After posting the reports coming in from US marines that they are experiencing some form of censorship at the hands of the US military's Central Command I did a little cast about and came up with something rather interesting. It's not that I wasn't partially aware because I did catch this one a while ago.
I wasn't aware, until now however, that there is an entire unit of the US Central Command which is out there recruiting bloggers to "spread the good word".
Blogs sometimes include information -- accurate and otherwise -- about the U.S. military's global war on terror. U.S. Central Command officials here took notice and created a team to engage these writers and their electronic information forums.
Do... they... have... a... name???
From his desk at CENTCOM headquarters here, Army Reserve Spc. Claude Flowers of the 304th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment from Kent, Wash., fights in the global war on terrorism daily in his own way. It is an effort, officials here said, that is making a big difference in the communications arena in the online world.
YES!! Well at least they're in uniform and fightin'. Well... sort of. They're based at Macdill Air Force Base... in Tampa, Florida. They're not dodging bullets. They have cheetos.
Team members said they have contacted a full spectrum of bloggers. In one instance, a blogger was writing about the opening of a water treatment plant in Iraq. The writer was presenting the information as a positive milestone for the U.S. military in Iraq, but the information was not complete. The team contacted the writer and offered information via the CENTCOM Web site, and more information was added to the blog to make the article more accurate.
Y'know, I have no real problem with that. Accuracy is good. Have a cheeto.
In another blog contact, the team wrote a blogger who had written untrue information about U.S. military tactics. The blogger stated that the U.S. military routinely used children in Iraq and Afghanistan as human shields during their operations by using candy to entice and lure kids near them. The team posted a comment on the writer's blog stating that the U.S. military did not use human shield tactics and explained the full circumstances of the incident where Iraqi children died in 2004 when insurgents attacked U.S. forces in Baghdad.
Again. Accuracy is good. Have another cheeto.
Most blogs ordinarily have a feature that enables readers to contact the writer or allows readers to post comments. When the team "reaches out" to a blogger, the team members do not conceal their identity. They fully disclose that they are public affairs personnel and identify themselves accordingly. And, McNorton said, they are there to correct information, no more.
Reach out?! Hold it a goddamned minute. You block sites to the troops in the field, but you read them and comment on them? And what about the fact that you don't block the sites of the Bush cargo cult? Looks to me like you're looking for a job with the 101st Fightin' Keyboarders after your hitch is up.