Soldiers freedom of speech.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Harriet, Feb 25, 2009.

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  1. Hi, I'm Harriet and I am currently writing my dissertation on the Iraq War and the influence of propaganda.

    Does anyone know, or have an opinion on the media's involvement in the Iraq War. For example were soldiers briefed on what they were and weren't allowed to say to the press? Feedback and experiences from soldiers would be much appreciated,

    Thanks for your time.
  2. I think you may find soldiers a little reticent to talk about stuff like this at the moment, have you approached the site staff/ MOD for clearance?

    Just my tuppenceworth...
  3. I think you'll find that serving soldiers don't have freedom of speech, and therefore won't be telling you what they weren't allowed to say....

    ex-serving might though.
  4. I'm gonna call journo.
  5. i think we have plenty of former servicemen who can answer her questions.

    many of us still serving are not allowed unless we get authorisation from our unit press officers

    what i will say is i wouldnt pis s on a journalist if they were on fire. i judge politicians in the same light.
  6. Hi Harriet

    If you really are a student my advice would be contact your nearest military unit and request to speak to the Adjutant or Press officer. Explain your case to him giving him all your details such as name, university, course etc and try and arrange an interview.

    If you get no joy there you may wish to try this avenue

    MOD Information

    Or you could take the word of someone on this site who may or may not have a clue what they are going on about, because they may or may not have been within 1000 miles of Iraq.

    Or if you’re a journalist you can just f*ck off (apologies if you are not by the way)
  7. Is that the extent of your thesis? You'll need to unpack 'propoganda' a little further to include the wider influence of any information campaign on all stakeholders; the public, the media, the govts, the commanders, the allied forces, UK Forces, the enemy, defence industry, etc. Note also that many of these stakeholders may exploit information concurrently for their own motives; after all, they all have needs, the military needs to win battles, the press needs to sell papers, the UK Govt needs to do what is convenient for the state and ultimately good for the country, the commanders need to motivate friendly forces and deceive the enemy, the enemy needs to do their thing too...

    If you're simply asking whether the allied campaign included an element of information operations, I think the answer may be obvious; in any case, I refer you to the entirety of military history.

    Be wary of leaning too heavily on the word 'propoganda' as its somewhat negative and consirational undertones might undermine your academic objectivity. Much better, IMO, to refer to information exploitation or similar. Sound like I'm trying to legitimise propaganda? I am; this is because propoganda is a legitimate weapon of war (as is killing people and breaking stuff). Much better IMO to defeat early by using the former than over-reliance on the latter, which is much more costly for all involved. To illustrate (Wikipedia refers):

    In November 2005, The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, alleged that the United States military had manipulated news reported in Iraqi media in an effort to cast a favorable light on its actions while demoralizing the insurgency. Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a military spokesman in Iraq, said the program is "an important part of countering misinformation in the news by insurgents", while a spokesman for former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the allegations of manipulation were troubling if true. The Department of Defense has confirmed the existence of the program.[24] The New York Times published an article about how the Pentagon has started to use contractors with little experience in journalism or public relations to plant articles in the Iraqi press. These articles are usually written by US soldiers without attribution or are attributed to a non-existent organization called the "International Information Center." Planting propaganda stories in newspapers was done by both the Allies and Central Powers in the First World War and the Axis and Allies in the Second; this is the latest version of this technique.
  8. Dear lady,

    If indeed you are a 'lady', and not a 'bloke' trying to creep under the curtain; please try to imagine your request.

    The noxious government are not prepared to release any detail of discussions about 'the Iraq War' held in 'Cabinet'.

    Thus some of the words forming part of your thread title - '....freedom of speech' - are barely relevant in this nation at present. Think East Germany; Soviet Russia; Bulgaria and the other totalitarian excrescences spawned upon the world by the disgusting Stalin and his cohorts.
  9. Clearance?

    It's a free to air site FFS.
  10. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Oh piss off, dick. You don't have a clue.

    To Harriet - more info please. Where are you studying and what course? Check your pms.
  11. By clearance I meant its a bit fulking rude to just turn up and crack on without the good grace of running it past the grown ups.... And I wouldn't want her getting arrse banned on DII as it gets seen to be a place where serving soldiers spill the beans to potential journos.
  12. Harriet

    You could do worse than read up on the history of the infamous DIN, reproduced somewhere on this website.

    Essentially, to stop government embarrasment generated by complaints made anonymously, on the internet, to family and friends etc about cr@p kit, overstretch, and everything else!

    The government haven't been above propaganda themselves a RAF Flt Lt and RN Lt were "outed" as fakes when a letter appeared in the Times, bizarrely supporting the scrapping of the Sea Harrier.

    Regarding Iraq, there were a number of alleged operations:

    Op Rockingham - alleged by Scott Ritter to be putting out WMD misinformation at the time of inspections, official response is that it was a small cell co-ordinating inspections.

    Op Mass Appeal - this was allegedly run by the Secret Intelligence Service to plant WMD stories in the press. Doubtful - spinning was a government function, not an intelligence function!

    Coalition Information Campaign - propaganda outfit run by the Pentagon, fairly good information on this exists.

    Don't think there was anything targeted at personnel or any "official line" on the war as military personnel are expected to put opinions to one side and get on with the job whether they agree or not....I do recall downloading the dodgy dossier in mid-to-late 2002 and laughing at the contents with colleagues...this was working in a major headquarters with US and other NATO personnel.
  13. How long have you been here? It certainly is not as far as specific requests for information of this type are concerned.

    Ironrations appears to have been paying attention , you have not.
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