I should probably think twice before publishing this on the internet but it was one of those eye-opening experiences that I just have to share. I was recently somewhere where I saw for the first time AFN, Armed Forces Network. I guess this is the satellite tv that all overseas employees of the US government get. We were just watching some good ole American football, but what came during the commercial breaks made me shiver. Each ‘commercial’ was full of propaganda and paranoia and was obviously meant more for military than anyone else. The one that stuck in my mind was the friendly reminder of Article 88, that states that it is illegal for members of the military to speak ill of the president, vice-president or any member of the senate or congress. In my position, I’m not allowed to stage any sort of governmental rally but my everyday freedom of speech is left intact. For military though, where does the freedom of speech leave off and Article 88 take over?
“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 Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”