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Speech Censorship by the US Military

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by maverick4, May 2, 2007.

  1. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    We condemn countries like China, but we're pretty much doing something similar now:

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

    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.

    "This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has -- it's most honest voice out of the war zone. And it's being silenced."

    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.

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

    Pujo Rookie

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    Is this just for people in a war zone, or all members of the Army? All letters home have to be read? Man, that sucks... if you want to tell your wife what you're going to do to her the next time the two of you are alone, your supperior officer is going to know also.
  3. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    No sh*t, sherlock... speaking from personal experience, when you join the military you forfeit your rights. Only a clueless liberal could ever be surprised by something like this or consider it news. To quote Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide: "We're here to defend democracy, not practice it."

    By the way, are you man enough to admit you were wrong when you said the US government orchestrated the arrest of 15 British sailors and marines...? Or are you just a little chicken not even man enough to admit he was wrong about something...?
    Last edited: May 2, 2007
  4. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    actually, it is news... if you bothered to read the story amid your hourly fascist hissy fits, you'd have noticed the directive was issued April 19...

    please, whatever you do, stop speaking from "personal experience"... because your personal experience seems to translate to nothing but hypocrisy, intolerance, hatred and irrationality...
  5. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    The war's four years old. If this is so important why wait this long to implement it? I can't believe that the Bush admin. is incompetent to the point of just now learning that 'loose lips sink ships.' So I doubt this new directive is founded on military strategy. Sounds to me like the news going home has turned more negative and the Bush bunch is trying to save their fellow Neo-cons from as much political damage as possible.
  6. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    Boy, you liberals are just the masters of the obvious. Here's a newsflash: When you are in the military, you do not have the right to free speech. You are not allowed to openly and freely criticize your orders, your military commanders or your civilian superiors.

    It's not a matter of soldiers blogging their location and patrol routes or any strategy. It's a matter of them not being allowed to blog criticism of what they are doing. This is a 5,000 year old rule being applied to 21st century technology.

    Now if you are really good, I'll explain to you the difference between "weather" and "whether". But I doubt you'll understand.
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dear Mr. Angry ex military man,

    Good to see your command of the english language, we all can benefit from your correction thank you oh so much. That must be because of your military service..

    What rules apply to the ban on Marines getting tattoos??

    Thank you for your service most don't brag about it, but apparently you do.

    Sincerely,

    Wondering and wandering in Liberal la la land...
  8. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    I know Qui Gon's not speaking to me, but for everyone else's benefit, soldiers have never been denied the right to privately criticize their commander or mission, say, in a letter to their wife. A soldier publishing a critical blog, I agree, is something the military has the right to prevent, but what they say in their letters home (provided they're not revealing secret information) is their business. The more they try to control soldiers in ways they shouldn't, the fewer people will enlist.
  9. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    QuiGon's right. It's similar to the Nazi claim, "I was only following orders." In other words, he's defending the point of view that we have the right to shut soldiers up even if they think what they are doing is morally wrong.

    While the military can deny the right to free speech, there are cases working there way up to try to sort out to what extent the military can do that. For instance, it's clear that within the military, you may need to restrict speech to protect secrets, maintain morale, etc. But, whether this includes personal letters to friends, postings on blogs, and public statements is something the military is trying to sort out, and I wouldn't be surprised if it went to the SC. For a less simplistic response than QuiGon's, this article is quite good:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/02/08/MNG4CO11OO1.DTL
  10. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    "English" is supposed to be capitalized.
    Hey, you were the one that felt it necessary to criticize my spelling, which is pretty laughable since you are really damn bad yourself. I have never once commented on another's spelling, grammar or punctuation on this board (Lord knows I make plenty of my own mistakes) until you felt it necessary to say (paraphrasing from memory) "At least I know how to spell ax, and it isn't with a z".
    Your question is very poorly worded. They recently made a rule saying you can't get tattoos in the service. IMHO, that's a stupid rule but I think it pretty much speaks for itself.
    I have never once bragged about serving in the military. In fact I have often stated that there was nothing remarkable about it in any way, other than doing miscellaneous odd jobs and busy work during a time of major downsizing. But when some smart-ass liberal asks me "Oh yeah..?!? Well what branch of the military did you serve in?" I reply with "The Navy." And when military discussions are raised in this forum, I sometimes make the point that I am speaking from personal experience. Apparently this offends you in some way.
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  11. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    The military has a right to censor it's soldiers for a number of different reasons. My buddy who is in Taji was telling me stuff like "yeah, we're leaving on the xx and we're flying to yy, and then convoy the rest of the way to our FOB. I thought it was wierd to see him type stuff so freely. Interestingly enough, i've received only two emails from him since he got to Taji. I'm wondering if he's been too busy, or if he was told to stop.
  12. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Perhaps everyone's experience is somewhat different, I live around a lot of WWII guys.. one day one of them was taking apart a shed I was getting rid of and I asked him if he was in WWII. He said he used to be a ball turret gunner on a torpedo plane, he spent a week on a raft in the Pacific after getting shot down. I asked him how he did on those aircraft carriers, he said he landed on those carriers after 260+ missions. I told him he was a hero, he said no big deal. His humility was pretty outstanding.

    Went to a game dinner with another neighbor, and after a couple of beers asked him the same question. He told me he been in every major battle in WWII, and was part of the liberation of Auschwitz. Got 5 bronze stars, the only problem for him was he used to punch out officers and get busted all the time so he never made anything above Private. He never talked about his service.

    My father was in D-Day on an ocean going tug and was a deep sea diver, never talked about and when he did never understood what he did on D-Day. Couple of years ago was in NOLA and went to the D-Day museum, and saw a picture of what he did and then I understood.

    My frame of reference is that those who served in WWII, and my friends who served in Viet Nam particularly those who served in country do not speak about their service casually, what hey did was expected and not spoken of. So when people speak of their service openly, I am very suspect of the character of that person.
  13. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    Those men you mentioned are heroes, each and every one. That's why I am always telling people what I did was nothing special. And that ain't my usual humility and charm speaking, that's the God's honest truth. I never even went out to sea, which was unheard of before the 90's. I learned how to fix pumps and valves and did a lot of standing watch and assorted busy work.

    But if someone starts a subject about censorship in the military and I respond with a comment "speaking from personal experience..." that is hardly being a braggart. Conversely, if the subject at hand was IED's and their effect on servicemen on patrol in Iraq, then I wouldn't respond with "speaking from personal experience..."
  14. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You missed my point, when people speak of their service openly and use it conveniently, I am suspect of the character of that person.

    My frame of reference is different than most, but you should've heard them ranting and raving about John Kerry's Purple Hearts.
  15. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    Why do I get the feeling you would be significantly less "suspect" if my political viewpoints were more in line with yours..? :rolleyes:

    I will continue to use my experience, however limited, in the military as a reference when appropriate in this forum.
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  16. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why do liberals want all of America's wars fought as though they were some kind of a little social gathering, wouldn't it be nice if we used rubber bullets, tee hee, todays enemy is a savge killer, they want to behead the liberals children and Auntie Pelosi is vomiting because she saw a picture of our enemy with ladies underwear on his head.

    This is why we censor the troops mail:
    France 1944, a soldier is having a few beers with his friends and he writes a letter home to his wife,

    Hi Sweetie,
    I'm having a few beers and washing my laundry, you won't hear from me for awhile I have been picked to take part in a secret mission, next month on the 15th at 1800 hours we are going to parachute into Berlin, myself and Tommy Finnegan have been chosen to sneak into Hitler's Bunker and kill him, we are going to stab him to death, don't tell anybody.
    Say "Hi" to your mother.
    Love, GI Joe.

    That my slobbering butterfly chasing liberals is why the Troops Mail Is Censored.
    :bricks:
  17. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I'm not saying it's bad, I certainly understand the reasons. I just think it's funny that we pass judgement on others when we do pretty much the same thing (on a lesser scale), for similar reasons.
  18. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    But here's the problem with your poor logic: We don't do "pretty much the same thing". If you're a citizen of the United States and a civilian, you are perfectly free to speak your mind on the Iraq War. If you have volunteered to join the U.S. Military, you are forfeiting some constitutional rights.

    There isn't a single citizen of this country without the right to criticize Iraq policy that has not voluntary given up the right. That's a huge difference, and one you will probably never understand.

    BTW, are you man enough to admit you were wrong about the British sailors incident or are you just a gutless wonder that can't even admit when he is wrong about something..?
  19. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    It still seems more like political bs to me than something with a military value. Blogs weren't invented yesterday, and it's probably been 10 years or more since the first soldier got himself an Email address. I have serious reservations about this directive having anything to do with some Corporal blogging about how they've got secret plans to raid Fallujah next Tuesday, Mosul on Wednesday and finish the week in Kirkuk. Its like telling a Marine to keep his rifle spotless, IE unnecessary. I'm sure that sort of stuff is covered in Basic Training and doesn't need its own special directive.

    Now suppose that in the first few months of the war the news from the front lines was almost exclusively positive in nature and clearly indicated soldiers who were happy to be doing a job that they felt would have a positive effect on the people around them. Thereby making it a clear boon to the political fortune of the Administration; but as it became more and more obvious over the years that this was never going to end well, the news slowly turned more and more negative? Wouldn't a craven politician who had total control over these soldiers think about telling them to shut up just to protect his own legacy?
  20. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    EDIT: You show your ignorance of military matters (like most liberals) if you don't see the "military value" in this decision.
    Boy you liberals can't help but state the obvious over and over :rolleyes:

    Speaking from personal experience, military censorship goes beyond giving away secrets. Obviously you may not divulge any sensitive information. But you also lose the freedom to opine on whatever you want. There are strict limits to being able to criticize your mission or your superiors - either officiers or civilians.

    The military puts the clamp down on bloggers and liberals run around like chickens with their heads cut off. People that have served just shrug their shoulders wondering what is the big deal. You can call it "political bs" but it is just a 21st century interpretation of a rule that has been around for centuries.
    Last edited: May 4, 2007

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