Soldier blogger muzzled, sneaks out a message anyway

Funny!!! -- law

My Chest Is Aching, Burns Like a Furnace
by SusanG [Subscribe]
Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:17:27 PM CDT

Daniel is a 'stop lossed' soldier serving for his second time in Iraq. Though forbidden to express himself freely, he has created this site to remind himself that he is more than just another of the king's horses.

Soldier/blogger Daniel Goetz officially became just another king's horse yesterday:

For the record, I am officially a supporter of the administration and of her policies. I am a proponent for the war against terror and I believe in the mission in Iraq. I understand my role in that mission, and I accept it. I understand that I signed the contract which makes stop loss legal, and I retract any statements I made in the past that contradict this one. Furthermore, I have the utmost confidence in the leadership of my chain of command, including (but not limited to) the president George Bush and the honorable secretary of defense Rumsfeld. If I have ever written anything on this site or on others that lead the reader to believe otherwise, please consider this a full and complete retraction.

* SusanG's diary :: ::

Ah, but what a clever, clever "compliant" horse we have here. Almost ... Trojan in nature, it appears.

Transmit the Message to the Receiver

Goetz's "full and complete" retraction - which at first reads like the painful scene in Cool Hand Luke in which Paul Newman breaks down, pleading for beatings to stop and claiming he's "got his mind right" - is totally undercut and undone by the headline of yesterday's same retractive post: Double Plus Ungood.

One pictures military censors standing over Goetz's shoulder as he types, shaking their heads and shrugging, completely oblivious of this:

"Double-Plus Un Good - (another NewSpeak term from 1984). In NewSpeak, there is no word for bad or evil, there is only ungood. Modifiers are also ambiguous. One uses the modifier plus for emphasis, so plus ungood means especially ungood. The most emphatic modifier is double-plus, so double-plus ungood is the worst thing you can say about something.

Hard not to suspect Goetz's mind - from the military point of view, of course - is still not quite "right."

Can't Write a Letter, Can't Send a Postcard

Perusing Goetz's blog, it's clear he's been quite the pain in the ass for quite some time. He's been aware of his edginess and the risks he's been running:

Every time I add a new writing to my site, I ask myself if I've gone too far. I have a pretty good grasp on what constitutes a violation of the laws I am bound to; in specific, I am very familiar with the sections of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that strips every servicemember of his or her First Amendment rights. Unfortunately, the laws are purposely vague; designed to muzzle even those of us who tread with caution.

I Can't Write Nothing at All

But the timing of yesterday's retraction strongly suggests that what pushed the military authorities into crackdown territory was Goetz's "Mesopotomac" essay published recently on the Operation Truth website, which among other must-read gems, contained this:

Even soldiers not stop-lossed feel The Betrayal. They know it might be them next time. Dissent will not change anything for us now because our voices are muted. Still, there is hope. It is that in twenty years, it will be these men and women in office. Perhaps, that alone should make me feel better. I don't think it is enough, though, for our wounded and fallen. I can't speak for them, of course. Not yet, at least.

Goetz's amazing gift for words - and truth - is indeed a fearsome and wonderful thing.

Daily Kos: My Chest Is Aching, Burns Like a Furnace


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