Dear Mr. President,
It has come to my attention that the leadership under your command has decided to stifle the voices of the Voluntary Citizen Soldiers of the United States with regards to Operational Security (OPSEC) of the mission in Iraq. And while all Citizens understand that the right to Freedom of Speech needs some oversight during wartime, that is usually limited to censorship regarding vital information that would aid Our enemies. OPSEC has been a harsh realm, in the case of World War II, but lesser for other conflicts of the past. Unfortunately those conflicts did not have inexpensive, global communications available for general use for the enlightenment of the common man on a global scale.
Today that has changed, to the point of instantaneous communications globally, so that older rules and views on how OPSEC and Information Security (INFOSEC) are viewed. Heretofore the Citizen Soldiers of the United States had little venue for expressing their views and opinions outside of the irregular letter home and, if lucky, an interview with a reporter from a larger organization. Those days, however, have gone with the advent of the late 20th century communications network that is now global in scope and presence. The letter home can now be something done in mere minutes and nearly instantly sent from place to place and even Instant Messaging uses an informal form of Person to Person communication that is very expansive in its abilities including the use of video and audio, plus file transfers.
Your Administration has been most lax in safeguarding the security of this Nation's historical documents of a physical sort, and has shown inability to actually bring the proper scope of charges against an individual who has wantonly destroyed historical documentation on an era vital to understanding how the Federal Government responded to terrorism. While that was purely on the Civilian side, the documents themselves fell under National Security regulations and were not safeguarded properly and little was done to show the severity of the offense involved. When punishment includes the ability of that individual to *regain* access to such documents, then one must begin to question the actual care that the Administration places on ANY form of INFOSEC or OPSEC.
Thus to deny Citizen Soldiers of a well regulated right to have timely expression of their views and insights with their fellow Citizens and the world brings into question the capability of your Administration to actually differentiate between Citizen Soldier Volunteering to risk their lives for the good of the Nation to help a people who had been under a Tyrant's rule for three decades and the non-applicability of stewardship shown in the case of one Sandy 'Big Socks' Burger. There is no equivalence in this treatment and assuming the Citizen Soldiers to be leaking information like a sieve while the vital and historical records under Security Regulations can be walked off with and destroyed with only a slap on the wrist.
There is no equivalence in outlook or of Justice to assume that those fighting for their lives and freedom will purposely endanger themselves with that of a known miscreant trying to perform historical CYA to make something 'go away' that might point a finger of blame at the prior Administration. The lax enforcement of the Laws of the Land in that case is no reason to assume that innocent Citizens who have Volunteered to place themselves in harms way for the good of the Nation are fool enough to want to endanger their active mission upon which their very lives depend.
As OPSEC and INFOSEC have, in the past, meant delay for censorship, and that such orders to cease, totally, is an absolute infringement on free expression of ANY sort by our Citizen Soldiers, and that such information is purely technical in nature, then it is up to the Armed Forces and Federal Government to provide free expression forum that can be monitored and messages delayed for automated inspection and further human inspection if need be.
Working in the INFOSEC area under National Security Regulations I am aware of multiple pieces of software to do a 'dirty word' and 'phrase' look up for things that would normally impair National Security. That is a very simple tool to implement and use. Additionally a no cost to the Soldier venue for free blog and email that would automatically be screened by such software is not only possible but available from many suppliers on the Open Market, many of them already on the Federal Supply Schedule.
Thus the draconian use of 19th century prohibition against free communication for Volunteer Citizen Soldiers is not only unwarranted, but unfeasible due to the general openness of the communication channels even in Iraq. Provide a good hosting platform with basic monitoring for ALL Soldiers should be something the United States Federal Government can provide gratis to those risking their lives for us so that their mission can go on and we can learn of what that mission is like.
Until this Administration actually gets serious about safeguarding the Nation's past documents and enforcing the National Security Regulations to the fullest, it has ZERO excuse to allow across-the-board censorship on the innocent.
As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces I ask you to countermand this order.
Sent to the email addresses available at the Whitehouse for comments and Vice President.
03 May 2007
Dear Mr. President,