Saturday, September 21, 2013

Remember Harper Muzzling Scientists? He's Doing It To Veterans Too

Under the Harper Government, we have been fed enormous amounts of propaganda pablum in the name of "Support the War in Afghanistan Troops".  The "highway of heroes" when our troops were being returned in pine boxes on a weekly basis; goodness knows how many photo-ops of Harper and Mackay on the tarmac in Afghanistan, and Harper wearing partial uniforms at various times.

You would think that the troops are some kind of privileged class under Harper.  Not so much, it seems.  In fact, if you manage to get yourself injured in the line of duty, the big old roll of duct tape gets dragged out and put across your mouth.

The Canadian Forces is requiring physically and mentally wounded soldiers to sign a form acknowledging they won’t criticize senior officers or discourage others in uniform with their comments on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 
The form, given to military personnel who are transferred to the Joint Personnel Support Unit, was sent to the Citizen by military members upset with what they see as a threat to their right to speak out about the failure of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces to take care of the wounded.
Now, at first, you might think that this is little more than the usual private industry policies that basically state that criticizing your employer publicly can get you fired.  I have more than a few problems with those policies too - but there is a reasonable level of non-disclosure in the workplace.  I certainly wouldn't want trade secrets being revealed in public media, unless of course the "trade secret" is in fact a violation of the law.

This goes several steps further, and begins to sound a lot like the controls that Harper has used to suppress Canadian scientists who might say things that are in conflict with his political dogma.

The JPSU “policy on proper comments on social media” repeats well-known military directions not to post secret information on websites and other forums. It also tells military personnel not to make disparaging comments about senior officers or fellow personnel. 
But military personnel in JPSU are also told not to “write anything that might discourage others or make them dissatisfied with their conditions or their employment.” 
In addition, those in JPSU were told not to disclose “your views on any military subject.”The form, introduced in March, notes military personnel in JPSU will be held responsible for not only the content they post on social media outlets but also the content of their friends which they have “tagged” on various sites. 
Wait a second.  So, if a member of the JPSU (any injured veteran still enlisted, I presume) posts something, they can get disciplined?  But, worse, if someone they know posts something, the service member can be held accountable for that?  Excuse me?  In principle, that means that this blog could be used against any active members of the armed forces that I may be associated with.   This policy, like the "duty of loyalty to the elected government" letter sent to Parks Canada staff last year, is a gross abuse of legitimate rights.

Of course, what Harper wants us to do is revere his propagandized notion of the military, and not look too closely behind the curtain at how the troops are treated when they get home minus a limb or suffering from PTSD.

1 comment:

the salamander said...

.. exceptional, startling and timely article.. thanks
I've read it several times, shared it..
and its enhanced my knowledge of our current government's most offensive failures