Friday, August 19, 2005

Just what, exactly, poses a "security threat"?

A couple of days ago, Henry posted about Milbloggers and the struggle Navy veteran Charlie Mitchell is having getting "hometown news releases" from the Navy. Well, it seems that Mr. Mitchell found this blog, read my entry, and posted a comment.

Knowing you're not going to drop back and read it, I'll post the bulk of it here. Mr. Mitchell says that no one has published or written about his true position; and here it is:
Either the posting of FHTNC releases pose a threat or they don't. If they do, CHINFO should order FHTNC to stop distributing the releases immediately. If they do not, CHINFO should order FHTNC to resume distributing the releases to USAFNS.

I think that CHINFO should spend a few of our tax dollars, and develop a product for the internet. I have said from the beginning of this debacle that FHTNC should have a product designed for internet. Specifically, I recommended that CHINFO "embrace the technology", instead of fighting it.
You've got to admit: the man has a point. Either they do pose a threat or they don't pose a threat; figure it out and act -- across the board -- consistently.

I'm of the the mind they don't pose a threat. So, Seaman Gooblotz of Portsmouth earned the Humanitarian Service Medal or Airman Smith of Detroit received a Purple Heart. Like the terrorists really give a sh*t. If and when the terrorists decide its time to strike us here at home, the release of hometown news releases (or the non-release of those releases) isn't going to make one bit of difference. They're going to act like the BTK guy or the guy who killed the family and made off with the little girl earlier this summer: they're just going to pick someone, stalk them, and do what they're going to do.

If I wanted to do in a military member, all I'd need to do was go over to Little Creek or NOB or the CG's facility in Portsmouth and wait alongside the road 'til I found a likely candidate and follow him (or her home). All, I don't even need to do that; around here I can just pick a house at random and there's a good chance the occupant is somehow tied to the military. Joseph Edward Duncan picked the family out at WalMart for crying out loud.

I don't think posting hometown releases on the internet is a security threat. Nor is publishing them in the newspaper.

Is there a bunch of stuff out there, floating in the breeze? Sure. I've posted more than my fair share of stuff about myself. The president of Google was amazed at what some reporter was able to find about him just by using Google. But that doesn't mean it's bad. Sure, we shouldn't post social security numbers or home phone numbers or home street addresses -- and the hometown papers don't; but we shouldn't post and publish nothing. If we let the terrorists curtail our lives, then they've won. Yes, let's be sensible, but let's not crawl under a rock.

Mr. Mitchell, I'm with you. Publish away. I'm a fan of transparency in government, and good news as produced by the hometown news program helps make the government a bit more transparent and not a bit less safe. Cheers to you for continuing to do what you do.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Peter:

    Thanks, for your encouragement and support. Quietly, I tried for two years to get CHINFO to order FHTNC to resume the feed of their releases. Well, today, I made up my mind that I had a website, and a blog, so why not use it! So, I changed the mission of my blog. Please visit, I think you will find it interesting.

    Thanks, again.

    PS - I am placing a link from my blog to yours.