Tuesday, April 01, 2008

They Hate You If You're Clever, And Despise A Fool...

Back while I was deployed, there was a bit of a dustup over some rather heated things I said on my other blog. For a while, I had to go dark, owing to large numbers of people in the conservative blogosphere trying to root me out--prove I was a phony, a fraud, or simply a "traitor." I received threats to my career, even threats to my life.

Even now, it angers me--for all the talk about "supporting the troops," it seems that said support only applies when you go along with the official line. I don't support the war, indeed I have lost my taste for war in general as a valid option for enforcing policy abroad. So when I spoke up, suddenly I was exposed to the ire of the warmongers and the party-line goose-steppers.

It was bad enough that I had already been extended for three more months, but then to be told that I had no right to be angry? It's said in the Army that "we don't live in a democracy, we just work for one." This only became clear to me after I dared to express my frustration.

A lesson: In the Army, you are not a person, you are property.

So imagine my surprise: A recent study by Special Operations Command has been released, which considered recommending that high-profile bloggers be co-opted, even be placed on the Army's payroll. That's right: your tax dollars went into research that considered turning us into propaganda tools. Don't take my word for it--go read. It's disgusting.

To think: I could have avoided all of this hardship, all of that fear, if only I had gone along. I might have even been able to make a dime on it.

(Crossposted at Low and Left: Part Deux)


Blogger Long-time RN said...

Very sorry to read how you suffered in voicing your opinions and feelings. How ironic, to be from a country founded on freedom so speech, serving in the military of this country, and then to be threatened for speaking your mind. The autocratic structure of the Army doesn't give much room for freedom of speech. Now they are looking to 'hire' bloggers to be propaganda tools. 'Disgusting' covers that idea only in part.
Sincerely hope you are finding ways to restore your spirit and soul. Hope the writing helps purge some of the anger dwelling within. It is heartbreaking to think that the experience has fragmented your spirit. Take very good care of yourself.
Cathy B

1:28 PM  
Blogger Hayden said...

but you wouldn't have avoided the hardship, because Integrity is your middle name.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Gillian de Chelseye said...

NPR did a story a week or so ago on civilian journalists embedded with units and their restriction of movement and story-gathering ability. Many of the first embeds dropped their units and went solo and unprotected. It was an enlightening piece.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

The sinister reason Warmongers say Support the Troops is it gives cover their actions which are quite the opposite. Inadequate personal body armor, no rush to up-armor HMMWVs or to even bring in M113s, extending troops rotations in country and reducing time back stateside and Walter Reed should be enough evidence to prove the administration does not “support the troops”.

So why is Support the Mission not broadcast loudly by Brit Hume or Bill Kristol or Hannity or Limbaugh or Ingraham or the Administration? I think it is because those peddlers of death and Mayberry Machiavellis know the American populace is not in favor of the so-called mission. Hiding behind the Troops and casting dispersions on the Anti-war position gives them the advantage. And it is an advantage they will never relinquish.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning. "

WHOA, dude, thanks for the heads up. I'm so naive. Fortunately, I'M still able to think for myself, but what a creepy idea.

Btw, when I say I support the troops, I generally mean I hope they make it out safely.

Thank you for continuing to enlighten us with your thought provoking blogs.

3:06 AM  
Blogger DerelictDaughter11 said...

Milo -

Disgusted, yes. Surprised, I am not. I wish I was a little more taken aback than I am.

Thanks for putting this out there. I'm glad to be reminded how seriously my freedom of speech is taken.


6:10 PM  

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