If that's the case, then quite a few of us are in trouble. In fact, I would say almost everyone with a blog qualifies to some degree or another. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has long stood up for the rights of those involved in new and social media. As politicians and the law have struggled to understand and come to terms with the changes created by technology, and within media technology itself, the EFF has been there. They have helped champion justice in the electronic frontier, and supported those who blogged anonymously for personal safety -- an important thing. They have helped some of those in the milblog community I do believe. Personally, I've been glad for it and encouraged support for it.
However, this morning I read something rather disturbing over at the Jawa Report. It started with this story about an anti-jihad blogger pulling a fast one on someone determined to out him. It quickly morphed into something more, best seen here.
Jillian York is on the staff of the EFF, as Director for International Freedom of Expression. Her comments in support of outing the anti-jihad blogger because he was an "a****le" are in direct contradiction to the policy of EFF, and all previous precedent. As they appear to have been made in her official capacity, and not personal, I was concerned enough that I e-mailed some of the leadership of the EFF to ask some questions. Questions that included asking if she was, indeed, speaking in official capacity for the EFF.
So far, I've only heard back from member of the Board of Directors Brad Templeton, who responded with "If you have a problem with Jillian, bring it to the attention of her superior. That is not me."
The lack of response to the questions, and the response of Mr. Templeton, do not inspire confidence. So much so, that unless and until this matter is addressed, I withdraw all support for the EFF and recommend any of you who have or do support them examine the matter and make your own decisions.
I am very well aware that individuals within an organization are entitled to their own opinion -- it's why we have a portion of the bylaws of Cooking with the Troops protecting that. However, we also have provisions in for who can speak for our organization, and what happens if someone claims to without sanction. I'm also well aware that even private, protected speech can have a negative impact on an organization: there's a reason I don't blog about politics much anymore, as I've found it has a negative impact on CwtT.
When someone can be seen as speaking for an organization, they have a much higher level of responsibility to clarify for whom they are speaking. This is not about attacking Jillian York, no matter what Mr. Templeton mistakenly appears to think. It is about clarifying for whom she was speaking, and if this represents a fundamental change to an organization that has done a lot of good for bloggers, online journalists, and others.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.