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July 10, 2005
Dennis Goes to GitmoBy Greyhawk
(re-posted from 2005-07-09 15:57:38)
Hurricane Dennis, that is. This image from the National Hurricane Center shows the areas where tropical storm (orange) and hurricane (red) force winds are estimated to have occurred along Dennis' track as of 0500 EDT Saturday 9 July 2005. The approximate location of Guantanamo Bay is marked by a white square on the southeast coast of Cuba.
Don't worry though, the
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Hurricane Dennis passed by U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay July 7, causing minimal damage.Of course, like everything else about Guantanamo the AP has a different version than the official Navy press release above:
Packing devastating 145 mph winds, Hurricane Dennis tore down a guard tower at the U.S. detention camp for terror suspects as it stalked Cuba's south coast and moved Friday toward the heart of the largest Caribbean island.That's the first paragraph of their story, but if you read further you discover that "tore down a guard tower" actually means a life guard platform on the beach was knocked over by the high tide:
The U.S. detention camp on Cuba's extreme southeast end that holds some 520 terror suspects was spared overnight.Just for fun, let's read the first paragraph from the same story again:
Packing devastating 145 mph winds, Hurricane Dennis tore down a guard tower at the U.S. detention camp for terror suspects as it stalked Cuba's south coast and moved Friday toward the heart of the largest Caribbean island.Editorial addition? Of course, this is the headline: With 145 Mph Winds, Hurricane Dennis Touches Cuba, Topples Guard Tower at Guantanamo Base
The LA Times reports that to avoid danger to the inmates and guards, some windows in the facility were closed:
In some places, the prison itself is just 150 yards from the sea. there, cells with wire mesh windows that normally are left open were barred with protective steel shutters. Loose objects such as wall clocks and fans were secured.Which of course, will prove to some people that President Chimpy McHitlerBurton just doesn't care for human rights the way uncle Fidel does, as the AP explains:
The largest and most populous Caribbean island with 11.2 million people, Cuba suffers few hurricane casualties because the government cautiously evacuates people en masse, sometimes forcefully.Of course, cautious, forceful evacuations require a degree of subtle nuance that some people will never understand.
Weather-related final observation: the AP reporter in Havana is named Anita Snow. I wonder if there's a Major Storm at Guantanamo?
Posted by Greyhawk / July 10, 2005 12:37 PM | Permalink
Last year four major hurricanes swept through in just six weeks and devastated communities all across Florida and the Southeastern United States. The first of this years’ storms is already on the way. Hurricane Dennis will be a “monster... Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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