David Hackworth on the Pentagon’s efforts to muzzle the truth:
The brass are going nuts trying to stop this electronic tsunami of truth that’s washing over the land courtesy of a generation of sharp kids who’ve been armed with computers since age 4. Kids who glory in staying three irrepressible steps ahead of their minders via blogs, dummy ISP addresses and cute tricks like sending e-mails to cutouts for forwarding to guys like me.
So the brass have reverted to the weapon they’ve used to silence warriors since long before Caesar was running Rome: intimidation. The troops are being warned: Shut up; and if you don’t button it, you’ll be drummed out of the service.
Sgt. Al Lorentz wrote a piece from Iraq (See “A Sergeant Speaks the Hard Truth,” Special Reports, Sept. 30, 2004, SFTT.org). He now faces disciplinary action for “disloyalty” and “insubordination.” He could end up with 20 years in the slammer if found guilty.
An officer in Iraq who has asked to remain anonymous says: “The establishment here wants to present the picture that everything is A-OK when it’s too often not the case. Soldiers shouldn’t be punished or made to feel like they’re disloyal, not part of the team, troublemakers, whiners, dissenters, malcontents, etc., etc., just because they give somebody a true sitrep on certain things going on over here. But sadly this is the case.”
Then there’s the personal attack on anyone with a point of view that’s different from the party line: You’re un-American; or you’re supporting the enemy or not supporting the troops. The latest tactic is to say you’re sending out mixed messages that hurt troop morale.
But according to our soldiers in Iraq, this is just not true. They say their morale is in the toilet because of how badly the war’s been handled, not because of what’s being reported or debated by politicians.
“I resent the fascist-style approach that tries to paint any objection of current policy as traitorous,” says Ken Druhut. “I am a proud vet and gratefully enjoy the freedoms that our military has provided. But this Gestapo stuff has to stop.”