Thursday, May 17, 2007

Banning the Blog

I have watched from a distance...literally, while a lot of folks have been sounding off about the Army's latest update of the AR (Army Regulation) which covers soldiers use of e-mails, blogging et al, as well as the uproar about You Tube being banned from Army servers.

These of course are two separate issues that have their own explanations and facts surrounding them. There is however one thing that ties them both together...well meaning people who have the soldiers best interest at heart have gone off half cocked and starting raising hell about issues that really don't need to be raised hell about...at least yet. In some respects the folks yelling bloody murder about the death of soldiers first amendment rights and denying them the right to view their child's first steps via "You Tube" strikes me about the same as the hysterical loons screaming about global warming.

On the one hand we know that the "media" never tells the whole truth when it comes to our combat operations, so why would you expect that they got the story right when it comes to my ability to post to the Internet or send e-mails or look at Britney Spears getting out of a limo with no panties on via You Tube?

The truth of the matter over here is, the use of commercially available Internet that soldiers pay for out of their pocket is wide spread. Officers and NCOs are far too busy to run around policing every e-mail their soldiers send, or some such. They couldn't fully control Internet usage and e-mail traffic even if they wanted to.

One the other hand should commanders control the Army networks? Of course they should and they can, the networks exists to move information to those same commanders and their staff to allow them to execute combat operations...everything else is secondary. If that means the MWR doesn't get as much bandwidth then so be it...combat comes first.

The bottom line to all of this is, try and do a little homework before you start screaming about problems that may or may not exist...because if you don't, you run the risk of reducing yourself to the level of those you have so little respect for...the media.

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