29 July 2008

Agitprop on Active Duty

The Army Captain that penned the email heard round the blogosphere about Obama blowing off the troops in Afghanistan is currently in the shits because he made a bunch of it up to flex his political leanings. The rules for talking agitprop in uniform and on the blogosphere can be found here, but it's pretty much taboo in the officer corps to discuss politics at all. Taco from The Sandgram outranks the Army CPT in question, and has first-hand knowledge of what really happened at Bagram. He sums it up pretty well:

I read the message, thought about it for a minute and then emailed back, “This guy will be in deep “do-do” soon”, and he will have learned the first major rule of this war; anything you email back home will be forwarded to hundreds if not thousands if you have something interesting to say. See, emails have the half life of an Atom, thus, you must have a second set of eyes review what you say, because guess what cyber world…we as military members are not free to say whatever we want.

That's right. The military is a unique organization and the Bill of Rights is null and void. The running joke in the service is that we protect freedom and democracy by use of a totalitarian system bogged down in senseless bureaucracy.

If not engaging in political debauchery on the blogosphere is the standard for the military, I am certainly in the wrong, along with many others. But the Army Times hasn't written an article about me, because I've managed to follow a few simple rules. Some advice to the CPT Porter from the rest of us:

  • When writing a hit piece, ensure that it is somewhat believable. Obama is probably not going to blow off the troops with camera crews everywhere. Say something like he thought the Afghans spoke Arabic, which he did once previously.
  • If blogging/emailing from a government computer, tell your superiors that you are engaged in a statistical study to gage public opinion on your organization. After hours of goofing off on the internet, say that no one knows about your unit in the public, and that you told the PAO to "Get On It".
  • Don't use your freakin' real name and unit when you publish bullshit on teh internets. What are you? New?