Monday, August 22, 2005

Has Michael Been Silenced?

In his Aug 20 dispatch, Michael Yon ended with this postscript:
Post Script: The operation has begun. The Commander of Deuce Four, LTC Erik Kurilla, was shot three times in combat yesterday in front of my eyes. Despite being seriously wounded, LTC Kurilla immediately rejoined the intense and close-quarter fight that ended in hand-to-hand combat. LTC Kurilla continued to direct his men until a medic gave him morphine and the men took him away. I was right there. When I returned to base, I was actually "ordered" not to write about the fighting until given clearance, and was told that my phones could be confiscated. I will ignore such "orders" at my own discretion. I am preparing a dispatch now.
Postings referencing Michael's post quickly surfaced at Blackfive, Brutally Honest, Blaster's Blog, etc. Since then... nothing.

I have been waiting and watching for further information, and none has been forthcoming. I've seen no news reports of increased activity nor noteworthy incidents from the Mosul area. Assuming that Michael has been inundated with emails, I have refrained.

One commenter on Brutally Honest, HarryTick of the blog Walking the Dogma, opines:
"I will ignore such "orders" at my own discretion. I am preparing a dispatch now."

I wouldn't be surprised to see Mr. Yon stateside soon. The Army has certain procedures for situations like these. One is notification of next-of-kin in the event of injury or death. Circumvention of the procedures in those instances is not usually looked upon kindly by the level of authority of officers who would be in position to make the decision about whether or not he remains embedded or even in Iraq. I'm sure if he reads his agreement that he signed prior to being embedded, the ROE was clearly outlined.

I don't care how good his information is, or that his "offense" isn't as grievous as Geraldo Rivera's, he needs a time-out.
As a fan, supporter and advocate of Michael's work in Iraq, I have mixed feelings about this. One, I would not like to see OpSec violated, and would not want family to learn of injuries/deaths via media reports. On the other hand, Michael's work should be used as a model for how to report from the field. I am anxiously waiting to see how this plays out.

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