INTERNET, IRAQ, AND THE USMC

I noticed something on This Fucking War blog, which I traced back to the original source on Wonkette.com, which says that the USMC has blocked access to marines’ personal email, personal websites, certain news sites, and those sites which don’t see eye-to-eye with the US government’s position on the war.

Seems like the marines are a little upset about this. I can’t say that I blame them.

This reminds me of something I read a few weeks ago on Kurdistan Observer, from the Financial Times, which discussed USMC intelligence-gathering operations in the Evil Empire:

US intelligence experts suggested the marines’ effort could indicate early stages of contingency plans for a ground assault on Iran. Or it could be an attempt to evaluate the implications of the unrest in Iranian border regions for marines stationed in Iraq, as well as Iranian infiltration.

[ . . . ]

Lieutenant-Colonel Rick Long, a marines spokesman, confirmed that the marines had commissioned Hicks and Associates, a defence contractor, to conduct two research projects into Iraqi and Iranian ethnic groups.

The purpose was “so that we and our troops would have a better understanding of and respect for the various aspects of culture in those countries”, he said. He would not provide details, saying the projects were for official use only.

Marine Corps Intelligence defines its role as focusing “on crises and predeployment support to expeditionary warfare”. It also provides threat and technical intelligence assessments for the Marines.

I wonder how much this little intelligence-gathering adventure has contributed to the sudden change in USMC policy to block websites and email providers to marines? Have the policy makers at the USMC assimilated the results of their intel-gathering mission too well? Are they going to turn into censoring mullahs? Will there be a select team of marines morphing into something resembling Ahmadinejad’s Flying Monkeys to terrorize other marines wanting access to their email? Will military bloggers have to start dumping their sites in order to escape detection?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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