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Ear to the Ground

YouTube Banned on Military Computers

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Posted on May 14, 2007

YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular websites will no longer be accessible via U.S. military computers. A military spokesman says the move is meant to address bandwidth issues, but it’s no secret the military has been less than thrilled with the content sometimes posted by soldiers. Service members with personal computers will be unaffected, free to visit the Pentagon’s own YouTube channel.


BBC:

BBC defence and security correspondent Rob Watson says the decision could stop thousands of soldiers from communicating with friends and loved ones.

For many US soldiers serving overseas, YouTube and other similar websites are a popular way of keeping in touch, he says.

The spokesman for US Strategic Command and Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations said: “As these sites have become more and more popular, they’ve had an impact on bandwidth resources and network availability and we’re having to restrict use of some of them.”

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 23, 2007 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

#72009 by Military Computers on 5/23 at 10:24 am: “...Absolutely the truth of the war has to come out in some way.  But I’m sure they’d rather not see it on myspace, or on the front page of youtube….”

Try here instead http://iraq.liveleak.com/

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By Military Computers, May 23, 2007 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Absolutely the truth of the war has to come out in some way.  But I’m sure they’d rather not see it on myspace, or on the front page of youtube.

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By Trigger finger, May 15, 2007 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I applaud the Pentagon!

Remember 99% of the military personal are just young American kids and there is so much sex and violence on YOU-TUBE that these kids will for sure be influenced by what they see.  In fact I think they should remove all forms of communication devices. This would free up the kids time and alow them to work longer days, and that would help to keep their minds off the violence at least. When George and Dick were fighting for their country, they weren’t allowed YOU-Tube or cell phones either, so why should these kids be any more privileged?

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 15, 2007 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

And they think the troops will stay there for 15 MONTHS with everything being pulled out from under them as far as personal living is concerned? That’s hardly “supporting the troops”! In the end, they’ll just hitch a ride to Jordan and fly home by themselves…....

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By cann4ing, May 15, 2007 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

The Pentagon, especially under the command of the Bush administration, practices “information dominance,” which, as described by Col. Sam Gardiner (USAF ret.) “promotes stategic influence” driving Bush’s pre-emptive war through “deceptive information as an integral component of military and political combat.”  As noted by Danny Schechter in the documentary “Weapons of Mass Deception”, this “goes beyond just influencing what we think.  It aims at controlling what we think about.”

As most Truthdig readers know, there were no WMD; no Iraq-9/11 links.  A 2004 study performed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) compared the number of viewers who held at least one of these misperceptions produced the following:  80% at Fox; 71% at CBS, 61% at ABC, 55% at CNN & NBC as compared to only 23% at PBS.  A Fairness & Accuracy reporting study revealed that in the weeks surrounding Collin Powell’s 2003 UN address, only 3 of 396 on-air “experts” were affiliated with the anti-war movement—this at a time when 61% of Americans favored more inspections over invasion.

A Feb. 2006 LeMoyne College/Zogby poll reveals that information dominance is most effective within the military itself.  While much was made of the poll’s revelation of the number 72, representing the percentage of troops serving in Iraq who felt the U.S. should withdraw within a year, the telling statistic was the number 85—the percentage of troops serving in Iraq who believed the U.S. mission was intended “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks.”

As noted by Steven Tatham, who headed the British Royal Navy’s Media operation in Iraq from Nov. 2002 to April 2003, “the only TV station that was broadcasting continuously into military accommodations, the eating areas, the living spaces, even on the ships, was Fox News.”

For a system that practices “information dominance,” there is no room for YouTube or any other site that may expose the troops to the truth.

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By Chris, May 15, 2007 at 12:08 am Link to this comment
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There was actually quite a bit of truth in the observation by U.S. Lt. Col. Christopher Garver,
perhaps more truth than he realized, in the complete article, which is linked above, when he said “The cyberspace battle space was not one that we were particularly operating well in.”

Indeed, that IS an area one can’t draw boundaries around. Ideas. And the ability to communicate them, free of boundaries, which the Internet provides.

Censorship efforts against the Internet have never been completely successful. The soldiers and their families and friends back home will still be able to communicate with each other, and discuss the reality of what is going on in Iraq, in one way or another. One wonders why it took them so long to getting around to cutting off YouTube. There is already enough information out there now, from the troops to their families and friends back home.

Nice to know people on a wide scale are dealing with reality regarding the war in Iraq. Having an unending succession of retired generals putting spin on events on television news programs fool no one at this point.

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