Saturday, January 08, 2005

MilBlog Doctor Shut Down 

This is from a couple days ago but I haven't seen anybody else pick it up. Doesn't sound like truth-telling is any more popular with the military than you might expect, but it doesn't sound like the truth-teller gives a whole great lot of a damn either:

(via Philadelphia Inquirer)

A Bucks County military doctor serving in Iraq says he was forced to shut down his Internet war diary last week after Army officials decided his gripping accounts of frontline medicine constituted a breach of Army regulations.

Maj. Michael Cohen, a doctor with the 67th Combat Support Hospital unit, had chronicled the bloody aftermath of the Dec. 21 mess-hall bombing in Mosul that killed 22. That account and 12 months of other postings on his Web log, www.67cshdocs.com, were replaced with a short notice:

"Levels above me have ordered, yes ORDERED, me to shut down this Web site. They cite that the information contained in these pages violates several Army Regulations," Cohen wrote, adding that he disagreed with the ban.

Military blogs have grown numerous since the invasion of Iraq, often providing a closer account of the war than traditional media. But such "milblogs" present a problem for military brass because the diaries are available to anyone with Internet access, including insurgents.

Cohen, 35, grew up in the Council Rock School District. Reached by e-mail yesterday, he said that he had shut down the site after receiving a written warning but that he had not been told how his blog had offended his superiors.

Cohen was chief emergency room doctor when the Mosul bombing happened. His postings chronicled life in a modern MASH unit, treating U.S. Stryker brigade troops and wounded Iraqi insurgents alike, and they were popular. Since the blog went offline last week, Cohen said, he has received 150 e-mails from people urging him to put the site back up.
Hmm, didn't they do a movie about a MASH unit one time? Seems like it was moderately successful, spawned a little TV show too. Dr. Cohen, you got enough material already. Have your people call my people, we'll get the scriptwriters going tomorrow. Everybody loves a sequel baby, you'll be a star.

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