Fred, who is my my co-blogger at Syracuse Progressive, has posted about a soldier who's apparently had his internet access restricted on the basis of political statements made on his blog, not any tactical or security error.
Daniel Goetz is a 'stop lossed' soldier serving for his second time in Iraq. Though forbidden to express himself freely, he had created his blog, All the King's Horses, to remind himself that he is more than just another of the king's horses.
He recently was showcased at Operation Truth, and apparently was shortly thereafter censored by his military superiors.
Operation Truth has published my story as their Veteran of the Week profile. I am excited and nervous for the extra attention this will attract. Excited because the army is trying very hard to muffle the cries of battered soldiers, abused by the system they are sworn to protect. Each time our story is heard by someone new, the country comes that much closer to understanding what is happening to us in Iraq and Afghanistan...I'm also nervous, though. Every time I add a new writing to my site, I ask myself if I've gone too far. I have a pretty good grasp on what constitutes a violation of the laws I am bound to; in specific, I am very familiar with the sections of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that strips every servicemember of his or her First Amendment rights. Unfortunately, the laws are purposely vague; designed to muzzle even those of us who tread with caution.
Seven months ago, my service in the army was to have terminated. Instead, I am in Iraq for the second time. I sit next to a DOD contractor whose job is identical to mine. Except he makes $120,000 more, works four hours less, and visits home four times more often than I do....When we were here in 2003, there was anger, but there is a difference between anger and bitter hatred. The atmosphere of discontent is thick and contagious. Even soldiers not stop-lossed feel The Betrayal. They know it might be them next time. Dissent will not change anything for us now because our voices are muted. Still, there is hope. It is that in twenty years, it will be these men and women in office.
It ends with:
I want to go home as badly as I want to be proud of my country again.
The New York Times this morning reports that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby apparently first learned that Joseph Wilson's wife was a CIA agent from none other than his boss -- Vice President Cheney. [WaPo]
Please see my post from September, 2003. From "Dick Cheney Denies Joe Wilson Three Times:
"Cheney has avoided the questions as to who in the office of Vice President was informed of the contents of Ambassador Wilson's report....(conveniently saying he doesn't know Wilson--he must think we're total idiots out here...)
Cheney has avoided the question as to what efforts were made by his office to disseminate the findings of Ambassador Wilson's investigation to the President, National Security Adviser, and Secretary of Defense.....
..and whether or not his office regarded Ambassador Wilson's conclusions as accurate or inaccurate...
Let's face it, his reticence and usual cloak of secrecy and avoidance serve to make him appear to be hiding something from us."
It appears that Dick Cheney was lying, bold-faced, to the American public in his September, 2003 appearance on Tim Russert's Meet the Press.
Mr. Froomkin asks some inportant questions:
today's news raises even more questions than it answers, among them:
* Who told Cheney, and under what circumstances?
* Did Cheney acknowledge his own role when he spoke to prosecutors last summer? If not, could he be indicted himself?
* Did Cheney encourage Libby not to disclose their conversation?
* Did President Bush know about Cheney's role?
* Who leaked this latest development -- and what was their motivation?
* Does this mean the White House will stop blaming reporters for everything? (That one was rhetorical: The answer is no.)
We lost Paul Wellstone three years ago today. He died in a plane crash on a frozen Minnesota morning at the age of 58. Wellstone's wife Sheila, their only daughter Marcia, three staff members, and two pilots also died.
I recall my sorrow upon hearing the news on my car radio as I drove south toward Maryland. I recall watching him speaking with conviction on the Senate floor - he always drew me in. I'd cheered him on from my living room. I admired him. He'd often expressed love for the people that he'd represented. I loved him - and I wasn't alone.
It seems as if he has been gone forever, yet a look back at the time of his all-too-early death gives us pause for reflection about the intuitive wisdom that this man possessed:
Washington Post, October 26, 2002:
"I voted against the resolution," he concluded quietly, "and I just thought that was the honest vote for the people I represent and love in Minnesota." .....
......Before he walked to a waiting car, Wellstone was asked if he had "agonized" over his vote on Iraq. "Well, I mean, uh, sure," he said. "But certainly not on the political part." He went on to give a classicly Wellstonian answer in which he seemed to be debating the response in his own mind while delivering the transcript in a quiet, halting cadence. "I think these questions, the sort of life-and-death questions, where you don't know what's going to happen . . ." He paused, scrunched his face and veered in another direction.
"You know, if people are going to be in harm's way, you really struggle to know what's right." He stopped again, and then injected a parenthetical about how he's consulted with experts all over the country about the Iraq question. And how that's one of the things he truly loves about being a U.S. senator.
Wellstone said he examined the Iraq question from every angle. This was a painful choice -- one that well could have hurt him against [Norm]Coleman -- but the process of making it was invigorating. It reminded him why he came to the Senate in the first place, he said, and why he was eager to return. [WaPo]
Shortly after his untimely death, I began to blog. My memory of Paul was one of my reasons - one of my chief inspirations - to write. His voice had disappeared, and in his loving public spirit and tradition, I wanted to keep his ideas and his convictions in focus.
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the White House turn over all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).
"This group, comprised of the President and Vice President's top aides, was critical in selling the Administration's case for war," Kucinich said. "We now know that the Administration hyped intelligence and misled the American public and Congress in their effort to 'sell' the war."
This Resolution must be voted on in the House International Relations Committee by November 9th, 2005. The same committee, on September 14, came within one vote of passing a Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Memo (H. Res. 375).
That near victory came after a great deal of citizen activism. This time we need to persuade all of the Democrats on the Committee to push a little bit harder and a few more Republicans to do the right thing. Co-Sponsorship of the Resolution by members not on the committee helps this effort.