Service sell out?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. dong20

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    Obviously this is related to recently released sailors who were held captive in Iran but has wider implications.

    There is a growing backlash here in the UK and I'd say these folks have lost a great deal of their credibility by selling their stories for large sums. The MOD has now banned such actions in future but had initially allowed them to do so before todays U turn. Some of the justifications on both sides is pretty shaky.

    Question: Should service personnel be allowed to sell their stories to the media. Or, if they do choose to sell their stories should they resign before doing so?
     
  2. D_Ted Riding Hooded

    D_Ted Riding Hooded New Member

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    Basically it's all down to the celebrity driven media!! The media made them 'stars' while they were in Iran....now they're 'free' they want their pound of flesh!! It's all part of the Big Brother generation!! I despair!!!
     
  3. Sklar

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    I say, sure why not? It's no different than a verteran writing about their war experiences. Well, I guess it is different that they are still active duty instead of out of their contract.

    But overall, I say why not? No harm that I can see.
     
  4. HazelGod

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    This is simply a manifestation of the evolution of Western civilisation beyond agrarian and manufacturing and into service and information as the basis of our economic culture.

    It's simple supply and demand: as technology has made instantaneous global communication not only reality but commonplace, the demand now exists for more and more information. At the moment, this incident is hot in the conscience of popular media...demand for more details of the story is at its peak, and these folks are the sole supply of firsthand information. From a socioeconomic standpoint, they'd be stupid not to capitalize on these offers, as the value of their story will do nothing but decrease (likely very sharply) as time progresses from this juncture.

    It doesn't influence my opinion of their credibility one whit that they're willing to sell their experiences. Everyone in this world is trying to make their own way, and I doubt the MOD is making many millionaires these days.

    If the commercial aspect of this bothers you, your recourse is simple: tune it out. So what if someone is willing to pay for their story...that's not hurting you, is it?

    I do find it bothersome that the MOD is attempting to quell future transactions of this kind. So long as they aren't exposing tactical secrets or other classified data, I fail to see the benefit to placing such artificial controls on the free flow of information. It certainly flies in the face of the principles we supposedly hold inalienable over here...but then again, in this era of Bush, Blair, et al, that's pretty much par for the course.
     
  5. Yorkie

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    The armchair critics are just envious that THEY'LL never have a story that anyone would pay to hear!
    I never buy the papers that print this stuff and I don't blame anyone for taking their money.
     
  6. SpeedoGuy

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    I would tend to believe book and video contracts should wait until after separation from active duty. It strikes me as being a bit tacky and somehow unprofessional for servicemembers to rush into paid interviews while still on active government service.

    A related question I would ask: Is there any precedent for active duty senior military officers to be hired on contract by the media for their commentary on ongoing wars around the globe?
     
  7. headbang8

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    The way I understand the situation is this:
    • It's against British MOD policy for any active serviceman/woman to sell his/her story. It's considered disrespectful of the many soldiers who lost their lives, and whose stories will never be told, much less sold.
    • Apparently, the MOD made an exception in this case, because the level of media interest was so high that there was a risk that relatives or neighbours would sell the stories second-hand, ensuring that the poor victims got nothing AND had no say in the accuracy of the reporting.
    • The reaction was so negative that the Ministry reverted to its previous policy.
     
  8. Freddie53

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    I must admit that I don't know what MOD stands for in the United Kingdom. Someone please enlighten me.
     
  9. headbang8

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    Ministry of Defense. Like the DOD.
     
  10. Freddie53

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    Thanks, I should have figured it out. But...I didnt.
     
  11. dreamer20

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    The MOD permitted these persons to speak. It seems to me that the backlash crowd are just jealous. As long as the information they gave was factual it does not matter whether the press paid for it or not.
     
  12. jakeatolla

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    Funny, I thought it was a teen cultural group , as in the Who movie
    Quadrophenia.

    "We are the Mods, we are the Mods , we are we are we are the Mods."

    :confused:
     
  13. dong20

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    I know. But I'm not 100% sure myself. When they signed up they knew this could happen and in fairness while it must have been an ordeal it was probably far less of one than the thousands of other who have been injured, some terribly and no one is really interested in hearing their stories. Nor of their betrayal by their governments on their return. To me this somehow devalues their sacrifice. Certainly, some families of those killed are displeased, for that reason.

    Yes they did and they backtracked to established policy. I don't think it's jealousy or at least that's only a part of it and rather misguided. Perhaps it's a cultural difference but selling stories to the press, especially by active members of the services is generally not well received here. It's seen by many as in the words of one of the sailors a little 'unsavoury'.

    I do think that if they want to take financial advantage they should resign, I can't give a set of cast iron reasons why, it's just how I feel about it.

    Yes, so do I.

    Good question, I don't think so. Most 'talking heads' type advisors I've seen tend to be retired or former xyz etc. I suspect service contracts would generally prevent serving members of the forces from undertaking such tasks. I'm someone with more knowledge than I could confirm or refute this.



    Indeed, it's now or never, I doubt it would be remembered when they come to write their memoirs. I don't disagree with your logic I'm just not entirely comfortable with it's premise.



    No one enters the services to get rich I agree. As I said it's not that I think it's a heinous act for which they should be flogged. It just seems somehow wrong while still on active service to capialise on events occuring as part of that service. That I'm not alone in this is clear both from comments here and by the sailors themselves. If they knew eveyone would accept it so easily I'm sure they would not have felt the need to 'justify' their actions. That should say something.



    I doesn't so much bother me and it certainly doesn't hurt me as make me wonder that when members of the military can 'kiss and tell' about events on active service that says something about our society.

    In terms of the services, are some members going to think, "Hmmm this is risky but perhaps I can sell my story when I get home" and thus take risks or actions they may not otherwise consider. I don't know that's why I started the thread.

    There we disagree, I think that if one wants to sell one's story about events that happened while serving in the armed services one should have that right (security caveats notwithstanding) but not while one is a serving member of said armed services.

    We hold such values just as dearly and I don't think the MOD (for once) is actively seeking to curtail them. I pretty much detest the MOD and think its senior officials and especially the Defence Minister are, for the most part one step up the evolutionary ladder from dog turds so saying that is not something that comes easy.

    Actually it was established MOD policy that such stories could not be sold by active service personnel so the initial decision should have been seen by you as in support of said values. The later reversion to type is a great embarrassment to them, excellent.
     
  14. hypolimnas

    hypolimnas Well-Known Member

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    In my view the background to all of this is propaganda from both sides in an ideological conflict.

    I don't feel the people who are selling their story would be doing it if it did not serve the broader aims of the MOD, and the political position of the British Government.
     
  15. dong20

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    How does it serve them?
     
  16. rawbone8

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    I suspect that some in the MOD saw a favourable opportunity for the publishing of the participants' stories to benefit the Royal Navy's version of events to counter that of Iran and bolster their PR... and were chagrined by the unexpected distaste of the public and that of former service personnel who felt that this was not noble behaviour, and in the view of some, was in fact shameful.

    The perceived noble (romaticized?) behaviour of military captives stoically giving only one's name, rank and serial number, and enduring harsh interrogations seems to be a standard found lacking now. Since few of the captives displayed that kind of artificial measure of bravery, they seemed somehow ineligble to be rewarded for their ordeal.

    I don't endorse that view, but I believe that is a notion that permeates the imagination of many.
     
  17. dong20

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    It may have been, though I can't help but wonder though that we credit them (MOD) with undue intelligence and capacity for planning. It seems more likely it was just a regular screw up. The MOD is riddled with incompetence and deceipt. I knew the story would out I just find it a little sad it did so in quite such a manner.

    I'm rather dismayed that the sailor who wrote that rather pathetic 'confession' a) did so at all b) did so because she though they were at risk and c) They played ball and appeared on film a little too willingly (or so it appeared).

    It seems to me that if you're averse to risk then being in the Navy a stones throw from a war zone in perhaps the most volatile part of the world seems a rather poor career choice and a bad time to decide to cave when it gets tough. Do they not get trained in response to capture?

    It's this kind of credibilty loss that concerns me far more than the story selling; when the going gets 'tough' the 'tough' get confessing to whatever they think will keep them alive and their captors happy? I think when a serving member of the armed forces writes a confession they knew to be false to save their neck and, probably also knowingly embarrass their country they should be accountable, and should not so obviously benefit financially and yet remain in service.

    I know they could have been doing so to reassure those back home, and there is no doubt much more than appears on the surface so it's never that simple to draw conclusions. But, it just seems, wrong.

    I'm not really qualified to criticise the armed forces and I rarely do so even when I don't support the actions they're involved in, that's usually reserved for the spineless politicos who send them there. By and large they put themselves in the firing line, willingly and for little reward. I find it a little incredible that they would really believe they would be tried and potentially executed. So I just think in this case they could, perhaps have displayed a little more, I don't know....backbone.
     
  18. SpeedoGuy

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    Take unnecessary risks or, worse, perhaps endanger the safety of comrades whilst pursuing the limelight. That would be extraordinarily detrimental to unit trust and morale and nicely underscores the whole point of this thread as I see it.
     
  19. dong20

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    I'm glad you got it. I should have been more explicit in terms of what I meant by loss of credibility.:smile:
     
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