[OPE-L] The U.S. Military and the Internet: Keep the Troops Silent

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon May 14 2007 - 14:49:41 EDT

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Newsclip du jour: are you receiving me?
From:    "Jurriaan Bendien" <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date:    Mon, May 14, 2007 2:16 pm

Dutch newspaper headline:

The US Department of Defense has gone on the offensive, now targeting 13
internet sites through which soldiers at the frontlines try to keep contact
with home. Popular sites like YouTube and MySpace are no longer accessible
with military personal computers. As official reason for restricting
internet access, the Department cited an excess of "recreational traffic".
Multiple visits to sites like Metacafe, IFilmBLackplanet, Pandora, MTV and
Photobucket placed too much strain on capacity which is necessary for the
war, according to General B.B. Bell.

Previously the U.S. Army ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or
sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a
superior officer. Failure to do so can result in a court-martial, or
"administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action." "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."

"We'll continue bringing relief to those who suffer, and delivering justice
to the enemies of freedom." - Dick Cheney, standing on the USS John C.
Stennis on May 11, 2007.


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