20 December 2004

How to rescue the all-volunteer Army

Joey Galloway (the author) is the guy that co-wrote We Were Soldiers Once... And Young. The book, not the movie.

He's been a military correspondent for a long time, and knows a lot of people. He references several of them here. While he is reporting someone else's projects and proposals, it is clear that Galloway approves of these ideas, or he wouldn't be reporting them.

How do you save the Army? There are all kinds of ideas. My first step is to fire Paul Wolfowitz. Almost every controversy that Rumsfeld has had to publicly defend came from this lout...

18 December 2004

Defense & Security News

Defense Tech
Along with several others, this is a really good site for military and security news.

While some of their stuff looks a little too far forward, it's still good. Think of it as WIRED for the defense industry.

08 December 2004

CNN swings and misses

This story recently appeared on CNN.com. See if you tell me what the problem is with it:

England's lawyers lose crucial ruling
Prosecution allowed to use statements about Abu Ghraib abuse
From Susan Candiotti and Jim Polk CNN
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (CNN) -- A military judge ruled Thursday that prosecutors can use two written statements by Pfc. Lynndie England describing incidents of physical abuse and sexual degradation of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The 22-year-old mother from West Virginia faces a court-martial at Fort Bragg in January. She is charged with 19 counts of assault, conspiracy, improper conduct and indecent acts, and could be sentenced to as many as 38 years in prison.
-snip 11 paragraphs-
Among those awaiting court-martial at Fort Hood is Spc. Charles Graner, the Abu Ghraib guard who attorneys say is the father of the baby boy England gave birth to seven weeks ago.

Now I'm not usually one to criticize media people for the way they do their jobs, especially since I study this stuff for a living and I've got a perspective on how they do what they do. But Candiotti & Polk, however well-meaning they may have been, really drop the ball on this one.
If you only read the first 2 paragraphs of this story, as many people probably did on the web, you get the impression the government is picking on some poor kid's mom for a mistake she might have made. they describe England as "The 22-year-old mother from West Virginia." Well, yes, she's 22, a mother, and originally from West Virginia.
She's also a mother who got pregnant by a married man with whom she fooled around while stationed in a combat zone. To simply describe her as a "mother" impugns the good name of mothers everywhere - the ones who didn't get pregnant by a married man while ignoring the proper rules of conduct for soldiers, and who aren't in jail for physically abusing other people.
You don't get a real sense of just how wrong it is that she's a mother in the first place. Until the 11th paragraph, you have no idea that she wasn't a mother before being deployed. Why is it relevant that she's a mother at all, given what she's accused of? Why not describe her as the "22-year-old Army reservist from West Virginia?" Are we looking to intentionally drum up some sympathy for the "22-year-old mother from West Virginia"?
Candiotti & Polk really blew this one. And they wonder why people think CNN is slanted...