Thursday, September 09, 2004

WSJ.com - Army Blogger's Tales Attract Censors' Eyes

WSJ.com - Army Blogger's Tales Attract Censors' Eyes "But Spc. Buzzell's writing aspirations may prove his undoing as a professional soldier. Recently, shortly after his commanders discovered My War on the Web, Spc. Buzzell found himself banned from patrols and confined to base. His commanders say Spc. Buzzell may have breached operational security with his writings. "My War" went idle as he pondered the consequences of pursuing his craft while slogging through five nights of radio guard duty, a listless detail for an infantryman. More recently, the pages again went blank, as he chafed under a prepublication vetting regime imposed by his command.
Such prepublication censorship is rare in the modern military: Soldiers' missives haven't been routinely expurgated since World War II and the days of "Loose Lips Sink Ships." The Pentagon doesn't prescreen soldiers' communications, whether print or electronic, assigning the job of policing soldier-journalists to commanders in the field. There are restrictions against divulging references to specific troop locations, patrol schedules or anything that might help the enemy predict how U.S. troops might react to an attack. But commanders in Iraq rely on the honor system and soldiers' common sense to enforce restrictions. Infractions are in the eye of the beholder, difficult to define but easy to recognize in practice."
Post a Comment