Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Public Disservice

I recently read a post by Micheal Yon about his being evicted from his quarters in Iraq in his post here.

I sometimes think we have some high-ranking officers that don't don't give a damn about if we win this war; what's important is that they have absolute control over their particular fiefdoms, Lord and Master of all they survey. I was often told in the Guard that shit rolls downhill. After reading about the good Brigadier General Vincent K. Brooks, it's apparent that individual turds sometimes float to the top.

I'm doubtful that it will help, but I wrote and emailed this after reading Mr. Yon's dispatch:

Dear Senator xxxxxxxxxx:

I'm writing to you as a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2004. I served with the 109th Medical Battalion near Mosul and at LSA Anaconda near Baghdad during that time. Those experiences brought home to me how different the reporting on the war can be from what is being experienced by the troops on the ground.

One of the best sources of information on our military units in Iraq, Michael Yon, is being denied access to facilities needed to deliver stories on the daily events occurring there. Mr Yon has covered various regions and units in Iraq, funded only with his own resources and donations from the readers of his website. The resulting reports have given our citizens a look at the military operations and living conditions at the soldiers level, rather than canned reports from journalists who rarely leave the security of their Green Zone accomadations. His reporting has been widely compared to famed World War II journalist Ernie Pyle for his willingness to place himself at risk to report the stories of our service members in the field.

Unfortunately, Brigadier General Vincent K. Brooks, who used to be the Chief of Public Affairs, has decided that Mr. Yon's reporting is not acceptable to him. Thus, he has evicted him from the small trailer used as a secure area to store the cameras, computers, and other personally purchased equipment. Internet access, essential to independly posting reports, is no longer allotted to him. He now scrapes by on the generosity of individuals willing to give him a few moments of access at random times to post his stories. This goes beyond being a disservice to one independent journalist. It denies our citizens a high quality source of information on current events, necessary to an informed opinion on one of the most important activities our nation is engaged in. As an example of this, please read one of his posts here:

which demonstrates the value of his reporting.

I urge you to look into this. Mr. Yon provides a voice for our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. He gives our citizens a set of eyes and ears on the ground so that we may know what our familiy members and friends are experiencing without being filtered through a military or civilian Public Relations agenda. He's worth far more than what he's asking: a small room with internet access.

Sincerely Yours,


I hope something reverses this situation. He's one of the few honest dealers of information we have.

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