UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:15 am

US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 2:41 am

About 5 months ago, I had a personal encounter with a commander who didn't "appreciate" me posting my experiences in Iraq, here on Airliners. Well after a change of command a month later, my new commander was more than happy to allow me to tell people back home what it REALLY is like.

BUT, looks like it's no longer in the commander's hands... the Army is coming down on all bloggers.

Here are some highlights from the article. The full article can be found here:

http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/05/army_bloggers

Quote:
Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death By: Noah Shachtman

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.

.......

Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) 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.

Failure to do so, the document adds, could result in a court-martial, or "administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action."

......

But with the regulations drawn so tightly, "many commanders will feel like they have no choice but to forbid their soldiers from blogging -- or even using e-mail," said Jeff Nuding, who won the bronze star for his service in Iraq. "If I'm a commander, and think that any slip-up gets me screwed, I'm making it easy: No blogs," added Nuding, writer of the "pro-victory" Dadmanly site. "I think this means the end of my blogging."

Active-duty troops aren't the only ones affected by the new guidelines. Civilians working for the military, Army contractors -- even soldiers' families -- are all subject to the directive as well.

--------

The U.S. military -- all militaries -- have long been concerned about their personnel inadvertently letting sensitive information out. Troops' mail was read and censored throughout World War II; back home, government posters warned citizens "careless talk kills."

Military blogs, or milblogs, as they're known in service-member circles, only make the potential for mischief worse. On a website, anyone, including foreign intelligence agents, can stop by and look for information.

--------

Passing on classified data -- real secrets -- is already a serious military crime. The new regulations (and their author) take an unusually expansive view of what kind of unclassified information a foe might find useful. In an article published by the official Army News Service, Maj. Ceralde "described how the Pentagon parking lot had more parked cars than usual on the evening of Jan. 16, 1991, and how pizza parlors noticed a significant increase of pizza to the Pentagon.... These observations are indicators, unclassified information available to all ... that Operation Desert Storm was about to begin."

Honestly, I find this to be a huge blow - not only to soldiers in the field - but to the public back home.

Lets face it - the media fails miserably when it comes to accurately document what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the government is doing a poor job educating the public what our goals/successes/failures are. And the benefit of having an actual soldier on the ground, report what he/she is seeing, cannot be underestimated.

And we're crushing that voice? At what point do you become so obsessed about security, that you needlessly hurt morale, and war support back home?

I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07 - looks like no more "UH60's Update From Iraq"  frown 

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 2:46 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07 - looks like no more "UH60's Update From Iraq"

That's actually what I thought of when I read the article a few minutes ago. It's too bad, and I agree with you, it's doing a great disservice to all the friends and family back home.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 2:48 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07

I'd still hope not.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
looks like no more "UH60's Update From Iraq"

That would definitely be a loss.

I think we're primarily looking at an act of political desperation here.
 
planespotting
Posts: 3026
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:54 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 2:57 am

"crushes"

nice verb!

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
I think we're primarily looking at an act of political desperation here.

From who? According to the thread starter, most of the blogs/postings from military sources out there were positive towards the war effort...his own comments have been undoubtedly cheerful of operations (obviously not all of them in every situation). It seems unlikely that the military would gain any political satisfaction from silencing voices like his.

More likely it's just your good ole, typical clamp down on anything that could be considered a security threat...out of probably hundreds of posters it's logical that somewhere in there, if one were to read all and pay attention, there would be something of use to an insurgenet or whatever.

As an advocate of free speech, especially of positive information during wartime, it saddens me that the military wishes to silence one of the only positive voices about this conflict. Despite my decidedly leftward political beliefs, I would much prefer "our boys (and girls)" over there felt good about the job they were doing and wanted to educate the not-in-theatre folks like myself and most of the other people still stateside.
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
futurecaptain
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:54 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 3:02 am

I agree the military has gone too far here. It's good to hear from the soilders actually doing the work what is being acomplished, not the politicians.
AirSO. ASpaceO. ASOnline. ASO.com ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO.
 
AGM100
Posts: 5077
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:16 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 3:07 am

Here is to UH60... Going back to Iraq , risk life and limb flying over the enemy.. brave IED's and Sunni RPG weilding welcoming parties...

And what is he worried about ... not being able post on Anet ! Big grin

I am gonna miss it for sure !
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 3:09 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
And the benefit of having an actual soldier on the ground, report what he/she is seeing, cannot be underestimated.

And we're crushing that voice? At what point do you become so obsessed about security, that you needlessly hurt morale, and war support back home?

That's precisely the point I was going to make. Your "updates from Iraq" have impressed me deeply, the part where you remarked the war had made you more of a thinker in particular. I had hoped to hear that sort of thing from and/or about coalition soldiera and you put it online; and that's only a very slightl dramatisation.

My impression is that the army leadership isn't realising soldiers are writing more about their thoughts and feelings (again, my impression) than about operational details. That generates support, if anything.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07

I'd still hope not.

 checkmark 
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Gunships
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:32 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 3:16 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
Honestly, I find this to be a huge blow - not only to soldiers in the field - but to the public back home.

As do I. I enjoyed reading your reports and looked forward to the next "editions". Mostly because I can get a view on a subject that may not be mainstream-media friendly.

But I have to say I agree that something must be done to monitor the information going out of the AOR. Should the DoD be censoring/policing e-messages from the troops? In my opinion, yes. Because of that .01% that will never understand when and where to stop talking, there is too big a risk of a breach of OPSEC.. I don't think the DoD can afford to implement anything dedicated to monitoring e-communications. Stopping it makes fiscal sense.

From what I've read from you, the problem isn't people like you. Unfortunately, it's people like you who will have to pay the price.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I like the decision. But I understand it's need.

--

Fly safe.
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 3:28 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 3):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):I think we're primarily looking at an act of political desperation here.
From who?

From the political leadership in the Pentagon and the White House.

I doubt that a halfway open communication by the troops poses an actual security risk any more than it could have before. UH60 has been very careful as far as I can tell, and I'm pretty sure that will be just as true for other servicemen and -women.

But clearly communicating the real difficulties back home to a political environment where the current administration is increasingly facing actual opposition makes such open communication an increasingly lethal political risk to the Bush administration and to its hangers-on.

I'm pretty sure this order has initially originated in Dick Cheney's office or in the one of Karl Rove, not in the one of an actual general.
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 4:57 am

Quoting Gunships (Reply 7):
But I have to say I agree that something must be done to monitor the information going out of the AOR. Should the DoD be censoring/policing e-messages from the troops? In my opinion, yes. Because of that .01% that will never understand when and where to stop talking, there is too big a risk of a breach of OPSEC.. I don't think the DoD can afford to implement anything dedicated to monitoring e-communications. Stopping it makes fiscal sense.

From what I've read from you, the problem isn't people like you. Unfortunately, it's people like you who will have to pay the price.

Typical bureaucratic response to a problem created by the 1% who don't understand. Instead of addressing that 1%, punish everyone.

Stupid. Understandable, but stupid.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
I doubt that a halfway open communication by the troops poses an actual security risk any more than it could have before. UH60 has been very careful as far as I can tell, and I'm pretty sure that will be just as true for other servicemen and -women.

Disagree with your last point. What makes you so sure it "will be just as true for other servicemen and -women?" Your vast experience as part of the US military?

Just because UH60 is a responsible poster doesn't mean every soldier will be as responsible. Fact is, there is going to be a dunderhead who doesn't get OPSEC, and will run on at the mouth. The issue is, do you address the dunderhead, which is hard, or clamp down across the board, which is easy.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
desertjets
Posts: 7563
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 5:12 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 9):
The issue is, do you address the dunderhead, which is hard, or clamp down across the board, which is easy.

when reading UH's original post I couldn't help but think of Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22. There is a particular chapter where Yossarian is in the hospital and is tasked with censoring outgoing mail. One day he censors out all the adverbs, the next adjectives, and so on.

So in the end the ban on blogging is a bit of a catch-22 in my mind. On the one hand there is the risk of serious security leaks. But on the other hand I see it as infinitely valuable to the public and troops alike. Us civilians get a picture of the combat and the lives of our servicemen and women that is not being regularly portrayed in the mainstream media. And I imagine it is just as important for the solders themselves. I suspect posting their experiences on message boards and blogs is a healthy and productive way of making sense of what they are doing in Iraq. It would seem to me that it is a morale booster as well.

Of course the cynic in me is forced to ask, why crack down on it now, after 4+ years?
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
allstarflyer
Posts: 3264
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:32 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 5:13 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07

Good for you, dude, but for the sake of your personal life, I'm sorry.

I'm surprised this wasn't addressed in recent years. Then again, I'm surprised we're still over there while all any terrorist has to do is make it to Mexico and hoof it north.

-R
Living the American Dream
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 5:18 am

Quoting Gunships (Reply 7):
From what I've read from you, the problem isn't people like you. Unfortunately, it's people like you who will have to pay the price.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I like the decision. But I understand it's need.

Agreed.

So UH60, you'll just have to spam the forums when you get back. I hope the servers will be able to cope.  Smile
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 6:09 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 10):
Of course the cynic in me is forced to ask, why crack down on it now, after 4+ years?

This is what makes this looking especially fishy.

You always need to balance the damage you're doing with the potential benefit. Of course there could be the famous secret reason why it's all for the best, but that's rarely been for real.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 6:29 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 6):
My impression is that the army leadership isn't realising soldiers are writing more about their thoughts and feelings (again, my impression) than about operational details. That generates support, if anything.

Generally speaking, you're probably right, and 99% of all soldiers' blog posts like UH60's contain nothing harmful. The problem is the 1%. If you have just one guy out of a hundred who is posting irresponsibly, it ruins it for everyone else, and the Army has to clamp down on everyone.

If you have any other suggestions on identifying and dealing with that 1%, I'm all ears.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Confuscius
Posts: 3568
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 12:29 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 6:59 am

It's unfair. It's not like these soldiers work for FOX News.


Geraldo Rivera detailing plan live on FOX News. Big grin
Ain't I a stinker?
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12359
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 7:15 am

The USA military is also going to censor blogs and communications of soldiers and civilian employees of the Military, their contractors when using military e-mail and web systems, even e-mails to or from their families. This is nothing new, all similar communications have been censored in both world wars and we are in a situation where strategic information is available in real time, not weeks like a mailed letter would take.
What is at play here is a matter of control by the military and political leaders of this country to prevent any possible information to be accessed by our enemies and to cover up the mistakes of the military in our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is far too easy for someone in an e-mail or blog to forget to use due care in what they say, including disclosing private and personal info of your self, others, business information of your employer and so on.
I guess that this will mean that only 1 'authorized' blog site will be allowed, totally controlled by the military. It may also mean keeping from the public critical information such as situations as happened in the jails in Iraq. It will also cover senior military leaders butts from any failures or mistakes in their duties from their bosses or the public.
1984 is alive and with us.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 7:21 am

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 15):
Geraldo Rivera detailing plan live on FOX News.

That's what happens when you are forced to hire token lefties  Wink

geraldo was rightfully booted out of Iraq for that stupidity. But you don't have that option for military personel.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
DC10extender
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:09 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 8:50 am

That is a real shame. The very rights our men and women are fighting to protect are being witheld from them. Well, our thoughts and prayers are with you when you head back to Iraq.
Did you ever read on your birth certificate that life is fair? Thats cause its not there.
 
WrenchBender
Posts: 1662
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:59 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 9:15 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 14):
Generally speaking, you're probably right, and 99% of all soldiers' blog posts like UH60's contain nothing harmful. The problem is the 1%. If you have just one guy out of a hundred who is posting irresponsibly, it ruins it for everyone else, and the Army has to clamp down on everyone.

Very true and sadly it has always been the way of the military in most nations to dole out mass pumishment instead of dealing with the root problem.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 14):
If you have any other suggestions on identifying and dealing with that 1%, I'm all ears.

A fair policy has to be written and enforced, break the policy go to jail, probable charge 'providing information to the enemy'.

Downside-
There are those who may use it as a way out.
The possibility of a charge escalating to treason/spying.
A nightmare to oversee/enforce.

Upside-
There really isn't one other than the troops may be a little happier.

WrencjBender
Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
 
User avatar
yowza
Posts: 4275
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:01 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 9:35 am

I'm rarely one to defend the US military but there is a possibility that stopping blogging will minimize intelligence leaks and keep soldiers safer, albeit by a tiny edge. If this saves even one life I think it's not such a bad thing.

As already talked about it will be a shame for us back here out of the hotspots because the media (both sides: The Fox Whitehouse Channel and the Chicken Noodle Network) are woefully useless in their coverage.

YOWza
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zone

Thu May 03, 2007 9:47 am

Quoting DC10extender (Reply 18):
That is a real shame. The very rights our men and women are fighting to protect are being witheld from them. Well, our thoughts and prayers are with you when you head back to Iraq.

On the other hand, they still have the right to communicate, they just have to have the content looked over to make sure it's not sensitive.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 9:50 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 20):
I'm rarely one to defend the US military but there is a possibility that stopping blogging will minimize intelligence leaks and keep soldiers safer, albeit by a tiny edge. If this saves even one life I think it's not such a bad thing.

Now why are you trying to inject common sense into this discussion?
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
User avatar
fxramper
Posts: 5837
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:03 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 10:30 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
the media fails miserably when it comes to accurately document what is happening in Iraq

Agree 100%  yes 

Happy and Safe hunting in November.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 11:26 am

MIchael Yon comes pretty close to giving the soldiers view, since he's a former soldier and he's embedding with troops on the ground. He pisses off enough people that he must be doing something right.

Enjoy your time at home.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
SJCRRPAX
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:29 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 11:41 am

There was a blogger early on in this conflict that I would read daily and enjoy. He was maybe the first blogger in Iraq and the army stopped him also. So what he did was keep a journal and write a book. I've been planning on buying his book, his name is Colby Buzzell. I also like your posts a lot, maybe you can do something similar? Good Luck in Iraq, I think I have made my opinion clear in another thread that the US Army is probably stopping a genocide from occuring to the Sunni population left in Iraq.

Here is the website, check it out.

http://cbftw.blogspot.com/
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 12:55 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07 - looks like no more "UH60's Update From Iraq"

Feel free to send me all the e-mail you want. I'll make sure it gets posted.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
L-188
Posts: 29870
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 1:36 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 10):
when reading UH's original post I couldn't help but think of Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22

That was a good movie.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I find this to be a huge blow - not only to soldiers in the field - but to the public back home

So do I, and your threads here are one of the big reasons. The military might not like it but these are a form of "The Letter Home". Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't a couple of guys get busted because their families provided them with their own commerical sat-phones.

But opsec is a problem, although I would argue that the brass has more of a problem of keeping their traps shut.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07 - looks like no more "UH60's Update From Iraq"

I believe what you are looking for is what is known in the literary world as a "Ghostwriter"
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 1:37 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
Feel free to send me all the e-mail you want. I'll make sure it gets posted.

Aren't emails subject to the same screening as other posted content?

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 1:40 pm

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 28):
Aren't emails subject to the same screening as other posted content?

Personal Messages via personal e-mail will likely be screened, but not prohibited as will be the Blogs.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 1:42 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):
Personal Messages via personal e-mail will likely be screened, but not prohibited as will be the Blogs.

Oh, ok. I got the impression that the blogs would still be technically allowed, but because of the hassle to get everything approved, most just wouldn't bother.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
LAXspotter
Posts: 3227
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:16 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 2:41 pm

Why is the military against blogging? Its a serious question,

1. Are they fearful of security leaks

2. Trying to withold the viewpoints of troops

I met some soldiers at school who've been to Iraq, and i heard they were told how to respond to news media if they were ever approached. They actually had cards given to them on how to answer certain questions. I wonder if this has something to do with the reason why you cannot post on blogs, because on blogs you can write you own thoughts and less scrutiny than perhaps answer the questions of Media.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
TedTAce
Posts: 9098
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:31 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 7:53 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07

Ok, I have said it before, but I guess it bears repeating. WTF ARE YOU THINKING?!?! You should have a VERY pregnant wife by then!!! I really admire your sense of duty. I just wish you'd follow my advice in your comming home thread. I mean if your not going to stay here and get your wife pregnant, I know 100% of straight a.net would  Wink

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
I think we're primarily looking at an act of political desperation here.

 checkmark 

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 5):
And what is he worried about ... not being able post on Anet !

 rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl 

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
UH60 has been very careful as far as I can tell

 checkmark 

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
and I'm pretty sure that will be just as true for other servicemen and -women.

 thumbsdown  I would LOVE to blindly agree with you, but not all military folks are as smart as UH-60 is (save the fact he's being dumb in leaving his wife)

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 9):
Just because UH60 is a responsible poster doesn't mean every soldier will be as responsible

 checkmark 

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
Feel free to send me all the e-mail you want. I'll make sure it gets posted.

Thanks Pep  Wink

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 31):
1. Are they fearful of security leaks

 yes 

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 31):
2. Trying to withold the viewpoints of troops

 yes 



What gives me hope (from what I read briefly) was that soldiers could get approval from their superiors (maybe that's just for e-mail). I would hope that UH will get such approval. If UH has to go back; then having him there without his blogging here is useless.
This space intentionally left blank
 
Thorben
Posts: 2713
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:29 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 10:07 pm

This is censorship, nothing else. And it is supposed to hide the reality of the situation from the people in the US and the world. The military seems to be fed up with bad opinion polls. But this won't help, the US has lost in Iraq and can't disguise that any longer.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07

Good luck.
France 1789; Eastern Germany 1989; Tunisia 2011; Egypt 2011
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 10:25 pm

Quoting Thorben (Reply 33):
This is censorship, nothing else.

Umm, no, it's not. It's understandable, but not desirable. But it most certainly is NOT censorship.

No different this than any other operation than any other operation - be it military or civilian - that requires Operational Security . . . cops don't go home and tell their wives about impending Search Warrant operations, and soldiers shouldn't be sending messages about impending military operations. That simple. Unfortunately, rather than deal with the 1% of the idiots that do that, they'll make a policy that will effect everyone.

It is not censorship. It's called OPSEC. . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
planespotting
Posts: 3026
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:54 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 11:08 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 34):
But it most certainly is NOT censorship.

Ha, it certainly is censorship, in the truest sense of the word:

"the act of examining books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds."

(from dictionary.com)

But censorship certainly carries with it a decidedly negative tone, which I don't think is necessarily the case in this situation. Obviously OPSEC is paramount in these types of situations, and that is the practical matter indeed, rather than just some sort of malicious desire to keep all information from coming out of a war zone (although I'm sure the reasons are not all altruistic).

Anywho, words are fun to argue over...anyone else not think this is censorship?
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
Thorben
Posts: 2713
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:29 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 11:21 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 34):
It is not censorship. It's called OPSEC. . . .

Just a different word with the same meaning.

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 35):
Ha, it certainly is censorship, in the truest sense of the word:

"the act of examining books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds."

(from dictionary.com)

ANC, that is censorship, and that is what's happening.

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 35):
But censorship certainly carries with it a decidedly negative tone, which I don't think is necessarily the case in this situation.

Why is the negative tone not appropriate?
France 1789; Eastern Germany 1989; Tunisia 2011; Egypt 2011
 
planespotting
Posts: 3026
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:54 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 11:29 pm

Quoting Thorben (Reply 36):
Why is the negative tone not appropriate?

Well, in this situation there are certainly many practical and ethical reasons for this form of censorship...safety of the soldiers in the field certainly being the most important. There is certainly a fine line to walk in a time of war...or conflict...or whatever the crap this thing is we're in right now.

If we were not fighting somewhere and the military just said "no soldiers can blog ever," that would be a little bit more intrusive and unnecessary, and therefore be seen as uglier by most.
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
CaptOveur
Posts: 6064
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 3:13 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 11:37 pm

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 35):
Ha, it certainly is censorship, in the truest sense of the word:

"the act of examining books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds."

When you agree to defend the freedoms of others you have to give up some of your own.

This sucks but I can understand it. I am kind of surprised it didn't happen sooner. I guess they got the camel powered wifi working in the desert of Iraq so bad guys reading blogs is an issue now.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Thu May 03, 2007 11:48 pm

Quoting Thorben (Reply 36):
Why is the negative tone not appropriate?
Because censorship can be the right and good thing to do.

All soldiers in Iraq will have naturally been briefed on OPSEC procedures. Such as don't write your girlfriend that your unit is moving to city X next week, or that your recently arrived unit is out of practice on guerrilla warfare tactics, because your girlfriend may have a big mouth and blab to her friend in school, who may be the first link leading to one of many terrorist sympathisers that exist throughout the US, and news gets to the terrorists that city X next week will be patrolled by a bunch of green recruits - an ideal setup for increased attacks. One innocently sent message could cause hundreds of deaths.

A rule is a rule, when it comes to security. But if one asshole ignores the rules, and terrorists get valuable information via blogs and emails, (and this has certainly happened in the past - even you can't deny that), then you have to plug that hole.

The vast majority of the military in Iraq believe in what they are doing and have a positive opinion on finishing the job (and low opinions of those who wish to pull the rug out from under them, such as Harry Ried). I know this because I and others here are in contact with many of them. This has nothing to do with quelling negative opinion, because most of it goes the other way. It's about saving lives by ensuring that sensitive information does not go to people who don't need to get it.

To put it to the test, I would ask UH60 or any other soldier to ask their supervisor to approve an email that contains three phrases:

1) "I think GWB is an asshole"
2) "I don't know why we are fighting"
3) "Our brigade is moving to Falujah"

I would bet that the first one is allowed to stay, as it reveals no military secrets (flying in the face of those that think that this is to censor political opinion).

The second one is a question mark, depending on the context. It may be considered evidence of a morale problem in the unit, if the context shows that others in the unit think the same way. If this information falls into the wrong hands, this unit will clearly be targeted for intense attacks. You always attack units who you believe have low morale.

The third one will clearly be blanked out. Nobody outside the military needs to know this.

(edited for spelling)

[Edited 2007-05-03 16:53:59]
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
SJCRRPAX
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:29 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Fri May 04, 2007 2:38 am

Quoting Thorben (Reply 33):
But this won't help, the US has lost in Iraq and can't disguise that any longer.

This probably doesn't belong in this thread but I'll give my opinion anyway.

I see really only two out comes to this conflict at this point.

1. The Shitte population extracts revenge and kills every single Sunni or expels them from the country, after which Iraq becomes a peaceful country.

2. The USA stops the massacre of a million or so Shittes and Iraq becomes a peaceful country.

I think you need to pay attention. What is happening now is a civil war, and it's not a win/lose situation for America, it is a win lose situation for Iraqi's.
 
fridgmus
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:28 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Fri May 04, 2007 3:56 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
I'm going back to Iraq in Nov '07 - looks like no more "UH60's Update From Iraq"

Feel free to send me all the e-mail you want. I'll make sure it gets posted.

Thanks Sergeant Major!  bigthumbsup 

I'm hoping UH60 can get permission to post here. None of his threads that I've seen violated OPSEC. He is a perfect example of a Professional! Not trying to suck up UH60, just stating facts as I see them!  praise 

I'll still be here UH60 and I'll be lookin' for you!

Give your wife a hug from us!

Marc
The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
 
Klaus
Posts: 20578
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Fri May 04, 2007 7:18 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 32):
I would LOVE to blindly agree with you, but not all military folks are as smart as UH-60 is (save the fact he's being dumb in leaving his wife)

No, but I'd expect that actually meaningful OpSec violations should still be rare. And would routinely be dealt with according to the rules.

Keeping the troops from telling their compatriots at home about their situation in the field, however, is not a matter of security but a matter of trying to manipulate the political process beyond a certain point. And knowing this administration, it's hard to ignore the plausibility of that intention being behind this ban.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 34):
Umm, no, it's not. It's understandable, but not desirable. But it most certainly is NOT censorship.

Sure it is. But members of the military by necessity operate under a restricted set of civil rights, which includes the possibility of censorship when necessary (which will always be a tricky determination to make, of course).

Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 41):
Give your wife a hug from us!

Hmmm... that gets just a tiny little bit weird, don't you think...?  mischievous 

Still, I hope UH60 and his wife are well, happy and will both stay that way, just like as many of his colleagues and their families as possible!  bigthumbsup 
 
atct
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Fri May 04, 2007 8:21 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 20):
As already talked about it will be a shame for us back here out of the hotspots because the media (both sides: The Fox Whitehouse Channel and the Chicken Noodle Network) are woefully useless in their coverage.

Finally someone that goes after both sides. Glad im not the only one (and im conservative...yes I like Bill O'Reily, but he puts a spin on everything....as does every human being! lol)

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zone

Fri May 04, 2007 8:36 am

Quoting Thorben (Reply 33):
This is censorship, nothing else.

It may be censorship, but it is perfectly legal in this case, even in your and my country.

Publications violating laws can be censored. Slander, libel, violation of personal rights can cause censorship, no matter how free and democratic the country.
This is what we call "Nachzensur" (kinda post-production censorship).

Our constitution, the Grundgesetz, only prohibits "Vorzensur" (pre-production censorship).

Let's assume you made a movie and want to sell it DVD or to cinemas. Then a board can still examine your movie and say "ok, go ahead and sell it, but since it contains adult content, only those aged 18 or above can buy and watch it." This already is some kind of censorship but perfectly legal.
Or they can say "sorry pal, but your movie glorifies violence and thus violates the law. It's therefore illegal to even sell it."

Same with military blogs. The military adopts the role of an advisory board and checks if your publication violates the law.
Note that they did not indiscriminately prohibit blogs but plan to conduct post-production censorship. And this is perfectly legal.

[Edited 2007-05-04 01:39:25]
I support the right to arm bears
 
UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:15 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Mon May 07, 2007 10:03 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 9):
Typical bureaucratic response to a problem created by the 1% who don't understand. Instead of addressing that 1%, punish everyone.

Stupid. Understandable, but stupid.

I think that best sums up this situation.

A vast majority of the soldiers writing from the warzone are staying within the prescribed guidelines, and are careful not to comprise any sensitive information. However, for the few soldiers that do, everyone must be punished for their idiocy.

It's very typical.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 27):
I believe what you are looking for is what is known in the literary world as a "Ghostwriter"

I can neither confirm, nor deny that.  Wink

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 32):
Ok, I have said it before, but I guess it bears repeating. WTF ARE YOU THINKING?!?! You should have a VERY pregnant wife by then!!! I really admire your sense of duty. I just wish you'd follow my advice in your comming home thread. I mean if your not going to stay here and get your wife pregnant, I know 100% of straight a.net would

Well I met my wife when we were in college. She knew me when I decided not to re-enlist in the USANG, and instead become a Warrant and go to flight school. She moved down to flight school with me, she moved to my first post - Fort Campbell - with me. She knew that I was deploying in Jan '06. She knew all of this when she said "yes" when I proposed.

For all of the sacrifices I've made, I believe she's made equally as many. Just because she isn't in Iraq, doesn't mean she isn't in the trenches right next to me.

--------------------------------

I agreed to return to Iraq before they increased the deployment schedule to FIFTEEN months. But nonetheless, I will still be going. The thing is... as long as I have friends who are over there, I feel like I need to be there as well. It is not fair that I avoid the war, while my friends are sent back for their third or forth time.

Plus, every day I train and perfect my skills. Skills meant to be used on the battlefield. If I can be of use over there - I will go.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Mon May 07, 2007 10:09 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 45):
Quoting L-188 (Reply 27):
I believe what you are looking for is what is known in the literary world as a "Ghostwriter"

I can neither confirm, nor deny that.



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
Feel free to send me all the e-mail you want. I'll make sure it gets posted.



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 45):
Just because she isn't in Iraq, doesn't mean she isn't in the trenches right next to me.

As is usually the case with Military Spouses and Children . . . some folks simply can't empathize.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: US Army Crushes Soldier Blogging From War Zones

Mon May 07, 2007 10:47 pm

Fellows, I do not know whether you are aware of the historical context but I have a box full of Vmail from 1943 sent from a guy in the AAF to his family and it was all censored and sometimes redacted.

Regular letters that were mailed from the field thru the APO system were not, and Robert always wrote the return address "Somewhere in India" or "Somewhere in China". About all he said of substance about what he was engaged in was around Christmas 1944, when he said in a letter he thought the war would never end.

I have had several students who were serving in Iraq and they had to get up at strange times to log into their classes. I am also doing a remote control divorce for a guy who was serving in Ramadi until he was hospitalized in Germany. So life goes on with those in the service, far more so than in times past.

To the extent that people who are serving are able to stay engaged in their lives, that is a good thing. If I was serving I'd find it a comfort to know that friends and family were an email or a satphone call away.

I also think that it is salutary for those of use on the civilian side to be regularly reminded: "These are not numbers or names chiseled in stone on a wall. They are your friends, your neighbors, and your relatives. They all have stories to tell and important things to say, so shut your pie hole and listen up."

It was not thus during the Viet Nam war, and I believe that was at least part of the problem of reconciling people's different views of the matter.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests