Friday, March 03, 2006

CENTCOM now monitoring blogs

Ok, I'm a little creeped out. This is from their own website (c/o Georgia10 at DKos):
U.S. Central Command officials here took notice [of blogs] and created a team to engage these writers and their electronic information forums.

McNorton said the team contacts bloggers to inform the writers about any given topic that may have been posted on their site. This outreach effort enables the team to offer complete information to bloggers by inviting them to visit CENTCOM's Web site for news releases, data or imagery.

The team engages bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information. They extend a friendly invitation to all bloggers to visit the command's Web site.

"Now (online readers) have the opportunity to read positive stories. At least the public can go there and see the whole story. The public wants to hear these good stories," he said, adding that the news stories the military generates are "very factual."

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.

This is just crazy on so many levels. If you read the article, you actually feel like you're being propagandized; it has the tone of those 1950's infomercials the government released, with the surreal happy music in the background and all that.

This line is priceless: "The public wants to hear these good stories," he said, adding that the news stories the military generates are "very factual."" Of course, your expected response now is "Oh good, glad to know it's "very factual"!" The fact that they go out of their way to mention that their work is "very factual" should be a red flag anyway: have you ever gone up to hand a paper to a teacher and said, "Now don't worry Mr. X, it's very factual..."?

Frankly, what the hell do English-speaking blogs (I think that's a safe assumption since any Arab-speaking military personnel would have more important jobs) have to do with the War on Terrorism anyway? Are they even interested in winning the war in Iraq, or just in convincing us that they're winning it? Furthermore, how does the military benefit from us wrongly believing that we're winning?

The only people I can think of that benefit are Republican officeholders, and it's not the military's job to protect Republicans approval ratings. Maybe if the Republicans had been busy trying to help the Army win its War on Terrorism, instead of using the army to win Republicans elections, we would be in a little better shape in Iraq and Afghanistan right now.

And of course corollary to that, I'm sure you're all just as s**t-tickled as I am to know this is where my tax dollars are going, instead of, ya know, body armor for the troops or other such sundries.

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