Domestic spying and intimidation of military families

From reader Melanie

Read this letter from the mother of an Iraqi soldier. It’s more shameful behavior on the part of our government.

It wasn’t that long ago that the military command in Iraq started pulling computer access to various units. Seems some of the troops were writing emails home to family, to friends, to various anti-war groups and the like, and the military was getting a bit disconcerted by that. After all, can’t have your own troops pretty much turning the “official news” on its head now can you? So what do you do? You shut them up and any way that you can. Let them know they are monitored works pretty good.

But, what about the "moms" back home that are writing on the Internet? Moms like Robin Vaughan, whose letter detailing her recent experiences with the Department of Defense and the Army is below.

Robin Vaughan started an MSN space for families and friends of those in her son’s deployed unit. It was a support group. The military tried to shut it down and told other families not to use it.

We were a group of 77 families from all over the country, at the time of the call. Every single family was phoned and told not to use the site; and I believe some 150 other families were phoned as well, as it was an official order from a commanding officer.

Robin is not in the military. This is a private website. Not that the Pentagon bully boys who hate freedom care.

There are literally hundreds of military family, private support groups on the Internet. I truly believe we were singled out because of my refusal to hand the site over to the local F.R.G., as well as my outspoken political beliefs.

It’s simply amazing that my son and others risk their lives for ”Freedom" in Iraq, when his own mother’s civil liberties are threatened, and families are intimidated into silence, by the very same Army he is serving. I am hoping after reading this you may direct me as to where I can at least have this concern heard. Basically, are the following common practice, and legal?

-The Armed services can order families from communicating in a private forum?
-The Armed services can threaten private citizens’ first amendment rights?

I want to make sure this is not happening to other service member’s families. We live in a hell everyday during the deployment of our loved ones; we don’t need the added bullying or stripping away our means of helping one another.
Robin Vaughan 

 Outrageous. And probably not even legal. What is the military so afraid of? The people, that’s who.