Friday, March 03, 2006

CENTCOM Wasting Taxpayer Dollars Trolling Liberal Blogsites


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The military is boasting about how they are going after antiwar bloggers, trolling their blogs. They also spend a lot of taxpayer time high fiving pro-military web sites, heaping praise on each other over the great job they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From Defense Link.mil:
"We were given the mission to do electronic media engagement," Flowers said. "The idea was put forth that so many people are getting their news from online sources that we would be remiss if we neglected that audience."

Flowers is one of three people who read blogs and try to drive Internet readers to the CENTCOM Web site, where readers can learn more about operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

"We needed to do something to make people aware of the fact that we had this clearinghouse of photos and information," Flowers said. "We can get the whole story out there. We let them know we have a Web site."
OK. Instead of fighting in Iraq, these right wingers can sit at headquarters and troll the net. Isn't that fun? People can learn all about the military's doings in Iraq by reading the news. If the sole function of these trolls is to get victims to read fake propaganda churned out by neo-cons, well, I think this is a total waste of taxpayer dollars.

We are paying for all this and the military is wasting billions of dollars playing games as if they were little boys sitting in mom's basement, eating Cheetos. Half a trillion dollars wasted a year and we don't have even the skeleton crew needed to pluck people off of roofs during floods! We don't have alert troops protecting America from attackers on 9/11. We don't have many things but we do have trolls.

For years, we liberals suspected both the GOP and the government paid trolls to harrass or annoy us at our websites. We clock their hours, the 9-5 pattern is pretty obvious. We examine their "post by rote" propaganda which is both uninspiring, insipid and identical. Namely, they seem to all be using the same template, the same rhetoric.

And it is pure Limbaugh who is still, despite being unmasked as a drug abuser who broke the law, is broadcast daily within the miltiary. This is also why most of the military staff still erroneously believes that Saddam has something to do with 9/11, a completely false idea and one that lies at the root of our inability to find bin Laden and win hearts and minds.

Being totally insane, our military can't negotiate through the shoals of reality.

This part of the article is a direct hit at me:
In another blog contact, the team wrote a blogger who had written untrue information about U.S. military tactics. The blogger stated that the U.S. military routinely used children in Iraq and Afghanistan as human shields during their operations by using candy to entice and lure kids near them. The team posted a comment on the writer's blog stating that the U.S. military did not use human shield tactics and explained the full circumstances of the incident where Iraqi children died in 2004 when insurgents attacked U.S. forces in Baghdad.

Most blogs ordinarily have a feature that enables readers to contact the writer or allows readers to post comments. When the team "reaches out" to a blogger, the team members do not conceal their identity. They fully disclose that they are public affairs personnel and identify themselves accordingly. And, McNorton said, they are there to correct information, no more.
OK. I wrote several articles about children being blown up after fully armed troops wearing bullet proof vests entered dangerous neighborhoods and then, in order to protect themselves, handed out candy and toys to kids so they would be surrounded by a cloud of children and thus, able to go about the place, arresting older brothers and fathers and uncles. The other purpose of this is to feel better about stealing oil. "See, we are Santa Claus!" our troops can say to each other.

Third is the propaganda. "See, the children love us even if their parents hate us!". When, during a bomb attack alert, the troops announced they were handing out toys at a hospital, a whole bunch of children were blown up along with our troops.

According to CENTCOM's trolls, they saw my outraged article about this and they successfully argued with me. I googled and web explored for other stories like mine and found only pro-military tales attacking the insurgents and praising the handing out of candy and luring children into fire fights.

Here is one article I wrote. I note that there is no CENTCOM trolling in the comments section but I did receive email from them. They didn't identify themselves, it was a rather crude email and I don't want to bother digging for it. The main thing is, there was no other blogger talking about how this practice of luring children to our soldiers should be stopped, I went through 100 articles seeking one and over and over again, it came up "Culture of Life News" articles. So, either they were lying about posting comments or they were just lying but my articles needled them so much, they had to pretend they won an argument with me, concerning this issue.
If the situation is such that our soldiers were walking around with no more than a light sidearm if even that, fraterizing with friendly children, then they could indulge in displays of charity and fun. But they are target number one in an insurrection that is very serious, very effective and very obvious. Luring children to surround our troops in this hostile situation is insanity.

The Pentagon last year should have put out a directive forbidding this. The sole reason is to protect the children from the battlefield which is all of Iraq. Of course, the urge to win the hearts and minds of tots by bribing them is very strong. We hoped they would go home and lobby mommy and daddy to stop fighting us and let us pump Iraq dry and leave them with nothing at all.

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