All the recent publicity about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange getting interrogated, reminded me of the WWII saying “Loose lips sink ships.” Not only did the military mandate the rule to soldiers writing home during war time, but my grandmother took it a step further and enforced it at home, when the “dirt” or “scoop” pertained to a family member. You know, tell an outsider about family business and your ass is grass.
This is truly a violation of our freedom of speech, but most of the time it is for a good reason. People can actually die if you spill your guts. In the military actual lives are at stake. At home, one could die of embarrassment if anyone found out that Uncle Harry has a pair of red sequined stilettos and a votive candle on his night stand.
No, it has nothing to do with "don't ask, don't tell." Uncle Harry has a foot fetish. Grandma blames his podophilia on the fact that they had to live in a basement apartment in the theatre district during his formative years.
This is the directive our military issued during WWII:
1. Don't write military information of Army units -- their location, strength, material, or equipment.
2. Don't write of military installations.
3. Don't write of transportation facilities.
4. Don't write of convoys, their routes, ports (including ports of embarkation and disembarkation), time en route, naval protection, or war incidents occurring en route.
5. Don't disclose movements of ships, naval or merchant, troops, or aircraft.
6. Don't mention plans and forecasts or orders for future operations, whether known or just your guess.
7. Don't write about the effect of enemy operations.
8. Don't tell of any casualty until released by proper authority (The Adjutant General) and then only by using the full name of the casualty.
9. Don't attempt to formulate or use a code system, cipher, or shorthand, or any other means to conceal the true meaning of your letter. Violations of this regulation will result in severe punishment.
10. Don't give your location in any way except as authorized by proper authority. Be sure nothing you write about discloses a more specific location than the one authorized.
The military penalty for violating these rules was the court-martial system. My grandmother’s penalty was a bit simpler, but more violent – the cat o' nine tails.
The common denominator here is “common sense.” You have to ask yourself about the repercussions of being a magpie.
I don’t feel sorry for Julian Assange, who starred in his own music video called “Two Ladies,” which was made popular by Joel Grey in the film, Cabaret. Not only is Assange disloyal to the cause – the war on terror, which is no skin off his nose because he is not an American citizen, but he is making a small fortune as a seedy blabbermouth. He has given terrorists access to classified information, indirectly caused cyber attacks, opened a Swiss bank account, and is now auditioning for a Swedish sitcom called “Aussie and Harlot.”
He submitted this video to Scotland Yard, in a lame attempt to prove that he has not committed a crime: