LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  January 2005

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE January 2005

Subject:

Technology in action--Soldiers download war onto Web site--One site ordered closed by U.S. military

From:

Wren Osborn <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 11 Jan 2005 07:13:01 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (130 lines)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/
01/10/MNGC8ANTGD1.DTL

San Francisco Chronicle
Soldiers download war onto Web sites
Postings range from family communication to graphic battle images

Patrick Hoge, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, January 10, 2005

During the November assault on Fallujah, tank platoon leader 1st Lt.
Neil Prakash watched in awe as heavy U.S. artillery blew Iraqi fighters
into the air.

"Each explosion sent three, four or five terrorists up into the sky.
K-k- r-r-BOOM. K-k-r-r-BOOM. K-k-r-r-BOOM,'' Prakash wrote in his
multimedia online diary, titled "Armor Geddon.'' "You never expect to
see bodies do that. So when you see it, it feels surreal.''

Prakash's unvarnished account on the Blogger Web site, which includes
photographs of tanks and flares lighting up a night battle, highlights
the sophisticated torrent of digital data that U.S. soldiers in Iraq
are sending home via e-mail or posting on Internet hosting sites,
including at least two in the Bay Area.

The visual displays have aroused debate over whether some of the images
should be displayed publicly. The photographs range from
travelogue-style shots showing soldiers posing in front of military
equipment to graphic videos of mortal combat that have not been
broadcast on mainstream television or printed in newspapers.

About 100,000 photos taken in Iraq have been posted in the past two
years at Smugmug.com, based in Mountain View, said Chris MacAskill,
founder of the free photo file-sharing site. Many of the images have
been downloaded from the front lines while others have been brought to
the states and uploaded here, he said.

It has never been easier for soldiers to communicate with friends,
family and the public in such an unmediated fashion. They can buy
digital cameras at base stores, use free Internet service that the
military provides them or sign on at cyber cafes in Iraq.

Prakash, 24, of Syracuse, N.Y., said in an e-mail from Iraq that his
posts on Blogger, which is owned by Google of Mountain View, are a
personal journal but also depict the reality of war to those who "have
no idea what this stuff is like." His site is
avengerredsix.blogspot.com/

Smugmug user Christi Norman, who lives in Washington state, marveled at
the instantaneous communication she has carried on with her fiance, who
is stationed in Iraq.

"One of the pictures he took while we were talking via IM (instant
messaging) and I was able to see it immediately,'' she said via e-mail.
"It's just a nice way to remember and feel close to a loved one far
away.''

Some soldiers use the photographs to show the troops in a positive
light, posing with Iraqi children.

"I felt the need to show some of the good things and the day-to-day
activities we were accomplishing as soldiers in Iraq,'' said Sgt. Billy
Sutherland, who uses Smugmug. "In the press they wrote daily on death,
destruction and mayhem, but seldom about good things.''

But the profusion of unfiltered information, particularly photographs,
has also produced some uncomfortable situations for the U.S. military,
notably the Abu Ghraib scandal that erupted after photographs of
prisoner abuses were leaked to news reporters.

Last month, photos that were uploaded to Smugmug by the wife of a Navy
SEAL produced a new firestorm after they were discovered by an
Associated Press reporter, whose coverage suggested they could depict
another example of prisoner abuse.

"Here's a case of someone who clearly didn't intend for her photos to
be discovered and used as they were,'' MacAskill said.

The Navy has said it is investigating the circumstances around the
taking of the photos, which the wife had thought were protected from
public view. Six Navy SEALs have sued the AP for reproducing the images
without obscuring their faces.

A Pentagon spokesman said information about "military matters, national
security issues or subjects of significant concern to the Department of
Defense shall be reviewed for clearance by appropriate security review
and public affairs offices prior to release.'' But a Defense Department
spokeswoman said the military does not conduct prior review of
information that soldiers send out of Iraq via the Internet.

"You can't control information now. It's just out there, directly from
troops,'' said Chris Michel, chief executive officer of Military.com, a
free Web site aimed at providing information and news about the
military.

Michel's company receives many unsolicited e-mails, photographs and
videos from the front lines, such as an ambush on a convoy or a
troop's-eye view of the combat in Fallujah, with profanity-laced
dialogue between soldiers and lots of shooting.

A video posted Dec. 9 shows an Iraqi man firing an automatic weapon and
being blown up by a tank round. It was provided by a soldier who did
not give details about the incident.

"This stuff is really getting around,'' said Ho Lin, site editor of
Military.com, who has declined to publish images such as video of a
helicopter shooting a wounded Iraqi, or heads "split open like melons''
from artillery.

One high-ranking general asked Michel to remove photographs of the
capture of Saddam Hussein that a soldier secretly sent to a
Military.com columnist. The company refused, and Michel said that was
the last he heard of it.

The military has cracked down at times, as it apparently did late last
month in the case of a military doctor who had chronicled the bloody
aftermath of the suicide bombing of a mess tent. Maj. Michael Cohen, a
doctor with the 67th Combat Support Hospital unit, wrote that he'd been
ordered by "levels above me'' to shut down his Web site. Military
officials declined to comment.

"I certainly disagree with this,'' Cohen wrote. "However, I have made a
decision to turn off the site pending further investigation as to
whether or not I have violated these Army Regulations.''

E-mail Patrick Hoge at [log in to unmask]

Page A - 1

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
May 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager