Yank rules for blogs and articles

An article in slate.com:

The New York Times published an op-ed on Sunday by seven infantrymen and noncommissioned officers serving in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne. The writers expressed skepticism "of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable" and went on to describe Iraq as a "lawless environment." Are Army personnel free to publicize their opinions?
Career-ender if in uniform. There are very specific rules and regulations governing involment in politics for service members.


Feb. 7, 2007

"The soldier is also a citizen." This statement, attributed to both George Washington and Napoleon, is one of the fundamental precepts of a democratic society. Citizens in democratic societies are encouraged to express their opinions about the wisdom of their government's actions and policies.

Does membership in the armed forces somehow limit freedom of expression? And, if it does, how are those limits to be set....?
Long story short, the soldiers who penned this article are for all intents and purposes out of the Army.

In all fairness though, if you are smart enough to express yourself like this, you are smart enough to know the military is not a democracy.

Hope these dudes had some money saved up....
Or possibly a political career lined up?
Sooner or later, they will be snatched up as "talking heads" for the major networks. If Only for a while.

That said, what are the chances that your regular squaddie could express himself like that?

I hate this war like I have never hated no other US public policy...but what are the chances that this was written by a ghostwriter who attached the names of these dudes to his piece?

Or I am being paranoid in assuming that this is the argument that will be used by the pro-war crowd?
Hmmm...there is a nasty habit amongst US journos to interview several soldiers, produce an article with categorical statements in it, allege these are the statements of the soldiers they interviewed but insist on maintaining anonymity...
Right Cuddles. I know of a journo who wrote a widely quoted article on life in the frontlines of Iraq. He talked about the successes and high morales of the troops and how they were committed to the policies of 'turning Iraq around.' Everybody (including I) took it as fact until I learnt that he based his articles on E-mail messages he was getting from his nephew who was over there.

When I asked him about it, he said it is the thought that counts.
Yes DD...I was referring to a syndicated journo, who was working for a group of mid-West dailies and got caught out. sorry but I cannot remember his name - which perhaps puts me in the same category as him!!
No Cuddles, it does not put you in the same position as him. It only means you are smarter than most people I know. Especially the ones who still think this conflict can be worn by guns.

It is as much an informational war as it is an armed conflict. Check this piece out:


You seem to have a very optimistic way of looking at things. From one enlisted guy to a field grade officer: "you sir are wrong." For all intents and purposes, these guys are done for. Because their articles has garnered national and international attention, they will probably not be 'fired' for the crime but for the coverup.
Being an old service member yourself, I am sure you at one time or other you sat on a board to determine a soldiers fate and career and I am sure you know that, in the military, when it rains it pours.
My point is: these guys will pay for it one way or another. Maybe not for writing the article but for something as mundane as showing up for work three minutes late six years ago. Ever heard of conduct unbecoming?
I guess it depends on if they went through their PAO before talking to the press. If they did, I don't see anything wrong with the article. If they didn't, going to the press without checking with a PAO is outside the rules regardless of if the article was positive or negative.


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