In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Friday, November 12, 2004

Military secrets

I can’t really talk about a lot of the things I do or see, because it would violate operational security. Like yesterday, I was a part of something really, really cool, but I can’t talk about it. Maybe, later I can, but not now. Keeping a secret is a lot different in the military (especially in a combat zone) than in the civilian world. In the military if you talk about something you shouldn’t, you get in big trouble. If you start gossip, you get half your paycheck taken away, possibly lose rank and could even get kicked out. If you cheat on your wife, you could go to jail. In the civilian world if you tell a secret, you get people lined up at your office or home asking to know more. “Really, that’s what she said,” one might inquire and suddenly you’re very popular and everybody wants the scoop. Secrets in the corporate world are a joke, because anybody with a little gossip passes it on to the next person… it’s just human nature, and I’m just as guilty as the next person when I’m a civilian. But in the army, my lips are sealed. When reporters are embedded with the military, they are often privy to these military secrets and are not allowed to report on it. Sometimes they follow these ground rules, and sometimes they don’t. If they choose to talk about how many troops we have or where they’re located or an upcoming operation, they put our soldiers at risk and if you ask me, they just helped the enemy. Remember Geraldo and the sand tables? We kicked him out of Iraq for pointing at a sand table and talking about how many troops we had and where. If you ask me, Geraldo is a piece of crap not worthy of a roll of toilet paper when he’s taking a number 2. That’s a horrible feeling and by the way, we have to place our paper in the trash can because Iraqi toilets can’t handle toilet paper in their sewage lines. Then you have reporters from Al Jazeera who work for the terrorists. They recently reported that we pulled all of our soldiers out of Mosul and that insurgents took over the city. The last time I checked I’m still here and insurgents can barely even tie their shoes. We are breaking their backs and trust me, they don’t stand a chance. And that my friends is not a secret at all.


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