Soldiers’ blogs are increasingly being shut down by the U.S. military.
In November, the Pentagon issued an advisory titled “Loose blogs may blow up BCTs [Bridade Combat Teams].” In an August video message, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker warns troops about the dangerous nature of blogs:
Our adversaries have the ability to take our utterances, our writings and our pictures and do all kinds of things to harm us.
New York Army National Guard Spc. Jason Christopher Hartley had his blog shut down, was fined $1,000, and was demoted from sergeant. Hartley noted that blogs “get shut down almost as fast as they’re set up.”
But not all blogs. “The ones that stay up are completely patriotic and innocuous, and they’re fine if you want to read the flag-waving and how everything’s peachy keen in Iraq.”
A recent Washington Post story backs up Hartley’s observation. The U.S. Marines were so happy with Bill Roggio’s right-wing blog “The Fourth Rail” that they invited him to come to Iraq and cover the war. When he needed an affiliation with with an organization to get media credentials, the conservative American Enterprise Institute graciously offered him one.