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Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Jason's clearly an idiot" 
...and other thoughts in the comments to this Washington Monthly blog entry.



My fave: "Did anyone find out what branch this guy was detailed to? I was wondering if we were going to find out this guy was in a non-combat arms branch. That would be hilarious. A FL National Guard captain from the finance corps commenting on Special Forces Command operations and policies--classic."

Good to know I picked up another fan!

Splash, out

Jason

Comments:
Ha ha ha ha ha ha

Yeah--HUGE fan.

You must have googled and googled and googled to find that entry--it's an exchange between myself and another Vet and we had a great laugh at your expense.

But continue feeling relevant.
 
Jason, I went to that link and browsed through the comments. My observation as follows:

Reading your blog is a joy. You have opinions, but you explain why you come to those conclusions and try to back it up with factual information.

Pale Rider and his friends are more interested in shooting down your positions by demeaning you--as if being a fiddler has any bearing one way or another on what you have to say. They attack the messenger because they find it easier than attacking the message. I'd guess that Pale Rider hasn't bothered to read through your archives either.
 
Hahahaha, Pale Rider is hilarious. He seem to not realize your rank, combat experience, expertise... too funny.

"Who talks this way? What planet is this kid living on? The military doesn't work this way. We don't have rogues out there freelancing shit. That's the stuff of Hollywood. This kid writes like he's done something--guarantee you, he's a nobody trying to get a better gig."

Oh, the humanity. Up there with that Pandagon thread from back in the day..

=darwin
 
Sure, but you could be this guy (or the non-mils who wrote and edited the piece, whichever's worse):
http://www.local6.com/news/6652276/detail.html
 
Of course,

No one has picked up on the fact that Mr. Van Steenwyck likes to prominently display his CIB--don't they have rules against trading on the display of military medals for commercial gain.

I mean--you put ads on this blog right?

Check.

So you reap a little revenue from the ads on your blog, right?

Check.

And this is money in your pocket, so you want to put as much interesting content on the blog, right?

Check.

So you pluck an entry from several months back on another blog where two people are basically saying, "Jason Van Steenwyck is an idiot" and then use it to promote the blog, right?

Check.

And then you put the icon of the CIB up there to show people how right you are and how wrong we are?

Check.

Ah, the honor and dignity of an officer.

I suggest you find some NCOs to square you away, sir. If you've resigned your commission and left the military, good for you. You went overseas and served your country in combat. That is to be applauded. Put a CIB sticker on everything and trade on it--might make you a lot more money.

How do you spell 'wannabe?'
 
PaulB commenting in Van Steenwyck (let's not forget that this all began with Van Steenwyck insulting a combat veteran, Rep. Jack Murtha.

Funny how you left that out, Jason. Funny how your snarky little post ignores the conventional wisdom that attacking Murtha isn't the way to go. Funny how you trade on the CIB and slam a combat veteran and run ads on your blog to line your pockets. Hey, violin strings are expensive.

Nor does having served in Iraq, despite what tbrosz obviously thinks. Apparently, Jason Van Steenwyk is a captain in the Florida National Guard and he served in Iraq from May, 2003 to February, 2004. I applaud his service, a rarity among Iraq hawks, but he is no more qualified to comment on this particular affair than I am.

And when the previous entry in his blog claims that Representative Murtha is directly responsible for the pullout from Iraq of Bulgaria and Ukraine and the potential drawdown of forces from Britain, Australia and the rest, on the basis of absolutely no evidence whatsoever, forgive me if I look on him as one so ideologically blinded as to render his judgment worthless. That's even more true when you read such phrases and headlines as:

Murtha destructive to the war effort

... Murtha's moral cowardice and lack of intestinal fortitude ...

Murtha's idiocy just helped cause thousands of casualties among Allied forces.
 
And just so we don't forget what Jason Van Steenwyck said about Rep. Jack Murtha:

Murtha destructive to the war effort

... Murtha's moral cowardice and lack of intestinal fortitude ...

Murtha's idiocy just helped cause thousands of casualties among Allied forces.


That's the way to go, Jason. Trade on your CIB for personal gain, slam another combat veteran, and shill for the Bush Administration.

Good morning and good blogging!
 
Sooo, it's okay for a self described "MI weenie" to slam Jason (a combat vet), but it's not okay for a combat infantry vet to slam Murtha (a combat vet).

Alrighty then.

3 posts in 9 minutes. Impressive.
 
Jason,

I only have a comment pertaining to the thread you referred to in your post. A comment Pale Rider made was:

"The military doesn't work this way. We don't have rogues out there freelancing shit. That's the stuff of Hollywood."

Pale Rider,

There is a difference between "freelancing" and compartmentalization. It is quite possible the Special Operations community took on a role separate from the "conventional" community on this one. The SOF community has a completely separate chain of command that is purposely not answerable to the conventional chain in some cases (depending on the mission), so there may have been a lack of communication. One hand could do something the other was not aware of vis a vis the discussion on the other blog.

To dismiss Jason's opinion out of hand shows your lack of knowledge of the SOF community and the nature of their business. I don't know your credentials other than as a self-professed MI guy, so I don't want to assume you know nothing; but by your comments, I am fairly certain you haven't been in Special Ops. Jason's view may be less of a Hollywood inspired view than you think.

I concede that a NG Infantry commander may not be an SME on the particulars of SOF planning, but certainly his view from a conventional Infantyman's perspective is a salient one. The conventional Infantry constantly interacts with SOF forces who transit (and live within) their assigned sphere of influence. The SOF have broad autonomy to conduct operations within a conventional Commander's AO without the need for his direct consent; and although the SOF personnel often stand to benefit by coordinating with the Conventional forces on the ground, that is sometimes not the case. This causes frustration on the part of the Conventional commander, and "head butting" occurs. Same principles apply on a broader scale. I believe Jason's comments were tainted by his personal experiences; so by virtue of his personal experience, Jason is qualified to make his comments.

Bottom line on the "propaganda" theme: Iraq needs a comprehensive IO campaign (I believe the word "propaganda" incorrectly conveys to the layman that the information is misleading or untruthful; in this case the info was neither) to unite the freedom loving people of Iraq. Strictly conjecture: if the conventional forces weren't aggressive enough in promulgating a consistent and pervasive IO message, then perhaps the SOF folks were in a position to do so, but I don't believe any leaks came from that community. Nor do I believe the effort was unnecessary or ill-conceived. The Iraqis need to know that We are there for them, and that there is hope for them to live in peace; and there must be a way to convey that message to them. Can anyone else come up with a better idea?

Bottom line on your attitude towards Jason: who the fuck are you anyway? What are your credentials beyond someone who is willing to hassle another with personal attacks? If you have an argument, make it. Otherwise go back into your hole and think about how Jason is a warrior and you are still a support-pogue.
 
Sooo, it's okay for a self described "MI weenie" to slam Jason (a combat vet), but it's not okay for a combat infantry vet to slam Murtha (a combat vet).

No, I thank both of them for serving. They went through a hell of a lot more than I ever went through.

But an officer calling a Congressman a coward and an idiot? Now, if you want to defend that, go ahead. See how far that twist of logic takes you.

TBone65:

Besides your laughable gay porn handle, you add:

There is a difference between "freelancing" and compartmentalization. It is quite possible the Special Operations community took on a role separate from the "conventional" community on this one.

You seem to actually have more of a criticism of JVS than I do; he wrote something off-the-cuff, ridiculous and wrong--the SOF does not freelance and they do not need to be, as in his words 'slapped around' for paying to put material in Iraqi newspapers.

You and I are both in complete disagreement on the fact that SOF has a 'separate' chain of command. They kind of have to answer to DoD. They had their asses handed to them by Rumsfeld for not being able to plan and carry out operations properly through their G#--remember that incident? SOCOM was briefing Rumsfeld and Rumsfeld stopped the brief, called it unsat, and made them redo it.

Are you putting out the RogueStateSuperSecretBlackOps party line that SOF bypasses the DoD and answers to a crusty old four star who works out of a bunker beneath a mountain in Colorado? Or are they subordinate to DoD and required to properly plan operations? Which story do you want to switch to?

I concede that a NG Infantry commander may not be an SME on the particulars of SOF planning,

I suspect SOF guys wait around all day for NG infantry commanders to approve their Ops.

I am fairly certain you haven't been in Special Ops.

MOS 98C never goes to Group and serves in the support BN. Oh, wait...no, sometimes we do. And sometimes we go to completely lame strategic units. Sometimes, we spend years and years inside facilities that feed and receive real-time intel to the people in the field. Once in a blue moon, an MI weenie support pogue like myself spends several hours at a time on the VOIP phone or on some other commmunication method with detachments in the field, exchanging info and using lameass MI weenie tools to keep them from stumbling into your garden variety hazards by feeding them real-time imagery and the like. My SCIF was in Dunkin' Donuts and we lived like kings.

who the fuck are you anyway? What are your credentials beyond someone who is willing to hassle another with personal attacks? If you have an argument, make it. Otherwise go back into your hole and think about how Jason is a warrior and you are still a support-pogue.

An MI weenie. Even though we all wore the same uniform, support pogues like me aren't credible and we cannot point out the hypocrisy of an officer calling a Congressman a coward and an idiot, nor are we allowed to blog comment or speak in public.

And that is the true mark of a wannabe Warrior like JVS: anyone who doesn't agree with them is a coward and an idiot. Put the CIB on your blog, strut around all proud and full of indignation, and hammer people without thinking, hey, wait a minute, what if I just respectfully disagree and don't have to trade on my medals to show my moral authority?

You people do realize what this was about--we were NOT criticizing Jason Van Steenwyk's service to his country until AFTER he attacked Rep. Jack Murtha on his blog. Now, if you are in the minority community and want to skin Murtha alive to satisfy your love of torture and GOP politics, be my guest on that one.

And you do realize that this started because of an e-mail from JVS that land in my dummy account?
 
---oh, and read the whole story, people.

Jason Van Steenwyck did a cute little thing by quoting me, but I notice he didn't reprint the terrible things he said about Rep Murtha.

From the archives:

Murtha destructive to the war effort

Murtha's moral cowardice and lack of intestinal fortitude

Murtha's idiocy just helped cause thousands of casualties among Allied forces.

Murtha's a hawk like OJ's a Promise Keeper

Turns out last week wasn't the first time John Murtha lost his nerve in the daunting face of inferior force. This guy makes cutting and running a habit. (Referring to Murtha telling Clinton to get our troops out of Somalia--hey wait a minute, you're criticizing a guy who told Clinton to get out of Somalia? What the...?)

BUT THEN...

Hold the phone...

Since 1 Jan 2006, the esteemed Mr. Van Steenwyck hasn't even mentioned Murtha by name.

Now, if Murtha's such a bad guy, why wouldn't a forward-leaning milblogger like JVS keep hammering him?
 
Pale Rider,

You mean the same Pale Rider who rides on the SIGINT analyst horse of death? Blast the enemy by keyboards and close combat. Oh yeah.

I've spent a good portion of my career in Special Operations. Do you know why they formed JSOC? Do you know their reporting channels? If not, I'd suggest you check it out before you sound off again. Their chain of command was specifically designed to bypass the bureaucracy of the conventional Army. I imagine they have a pretty decent capability to do all sorts of stuff. Oh...and by the way, my wife worked in a mountain in Colorado once upon a time...you know the one with all the blast doors? And I can assure you that the General who JSOC reports to isn't there.

The "white" SOF chain isn't the same as conventional either. Let's see...in CENTCOM (wartime) the chain goes like something like this:

-Commander in Chief et al (formerly known as the National Command Authority)
-SOCOM (for Joint SOF) -USASOC (for Army SOF); NAVSPECWAR (for Navy); etc.
-CENTCOM (combatant commander)
-SOCCENT
-CJSOTF
///end///

Now...that isn't the same as peacetime, nor is it the same as the conventional forces. Conventional Forces have to report to a different chain up to the CENTCOM commander. If you are in the 82nd ABN DIV, you have XVIII Airborne Corps, FORSCOM, MNCI, MNFI,etc., etc. to contend with in your chain. And understand that just because a unit is chopped over to the CENTCOM AOR, doesn't mean they can forget about their normal chain. So confusion reigns supreme sometimes. Bottom line is the SOF chain is in fact DIFFERENT.

Now if you were a humble enlisted analyst (not even a 98G listener) you were probably secluded in your little SCIF, grumbling because Sarge made you shine your boots. Don't lecture me on the Army. If you were attached to a Group, you were relegated to the MID with the rest of the mushrooms, or maybe sat in a team house and told to mind your business. Don't front like some kind of expert to me.

You have your opinion about Murtha, fine. Jason can say what he wants about Murtha. I think the Murtha overstepped his bounds too. I don't care what he did before or does afterwards. I don't care if he is a veteran or not. I know dudes with BSMs w/ V device who talk shit...that doesn't mean I think it's proper.

And as far as the gay porn nick...if you want to come over here and massage my thighs, I would really appreciate it...but in the mean time, once again, shut yer pie hole.
 
Whoa,

So SOCOM is NOT a functional command within the overall structure of DoD? They can just freelance and do whatever the hell they want?

Oh, okay then.

Yeah--you're just like JVS. No matter who you are or what you did in the military, if someone wasn't as cool as you and had scare badges all over them, they must have been a shitbag. Love that attitude. Wish I had a nickel for every time a regular ass leg had to bail out the Rogue Warriors.

I know dudes with BSMs w/ V device who talk shit...that doesn't mean I think it's proper.

Sounds like you've perfected that putdown of Murtha as well--and that is what the discussion is all about.

Of course, JVS probably gets a pass because he resigned his commission--in a time of war--to make money milblogging. He gets to say whatever he wants and that's fine. Couple more years and he'll be rich and happy while more guys draw the short straw and go to Iraq. Isn't it sad that such a CIB wearing combat ready SOB as JVS won't be there to lead them?

Perhaps a little baby oil will help you with that personal problem--call up that one-eyed SOCOM general and tell him to make your little soldier stand at attention.
 
Man, you're too funny! Dunno what got your panties all in a bunch. As far as I'm concerned, I'm over the whole Murtha flap.

This isn't an army blog. This is MY blog. I don't use my rank on it. I'll mention my experience if it's relevant to a point. Otherwise not. It started out as a war diary anyway.

The CIB logo itself is public domain, and was very much en pointe, as used. You yourself - for reasons I can't fathom - thought my branch was material.

My words on this blog are fair game for criticism. So are Murtha's remarks on the record as a member of Congress. As George Washington said, "When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen."

Slam me all you likem but I won't call good soldiers "pogues." I've seen too many "pogues" bleeding in an aid station. Good soldiers are good soldiers, and we need them in every branch, at all levels of command.

And Pale Rider - try the decaf. :-)

Jason
 
I don't use my rank on it.

Yeah--because you didn't exactly make a whole lot of rank to begin with.

Why aren't you still on active duty? Is the Army short of experienced Infantry officers? Did you leave them shorthanded? I mean, if you're one of the tens of thousands of soldiers who can't serve because of a physical ailment, I hope the VA can help. Even though I was offered a 30% disability on leaving the Army, I turned it down and did not file for VA benefits. Too many soldiers need the bennies and I, fortunately, do not.

How about THAT for a blog entry? How about starting a movement behind that idea? If you leave the service and can afford to decline VA benefits, please do so so that the guys and gals who need the bennies can get them.

And, come on--bullshit. One minute I'm an MI weenie and the next I'm a pogue and then you back up and change your story and cite the fact that soldiers bleed in aid stations--where are coming from? Which is it then? The fact that non-Combat Arms soldiers bleed ain't news. You and TBONE have more to sort out than you realize--to him, a NG soldier like yourself probably isn't fit to die within fifty meters of a tabbed guy from Group.

Everyone knows why you're using the CIB logo--moral superiority. You're not using it for anything other than to show you think you have it. More power to you.

Sorry if commenting on your blog has pulled the thong over both of your shoulders--TBONE has some baby oil to help you get it on. Out.
 
"But an officer calling a Congressman a coward and an idiot? Now, if you want to defend that, go ahead."

I'll defend his right to do that for him. All of us here in the USA have the right to express our opinions of our government. Jason doesn't give that right up because he served. If anything, he's earned the right to criticize his government more than the civilian population.

I have no comment on Murtha's bravery or intelligence, but I recognize politically idiotic actions when I see them, and Murtha's have been exceptionally idiotic of late. His statements about the morale of our troops were baseless, as voiced by those same returning troops. His efforts are counterproductive to the efforts of his nation as a whole, and there's no way a rational/intelligent person couldn't see that.
 
What's with this guy's homoerotic obsession?
 
Pale rider is either a troll posing as Intel, or he reinforces the old saw about Military Intelligence being an oxymoron.
 
I'll defend his right to do that for him.

Yeah--now if we can just get every ex-officer who has resigned their commission in a time of war to tell us what they think about our elected leaders, maybe we'll have a real discussion about why the war in Iraq has been such a resounding success.

Homoerotic? First you thought I needed to drink decaf and now you think something is going on around here because your commenters want to have a babyoil party in your rumpus room. Jesus, you milbloggers thing everything is homoerotic. There's enough repressed grabass around here to drive off a herd of straight cattle.

Military Intelligence IS an oxymoron, and pretty much everyone knows it. Ha ha ha! You very funny--me laugh long time at funny joke!

Nice community you have here, Jason. Too bad your blog sucks--I have a tendency to move in, rearrange the furniture and set up shop. You have too many mouthbreathers around here to make it worthwhile. Where's the guy who was freaked out at the idea that someone could write several paragraphs of text and post multiple comments?
 
Nice blog YOU got there, Pale Tech Support Guy. Great work on all those posts. I see why it's so important for you to bring the Other Guy down, what with the closely reasoned arguments and all.

I'd give your trolling a 7.6 on the USENET scale.

Sure do love me some Murtha, though. Guy's effort in Somalia did wonders for us, yup. At least in Somalia he was consistent, and his initial position could be well defended and even properly cautious; too bad his final position caused AQ to decide the US was a paper tiger.

*plonk*
 
Hi Pale Rider! No, I was merely impressed that you posted 3 times in 9 minutes, with overlapping material. Nothing else better to do? Hyperactive? Beats me.

And I don't remember anyone except you mentioning anything close to a babyoil party.
 
What's that dude's obsession with saying you "resigned your commission during wartime"? And he seems to have some kind of inferiority complex because he mentions your CIB and "scare badges" as if he were jealous.

Pale Rider: from your tone you seem to be a typical example of a former soldier who aspired to be a warrior, but was unable or unwilling to put out the effort to do so. It's clear to everyone that you have an inferiority complex when, instead of engaging in the debate, you talk about oiling my johnson and wearing a thong. You make me laugh. I suppose you think my ego can't take your silly pokes? I hang out with all kinds of folks; they don't have to be "tabbed" to be cool. I might even hang out with you, even though you seem go in for some homoerotic nitwittery. Come on Pale Rider, if you like men and are proud of it, just come out and say it ;)

Once again...if you have a valid point to make, please make it. I can stop the personal joust if will.

Bottom line: Jason served his time in war, and as a National Guard member he can do what ever he wants when his time is up. What does his current status have to do with his personal opinion? The man is probably a successful investor who happened to serve his nation during time of war. That is very honorable to me. If the man earned a CIB, he can put that up for all to see. It shows he has been there and done that. If he happens to get a little ad revenue on the side with his blog, what's wrong with that?
 
I resigned my commission?

That's news to me.

So how come I'm still signed for this $5 million dollar property book?
 
I resigned my commission?
That's news to me.

Oh, so you didn't resign your commission BEFORE calling a sitting Congressman a coward and an idiot.

Brilliant.

What does the commander of the Florida National Guard think of your blog?

What does LTG Blum think of blogs in general? Do these officers think having an officer from the FL National Guard insulting members of Congress in a public forum is a good thing or a bad thing?

It's certainly not a brave thing, now is it?
 
Letter to Congressman Murtha, 5 February 2006:

The Honorable John Murtha
PO Box 780
Johnstown, PA 15907-0780

Dear Congressman Murtha,

I want to thank you for your advocacy and work on behalf of our men and women in uniform. Because I agree with your efforts to have a positive effect on current events, I would like to draw your attention to the efforts of a member of the Florida National Guard who is openly using his commission as an officer and his commercial enterprise, namely a blog, to denigrate and attack you.

Jason Van Steenwyck is a member of the Florida National Guard, is currently a commissioned officer, and publishes a blog which deals with military issues and affairs. This blog accepts advertising and as such qualifies as a commercial venture.

Mr. Van Steenwyck published the following items about you in December 2005:

• Murtha destructive to the war effort
• Murtha's moral cowardice and lack of intestinal fortitude
• Murtha's idiocy just helped cause thousands of casualties among Allied forces.
• Murtha's a hawk like OJ's a Promise Keeper
• Turns out last week wasn't the first time John Murtha lost his nerve in the daunting face of inferior force. This guy makes cutting and running a habit.

These articles are from the archives of the blog found at this hyperlink address:

http://iraqnow.blogspot.com/

I believe it is unfair and reprehensible behavior for a commissioned officer in the military to make such statements about a Member of Congress who has a different opinion about the War in Iraq. I believe the recent rules concern soldier blogs published by the Department of the Defense and the UCMJ do not protect Mr. Van Steenwyck’s right to denigrate and insult you, nor should they be condoned regardless of the public official who is the target of Mr. Van Steenwyck’s blog or his unfair commentary.

I want you to know that I am also going to be filing these concerns with the Commander of the Florida National Guard and with the US Army National Guard.

Respectfully,

[original signed]
 
Your crack "certainly not a brave thing, is it?" is pretty funny.

I generally don't make a practice of letting anonymous posters lecture me on bravery.

By the way - your grasp of UCMJ regulations ranges from tenuous to incompetent. Here's a clue, for starters: I am in no way subject to the UCMJ.
 
your grasp of UCMJ regulations ranges from tenuous to incompetent. Here's a clue, for starters: I am in no way subject to the UCMJ.

So it's okay to go after a senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee? A Defense Hawk like Murtha? How smart is it for a junior officer in the Florida National Guard to use his own name to humiliate and degrade the man?

You may not have the grasp on reality that I initially gave you credit for.

While you are not activated, a Florida National Guardsman is subject to the UCMJ in several respects. Despite the fact that you are blustering, scared and convinced that you are above the law, you're not. Better people than me will have to make that call--I'm a concerned citizen outraged by your attacks on a good man.

Number one, it took three days to get you to reveal that you are still an officer in the US Army. That revelation makes all of the trolling worthwhile--it establishes that, in December 2005, when you published your hate screeds against Congressman Murtha, you were holding a commission in the US Army (FL NG component).

Two, you are subject to both UCMJ and the rules regarding your state component of the NG when you drill. So on that one weekend a month when you report to drill, guess what?

Three, to assert that you are in no way subject to the UCMJ reveals that you may not, in fact, be an officer but are trading on that information to support a commercial venture (i.e., this blog, which accepts advertising). Either you are or you are not an officer, either you are or are not trading on various decorations (THE CIB) to draw in readers and demonstrate your value as a commentator, and either you are or are not doing something wrong.

So now we have our brave warrior wannabe, he says he still has a commission, then he says he is not subject to the UCMJ.

I mean, come on. What warrior has to prove himself on a blog, anyway?

Which version do you plan to stick to?
 
Oh, and Jason--

Splash this.

Paid for by the Democratic National Committee.
 
Pole Rider is a dipshit of biblical proportions. Ban him from your comment section from now on.

I really don't know what his point is. "Commercial venture"? What difference does that make? And as long as a soldier is not in uniform he can participate in political free speech in any venue, and say whatever he likes about a sitting Congressman. I will find the regulation concerning political speech and post it here if Pole Rider decides to pipe up again. What you are doing is %100 protected free-speech. Your blog is not an OPSEC risk, nor is it seditious in any way. Keep on doing what you are doing.

Also, why don't you post Pole Rider's IP address on here so I can have a look at it. Thanks.

Shot over,
T
 
Well, here are the issues:

There is an article in the UCMJ, Article 88, which prohibits commissioned officers from using offensive or derisive language toward the President, the Vice President, the Cabinet level officers, and Congress. It also prohibits the use of such language regarding state political office holders IN THE STATE IN WHICH THE OFFICER IS PRESENT.

There is also a DoD policy memo which prohibits active duty service members from participating in partisan campaigns or holding political office (except in certain circumstances at the municipal level.)

You can read it here:

http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/html2/d134410x.htm

Pale Rider's reach exceeds his grasp on several different levels.

1.) I am not on active duty. I am therefore not subject to the DoD policy memo. In fact, there have been several members of congress who have simultaneously held reserve commissions in the Armed Forces of the United States (Notably, Senator Gary Hart, for instance.)

It's difficult to imagine a policy which allows reserve component officers to become members of Congress and doesn't allow them to engage in political activities.

Second, the prohibition against using derisive language toward Congress in UCMJ article 88 applies only toward Congress as an institution. The protections of the article do not attach to individual members of Congress.

Third, Pale Rider is absolutely and unequivocably wrong in trying to assert that I am subject to the UCMJ. That was true when I was on active duty. It is also true if I am on federal orders, for instance, at Annual Training. It is not true at any other time. It is not even true during a drill weekend.

As I said - his grasp of the law here is simply incompetent.

I am, however, subject to the FCMJ, the Florida Code of Military Justice, at any time I am not on active duty. The FCMJ closely parallels the UCMJ, however, and may contain its own version of Article 88. But the prohibition would still not attach to individual members of Congress, at any rate.

Pale Rider's jousting at windmills.

He's not the first, though. When I was in Iraq, I had some critical observations, and some right winger wrote a letter ratting me out to Donald Rumsfeld.

I also had some readers in the Pentagon who liked the blog at the time - specifically in the Department of reserve affairs, and were happy to have some independent and uncolored input concerning the integration of the Active and Reserve components in combat.

Pale Rider, are you associated with the Democratic National Committee? Is your posting here motivated by that affiliation?
 
And as long as a soldier is not in uniform he can participate in political free speech in any venue, and say whatever he likes about a sitting Congressman.

I highly doubt that the Commander of the Florida National Guard really wants Jason Van Steenswyck out there, waving his CIB and his rank in the air, calling a sitting Congressman on an appropriations committee an idiot and a coward, but perhaps you could write him and find out.

Start it out along the lines of, hey sir, I was blogging under my own name the other day and I decided to say some stupid shit...

All Jason has to do is call his IG.

Call him up.

Call the IG of the FL NG and have him check your blog out.

No harm, no foul right? The FCMJ, the UCMJ--on orders, Title 32, drill weekend. It's all good.

Splash that.

Paid for by the Green Party of America.
 
Ooops: It's Article 888, not 88.

And this DoD policy memo 1325.6, concerning dissent and protest activities by members of the armed forces is relevant as well.

Obviously, Pale Rider isn't familiar with what it contains. It does, on the whole, affirm the basic rights of freedom and expression under the first amendment for service members, consistent with the need for good order and discipline in the ranks.

While the memo predates blogs (it's from 1996,) It does specifically allow for the publishing of underground newspapers "off post" and on our own time.

It also specifically states that the mere criticism of officials or policies (except as specifically prohibited by law as in Art. 888) is not by itself grounds for adverse action on the part of commanders.

I would encourage Pale Rider to broaden his fund of information and perspective, which is at present quite limited.

I would also encourage him to take up a hobby. But not one in which he is likely to injure himself, like crocheting or needlepoint. Maybe something involving Nerf.
 
consistent with the need for good order and discipline in the ranks.

Calling a Congressman an idiot and a coward demonstrates 'good order and discipline?' Calling a combat veteran names is...well, if that's good order and discipline, you reflect great credit upon you, your unit, and the US Army.

But cling to that idea--cling to the idea that it's okay to espouse your ideas in an open forum, to charge people to advertise on said forum and that you have First Amendment rights as a member of the military. (Try that one on the 1SG.)

A friendly suggestion: call up your IG, the enlisted advisor, not the officer, and have him square you away. An NCO is a priceless commodity to an ate-up officer that knows the rules and knows the laws but can't figure out why he's broken every one of them.

So you did clear all of this blogging activity with your unit commander and your unit IG, right?

Are they big fans as well?

Hey, let's have a Nerf ball tournament. I suspect you're ready to take your ball home with you since your understanding of the rules is in variance with reality.

Splash that.

Paid for by the NAACP.
 
Well, again, I think you need to do a bit more studying, because you just don't know how the Army works.

For one thing, the IG isn't even in the chain of command, and has no authority except that delegated to him or her by the commander.

At the moment your fingers are typing out checks your fund of information can't cash. For that reason, you aren't in a position to make an informed judgement about who's "ate up" and who isn't.

Feel free to write anyone you want. But do yourself a favor and review laws regarding defamation torts before proceeding. You're heading towards some thin ice.
 
"Try that one on the 1SG."

Dude. You're pretty funny.

Again, I encourage you to learn just a little bit more about how the Army works. Well, make that a lot more.

For instance, I don't report to a 1SG. He's not in my chain of command (though commanders are in 1SG's chain of command).

Second, even with regard to enlisted personnel, the 1SG doesn't decide how to balance unit needs v. 1st amendment issues.

Commanders do.
 
For one thing, the IG isn't even in the chain of command, and has no authority except that delegated to him or her by the commander.

That's a classic. That's absolutely rich. Unbelievable. The IG has no authority except that delegated by the commander.

I'd have that one done in needlepoint and have it framed above your desk, Jason. That way, when an IG walks in to see you, you can just point to the sign and tell him or her 'dismissed!'

defamation torts

That's the smell of fear. That's the smell of flopsweat, fear, and a nervous uncontrollable, electric shock running up and down the spine of a lameass milblogger.

Dude--nothing has been mailed. No complaints have been filed and no one cares what you write on your amateur hour horrorshow blog. It was all the work of a troll named 'Pale Rider.'

Psych!

Your honor, this guy named Pale Rider, he scared me and caused me to ruin my shorts. I wanna sue him for a million dang dollars because he made me think my career defending America in the infantry was in jeopardy, and all that, and um, can you tell him to stay off my dang blog because he, um, scares the bejeezus out of me.

You took the bait hook, line and sinker.

Next milblogger, please. This one's done.

Splash that

Paid for by no one.
 
I don't report to a 1SG. He's not in my chain of command (though commanders are in 1SG's chain of command).

Whoa, can't let that one go.

Do you serve in a company?

Then a 1SG does figure into the equation. I suggest that you perform this simple test next time you drill, Jason.

Go up to three different 1SGs and tell them to do some push ups. Then tell them to carry your gear out to your car. Then, when a CSM shows up redfaced and ready to speak cordially with you, tell that CSM that you don't have to listen to what he has to say, tell him to send the Old Man or don't send anyone at all.

See, Pale Rider has seen a flipside of the coin, the side where NCOs barely tolerate ate-up officers who are deluded into thinking they run the army.

Three people run the Army: the Team Leader, the Platoon Sergeant and the Platoon Leader. That's an E-6, and E-7 and an LT.

Everyone else is just support.

Splish splash that.
 
No. Pale Rider hasn't seen much at all.
 
"A Defense Hawk like Murtha?"

Thanks for the laugh PaleRider. Brightened my morning. Hell, it'll probably brighten his too when he reads that joke of a 'letter' you penned for him.

Or he'll think to himself, "Well, I've got at least ONE of them fooled"
 
Pole Rider,

Isn't it hard to type while you're rotating on your boyfriend's lap?

Can't you see, the more you write, the more you look like an idiot? Jason articulated the regulations clearly, and you continue to come back with more bullshit. You lost. Your point is not valid and you look foolish. You are annoying; and whatever amusement I was initially getting from your rants has completely turned to disgust. Please crawl back under whatever rock you came out of. You really can't afford to believe you are completely anonymous. Do you believe in Karma?
 
Tbone65,

Karma? So you're not a Christian, eh?

Actually, in case you missed it, Jason had a bit of a scare yesterday when it was pointed out to him that 'good order and discipline' does NOT include calling a Congressman who sits on an appropriations committee a coward and an idiot and that his unit commander and IG might take a dim view of such activities in light of the fact that this blog is now his sole source of income and he likes to post military decorations and medals on it in order to show readers that he is, in fact, representing the military when he is, in fact, not allowed to profit from his association with the military IF he decides to denigrate public servants.

But because your lips are sewed to Jason's ass, it's hard to see over the butt cheeks and read.

Brought to you by a grant from the Exxon Corporation.
 
Oh, and TBONE65,

Love the threats. Enjoy your retirement benefits.

Remember, they're not permanent.
 
Jason,

This is my last comment to this tool. I tried to be civil, even after he talked about oiling up my Johnson....but here goes...

"You really can't afford to believe you are completely anonymous. Do you believe in Karma?" is not a threat.

If I had said something about stomping your ass, perhaps you could have a claim, but I did not.

The sad thing is that you would never say the things you have to my face. I could be wrong though...were you threatening me? Come on over to where I am and we can talk about it. Seems like you need some gentle persuasion to understand things more clearly. Nothing like a little reality check to get your azimuth straight.
 
Wow someone wuvs Congress-critter Murtha. Smoochie smoochie Pale rider.
 
Pole Rider,

You are such a choad. The funny thing about this conversation is that I know you wouldn't say any of this to my face. I didn't threaten you, but you will definitely know it if I do.

Another thing about threats. If you want to threaten someone, make sure you're in it for real. I mean, you need to come hard and fast, because I don't think you understand what it's like in the real world when you screw with people who are willing to screw back. You can't touch my retirement, nor can anyone else. I have honorable service and have paid my fair share of dues. The last thing I'm worried about is some dipshit like you running your cock-holster.

This is my last response to you.

Cheers,
TBone
 
Jason,

sorry about the previous. I finally realized that you are moderating comments. That guy just pisses me off so bad that I want to wring his neck.

Cheers,
T
 
The sad thing is that you would never say the things you have to my face.

I live in the Washington DC area.

From looking at the gratuitous photo on your own blog, you don't rate.

Where did I threaten you? Invoking 'karma' and saying that you want to 'wring my neck.'

Here--I'll essplain it to you--

You're no longer in theater, able to shoot to kill and have your butt buddies wash it under the rug. You're here in America and guess what? We have laws for people like you and places for you to go to get help.

I suggest that if you can't handle BLOG THREAD COMMENTS you need to see the local VA and get some attention.

Splash that.
 
Alright, nobody's really threatening anybody else with physical harm.

Pale Rider - at ease with the homoerotic imagery, will ya? You're embarrassing yourself enough as it is.
 
By the way, Pale Rider - If you knew what I know, and you had seen the things I had seen and the things T Bone and hundreds of thousands of others had seen - especially those who left the gate regularly - you wouldn't be saying the things you say about being in theater.

A little more discretion is in order. I'm fair game for criticism for the things I write here on this site. But there are a lot of people reading this who've seen more than both of us put together, and you slight them, too, with your ignorance.

Don't be the fool in the Proverbs.
 
Guess what Jason?

Your boy Tboner threatened me.

I live in Washington DC. Anytime, anyplace. I'll be the one with brown hair, shoulder length, I'm 5'8" and I go about 130 lbs.

Oh, and I'm a nice B cup.

Suck on that, boys. Seven years in MI, just a little old combat support chick--you can check me out when I start blogging in a few months.

Ya'll just got trolled. Thank the Lord up in Heaven I never married a brokedick combat arms jackass.

Splishy-splash, babyoil, and karma karma karma chameleon, boys...
 
Come on, boys.

This is where it usually starts.

"What a bitch."

"Bet she looks fat in BDUs."

"Probably sucked dick to get that rank."

"Who'd she sleep with to get that job?"

Heard'em all.

Splashed, dickless wonders.
 
"Ya'll just got trolled."

Wow, how impressive. Never saw anyone brag about trolling on a website, this is a first.

"Thank the Lord up in Heaven I never married a brokedick combat arms jackass."
"...dickless wonders."

Yeah, I mean, these guys were only in the infantry. How difficult is that? Take and hold ground. No sweat, right? No reason to respect the guys putting rounds downrange and receiving fire back at them, right?

Say bye bye to any shred of good reputation you might have had left.

(And look, not a negative comment against females in there!)
 
And look, not a negative comment against females in there

Said another limpdicked asshole who was too afraid to use his own name...

Where's TBoner? I was hoping he'd come back and play. Nothing's funnier than an SF guy who threatens to kick a woman's ass, wring her neck and make threats.

Now, to be fair to him, he didn't know I was a woman. I suspect he falls into the category of guy who would just as soon fight a female half his size than take on someone who could kick his ass.

Hey Tboner, you're a Toad the Wet Sprocket fan??? What the f*ck is up with that?

Never met a badass who was a TTWS fan...
 
"Said another limpdicked asshole who was too afraid to use his own name..."

Said someone who goes by the moniker of "Pale Rider."

Yeah, that's not hypocritical at all.
 
Yeah, that's not hypocritical at all.

Except that I'm registered as a blog commenter, have a profile registered, use a working e-mail address, and refuse to be intimidated by hate mongerers.

So if I put up my real name and address, how long before the likes of you and Tboner come and try to rape me? Viagra does wonders for rapists--get some!

Never had THAT happen to me on active duty. Hells no, nope! Uh uh.
 
Pale Rider = IP 155.2.1.6 = hqisa.anser.org = arlington va

Are you really supposed to be hassling people on the internet during work hours? I'm sure the sysadmin would like to get an official query into a "spammer" originating from your fixed IP address. And BTW, I think harrassment of the type you are conducting on the internet is now a prosecutable offense.

Please stop being silly. You are way beyond funny at this point. And please don't come to my blog and try to troll me again. Thanks.
 
Jason,

Pale Rider works at:

Advanced National Strategies and Enabling Results (ANSER)
2900 South Quincy Street, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22206

Their motto is: "Defending America...Protecting Americans"

Now imagine if her/his supervisor were to hear that Pale Rider was coming on someone's blog and harrassing/threatening people in the name of several different Left leaning organizations during work hours. What would you do if you found out one of your employees was engaging in this type of behavior? Certainly a reprimand...perhaps even shitcan them. Especially when they went over the logs and saw that this person was continuously engaged in non-work related activities on the internet. Wow...wouldn't that be special?
 
"...refuse to be intimidated by hate mongerers."

I don't recall intimidating you, nor was that the intention of any of my posts.

"So if I put up my real name and address, how long before the likes of you and Tboner come and try to rape me? Viagra does wonders for rapists--get some!"

Two points. One, that's slander; maybe that's why I don't use my e-mail address in your presence. I don't recall mentioning anything along those lines. The first to mention anything of the sort was you. You're a really sick person, I'm sorry for you.

Secondly, I don't need Viagra. I'm 21 years old and a college student.

Have fun trolling on websites and screaming "rapist" at every male commenter that you come across. I'm done here. No reason to be dealing with someone as messed up in the head as you.
 
Yo, Mr. Jason

Didn't this chick pale rider say she didn't use her pers info because of fear of being raped?

Didn't you just post her personal info? after wannting to wring her neck?

Just sayin'...

Something happens within a few blocks of that place to a woman, hmmm...cops might have a questio or two for ya....hmmmmm
 
Nope, I never said I wanted to wring her neck.

I may consider legal action for defamation per se, as she made several assertions that were both false and defamatory, including allegations that I had violated the UCMJ (allegations of criminal conduct are generally considered prima facie evidence of defamation, unless the allegations are actually true) and that I had resigned my commission in time of war.

A lot of people read that.

Both charges are not even remotely arguable.

I'll also explore whether liability may attach to her employer as well.

I have no interest in damaging or destroying her career, but unfortunately, it may be unavoidable since her employer would likely have to be involved in the discovery process.

I will be removing the post with her employer's address on it when I get home later, though, as it's not necessary here.

I don't delete comments as a matter of policy, but in this case I'll make an exception.

It's really too bad she didn't take the hint when I suggested she look into laws concerning defamation before continuing.

And everybody needs to take a chill pill, and stay above her usual level of discourse.

Thanks.
 
This is TBone...

Just to clear things up. I said to Jason concerning Pale Rider's harrassment:

"...sorry about the previous. I finally realized that you are moderating comments. That guy just pisses me off so bad that I want to wring his neck."

I made that remark privately to Jason, falsely assuming that he had started to moderate comments. Yet even when read in public forum, the message was clearly intended for Jason's ear to highlight my frustration towards Pale Rider's inflammatory commentary. I never threatened Pale with violence.

Additionally, Pale Rider was anonymous and was assumed by all to be a man at the time we made the comment. No one threatened Pale Rider with anything. Well, I suppose inviting him overseas to see me might be considered threatening if he considered the potential cost of the trip a threat...hehe. So, if you follow the string you can see that Pale Rider was in fact threatening Jason with all manners of things, including "outting" him to his command or some other such nonsense.

Bottom line. Pale Rider was the one who started and continue the harrassment on Jason's site, then proceeded to come over to my site and troll me there. That type of activity is unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated.

Tech info: Pale Rider's IP address is publically available everytime he/she trolls and harrasses someone. Insert IP address in an IP resolver and up comes the name of his/her server, complete with address, etc. Pale Rider volunteered his location in the first place. Nothing secret about it and available to everyone on the net. That is why people shouldn't harrass others on the net. I personally asked Pale Rider to cease and desist the personal attacks, and implored him to stay on point. It was his choice to stay on the course he was on.
 
Well, the "moderate comments" feature's not working for some reason, so I can't manipulate anything unless I delete the whole post. I've never deleted a post yet (unless it was a duplicate).

I'll try again, this AM on a different computer.
 
Jeez Jason,
First time I've gone to your comments page, even tho' I've been reading you, and emailing you, since you were still in country, Iraq.
I'm at a total loss why somebody unwilling to say who he is, Pale Rider, has his knickers in such a twist regarding your opinion of Murtha.
He's losing this whole discussion, but, like any Michael Moore acolyte, he seems to feel repetiveness equals truth and clarity.
Granted, my military service, USN, ended on my 21st birthday, August '63, so I have no, repeat, no combat experience. Fortunately, I do have some common sense and rational thought capabilities left.
Pale, Sir/Madam/Transgendered whatever, would seem to be something you are beyond!
Jason, thank you for your continuing class act of replying to this troll as if he had something of interest to pass on to your readers/public at large or any other group larger that his local indymedia hate site.
Mike Daley
Real Name, real public email:
Mikhal_@hotmail.com
64 years old, 6'0" 190#'s and I've not been in DC since '78, but you're welcome to come to Jackson, CA and kick my ass, heh!
Pale, you're pathetic, at best!
 
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