One of the things that bums me out the most about big media is that there's so little room for corrections, and for dissenting voices. Maybe a paper will have a token op-ed columnist that doesn't march in lock-step with its basic direction. Maybe it'll run an occasional high-profile "we blew it" when a story is just completely and absolutely wrong. But, mostly, disagreements are kept far, far below the water line.Blogs are different, of course. The best bloggers -- guys like Andrew Sullivan, for example -- aren't afraid to lend their online podiums to people who don't share their views. They're willing to be called idiots and fakes on their home turf.I admire that. So much so that I'm starting a new feature on Defense Tech. Every so often, I'm going to highlight a comment, blog entry, or rant that does a really good job at countering an argument of mine -- at telling me I'm full of shit. Call it the "F.O.S. Files."The first installment comes from Will Brown of the Warrior Class Blog. It's a response to my "Enemy is Me" post, in which I mocked the idea that assembling bits of unclassified information could somehow cause soldiers harm.
Discovering specifically what to learn about, and where that information is to be found, is a much greater challenge then Mr. Shachtman is apparently willing to consider. Google and other on-line search engines are invaluable intelligence gathering tools that are available to anyone with the technological capability to access them. Even so, they present the same stumbling block as do dictionaries familiar to any third grader; you have to know where to look, how to spell the word in the first place, in order to look it up at all. It is in this regard that Mr. Shachtmans protestations fall flat. By providing the enemy with informed inspiration to guide information searchs [sic], such concerns as he dismisses give vital starting guidance to enemy research into developing counter-measures.Now, Brown goes on to make some less-smart accusations. He implies, for instance, that the reason I'm defending the right to round up unclassified information is so I can maintain "a viable economic strategy" for myself. (Trust me, there are easier ways to make a buck.) But, still, the man's basic counter-argument is solid. Im looking forward to the next F.O.S. file.