In a week filled with bad news, this is the worst thing I've heard so far. Via Blackfive:
The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.
Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.
Just when I thought things couldn't be worse in the PR arena for the war effort, they get worse. I understand the Army's concerns. OPSEC is essential to victory. But so is public relations. We can't win this war if the public, and the world, hear nothing but the bad news. We can't count on the political activists who pass themselves off as journalists to get the word out. And now the Army is about to close the door on the best source of information on what's really happeneing on the battlefield.