Tuesday 14 August 2007

Troops defy MoD gag order

A follow-up to a previous posting you've got to love the Internet for making this possible! As one poster says "Clearly they have realised that the veracity of everything ministers say, and MoD's own media people put out, is doubted, and have decided that rather than cleaning up their own act, they'll try to shift the responsibility." fabulous!! We all knew it of course but it's nice to see that the guys and gals on the ground get it as well. We should all have great respect for those who risk their lives for this country. At the same time holding the slimey politically motivated bottom-feeding scumbags who send these brave men and women out to die but who have never served a day in uniform themselves. As Smedley Butler writes in War is a Racket, "I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight." .

Obey! Unofficial army websites are full of reaction to the revelation the MoD has issued wide-ranging new guidelines to stop military personnel speaking out about defence issues without permission from a superior.

The backlash coincides with reports that troops' morale in Basra city is plummeting amid mounting casualties, stifling temperatures and falling public support for an increasingly unpopular war.

Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph said the death toll for UK troops in Iraq was set to exceed the 2003 total for the first time if militants maintained the current rate of fatal attacks for the rest of 2007.

Below is a selection of comments from unofficial army website arrse.co.uk. Many are scathing about the MoD and some also attack the media and politicians.

A few posters on the site back the new guidelines.

Jim30 wrote: "No this is a blatant attempt by the MoD to gag and silence any voice of concern that service personnel may have."

Mr_Bridger wrote: "But what about the young paratrooper who lost both his legs in Helmand and has endured less than ideal and hygienic conditions in Selly Oak hospital, about which he is allowed to say nothing?"

ViroBono wrote: "I imagine that anyone planning to give a eulogy at a Service funeral, for example, will now need official permission to speak, and will presumably have to have his words checked and possibly censored by some MOD creature.

"It seems that what they are really saying is that they want to choose not to allow anything that isn't a happy-happy Soldier-stylee story into the public domain.

"Clearly they have realised that the veracity of everything ministers say, and MoD's own media people put out, is doubted, and have decided that rather than cleaning up their own act, they'll try to shift the responsibility."

MoistVelvet wrote: "So could anyone tell me what is defined as a 'defence' matter? If you must now obtain permission to discuss 'defence' matters is this forum now obsolete? Does this mean discussing the tragedy of Passchendaele of WW1, or squad tactics within an online game of Battlefield 2 are now banned? Just how far does this rule go, if you adopt this instruction by the letter then it seems very restrictive."

PartTimePongo wrote: "All the problems of kit and equipment and conditions can be dealt with, with a happy-smiley press release. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword."

ishinryu wrote: "At the end of the day [this] is just the official way of saying: 'Stop being so bloody selfish and blabbing to the press.' Remember the press are not your friends and they will use any little snippet of information to denigrate the MoD and Armed Forces."

halo_jones wrote: "What a crock this is and does the head shed [top brass] truly believe that only shiney shiney [sic] news will be allowed.

"Media Ops are a valid part of day-to-day forces life and operation but the constant spin and failing to tell the truth when it is plainly know is just 'Pravda'.

When will the head shed grow a pair and stop allowing the politicalisation [sic] of the MOD and forces?"

elovabloke wrote: "Leaks are the norm for the self-important people of high places. Don't blame the tom on the ground. Their concerns are greater. It's about time [they] listened to the genuine issues that concern the man/woman on the ground then perhaps they wouldn't feel the need to go to the tabloids.

"I challenge media ops to publicly challenge the government who are releasing to the press, false information on military-only wards at Selly, numbers of adequate armoured patrol vehicles in areas of conflict and service personnel still running around with poor equipment.

"Blatant lies feed to the country. Media ops seems to feel it is ok for our MPs to go around lying but are not prepared to take them on. Leaving it to the tom on the ground.

Full story...