Given the boot from boot camp

Loose Lips

This is really disturbing.

“U.S. Military Censors ThinkProgress”

Do you suppose we’re next?

I’ll provide an excerpt for those who, thanks to the Military, can no longer access ThinkProgress.

ThinkProgress is now banned from the U.S. military network in Baghdad.

Recently, an avid ThinkProgress reader — a U.S. soldier serving his second tour in Iraq — wrote to us and said that he can no longer access ThinkProgress.org.

The ban began sometime shortly after Aug. 22, when Ret. Maj. Gen. John Batiste was our guest blogger on ThinkProgress. He posted an op-ed that was strongly critical of the President’s policies and advocated a “responsible and deliberate redeployment from Iraq.”

18 thoughts on “Given the boot from boot camp

  1. How can we get word out to the troops who want to visit TP but don’t want to go to jail? Should we go to one of the vet sites like http://www.iava.org or http://www.votevets.org (whatever their URLs are) and let them pass the word about our blog?

    After all, WE are not in the military and subject to their rules and regulations. The only thing the DoD can do to US is to block our site from their net. And if they do that, we could get oursleves some publicity through either Air America Radio or perhaps even Keith Olbermann.

  2. Wayne,

    I would like to think that there is something we could do to help out.

    I’m not sure, despite our good intentions, what kind of substitute this place is for Think Progress. But it would be cool if we could help get the information that is available from Think Progress to our Soldiers overseas who want that information.

    Certainly, if any Military person visited this site, I’m sure we’d do all we could to share with them what we could access from TP.

  3. While I am not seeking the fame that comes with being on Air America or Keith Olbermann, I suppose those would be channels through which the Military service members might find out about us.

    We’d really have to make some kind of commitment, I’d think, to be a go-between between service members and Think Progress.

  4. Wayne,

    Personally, I’m having a little trouble wrapping my head around this one…just the fact that soldiers are being denied access to certain websites that report the truth of the matter, while access to the propaganda outlets is still unfettered.

    Every once in a while, I feel like I’m in a bad dream, and that I’ll wake up to find that Al Gore is the president, gas is $1.60/gallon, and almost 4000 of our brave sons and daughters and almost 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians *aren’t* dead.

    We’re stuck in the evil Bizzaro world parallel universe….the universe that the cartoon superheros travel to, only to find that everything has gone horribly, irretrievably wrong.

    Just when you think that this administration can’t get any more Orwellian, we see something like this. Next, I bet they’ll redirect requests to sites like this to dummy sites that look exactly like the real thing, except all the posters, Progs and Neocons alike, are government sockpuppets, whose job is to ridicule the prog position while bolstering the Neocon one…while, of course, all non-sockpuppet posters (the soldiers) are carefully monitored for signs of disloyalty.

    It would be *terribly* easy to do, and I don’t put *anything* past our government anymore.

    As for what we can do, I’m at a loss. The only way to reliably get information to the troops would be to insure that the KGB doesn’t know the soldier is receiving the info, and the lines of communication are heavily controlled and monitored. I’m pretty sure anyone receiving PGP-encrypted emails would be called on the carpet within the week.

    Furthermore, I’m not sure we should be encouraging this sort of thing. Pat Tillman was an outspoken critic of the war, and his views earned him a triple tap to the head.

    To sum up, I’m rather disheartened at this recent turn of events…The time is growing ever nearer when the only recourse we will have left is to take to the streets…and I’m not anxious to take on Chimpy’s hired Blackwater goons, trained and equipped with our hard-earned money.

  5. Well, I suppose the least we could do is to write our Congressmen and Senators and tell them to tell the DoD to either ban ALL internet acess (not going to happen), or allow all of it. But the idea that we are somehow hurting their morale by telling them the truth is absurd.

    On further reflection, Gregg is right. The committment we would have to make to keep the information up to date would be staggering. We wouldn;t be able to re-post the comments, either. And, of course, we can’t just link to TP from here because they would get blocked that way, too. Is there a way to “hide” a link inside another in such a way that whatever filters they’re using to block access to TP would let it go through to another site that “mimics” or “mirrors’ TP (c0mments and all)? I am no expert on this stuff, I’m just throwing random ideas out there. Uh, I just got another random thought. “What if we just fed mayonaisse directly to the tuna?” (Note to self: Call Starkist.)

  6. Wayne sez:

    Is there a way to “hide” a link inside
    another in such a way that whatever
    filters they’re using to block access
    to TP would let it go through to another
    site that “mimics” or “mirrors’ TP
    (c0mments and all)?

    Yes, it’s entirely possible. How difficult it would be depends on whether or not they are blocking by URL or IP addy (for example, we’re blocked from youtube at my workplace, but I can access it by replacing ‘youtube.com’ in the URL with the IP of youtube.com). It’s also easy enough to mirror the site on another server, although the soldiers wouldn’t be able to comment then…

  7. Wayne, I like your idea about writing our politicians on this.

    Which reminds me, we should have a Blogroll link or two for contacting Senators, Reps, maybe even the White House. Does anyone know some good ones? I’ll check the official Senate and House sites.

  8. Gregg,

    At the official House of Representatives website, they have form to help you identify your rep and e-mail him or her.

    http://www.house.gov/writerep/

    On the US Senate site, they have a more extensive page with phone numbers and office addresses, as well as links to webforms and such.

    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

    I didn’t try the White House because I don’t know how to get onto the RNC server. 🙂

  9. Wow, Wayne. I found the exact same two sites and have added them to the Blogroll. My RNC access also allowed me to find some contact info for the White House (if you enjoy shouting at the deaf).

  10. While I was avidly reading everything I could find about PNAC last year (beings so many of them were holding key positions in this Administration) I remember reading in the report “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” that one of the goals was to “CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE”. Beings “The New Way Forward” authored by Frederick Kagan (AEI) has pretty much been the basis for policy that Bush has followed and is almost identical to PNAC’s report, I would guess this is just the beginning of their (the government or the military’s) taking control of the internet. F. Kagan’s father was co-author of the PNAC report.
    The report by PNAC is long but enlightening.
    As they clamp down they will of course claim that it is in the name of fighting terror, not in suppressing free speech.

  11. The link I use to contact my Senators and Congresswoman is:
    http://www.congress.org
    It is pretty good actually. You punch in your zip code and it puts your US Congress people and Senators, your state Governor and state legislators and all their contact info is right there. You can also look up legislation and votes, etc.

    I just thought of something..
    When you send emails through these forms do you suppose they track who is in line and who is a dissenter? It just sort of popped into my head.. I think I need to go eat lunch.

  12. During the 1950’s, the Air Force had a project called Dynasoar. It involved a massive Jato module behind a delta-winged manned vehicle with turned-up wing tips. The vehicle was to be dropped from a B52 and then turn on the burners. The intent of the project was to establish US Customs at 50 miles altitude. It was to be augmented with an ABM called Sprint which had passed muster in several test flights. That system would explode a nuclear bomb about 15-25 miles up in the path of incoming warheads. One Sprint vehicle actually collided with the incoming pseudo warhead. At attack altitude, the blast would destroy warheads over a three mile radius. The Dynasoar was in the mix in order to take down spy and defense satellites.

  13. nwmuse and walt,

    I wanted to use the same picture I use in my own blog, but its physical dimensions were too big. So I had to crop it for my WordPress avatar. About the only thing that would fit is one eye. (You can see the original photo, taken some 28 years ago, on my blogspot blog. Just go to my profile or here.

    I was going to use a picture of Dick Cheney in his cowboy hat, but I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone crapping themselves thinking Cheney got hold of our blog. I’ll try to hunt around for a more appropriate picture.

    Meantime, I’m keeping my eye on all of you. 🙂

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