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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Military Moves to Control Soldiers' Blogs

by Jay Allbritton
The administration and its helpers the radio, the blogs and at Fox have long been hostile to the American people learning about what's happening in Iraq. First "journalists" were embedded with the troops. Later, the right co-ordinated a broad smear campaign against journalists designed to chill reporters speaking out about the freaking mess over there. The administration banned images of dead soldiers' flag draped coffins being taken off planes. Soldiers that wanted to speak out about conditions at Walter Reed were threatened into silence. The very concept of the Green Zone inhibits journalism in Iraq by keeping the media and the insurgents apart. The list goes on and on.

The latest attempt to keep information about Iraq away from the American people?

From Wired:

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.

Don't worry, we should get all the information we need, from General Petraeus, who promises to brief us on the progress of the surge.

In September.

Have a nice summer!

RELATED: "Mainstream American Journalism: An Obituary" by Dave Lindorff.
VIDEO: Alive in Baghdad Uncut. Episode: "Baghdad is Like Grand Theft Auto".


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