.” The new version, in contrast, requires “an OPSEC review prior to publishing” anything — from “web log (blog) postings” to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home. (My emphasis)
Failure to do so, the document adds, could result in a court-martial, or “administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action.”
Some people might point out that soldiers’ letters were censored in World War I and II.  But the practice was discontinued by the early months of the Korean conflict, and letters by service personnel in Vietnam were not screened at all.  Of course, the unfettered flow of information from the battlefield can hasten the public’s disillusionment with an already unpopular foreign war, and you might expect certain La-Z-Boy Leonides in the blogsphere to trumpet this change.  But even some bloggers who support the Iraq war are dismayed by this blackout.
The revised regulation were first released by Wired News blogger Noah Shachtman, and his report on the serious crackdown on soldiers’ writings is stirring the blogosphere into an uproar.
Matt at Blackfive writes:
The Bottom-Line to the this bad piece of regulation: The soldiers who will attempt to fly under the radar and post negative items about the military, mission, and commanders will continue to do so under the new regs. The soldiers who’ve been playing ball the last few years, the vast, VAST, majority will be reduced. In my mind, this reg will accomplish the exact opposite of its intent. The good guys are restricted and the bad continue on…
Operational Security is of paramount importance. But we are losing the Information War on all fronts. Fanatic-like adherence to OPSEC will do us little good if we lose the few honest voices that tell the truth about The Long War.
Setting aside the question of whether soldiers who report painful truths about the situation in Iraq are “bad guys”, you can’t really argue with the military’s concerns about operational security.  Except that, according to Iraqslogger:
In what could be considered a failure of information security, the complete text of the US Army’s new operational security regulations was posted on the Internet today.
Even more ironically, the first “major revision” listed designates “For Official Use Only”–a phrase found in bold on the front cover–”as the standard marking for all unclassified products that meet one or more of the exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and which if released to the public, could cause harm to Army operations or personnel.”
The new regulation currently causing controversy requires soldiers to consult with superiors before posting any comment on a blog, and one has to wonder if this new reign on soldiers’ speech sparked one to share the document.
The impracticality (not to mention inhumanity) of the regulation, and the incompetent way it was introduced aside, who thinks this measure is designed to keep the truth about conditions in Iraq away from:
 This guy…
 Or this guy?

10 Responses to “I’m Going To Baghdad To Personally Shoot That Blog-Writing Sonofabitch!”

Neither, methinks. Cretin #1 is living there, or at least in close proximity–he knows what;s goin’ down there. Cretin #2 is also well informed about the conflict–he just chooses not to believe a word of it. It’s shmoes like me and you… and Joe Schmoe who the Pentagon is worried might find out the truth about Iraq and get royally POed about it. Mind you, it’s too late to retain most of us, out of those who were ever for the Iraq war in the first place. It’s just that the military would like to hang onto as much of the 30% that they’ve got at the moment for as long as they can.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, motherfuckers!
Damn, so a guy can’t even send his wife an anniversary card without approval?
My goodness..
Not only do we not know WHERE they’re sending Blonde Niece to, we also don’t know for HOW FUCKING LONG, or what kind of evil shit (like WE haven’t been using even more chemical weaponry than THEY have, but of course, WE’RE not supposed to know THAT either) to which she will be exposed.
Y’know, in case she doesn’t get raped by a fellow soldier or killed by “friendly fire” FIRST.
Great. Just fucking great.
And we won’t be able to hear from her the entire fucking time (and we’re not looking at a “weekend warrior” stint here) that she’s over there.
I’m glad to have the info, Scott, but I hope that y’all start stocking-up on cigarettes to send me in Levinworth.
You’ll both be in my thoughts, Annti. And if you need an alibi, let me know…
Well, congratulations all. Thanx to a great wave o’bitchin’ on blogs of all kinds of political stripes, evidently the DOD is telling soldiers, marines, etc. that they can blog away with no fear o’ reprisals. Or so they claim. So, looks like you do get to hear from your Blonde Niece, if only on an irregular basis, after all, Annti. Huzzah!
Hey, scott–did you switch the photos around a bit? I coulda sworn guy #2 was Dumbya, not Keith Olberman! Now I feel like a Great Big Dummyhead™. The comment up above should be viewed as if I’m talking about teh Chimperor… ‘cos I was!
Aaannnddd… when I say, “comment up above,” I mean my first comment at the start of the comments, not the one two comments ago. Sheesh!
Marq–Nope, that was always Keith. Given that Bush doesn’t seem much interested in what’s going on in Iraq, I don’t imagine the military has to make an special effort to keep him ill-informed.
Heard the ass-end of an interview on Normal People’s Radio Friday afternoon with some drone from the army or Pentagon or Pentagram indicating the military was going to start posting stuff to YouTube, in the usual “effort to get the real story out.” Not sure if it was in reaction to any of the above hoopla, but one must wonder.
Thanks, y’all. D., I’ll holler at ya when/if I have to do The Big Road Trip. You wanna ride shotgun?
And Bouffant — that marketing bullshit sold as “real video” and “P.O.V.” is nothing new for the Pentagon’s brainwashing division. Fuck, they are SELLING VIDEO GAMES that show you “what it’s like to be a ‘REAL SOLDIER’” — and you’ll notice that MadTV is chock-full of Army commercials, ’cause that’s the demographic that they’re aiming at — young, bored, can’t-find-a-job ’cause Dumbya & Dick have destroyed the economy.
That’s how they got Blonde Niece — she went into Job Corps to get “real job training” and her G.E.D., and all she got was the GED and “training” that wasn’t legit or applicable towards any actual real jobs, at which point Job Corps was revealed (to her, finally) as what they really are: Farm Team recruiting for the kids who get fucked into believing that they’ll get a JOB out of this shit, and then find out that all that they’re really “qualified for” is to be the next piece of cannon fodder, ’cause only the military is hiring.

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