BREAKING ... U.S. MILITARY IN IRAQ MAYBE BLOCKS WONKETTE
Remember that letter from an anonymous Marine we posted the other day? Come on, think, think! Yes, the one about Wonkette and various other political blog-style sites of the non-Bush Supporty Variety being blocked by the Evil Pentagon Blocking Technology?
Well, we still don't know if it's true, but CNN's "Situation Room" was able to milk it for 30 seconds of legendary broadcasting. See the shocking evidence, after the jump.
(Thanks to our man in Portland, Mark G., for alerting us and finding the transcript. Mark, our boss owes you a pizza!.)
First, how great is it that Marines are trying to read Wonkette while they're on duty in Iraq? This makes us totally proud. Second, here's your transcript:
BLITZER: Thanks very much. Brian Todd reporting. The Defense Department strictly regulates what troops on the front lines write online to avoid compromising security. But there are new signs the military may be cracking down on what they read. Our Internet reporter, Jacki Schechner, has that story -- Jacqui.A) How many names does Jacqui/Jacki have? (We are kidding, Jackie! You rock!)
JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Wolf, Wonkette is a left leaning, D.C.-based gossip blog. And on this blog, there was a letter that was posted from what purports to be a U.S. Marine. It's an anonymous letter. The Marine says that he is stationed west of Baghdad and that he tried to get onto Wonkette and other liberal Web sites and was unable to access them. He says he was able to access conservative sites with no problem. And he wonders whether this was done by the military just in time for the mid-term elections.
Well, we contacted military officials in the Green Zone today and we had them test out some liberal and conservative blogs and they were able to get on all of them.
What they weren't able to access, interestingly enough, is MySpace.com, the social networking site. See, the military uses a company called Websense that makes Web filtering software. And MySpace falls under their category of personals and dating, which, according to the military, is not allowed. They block out sites like this to increase productivity during the day.
Now, rules vary base to base and they vary whether you're using an office computer or a recreational computer.
As for the Marine who's stationed west of Baghdad, we talked to officials there and they say it is entirely possible that Wonkette was banned because they want to free up bandwidth for usual day to day operations. But they say that it is not necessarily for political reasons, just for productivity reasons -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jacqui, thank you very much.
B) What could be more important than reading Wonkette -- or even something good like Achewood -- while being stuck in Iraq waiting for your Leaders to make some decision they think will save a few congressional seats?
C) These days, all it takes to be a "left leaning" blog is not constantly calling for the torture and rape and cannibalism of Iraqi orphans.
EARLIER: Freedom On the March