Friday, April 04, 2008

Oxymoron Watch: Military Intelligence

You've heard about edit wars in Wikipedia, right? Here's a story that brings to mind many military terms, stealth not among them:

A Wikipedia article about Maj. Alan Rogers, a gay soldier who was killed in January in Iraq, was apparently edited by someone in the Pentagon, who removed any mention that Rogers was gay.

The user on Monday redacted details about Rogers that appeared on the online encyclopedia site. Information that was deleted included Rogers' sexual orientation; the soldier's participation in American Veterans for Equal Rights, a group that works to change military policy toward gays; and the fact that Rogers' death helped bring the U.S. military's casualty toll in Iraq to 4,000.

Rob Pilaud, a patent agent and a friend of Rogers who attended the soldier's funeral, restored the information to the Wikipedia article the next day. Pilaud was among Rogers' friends who created the Wikipedia page.

The anonymous poster also provided the following comment in the "discussion" section about the article:

"Alan's life was not about his sexual orientation but rather about the body of work he performed ministering to others and helping the defense of the country," the poster wrote. "Quit trying to press an agenda that Alan wouldn't have wanted made public just to suit your own ends."

The IP address attached to the deletion of the details and the posted comments is The address belongs to a computer from the office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (G-2) at the Pentagon. The office is headed by Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, who was present at Rogers' funeral and presented the flag from Rogers' coffin to his cousin, Cathy Long.

The Army's public affairs office did not return a call seeking comment.

The whole article.

The Wikipedia "talk" page for the entry in question.

(h/t: Jake Tapper, via Steve Benen)

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