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Military bloggers go to the White House

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You might've read that on Friday, [President Bush met with a group of military bloggers at the White House.][1]In the group: "John," aka "The Armorer," one of the authors of [Argghhh!!! The Home of Two of Jonah's Military Guys][2] - so named because they sometimes offer military information to Jonah Goldberg a conservative National Review columnist.As best as we can tell, underneath the pseudonym, "John" is a retired soldier who lives in the Leavenworth area - he sometimes weighs in on issues in Kansas' 2nd congressional district. He did not immediately return an e-mail seeking confirmation of his status.In any case, President Bush and the White House staff must be aware of "John's" real identity, since he was part of the Friday meeting.[John posted:][3]"It was serious. He talked to us, and with us, not at us. And, unusual for the personality types that populate the blogging world - we listened. We got in our questions, and I think they were good ones, and the President made his points, which were a mixture of the thrust of his message this week and new (to me, anyway) stuff in response to our questions."Make no mistake - he knew we were going to generally be a receptive audience, and we were. The staff knew our blogs, and they knew that while some of us have not always been fans or happy with things as they are, they knew we were not going to storm the Bastille, either."John later added in the comments section of the blog:" I even managed to drop in the conversation with the President that I was not a fan of the invasion of Iraq."Yet no Secret Service guy stepped up to cap me, amazing! Nor was I led away in chains, even."Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Leavenworth[(AP) General looks to change the role of talk in war:][4] But in fighting terrorists and insurgents, some feel the best weapon may be one that doesn't fire bullets, but neutralizes the enemy just as well. It's what Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV calls "strategic communications." It's part shooting one's mouth off, part letting the desired audience know what the U.S. military and government are all about. Caldwell shared his concept with military historians and officers last week at a conference hosted by Fort Leavenworth's Combat Studies Institute. The three-day affair examined the implications of fighting nonstate enemies - those who fight not in a common uniform but cloaked in ideology bent on disrupting government and spreading fear and destruction.Kansas National Guard[(AP) Father looks for answers in Leavenworth soldier's death:][5] It has been seven weeks since his son died in Iraq, and David Finch is still trying to find out what happened. Kansas Army National Guard Sgt. Courtney D. Finch, 27, of Leavenworth, died July 24 of unknown causes. The Department of Defense reported only that Finch died of "injuries sustained from a noncombat-related incident." Finch's father, David Finch, said he was told he would receive a cause of death within six weeks. Seven weeks later, he is upset at what he sees as the slow progress. "What's the holdup?" he said. "I've had no word from anyone." Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas National Guard, said she couldn't comment because the military is still investigating the death. She also said there's no word on when a cause of death might be determined. Meanwhile, David Finch has hired a private investigator and has started calling his son's fellow soldiers. [1]: http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,149441,00.html [2]: http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/006620.html [3]: http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2007/09/my_question_to.html [4]: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/09/ap_armycommunication_070917/ [5]: http://www.joplinglobe.com/statenews/local_story_260000915.html

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