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8.31.2004

My Story on DemocraticUnderground.com was Picked Up by MSNBC

My brother was doing some independent research on a new directive issued by the DOD and was angered by the Bush administration's apparent attempt to squelch the First Ammendment rights of members of the US Armed Services. The new directive (DOD 1344.10) states that active duty members of the US military may not endorse any political candidate or take part in any convention as a delegate. He then discovered that the GOP was touting, on it's official website for the convention, having 144 active military personel as delegates.

I wrote the story with him (thanks for the hard work my brother), which was picked up and put on the front page of Democratic Underground. It was subsequently picked up by Eric Alterman from MSNBC.

There is some debate whether or not the directive applies to Reservists but, according to my reading of the directive and my conversations with current members of the National Guard and Reserves, no service member, regardless of duty status, is to endorse political candidates.

Here is a definition from the directive:

DEFINITIONS

E2.1.1. Active Duty. Full-time duty in the active military service of the United States regardless of duration or purpose, including:

E2.1.1.1. Full-time training duty;

E2.1.1.2. Annual training duty; and

E2.1.1.3. Attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a Service school by law or by the Secretary of the Military Department concerned.

E2.1.2. Armed Forces. The U.S. Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard, including their Reserve components.

The funny thing is that the official GOP website removed it's press release bragging about the active military members. It is gone. I wonder why they removed it? Don't worry, I got a mirror of it here.

I wonder if Alterman and the rest of the mainstream media will follow up on this story?

I wonder why the Bush Administration feels that it is neccessary to put a gag on the US military?

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