CGS letter to Chain of Command

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Headmaster, Oct 3, 2006.

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  1. Important personal letter coming down from CGS ref the leaked 3 PARA e-mails. We often criticise the rest of the country / governement for not taking the 'war' seriously (and upping the defence budget). Has the time come for us within the military to make a proper internal effort and, for example, self-impose some form of censoring of mail? Leaked criticsims of plans or execution would not have happened in World War Two.
  2. Yeah, we could stop all that bad news spilling on to the front pages causing discomfort to our politcal and politicised masters.

    Out of sight out of mind.
  3. Ah yes, most important ta stop Tom in any shape or form from having the time immamorial duty winge.
    Thow shall not tick, bleed or die OK, but write home ta mummy or wifey
  4. So , one gateway for email and one provider, with a word checker to censor for Military personnel and attached staff on operations?

    Great , someone , somewhere is going to make a lot of money foisting another all singing , all dancing electronic money pit on the MoD.

    That's one scenario. The other way to guarantee it, is to withdraw all computers from personal and welfare, ditto mobile phones and camera phones. Confiscate cameras as well , and keep the media banged up in the Kabul Hilton.

    The US Army have been down this route and gave up I believe?

    The cases of emails getting to the press were actually given to them by a third party , not the originators. I don't know about the video that's been posted on Youtube etc , but the Canadian video has really got the nation behind the troops , and the same can be said about the Parachute Regiment videos.

    I'm concerned (without having seen said letter) that this is a knee-jerk reaction , to the press twisting and manipulating what has been said, especially the pieces in the MoS , Sky News opening treatment of the Loden e-mail , Jon Swift's anger at treatment of the wounded etc.

    Considering how much action our people have been in , in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am stunned there is not a great deal more out there. I can only assume , we are already self-censoring to a very great degree.
  5. Censorship by any other name?.....Too late you can't do that now; a sudden reduction in information would only alert the voting publc at large to the fact that their sons and daughters are being muzzled in order to protect the Government. The great unwashed will not stand by and watch demonstrators wave 'Behead Unbelievers' banners' whilst censorship of their 'boys and girls' is enforced.

    With regard to that in bold; I do not recall seeing any Plans being being leaked, criticism or rather the stifling off could be seen to be, Orwellian!
  6. Headmaster is correct.

    If there is self-imposed (or even official) censorship, then the journo's won't be able to print those nasty embarassing stories, and can devote more time to vastly more newsworthy events such as that cnut Beckhams new haircut/ his skinny dog of a wifes new diet or something equally important.

    Lets face it, squaddies dieing/ without eqpt/support/etc is just so passe now.
  7. It would also need to include snail mail letters home. I can just imagine the response from squaddies when told they no longer have access to sites such as Face Party!

    Well, let them try and they can watch the PVRs hit the ceiling.

    Rather than wasting money in censorship, they'd be wiser to spend that money on pay, conditions and kit.

    Any link to this letter?
  8. Clearly no overwhelmingly positive response to the idea of censorship!

    As an academic exercise, when would that sort of thing be appropriate? What about if the bad guys found out some SOPs that lead to a heli being shot down full of blokes? (innocently forwarded in a sort of "we-should-teach-this-sort-of-thing-at-Brecon-cos-it's-being-used-in-the-field" way). May be we don't see this quite as a war like the yanks, but how much closer does it have to get than some of the stories coming out of Afghanistan (and Iraq)?
    Yes, we'd obviously chunter, being addicted to constant contact with home after playing at ops for decades (relatively speaking), but would we really PVR if it was managed properly? After all, controlling mail does not mean stopping mail.

    Just read a thing by a US general in 1964 in complaint about Pres Johnson's compromise strategies in Vietnam: "like going to war - kinda. You can't get a little bit pregnant!" We can't just sit around bleating about overstretch; yes there are some huge problems with the way we run some things, but a common denominator is (surely) that we all want to see some proper action. It certainly is for 3 PARA. Perhaps we should accept that proper action has some strings, and is not the same as another residential tour in Ballykinler.
  9. Headmaster, can you give us a pointer to where you feel OPSEC is being breached that would warrant this kind of censorship?
  10. Didn't mean to set any hares running - I haven't seen anything other than we've all seen on the telly.
    Maybe the blokes do all self-censor responsibly. Just wondered what it would take for us to see these tours (accepted 3 PARA's experience may be a flash in the pan) as something other than routine roulement tours. We've all seen the vaguely laughable rules around for controlling phone access in the event of casualties. It is difficult for us military men to carp at the politicians about needing more resources and money because we're doing such dangerous and difficult stuff, and also say we would PVR in droves if some form of censorship was imposed. There are a lot of complaints about a lack of ability to counter Info Ops of AQ, etc - but how much are they helped by the Loden row?
    When blokes are fighting for their lives (and I know it is not just paras), should we be taking some other stuff more seriously?
  11. This sort of initiative could be known as the "Private Eye" initiative:

    Boss/politician/etc to minions: Keep your gobs shut, I don't want this appearing in Private Eye:

    Subsequent issue of Private Eye: "Boss/politician etc to minions: Keep your gobs shut, I don't want this apperaring in Private Eye".

    I thought one of the principles of command was "don't issue orders that you do not think will be obeyed" although it may have a footnote "unless you are willing to ignore the breaches".

    Any censorship measures will be self-defeating.
  12. Censorship last appeared in british military doctrine in the 1946 Manual Of Military Intelligence. I would suggest that from 1946 it was regarded as being rendolent of that which we had just spent 5 years trying to defeat.

    Sixty years on I do not see the Intelligence Corps jumping at its Historical role of censorship, there are too many revolutionaries in there.

    Perhaps the world of DG Info would be able to find some willing supplicants?

    Let the chain of command and it's politcal masters reap what it has sown :cry:
  13. So far I haven't seen any Opsec issues, only those of political embarrassment. I don't recall anything about saving politicans' blushes in the oath I swore all those years ago. You may define politicians in a number of ways, of course and those of a cynical turn of mind may well consider some senior MoD types, even if they've never stood for office, to belong to that general class.
  14. They are living in the past, the world and the Toms that come from that world have changed in the last half decade.

    Another blow to retention?
  15. Well they seem to have stood by and watched so far. The trouble is that the great unwashed don't usualy give two hoots about current affairs. They are happy to be spoon fed crap from the tabloids. White Van Man and his wife don't want to read about censorship of the services. They might tut with disapproval when they see the storys about the lastest Islamic extremist crying "Jihad" whilst he waits in line for his benefit money. But really they just want to read the exclusive extracts from the latest footballers biography, the horoscopes and pictures of 'Kerry,19, from Kidderminster' with her chebs out.