Thursday, May 03, 2007

Alright, Don't Get Your Panties In A Wad... 
The new Army regulation, once implemented, probably won't mean much of a change for military bloggers. Active duty bloggers have been required to "register" their blogs for a long time now with their commanders for some time now. And commanders have had discretion over how closely to monitor those blogs all along.

No commander is going to spend his or her valuable time going over and approving and disapproving every single blog post his or her soldiers write. In real life, the common sense test will apply, and the commanders are going to say "look, just grant me the courtesy of looking over anything you think might violate opsec."

Commander's discretion has always been key. And as a company commander myself, I jealously guard that prerogative.

Most commanders are happy to have one of their own writing the soldier's perspective, anyway.

Sure, the Army's approach was ham-handed, and the regulation was poorly crafted. So what else is new?

Nothing much will change as a result. This is no big deal, in my view.

Splash, out


I sure hope you are right. My biggest concern is that many officers will not want to take the chance that someone under them will screw up, and just ban blogging (by their guys) in general. Someone isn’t seeing the big picture. You guys are the last positive proponents the military has, and silencing you (plural) will be cutting the mainstream media loose with limited balance to their claims and misleading coverage. With nobody who knows to contradict the media, there will be no real truth coming from anyone but possibly some of the foreign bloggers like Iraq the Model or Healing Iraq, etc. And those are getting tired and beginning to quit too. Who should I write?
Yeah, but commanders have had the authority to shut down or control blogs all along. And soldiers are prohibited by existing regulation from starting underground newsletters and such, and commanders could have invoked that regulation as well.

They didn't, and by and large, won't in my opinion.

I think the regulation is poorly crafted, and there are some constitutional issues with it if Big Army tries to apply it too broadly.

What could happen is that anonymous blogs will proliferate, with NO accountability or command control. So the regulation could be counterproductive, even if it doesn't need to be.
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