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Pentagon to Monitor Military Social Media


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4 minutes ago, brickhistory said:

I just "liked" the above post.

I assume the "dissension" alert helicopters are starting to spool up.

 

I believe the Soviet military called them "political officers."

"Give me a ping Vasili. One ping only."

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4 hours ago, jazzdude said:


 

 


Generally agree with you, at least fair the general public. The difference here is that as a member of the military, we are in a position of trust (some positions now than others). It's why we have a security clearances with recurring investigations, and why we can handle classified materials and information not released to the general public.

So there becomes a balancing point between your individual right to free speech, and whether the opinions you express indicate you shouldn't be in a position of trust within the government.

However, trust works both ways. If the monitoring is overly aggressive or overly broad, it'll hurt morale (or degrade performance) in the military, and become a deterrent for people to join or stay in the military.

 

Generally agreed.  For things like security clearance investigations, I don't think reviewing public associations and posts for indicators of compromised personnel is going too far.  Those are valid, imo.  They should be on a schedule, known to the personnel being investigated, and strictly limited in use.

Nebulous "monitoring" of all social media for administrative and punitive purposes is almost guaranteed to generate abuses.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, raimius said:

Let's extend that argument to it's logical (and historically practiced) conclusion:. You are free to say whatever you want, but if the government doesn't approve, it may fine, imprison, or kill you.  

 

...does that sound like "freedom of speech" to you?

 

I'd say your argument is dead nuts wrong.  The 1st Amendment is PRECISELY there so that you can voice opinion without government punishment.

Here's the catch though. You volunteered to be in the military and signed on the dotted line agreeing to be subject to a different set of rules above and beyond your average civilian.

You can be sent to jail for all sorts of things that aren't illegal for regular people like desertion, adultery, insubordination, fraternization, and conduct unbecoming just to name a few.  And the UCMJ does have specific limits on speech for military members already.
 

You are correct that the implementation of this policy is going to be messy and difficult. And as always the devil is going to be in the details. But acting like this is some gross overreach that is new and different from the restrictions you've already agreed to is a bit alarmist in my opinion. 

Edited by Pooter
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53 minutes ago, Pooter said:

Here's the catch though. You volunteered to be in the military and signed on the dotted line agreeing to be subject to a different set of rules above and beyond your average civilian.

You can be sent to jail for all sorts of things that aren't illegal for regular people like desertion, adultery, insubordination, fraternization, and conduct unbecoming just to name a few.  And the UCMJ does have specific limits on speech for military members already.
 

You are correct that the implementation of this policy is going to be messy and difficult. And as always the devil is going to be in the details. But acting like this is some gross overreach that is new and different from the restrictions you've already agreed to is a bit alarmist in my opinion. 

Except this isn’t just some extra screening to ensure that the military remains apolitical or has bad actors screened out. This is a program being headed up by a partisan political appointee. THAT is the real problem with it and why it’s such a huge departure from what has been done in the past.

I’m all for an apolitical military. But installing political officers that are aligned with a specific set of views and/or party to then police what they define as “extremism” is a very dangerous slope to go down. 
 


 

 

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1 hour ago, Pooter said:

Here's the catch though. You volunteered to be in the military and signed on the dotted line agreeing to be subject to a different set of rules above and beyond your average civilian.

<snip>

Are you saying that everyone signed on - knowing "the rules" were going to be changed, based on wind direction and political ideology, and we're okay with it, and need to live with it?

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Except this isn’t just some extra screening to ensure that the military remains apolitical or has bad actors screened out. This is a program being headed up by a partisan political appointee. THAT is the real problem with it and why it’s such a huge departure from what has been done in the past.
I’m all for an apolitical military. But installing political officers that are aligned with a specific set of views and/or party to then police what they define as “extremism” is a very dangerous slope to go down. 
 

 
 
Man, wait until you learn SECDEF, SECAF, and many other Air Force civilian leadership are are also political appointees...
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23 minutes ago, jazzdude said:
2 hours ago, kaputt said:
Except this isn’t just some extra screening to ensure that the military remains apolitical or has bad actors screened out. This is a program being headed up by a partisan political appointee. THAT is the real problem with it and why it’s such a huge departure from what has been done in the past.
I’m all for an apolitical military. But installing political officers that are aligned with a specific set of views and/or party to then police what they define as “extremism” is a very dangerous slope to go down. 
 

 
 

Man, wait until you learn SECDEF, SECAF, and many other Air Force civilian leadership are are also political appointees...

Wow, you really got me there. I had no idea, as someone who has spent years as an officer in the Air Force, that this was the case. 🙄 

Come on dude, you know exactly the point I am making. Go read up on Bishop Garrison. He is not akin to a Deborah Lee James or a Heather Wilson. He is there for a specific purpose and his social media posts make no effort to hide the way he really feels about people that don’t align with his views. 

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22 hours ago, Waingro said:

The first amendment doesn't protect one from consequences. You're welcome to put anything you'd like on your Facebook page, but there's nothing saying you won't face consequences from doing so. 

I think the "government monitoring" ship sailed back with the passage of the Patriot Act (a misnomer if there ever was one).

To me the real questions is why people type out their beliefs on social media anyway. Literally zero people care that someone is against kids in cages or that someone thinks the Covid vaccine is dangerous.

Edited to add: the Venn diagram of people who propagate/believe the Big Lie and those who hold extremist views is nearly a circle, and they're rarely shy about showing it online, so that makes this an easier endeavor. 

Actually, it protects you from consequences from the government. 

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5 hours ago, VMFA187 said:

 The leadership at the top has forgotten the reason we f***ing exist. 

Pathetic. 

The reason: to further their careers and enrich their families.

 

I'm no socialist, far from it, but the AOCs of the world are not entirely wrong. Something is broken. They think it's rich people. I'm more inclined to believe it's politicians. But either way, "we the people" are being Punk'd.

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Wow, you really got me there. I had no idea, as someone who has spent years as an officer in the Air Force, that this was the case.  
Come on dude, you know exactly the point I am making. Go read up on Bishop Garrison. He is not akin to a Deborah Lee James or a Heather Wilson. He is there for a specific purpose and his social media posts make no effort to hide the way he really feels about people that don’t align with his views. 

There are several more political appointees working at the assistant or under secretary levels within the various departments, with narrower scopes than SECAF.

Garrison's actions aren't going to be independent, he still reports to SECDEF who sets the direction. If he moves in a direction SECDEF isn't happy with, it ain't happening, especially on an issue as politically charged as this.

Like it or not, this is the price having civilian leadership and control of the military, and speaks to the importance of voting for good elected officials.
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23 minutes ago, jazzdude said:




Like it or not, this is the price having civilian leadership and control of the military, and speaks to the importance of voting for good elected officials.

"Good" according to whom?

 

That is the pretty important question...

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19 hours ago, Pooter said:

Here's the catch though. You volunteered to be in the military and signed on the dotted line agreeing to be subject to a different set of rules above and beyond your average civilian.

You can be sent to jail for all sorts of things that aren't illegal for regular people like desertion, adultery, insubordination, fraternization, and conduct unbecoming just to name a few.  And the UCMJ does have specific limits on speech for military members already.
 

You are correct that the implementation of this policy is going to be messy and difficult. And as always the devil is going to be in the details. But acting like this is some gross overreach that is new and different from the restrictions you've already agreed to is a bit alarmist in my opinion. 

That’s quite the slippery slope. Yes we fall under a different set of rules but let’s not pretend the current administration isn’t  actively rooting out members of a particular political leaning in the name of “extremism.”  Of course we aren’t talking about Black Lives Matter or Antifa, both of which have representation in our ranks and have done more to destroy society than a few idiots with confederate flags.  “Rooting our extremism” is largely hypocritical and not without political bias .  Many individuals on this forum voted for Trump but I would bet none of them would come close to actively supporting an insurrection.  Based on your logic, they could get rid of the article that bans flogging (93 I think?) and you could say “well you signed up for it!”

Lt Col Lohmeier was 100% correct on Marxism in the military - hence why he was to be silenced.  Watch your backs dudes, it will get worse, especially after Biden’s handlers decide it is finally time to step him aside for Harris. 

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"Good" according to whom?
 
That is the pretty important question...


Absolutely.

I'm wary of surveiling military social media as well, but fortunately the DOD is a slow bureaucracy and slow to change. This stuff is nothing new, it's just got easier to surveil as our lives have moved online, especially given the Patriot act being enacted.

Activist political appointees are a symptom of electing bad politicians bent on special interests or personal gain rather than what is best for the country.

Unfortunately, the 2 party system keeps pushing the parties towards their respective extremes to consolidate power while villifying the other side, and both sides are just as guilty of doing so. So the parties reinforce bad behaviors, and "encourage" elected officials to tow the party line rather than represent their constituency. This attempt to maintain power removes incentives to cooperate with the other party and independents in Congress, so the game becomes manipulating voting blocks to ensure a victory/majority to push through agendas unilaterally, whether it's through gerrymandering, or hindering access to voting, or increasing access to voting to manipulate voting outcomes.

The other piece tangentially related to this is that we'd be stupid to think our enemies aren't surveiling us as well, both with public data like social media or public records, and marrying that info against stolen info like gained from the OPM breach. Makes it easier to target and influence people at the fringes, or to sow discontent to weaken our country, particularly when we as a country/society are struggling to find common ground as Americans.
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20 hours ago, GrndPndr said:

Are you saying that everyone signed on - knowing "the rules" were going to be changed, based on wind direction and political ideology, and we're okay with it, and need to live with it?

Yes.  
 

Military funding, rules of engagement, the entire national defense strategy, and even top level policies that impact us socially all change when administrations change. I'm sure whatever liberals there are in the military weren't thrilled with the political wind direction of the last four years too. Tough. Deal with it. You decided to join a military in a country where the elected civilians are in charge of us. 

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3 hours ago, dream big said:

That’s quite the slippery slope. Yes we fall under a different set of rules but let’s not pretend the current administration isn’t  actively rooting out members of a particular political leaning in the name of “extremism.”  Of course we aren’t talking about Black Lives Matter or Antifa, both of which have representation in our ranks and have done more to destroy society than a few idiots with confederate flags.  “Rooting our extremism” is largely hypocritical and not without political bias .  Many individuals on this forum voted for Trump but I would bet none of them would come close to actively supporting an insurrection.  Based on your logic, they could get rid of the article that bans flogging (93 I think?) and you could say “well you signed up for it!”

Lt Col Lohmeier was 100% correct on Marxism in the military - hence why he was to be silenced.  Watch your backs dudes, it will get worse, especially after Biden’s handlers decide it is finally time to step him aside for Harris. 

Lohmeier is a clown. Everything he says sounds like it came from a Ben Shapiro random phrase generator.  I'm not saying he can't think those things but going on a podcast and spouting off about them while in command is wildly, unbelievably, preposterously unprofessional. 

Let's reverse the situation and see if it holds up. How professional would it be for a sitting squadron commander to go on The Young Turks and spout off about trump admin policies and general grievances about the Republican Party?  Something tells me you would struggle to extend the same benefit of the doubt. 
 

The slippery slope argument resonates with me to an extent. But I, like others in this thread, think that bridge was crossed a very long time ago with the patriot act.

 
Could this be taken in a very bad direction? Yes. But I have not seen evidence of that so far.  Twitter mob cancellations and the literal gestapo rounding up political dissidents are two very different things that Republican political alarmists love to conflate. 

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56 minutes ago, Pooter said:

Lohmeier is a clown. Everything he says sounds like it came from a Ben Shapiro random phrase generator.  I'm not saying he can't think those things but going on a podcast and spouting off about them while in command is wildly, unbelievably, preposterously unprofessional. 

Let's reverse the situation and see if it holds up. How professional would it be for a sitting squadron commander to go on The Young Turks and spout off about trump admin policies and general grievances about the Republican Party?  Something tells me you would struggle to extend the same benefit of the doubt. 
 

The slippery slope argument resonates with me to an extent. But I, like others in this thread, think that bridge was crossed a very long time ago with the patriot act.

 
Could this be taken in a very bad direction? Yes. But I have not seen evidence of that so far.  Twitter mob cancellations and the literal gestapo rounding up political dissidents are two very different things that Republican political alarmists love to conflate. 

I never said what Lohmeier did was sound, nor that he shouldn’t be held liable for the consequences ; although I feel that he was willing to fall on his sword for this one.  I did say he is 100% correct that Marxist ideology is a threat to the military and that critical race theory is a bunch of BS.  I do think Biden hiring a partisan hack to spy on military members social media accounts is a step too far and has a high likelihood of going south. 

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1 hour ago, arg said:

Funny, they apologized of course.  I might too, and it would start, "I'm sorry I commented on your beautiful t*ts."

 

2021-05-21_15-16-19.gif

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53 minutes ago, GrndPndr said:

Funny, they apologized of course.  I might too, and it would start, "I'm sorry I commented on your beautiful t*ts."

 

2021-05-21_15-16-19.gif

You read the article? I couldn't get past the picture.

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It's funny, in a way. After decades of progressive action to de-shame sexuality, we are now right back to the pre-1960's mindset of hiding any and all evidence of a functional libido.

 

So sex and sexuality, the only thing we have in common with 99.9999% of the other humans out there, is once again taboo. Strange.

 

Be careful when seeking to change the world. You might just succeed.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Lord Ratner said:

It's funny, in a way. After decades of progressive action to de-shame sexuality, we are now right back to the pre-1960's mindset of hiding any and all evidence of a functional libido.

You’re onto something.  Some folks are joyless and boring.  Ban dancing at weddings?  Check.  Kissing with masks on?  Check.  Ban pictures of spouses wearing bikinis in a persons office?  Check. 
 

Ban books and podcasts, ban parties, wear a mask, suppress normal sexuality but defend pedophilia…. If you’re defined by all the things you want prohibited or ways you force compliance in others, we all know your political affiliation.  Likewise if you are a “live and let live” kind of person so long as we all follow common rules evenly applied; we know your political affiliation as well.

Edited by tac airlifter
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On 5/21/2021 at 12:19 PM, arg said:

Got to be careful what you post on social media.

BaseOps has had a pinned thread “Fair warning on political posts” dating back to 2008.
 

My only comment on the topic here is “Noted.”

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Posted (edited)

So, on the topic of government programs run amok due to mission creep and nut-job leadership:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2021/05/24/commerce-department-monitoring-itms/

 

Quote

Commerce Department security unit evolved into counterintelligence-like operation, Washington Post examination found

An obscure security unit tasked with protecting the Commerce Department’s officials and facilities has evolved into something more akin to a counterintelligence operation that collected information on hundreds of people inside and outside the department, a Washington Post examination found.

Concerns have long simmered internally about the Commerce unit, which was led for more than a decade by career supervisor George D. Lee.

The unit’s tactics appear as if “someone watched too many ‘Mission Impossible’ movies,” said Bruce Ridlen, a former supervisor.

“I think it’s absurd,” Bates said after learning about the probe. “They’re bureaucrats who create these things because they don’t really deal with substantive issues.”

........the unit improperly searched employees’ storage areas, including in 2018 when the lock was picked on a cabinet used by a worker at Commerce headquarters.

The unit’s equipment for covert searches, kept in duffel bags, included latex gloves, shoe coverings, hairnets, balaclava-style face masks and a lock-picking set, according to two former investigators and a current Commerce employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss unit operations.

Investigators also complained that Lee compelled new hires to attend a training program he personally designed in the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia, according to documents and interviews with investigators who attended. For surveillance training, Lee made investigators trail him as he drove erratically at high speeds on mountain roads, investigators said.

It was “the most reckless and unsafe training I have ever attended,” Cheung wrote to Costello in a memo.

 

 

Edited by Blue
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On 5/18/2021 at 5:35 PM, Waingro said:

The first amendment doesn't protect one from consequences. You're welcome to put anything you'd like on your Facebook page, but there's nothing saying you won't face consequences from doing so. 

 

Why do I have the feeling that @waingro is maneuvering to be the Wing Zampolit?

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