A few weeks ago, as some of you were celebrating tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of visits to your blogs or websites, I finally reached 1,000. I have commented before on the fact that I don’t post regularly, nor do I focus on anything in particular. In fact, I have spent most of the last 16 years of my life trying to be as apolitical as possible, and it’s REALLY HARD to catch up, so be patient with me. Why would I do that? Simple. It’s because of Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 (Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces).
I’m not saying I haven’t voted, I just haven’t been plugged in to how things worked behind the scenes. I, like most Americans, simply paid attention to what the politicians had to say in the months leading up to the elections, and minded my own business the rest of the time. My life, and especially my job, were much safer that way. For example, although DoDD 1344.10 encourages me to vote and allows me to “express a personal opinion on political candidates and issues”, it specifically states I shall not “[a]llow or cause to be published partisan political articles, letters, or endorsements signed or written by the member that solicits votes for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.” What, exactly, does that mean? For example, if I write a blog post about my personal feelings on state-sponsored marriage, the effectiveness of TSA screenings, or even abortion, isn’t there at least a small possibility that someone could view that as a solicitation for a vote? It’s certainly not an overt solicitation, but it could easily be viewed as a solicitation nonetheless. I am further prohibited from using “contemptuous words as prohibited by section 888” of Title 10 U.S.C.:
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
So, again, I have to be very careful with what I say on Twitter and what I write in any blog post. Although apparently I can say whatever I want about most Secretaries as well as Governors of states I’m not in.
So, in parting, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs can kiss my ass.