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Army clamps down on soldiers’ blogs

May 14, 2007

Today I at lunch I scrolled through my blog list and tried to read Seargent Ed Rollin’s blog, “A day in life of the People’s Republic of Haliburton,” and it was gone. Worried, I found one of his comments on one of my previous entries and sent him an email to ask if he was ok.

Ed is stationed for active duty in Iraq, and has been there for quite a while. His blog has been a very interesting window into the American soldier’s Iraq experience. He directed lengthy criticism to both the government and the military operation in Iraq as well as toward liberal people like me who supposedly don’t “support the troops.” He would also write entries with useful information for other soldiers trying to navigate, for example, the beaurocratic loops within military career advancement.

I was feeling worried enough to check for his name on the Iraq Casualties site – not there. I googled his name and his blog’s name to no avail. This was due in part because there is another Ed Rollins, who was Ronald Reagan’s former campaign director, and all the pages related to Iraq were linked to this man.  I found this ironic but not comforting.

Scrolling through Born at the Crest of the Empire, I discovered that indeed the U.S. Army has begun to crack down on soldier bloggers. I’m sure Ed’s incendiary blog was among the casualties.  The new policies are based on safety measures, naturally.  Here are the basics of the new regulations:

Soldiers may have a blog without needing to consult with their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer if the following conditions are met:
1.    The blog’s topic is not military-related (i.e., Sgt. Doe publishes a blog about his favorite basketball team).
2.    The Soldier doesn’t represent or act on behalf of the Army in any way.
3.    The Soldier doesn’t use government equipment when on his or her personal blog. 

army bloggersThat basically ensures that no soldier in Iraq or anywhere else can blog.  What will they have to say?

Now the U.S. Military is using MySpace and YouTube both to recruit and to make sure the correct viewpoint is out there for everyone to see.  I’m not surprised.

I’ll miss your misspelled ranting honesty about the hellishness of Iraq, Ed.  Hope to see you back on the web soon.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2007 4:31 pm

    Next thing you know, they won’t be allowed to send letters that mention the military either. What a crock.

  2. September 28, 2007 7:35 am

    Well I have finished this tour in Iraq and have been released back to civilian life again. So the new rules no longer apply to me. Therefore I have reactivated my blog and left all my original posts intact.

    I will also be adding new posts with my thoughts that I had and wasnt allowed to post at the time. Along with the entire demobilization process as well. They might start out a little slow in comming at first, but I will do my best, (VA medical appointments, ect, ect, will slow them down a bit)

    And I guess that now that I am back in the states I will have to start using spell check wont I?

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