From Michael Yon:
A general emailed in the past 24 hours threatening to kick me out. The first time the Army threatened to kick me out was in late 2005, just after I published a dispatch called “Gates of Fire.” Some of the senior level public affairs people who’d been upset by “Proximity Delays” were looking ever since for a reason to kick me out and they wanted to use “Gates of Fire” as a catapult. In the events described in that dispatch, I broke some rules by, for instance, firing a weapon during combat when some of our soldiers were fighting fairly close quarters and one was wounded and still under enemy fire. That’s right. I’m not sure what message the senior level public affairs people thought that would convey had they succeeded, (which they didn’t) but it was clear to me what they valued most. They want the press on a short leash, even at the expense of the life of a soldier.
Some readers might recall that LTC Barry Johnson denied my embed requests in 2006, but after I wrote “Censoring Iraq,” somehow the door opened up. Strangely, a couple days ago, LTC Barry Johnson invited me to be a panelist at a symposium in Washington D.C. on ”the role of blogs and bloggers in the news environment today. The intent is to help PAOs better understand the issues involved.” Call me suspicious, but my whiskers tingled on that one.
On a tangentially related note, I suspect that the panel that LTC Johnson invited You to is for this summer’s Army Worldwide Public Affairs Symposium, a conference and booze fest for Army PAOs from around the world. I tell you this because I love the acronym — WWPAS (Whoop-Ass).