« Home | Strange goings-on in Iraq invasion aftermath » | Favourite new satirical blog » | The 'Land of the Free'? » | The Humanity Dick Award » | Challenging some popular misconceptions of World W... » | For Apple fans, it's that time of the year again » | Tagged » | Supply & Demand » | Haloscan Compromised? » | Irrational paranoia strikes at Freedom HQ » 

Friday, January 06, 2006 

Instructive lesson on the 'freedom of speech' of the military

Newsday, about US censorship policy on military bloggers in Iraq:

"Throughout last year, the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy tightened control on bloggers by requiring them to register through the chain of command and by creating special security squads to monitor milblogs.

"The ones that stay up are completely patriotic and innocuous, and they're fine if you want to read the flag-waving and how everything's peachy keen in Iraq," said Hartley, who is back in New Paltz after two years stationed in Iraq."
This highlights an important point, which non-military personnel may not appreciate. Every time you read or hear a military spokesperson talk about how the Iraq War is going, you're not seeing a free actor, able to communicate his or her experiences and/or opinions to you openly and honestly. Instead, you're dealing with someone who may as an individual be trustworthy, but whose military duty requires them to spin as morale-boosting a tale as possible - and that includes lying and deliberate obfuscation, as we've seen over the years with the British in NI and latterly with the US in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Post-Vietnam, the necessity of 'winning' the PR war with pesky journalists turning over rocks was learned, and learned well. Hence embedding, and hence also the policy of stamping out swiftly any honest soldier accounts of what war is really like, and what the real situation on the ground is. Bear that in mind the next time you see yet another rosy soldier's story promoted on right-wing blogs.

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates