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Radio Silence

This post will remain up top through Friday, 18 December. New content comes in below.

CJOffDuty.jpg 
15 DECEMBER 2009

MILBLOGS GO SILENT FOR FELLOW BLOGGER

Milblogs Go Silent

On Wednesday 16 December 2009, many milblogs -- including This Ain't Hell, From My Position, Blackfive, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim's Hall, Bouhammer, and those participating in the Wednesday Hero program -- are going silent for the day.  Some are choosing to go silent for a longer period of time.
 

The reason for this is two-fold.  First, milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military.  While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept.  From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hostility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others.  The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.

The catalyst has been the treatment of milblogger C.J. Grisham of A Soldier's Perspective (http://www.soldiersperspective.us/).  C.J. has earned accolades and respect, from the White House on down for his honest, and sometimes blunt, discussion of issues -- particularly PTSD.  In the last few months, C.J. has seen an issue with a local school taken to his command who failed to back him, and has even seen his effort to deal with PTSD, and lead his men in same by example, used against him as a part of this.  Ultimately, C.J. has had to sell his blog to help raise funds for his defense in this matter.

An excellent story on the situation with C.J. can be found at Military Times by clicking here.


While there have been new developments, the core problem remains, and C.J. is having to raise funds to cover legal expenses to protect both his good name and his career.

One need only look at the number of blogs by active duty military in combat zones and compare it to just a few years ago to see the chilling effect that is taking place.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to the public.  They have provided vital context and analysis on issues critical to operations and to the informed electorate critical to the Republic.

On Wednesday 16 December, readers will have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it.  Those participating are urging their readers to contact their elected representatives in Congress, and to let their opinions be known to them and to other leaders in Washington.

Some milblogs will remain silent for several days; some just for the day.  All have agreed to keep the post about the silence and C.J. at the top of their blogs until Friday 18 December.

 
The issues go beyond C.J., and deserve careful consideration and discussion.  We hope that you will cover this event, and explore the issues that lie at the heart of the matter.  Contact the milbloggers in your area or that you know, and hear the story that lies within.

 
Participating blogs:
A Soldier's Perspective
You Served
Bouhammer
The American Legion
Laughing Wolf
Hugh Hewitt
This Ain't Hell
Castle Argghhh
Boston Maggie
Blackfive
Miss Ladybug
Hooah Wife
Kiss My Gumbo
Some Soldiers Mom
Assoluta Tranquillita
Knee Deep in the Hooah
Soldiers' Angel New York
Drunken Wisdom
Grim's Hall
From my position
CDR Salamander
Confederate Yankee
Chromed Curses
Homefront Six
Pvt Murphey's Law
Delta Bravo Sierra
The Sniper
Another Voice
Support your Local Gunfighter
Knottie' s Niche
Great Reader JihadGene
America's North Shore Journal
Righty in a Lefty State
Thunder Run
Gazing at the Flag
Neptunus Lex
Soldiers Angels Germany
Bring the heat, bring the stupid
Little Drops..... Into the pool of life.
The Gun Line
Thirdwavedave
In Iraq Now (at 56)
Milblogging.com
Army Houesehold6
Susan Katz Keating
The Mudville Gazette

Covering the story:
Instapundit
Michelle Malkin
National Review's The Corner
Ace of Spades
Jawa Report
Winds of Change
Cao's Blog
Free Republic
Dr. Melissa Clouthier
Villainous Company
The Washington Independent

You can donate to CJ's Legal Fund by logging into PayPal, go to the send money page, and put in his email: dj_chcknhawk (AT) yahoo (DOT) com; or, you can send donations directly to:

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893

Please write "Grisham Legal Fund" in the memo line if you use this option.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to you.  Today, many milblogs are gone and others are under attack from within and without.  Today, you have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it.  Make your voice heard by writing your congressional representatives and others, and by making donations as you see fit.

The battle for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is fought on many fronts and in many ways.   Without your help, the battle may well be lost.

5 Trackbacks

TrackBack this entry at http://www.thedonovan.com/cgi-bin/mt41/mt-tb.fcgi/11375

I began blogging about my military career in 1997. We didn’t call it blogging then. And the website was techography.com. But I wrote anyway. C.J. Grisham has been writing for 6 years at A Soldiers Perspective. Until his Chain of Command shut him ... Read More

From John at Castle Argghhh!: On Wednesday 16 December 2009, many milblogs -- including This Ain't Hell, From My Position, Blackfive, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim's Hall, Bouhammer, and those participating in the Wednesday Hero program -- are goin... Read More

From my position... on the way Wolf - BlackFive Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to you. Today, many milblogs are gone and others are under attack from within and wit... Read More

On Wednesday 16 December, readers will have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Those participating are urging their readers to contact their elected representatives in Congress, and to let their opinions... Read More

Milblog silence from Mudville Gazette on December 17, 2009 11:16 AM

Link Free speech from those who help make it possible - since 2003, the motto of the MilBlogs Ring. (Click here if above audio player does not appear in your browser.) Comments are disabled here, too. You aren't allowed to speak today. ***** Previously... Read More

17 Comments

   
Done!
Illegitimus non carborundum
 
The Gun LIne, going dark...
   
I'm in too.... although I haven't posted since September, so I guess it doesn't really count.  But I DO support CJ and the Day(s) of Silence.
 
Sorry - not with you at all.  People currently in the military gave up the right to free speech as it relates to military matters while they are serving.  Does the word "discipline" mean anything anymore?

If you want to spout off about the military - resign and have at'er.  Until then - button it!
 
Does joining the military cause one to give up the right to speak out about how the schools your children attend do thing?  That is the current issue CJ is facing.

And, I'm not sure how much "spouting off about the military" is going on.  To me, "spouting off" implies malicious intent or careless disregard.  The milbloggers I know - and greatly respect - aren't saying things out of carelessness, or to be spiteful, but to tell important stories, or to bring attention to things they view as issues that need addressing.
 
People currently in the military gave up the right to free speech as it relates to military matters while they are serving.

He's not in trouble over a military matter -- he took exception to the way his children were being treated in school. A *public* school. The school administer had her *feelings* hurt and lodged a complaint with the IG of CJ's command, who decided she should have redress for the damage to her exaggerated sense of self-esteem.

When did the chain of command expand to include civilians unconnected in any way with the military? Must be that "New Army" I keep hearing about.

Does the word "discipline" mean anything anymore?


Does the phrase "inappropriate command involvement" mean anything anymore?


 
@Bob, You write, "People currently in the military gave up the right to free speech as it relates to military matters while they are are serving." Says who? For speech to be an issue, there are a few questions. Was CJ in full dress uniform of the US Army? Could it be construed that CJ was espousing Official US Army Policy? As long as CJ was speaking on private matters and in civilian clothes, he has the inalienable right of free speech. On the human adult level, I tend to not use the phrase, 'Responsible Speech', but this is an issue for all of the players in the situation.

You rightfully raise the question,  "Does the word 'discipline' mean anything anymore?" First of all, discipline is a two way street, top down and then, and only then, will you earn the respect. This is called, "Commanding Respect". As our leaders, lead the rest will follow, this is the only leadership that  will result in the discipline, that you seek.
 
Does the phrase "inappropriate command involvement" mean anything anymore? Amen This isn't about Op Sec, this isn't about troop movements, or command directives or ROE's. This is about a fathers children and the local school board. Further since when did the COC have the authority to give orders regarding spouses? I'm with BillT. If this is the so called New Army then retention NCO's are going to have their work cut out for them when the job market re-acclimates.
 
People currently in the military gave up the right to free speech as it relates to military matters while they are serving.

We aren't talking about military or national secrets here, a soldier still has the right to have a life.

GO MilBlogs!!!!!

 
Can I post a copy of this on my blog if I link back to you?
 
I support CJ in his personal difficulties, but I fail to see how the Sound of Silence will help anything.

The sound of all those milbloggers making a googlebomb with their keyboards might be more appropriate.

I'm reminded of the old "tree falling in the forest" simile.
 
Rivrdog - the point that was being made (and, based on some email, was received, if, of course, not with the impact some would have hoped) is that when you Google DoD stories of the type that milblogs usually put out - it's milblogs, not DoD, that shows up in the searches.

Meaning that if they shut down the blogs, the lose their end-run around the MSM for getting out their stories.

The ones they like as well as the ones they don't.

It wasn't a perfect idea, nor perfectly executed, but it has some impact along the lines of what we were looking for.

The point wasn't how powerful we are - with a few exceptions, we aren't - but how useful we are, even if we're unruly about it.  And that utility is independent of who sits in the Oval Office any given year.

As for the Googlebomb aspect of it - the use of virtually the same verbiage, and the coverage of the event by several mid- and upper-tier bloggers and news/magazine sites, had exactly that effect, and in a more coherent fashion than if we'd all done 75 different posts.
 
My Active Reserve committment ended in '95, and I ended my military education at that point, but I guess I'm somewhat Old School here: the military has the right to control the security of it's information exchanges, and there is a strong suspicion by Old Schoolies that milblogging by active duty troops (or active Reserves) has an element of OpSec and CommSec risk attendant with it.

Concomitantly, an increase in milblogging, miltweeting carries with it an increased risk.

How does the military respond?

The bonehead response is to shut down milblogging and miltweeting (citing the security risk). Such a response requires no thinking, and is very Old School.

The New School might put together workshops of security managers and try to come up with a more moderate solution, one involving acceptance of low thresholds of risk and allowing milblogging and miltweeting.

I'm on the fence. I was USAF Strategic Air Command, a VERY Old School outfit. I was a Squadron Security Officer within that strac Command, responsible for training, and in some ways performance, under strict security guidelines. Having been SAC-umcised, you couldn't beat the Old School out of me with a stick, but I also consider myself a modern thinker when it comes to information transfer/sharing.

There has to be a way to "vet" military members who would then have milblogging/miltweeting access, and restrict those activities from those who would do it unsupervised. That middle-of-the-road path might be hard to find, but we must persevere to find it.

For civilians, there must be NO rules. The First guarantees that. For dependents, it gets foggier, and dependents will probably wind up having to follow active-member rules.

This isn't the only culture clash between military leadership and looser civilian custom, and it won't be the last, either.
 
Grumpy is channeling me on this matter. CJ has a right to protect himself and his family from a school board employing those kind of fascist tactics and manipulating the chain of command for its less than honourable purposes. When I was in, we were taught that loyalty was a two-way street.

-SMM