Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ariz. Guard blogger punished

"An Arizona National Guardsmen who had been openly critical of the war in Iraq on his Web log, has been punished for violating operational security and for 11 counts of disobeying orders, according to Multinational Corps — Iraq.
Spc. Leonard A. Clark was busted down one rank to private first class, fined $820 per month for two months, and sentenced to 45 days restriction and 45 days of extra duty. The restriction and extra duty were suspended for five months.

In an unusual move, MCF-Iraq released the details of Clark’s Article 15, which is nonjudicial punishment."
Army Times
BigBrother's at it again. Remember to watch your flank

Hat tip Ladybird


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This soldier was probably punished for good reason. I don't know the whole story and I doubt that you do either. If he was publishing any locations or details about any units in Iraq, the military was justified in punishing him.

According to the Army Times article, he is definately guilty. He mentioned that his brothers and sisters were needlessly being killied in Iraq. However, with what he was publishing, he could be causing more of his brothers and sisters to be killed. I am glad they punished him and sent the message out for everyone else to read. He is a poor excuse for an American soldier!

5:25 PM  
Blogger madtom said...

Well I'm not sure I agree with your assessment or that of the Army times. I got the feeling from reading the article that they got him not for anything he might have said, but for continuing to say it after being ordered to stop. In that regard he probably is guilty of disobeying an order. It's kind of hard for a soldier to get out of that one.
But I can't say anything about what might have been on his blog, as I had never read that blog before, so I don't know about his blog. But I do know that other blogs that have been shut down did not have any violation of operational security that I could see, yet were shut down non the less, as far as I can tell, for putting out a picture of event's on the ground that did not match with the official version. But I have no idea about this case.
I think that as civilians it falls to us to try and keep the government honest, soldiers must follow orders with a "roger that sir". That's just the way the ball bounces.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again...

I don't know if you were in the military or not. I am guessing that you haven't served. I can respect that, I am not trying to insult you in the least bit if you didn't serve.

I was in the military for over twelve years, including a tour in Iraq last year. I even ran a blog from Baghdad. The military wasn't all that concerned about blogs at that time. By the time I left, blogs were becoming more popular and they were working on restrictions for blogs. It is possible that at one point, they could have shut down all known sites instead of shutting down just the blogs that were in violation. I do not know.

I didn't have to report mine to my chain of command. However, I was not giving any more information than CNN was putting out. I was careful about operational and communication security.

A lot of people don't realize how little of information an enemy needs to be dangerous. What seems like innocent information to a regular civilian, could actually put units in jeopardy. We have to be careful of what we say at all times. We in the military would get upset because the media was putting out more information than they should have been. Yes, people want to hear what is going on, but that might come at the price of human lives. Even in peace time, we have security measures to follow about what information we give out.

About the soldier being punished for not following orders, I still think it was justified. Even though his command could have punished him at first incident, they chose to give him a warning. No one wants to punish a soldier while he or she is serving his or her country in a combat zone. There is enough stress already. But then the soldier continued to give out vital information. So he could have gotten in trouble for what he did plus disobeying orders.

If he disagrees with the US being in Iraq, then he should not be in the military. He should get out as soon as his contract is up. He signed a contract to serve in the military, he needs to be a man and fulfill that contract.

Whether or not anyone agrees with my opinions, thanks for allowing me to comment on this subject. Maybe it will enlighten some people, or maybe it might even make some people more upset. Everyone else has a right to an opinion also.

11:17 PM  
Blogger madtom said...

Hello Me again,

I am a civilian, and have never been in the military, though I have family and friends in the military, like lots of people.

Let me give you a little history so you know where I'm coming from. It all started with the Afghan war after 911, well that and the ten years that preceded it since the first gulf war. Anyway I am a news reader, and for years I followed the news on the GWI and the no fly zones. The bombing and the cat and mouse game we played with saddam after the war. Then came Afghanistan.
During that conflict news was so scarce that I would pull out my hair trying to find out what was going on. The not knowing anything was very stressful, and so when the Iraq war was looming , and then finally came along, I was on a mission to find a source of information. Believe it or not that drove me to al-jazeera and other ME news outlet. One day I happened onto a link to one of the Iraqi blogs.
As you can imagine a whole new world opened up for me. Not long after I found the milblogs. One first one I found was Leviraq blog. Don't let the name fool you into thinking you could guess the content. Anyway I was in heaven. All of a sudden the news started to make cense. It's like if the missing piece of a puzzle falls into place and you can see where all the other pieces go.
Let's just say that I never felt the need to visit al jazeera again desperate for news.

The reporting issue was I believe originally left to each commander. so you may have had a commander that did not mind, or was completely unaware of blogs altogether.

If you follow the milblogs you'll notice that the best blogger, the most objective views were coming from people that could be called "against the war" in a very strict cense of the words. But I never read any blogger try and hurt the mission. People like you say all have options, some are pro, some against. That should not be the test for the privilege of blogging.

And about your opinion, we here at this blog value it greatly even if, and maybe even more so, if you disagree with me.
To that end I have created his blog. and I invite you to read the "Mission Statement" posted right there on my side bar. Read it all the way to the end.
You are of course the reason I built this blog.

12:24 AM  

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