August 20, 2014

US Military Bans the Intercept!

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

The Intercept’s Ryan Gallagher just posted a piece in which, shockingly, he reveals that The Intercept has been banned by the US Military.  Here are a couple excerpts:

The U.S. military is banning and blocking employees from visiting The Intercept in an apparent effort to censor news reports that contain leaked government secrets.

A directive issued to military staff at one location last week, obtained by The Intercept, threatens that any employees caught viewing classified material in the public domain will face “long term security issues.” It suggests that the call to prohibit employees from viewing the website was made by senior officials over concerns about a “potential new leaker” of secret documents.

A military insider subject to the ban said that several employees expressed concerns after being told by commanders that it was “illegal and a violation of national security” to read publicly available news reports on The Intercept.

The Intercept, which is headed by Glenn Greenwald who broke the Edward Snowden stories has a collection of world class journalists including Ryan Gallagher, Ryan Devereaux, Jeremy Scahill (this book by Scahill is amazing), and Greenwald himself.  The Intercept is top notch quality.  And so it figures that the military would fear its soldiers to read it, to be familiar with what is going on in American security issues, and especially to understand what the population is reading.  The theme here, which I predict will become more prominent in coming years, is this: a separation in culture between the military-police-soldier complex, and the citizen at large.

This reminds me of something I saw a couple weeks ago, that also carries this theme.  Bob Wenzel, at Economic Policy Journal wrote the following in July:

Former Chief of US Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, spoke in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club, yesterday evening. He was formerly a member of the US Joint Chiefs of  Staff  and is one of only two officers in the navy’s history to have commanded both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. He is currently at the Hoover Institution.

[…]

But what really caught my attention in the Admiral’s comments was his views on the way he saw the US military developing. He said he joined the military at a time when there was still a draft and that he saw it go from that to a volunteer military. But he said there was going to be a next step. He said the military had gone from draft to all volunteer and will in the future go to an “all professional force.”

He said the pay structure of the military must be restructured so that military personnel are paid more. And then he dropped this line, which shocked me.

The new all professional army “will be somewhat isolated from the population, highly trained, highly compensated,”  he said.

It sounded as though the military is setting up to be a very elitist organization.

We now see, on a daily basis, news of how the new militarized local police departments act in a superior elitist manner, abusing individual rights. Gone are the days of the friendly cop on the corner. And now, apparently, the military wants to trump this local police militarization by becoming some type of super elitist group that is “somewhat isolated from the population.” Very scary. Do we really want a military that is highly compensated but considers itself elitist and superior to the general population?

Be warned. When you start to see calls in Congress for increases in military compensation, you now know where that is headed.

There it is again: separating the military from the people. It’s like something to be found in a movie.  Compare this to the American tradition, in which the citizenry was the militia and the group that needed to be watched was the government itself.  My how the tables have turned.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com