NEW YORK — The founder and editor-in-chief of Duffel Blog expressed outrage today after the entire listing of contributors to the military news organization was leaked and posted on the gossip website Gawker.
“This is an absolute outrage and I will not stand for it,” said B. Gordon Willard, Duffel Blog’s founder, in a statement. “We plan to pursue any and all means of legal action.”
In an article posted last Friday, Gawker reporter Adam Weinstein explained that he received the listing from fugitive ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Contributors who have effectively been “outed” include a number of active-duty officers, such as Brig. Gen. J.B. Burton, who writes under the pseudonym “Jay,” Gen. Robert Caslen, who writes as “Smelly Infidel,” and Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk, writing under the pseudonym “Lee Ho Fuk,” which he also uses for his radio callsign.
It’s unclear if contributors now in the spotlight could face punishment under the military justice system, especially considering Army Secretary John McHugh and Marine Commandant Gen. Jim Amos — who has written a number of articles critical of his own policies — are both highly active contributors.
“There’s nothing in the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] that says you can’t write things on the internet,” said Ian Wilson, an analyst at the Rand Corporation. “And even if one of these guys went to court-martial, a prosecutor would have a hard time convincing a judge to burn Specialist So-and-so when you’ve got Admiral McRaven writing that SEAL Team 2 is filled with douchebags.”
Still, some writers were worried when reached for comment by reporters.
Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who writes under the nom d’plume “Frederick Taub” and is best known for invading Iraq so he could take an extended vacation in Baghdad, was frantic at the loss of his anonymity, saying that “if anyone found out I actually put words to paper instead of hiring a ghost writer to do it for me, my reputation will be ruined!”
Reached for comment at Duffel Blog’s San Francisco headquarters, Gen. Ray Odierno, who writes under the name “G-Had,” said that he was “deeply concerned” at the revelations.