Aug 31, 2005


So, my dad emails me this news article that says the Army is cracking down on Milbloggers in it’s ranks. Says that these soldiers are loose cannons without any oversight who don’t practice operational security and basically are one step short of selling secrets to the Chinese (something a recently retired President of the United States actually DID and nobody gave HIM any crap… but I digress…). While I couldn’t find the actual article, I did find the Blackfive post it referenced here.

This is both good and bad. Good because the Army is doing the right thing. Bad because they will most likely massively overreact, crush some good and motivated soldiers who didn’t do anything wrong, and frighten all but the heartiest of souls from ever posting again.

As for me, I ain’t too terribly concerned… yet. Firstly, I am not an Army of one. I am a Marine, and as far as I know, not bound by any of the Army’s rules or regs on this matter. Secondly, I post stuff with a clean conscience as to whether or not I’m giving anything away. I decided a long time ago that any stories that were good enough to tell were good enough to wait for, and that sea stories about places I go or things I do can be held on to until after the Public Affairs Officer sends out an official story, or we show up in the news.

And trust me: I know what IS and what ISN’T sensitive info. And you can bet your sweet bippy that ain’t nothing classified is important enough for me to put up for the whole world to see. Oh there’s PLENTY of stuff I’d LOOOOVE to scream out to the world, but it ain’t gonna happen because I don’t feel like going to jail, and more importantly, I don’t feel like being responsible for getting good Marines killed.

Remember when Geraldo was embedded with a unit, and laid out their whole plan of attack in the sand on LIVE INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION? Yeah… If I’d been the C.O. of that unit, I would pulled together a firing squad and shot that son of a bitch on the spot.

Few things piss me off more than when somebody gives away secrets. In fact, it doesn’t even necessarily have to be secret info, just something that someone may never have thought of before. A couple weeks ago I saw a story on CNN that basically went like this:
“The easiest way for a terrorist to build a dirty bomb would be to go to one of two places, collect some radioactive material, and put it together with certain explosives. I really can’t believe this hasn’t happened yet. Now let me tell you where to go, and how lax the security is there…”


My jaw hung open for at least a good thirty seconds as I stared at the TV. My mind was trying to convince my hand that it could reach through the screen and choke out the jackass giving the report, while my hand insisted that if it moved toward the TV with the speed required to do that, it would simply break the TV and my XBOX would thereby become a dust collection device. Sadly, I was unable to prove my theory of trans-dimensional oxygen-supply cutoff through a multi-media portal… but I can still play “Grand Theft Auto,” so I guess I broke even…

Anyway you slice it though, OPSEC is a big deal. Loose lips still do sink ships, and people who say the wrong thing at the wrong time can give away important information that would be best kept out of enemy hands. Like I said, I know what I can and can’t say, and I know WHEN I can and can’t say it. I think most Milbloggers do. Good on the Army for making sure, but nobody likes to write with someone staring over their shoulder. I think we may see the ranks of active-duty Milbloggers (at least the Army ones) thin out due to Soldiers not wanting to be regulated, instead of the Army actually regulating them.

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