Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pentagon silences milbloggers

By Libby

I'm finding this crackdown somewhat incomprehensible.
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.
I'd say they're right. Wired News has the rules, one of which requires a commander be consulted before every blog update. So how long do you think that will take? The whole point of blogs is that they're so immediate. Forget milblogs. They're done as a source of relatively unfiltered news from the front.

It's hard to imagine why they're shutting down some of their best PR. The milblogs largely still support the mission, however ill-defined, and have helped keep up enthusiam among the remaining hawks. I've heard of no reports that strategy or troop safety has ever been compromised by the postings. I can only conclude the Pentagon wants to be the sole source of news.

I'd say that speaks volumes about the results the brass expects from the surge over this summer and I don't think it's going to be good.

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