June 23, 2009

You Can’t Spell “Stupid” without “ID”, and maybe not without “Cav”

Hello all. The landlord asked me to enter real subtle-like. So I am doing my best to comply. Bear with my reticence. ~ Denominator

Now look, I’ve served in the 1st Cav. I’ve even served in the 3rd Brigade (highlighted in this story). I wear my Stetson at the least provocation, and defy anyone who contends that the huge frackin’ patch doesn’t matter. That being said, I must cede that my old Division does have the ability to produce moronic decisions upon occasion. In this case, they are going all Old School on the media. But it’s not like that darned liberal-dolschtoss-out-to-getcha media. No, in this case the 1st Cav has taken the all-American decision to ban a reporter from the flippin’ STARS AND STRIPES.

You go there boys. Point that M-249 straight at your leather personnel carriers and pop off a full box?

Let me check something here…You do know that the Stars and Stripes is, according to the Department of Defense is, well, I’ll let them point it out: “Stars and Stripes is a daily newspaper published for the U.S. military, DoD civilians, contractors, and their families." But perhaps you missed that next line that Congress authorized. You remember Congress, right?  "Unique among the many military publications, Stars and Stripes operates as a First Amendment newspaper, free of control and censorship. We have published continuously in Europe since 1942, and since 1945 in the Pacific. Today, our readers number well over 350,000.” In other words, still theirs, look at it this way, “Stars and Stripes is a Department of Defense-authorized daily newspaper distributed overseas for the U.S. military community.” What part of that did you not understandimipate?

You banned a reporter from the Stars and Stripes for Anti-American reporting? Seriously? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Clue for you: You, the officers who did this, just are not that important. As both Bill Cosby and my own old man told me, upon misbehavior, “I brought you into this world, I’ll take you right back out. Doesn’t matter to me. I’ll make a ‘nuther one jest like ya.” The Army is like that. What were you thinking? You just set yourselves up for the biggest kneecapping since the Sopranos went off the air.

What really blows my mind is that I know for a fact that Major General Dan Bolger knows better than this. I’ve read his writing for 15 years, and watched the man go out on patrols, as a G.O. mind you. He understands. (See update: 3rd Bde/1CD is under 25ID) He understands that:  A. The Press is not the enemy. B. You cannot control the press. C. Trying to control the press only results in bad press, which damages the war effort. D.  Giving the press access always results in better stories. So right now you who made this decision are betting on one thing: That Bolger will automatically support you, despite the fact that you just made one of the most egregiously misguided “decisions” in the whole eight years of this war. Nice one. Buy yourselves a round at the O-Club when you get back to Hood.

Personally, I’m thinking, you Battalion and Brigade Public Affairs officers responsible for this are using some of the prohibited local products in your decision making on this count, and you’ve been supported by the probable fact that the Division PAO did not fully inform the Division Commander of the lowdown. Now that it’s out there in the open, I fully expect that Bolger will quietly, in his subtle way, come to you and casually explain things. Cause, like, he’s a real subtle guy. (Mooted by update)

And I model for Men’s Health.

UPDATE: An alert reader who saw this before suggested, and I checked, and the fact is that once again the 3rd Brigade, 1st CAV is under the control of 25 ID/MND-N. That takes Bolger out of the equation. 25 ID is commanded by MG Robert L. Caslen.