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More soldiers go public against Iraq war

Aug. 29, 2007 at 2:59 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- More U.S. soldiers are going public with criticism of the Iraq war and the way it is being conducted, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

They are helped by access to e-mail, the Internet and other new technology.

"This is the first post-Internet, post-digital-camera war," said Eugene Fidell, a former military lawyer who teaches at Yale University.

The seven soldiers, all enlisted members of the 82nd Airborne, who wrote a critical op-ed piece in The New York Times are one example of this greater outspokenness. They are protected by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which bans “contemptuous speech” but only for officers.

Some officers are also speaking out. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Paul Yingling in an article in Armed Forces Journal blamed the Iraq debacle on a system that discourages innovative commanders.

U.S. Army Col. Bob Bateman, on a military blog, warned that the public should remember that individual opinions are just that.

"The fact that they, like me, wear uniforms should not convey some sort of magic pixie-dust validity to their opinions on events way beyond their personal experience, just as it does not for mine," Bateman said.

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