Hat Tip to BlackFive.
FOR TODAY, Wednesday 16 December 2009, many if not most, fellow milblogs — including This Ain’t Hell, From My Position, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim’s Hall, 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:
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.
This is the gist of what’s happened:
……Assigned to a military intelligence company at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Grisham’s in-your-face opinions have won him a loyal following but also earned the scorn of his superiors, who contend he violated military limits about what troops can say on certain topics.
Grisham has criticized President Barack Obama’s fitness to run the country, chided the Democratic Party and battled with local school officials. He has been investigated by the inspector general and called on the carpet by his commanders.
……Grisham’s most recent battle with his superiors grew out of his blogging about disagreements he had with the local school board after they decided to implement a student uniform policy halfway into the year without input from parents. Grisham, who had two kids in the school, posted unflattering video he shot of school officials fumbling through a meeting. School officials called the Army to complain. His company commander, Capt. Brian Hawkins, called Grisham in to talk about it.
HOOAH, C.J. Give em’ hell.
That’s scary as hell. Most milbloggers I know are fiercely patriotic and loyal to Army and Country. OPSEC is usually not an issue. What gives with the Senior Non-Coms and Officers?
I have a feeling this is coming from higher up; leftard politicians, for instance.
This whole crackdown on CJ’s freedom of speech occured when he simply said what is on the minds of most Active Duty and retired Soldiers; Obama’s an unfit, socialist idiot who’s destroying our economy and national security.
Then, civilian PTA members tried to bully him via his chain of command, because he discussed their arrogance.