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November 12, 2009
Zero ToleranceBy Greyhawk
While the Army may have fumbled the case of Major Nidal Hasan, they certainly didn't have as much difficulty dealing with CJ Grisham.
CJ's crime was opposing a uniform policy at his kids' school - and writing about it on his blog.
"Ugly" is too easy a word for it. Eventually "Jennifer Scott, V.P. membership J.E. Williams Elementary School" published a defense ("An Open Letter") of the actions taken against CJ that includes this bizarre passage:
This has moved beyond a uniform issue, this had became a personal vendetta between everyone. Mr. Grisham felt as if his Constitutional rights were violated. I ask you the question call me a liberal or tratior to our country if you must, but how many others rights were violated during interogations? How many of them were innocent? I am not ignorant to what goes on during war by any means. I know first hand how they rape and toture their male captives, I've seen the physical wounds that many civilians would not believe.
"I hope you feel as if you achevied your personal victory," she added, "I feel empathy toward you, regarding the inner turmoil you are going through (yes i am refering to your PTSD) I know about the nightmares and terrors as I have seen them first hand from team members. I do not think you are crazy just a person with too many memories on their mind, I hope they fade in time."
Perhaps they will - but here's CJ's wife Emily explaining some of what her family experienced (you wouldn't expect people like that to leave the kids alone, would you?) to Greta Perry on WIST radio:
(Click here if above audio player does not appear in your browser.)
But comments like Ms. Scott's are what CJ was up against from the beginning of his opposition to a school uniform policy - a campaign waged against him in public and through his chain of command, in spite of the fact that this was never anything other than a civilian issue.
One might expect a commander to politely explain that to the PTA pitch fork brigade, right?
How is it that a Army Major can make treasonous remarks and still hold his job and then go and murder 13 people, but CJ tries to exercise his rights of free speech and then gets his life turned upside down? What the hell is this about? How can this happen?
Good question. But America need no longer fear the threat to school uniform policies posed by CJ's milblog, he's shutting it down.
Posted by Greyhawk / November 12, 2009 2:35 PM | Permalink
Link Free speech from those who help make it possible - since 2003, the motto of the MilBlogs Ring. Comments are disabled here, too. You aren't allowed to speak today. ***** Previously: The Extreme (part one) The Extreme (part two) Zero Tolerance... 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...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
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