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August 03, 2005

Another Blogger Who Screwed Up

As we have often reminded readers, be very careful of what you post on your blog. You never know who is watching. It's easy to forget that your blog is public. When you post in the comfort of your castle, you forget that there are more people reading your public proclamations than you actually know.

Case in point - this Arizona National Guardsman serving in Iraq published classified information on his blog, and got smacked big time.

An Arizona National Guardsman serving in Iraq has been demoted for posting classified information on his Internet Web log, an Army official said Monday.

Leonard Clark, 40, was demoted from specialist to private first class and fined $1,640, said Col. Bill Buckner, a spokesman for the Multi-National Corps-Iraq.

Soldiers in Iraq are allowed to maintain blogs or Web sites but cannot post information about Army operations or movements. They also are barred from posting information about the death of a soldier whose family hasn't yet been notified.

"The intent of the policy is not to violate soldiers' rights, but to safeguard soldiers," Buckner said. Blogs are "a growing phenomenon, I guess. It's something a lot of people do and has some uses."

Buckner said he didn't know what kind of classified information Clark had posted.

Clark's blog contained two posts Monday, one with links to articles on him and one stating Clark would comply with a gag order.

Calls to his home Monday by The Associated Press went unanswered and contact information for him in Iraq wasn't immediately available.

Clark is a Glendale, Ariz., kindergarten teacher who has run for the state Legislature four times. He could have appealed the ruling but declined to, Buckner said.

Clark's company was called to active duty in November and has been in Iraq since around January, said Capt. Paul Aguirre, a spokesman for the Arizona National Guard. The company is expected to be brought home next January.

Posted on August 3, 2005 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

Comments

No, he knew he was being watched. He's a soldier who has been outspoken against the war, and I'm surprised that they finally settled on this, since his commanding officers have been out to get him for some time. He was originally arrested for violating regulations against campaigning or political endorsements (which are only enforced when they are against Bush), but they must have figured they couldn't make it stick, and found something still technically classified to nail him on.

It was never about classified information. It was about silencing someone critical of the war effort.

Posted by: Zed Pobre at Aug 3, 2005 1:21:15 PM

Actually that's what these sorts of cases usually ARE about. The last two I remember was 1. an employee of Microsoft badmouthing the company; and 2. a police officer in NY who didn't like our most recent Police Commissioner and started posting all these negative stories and comments about him.

I mean it's probably akin to starting a newsletter talking bad about your boss or company. You can do it but if you get caught, expect to be punished.

Posted by: NYMOM at Aug 3, 2005 7:17:10 PM