I believe that when we leave a place a part of it goes with us and a part of us remains. Go anywhere in these halls, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while you will hear the echoes of all of our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone, our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit that the part of me that going will very much miss the part of you that is staying.
G'Kar, Babylon 5
This will be my last post at Obsidian Wings. Not, as has noted, that anyone is likely to notice I'm gone, since I've done a lousy job of keeping up of late anyhow. <g> I have no desire to leave, but given my personal circumstances, it appears to be the best of my available options.
As I should have known before going into this, military officers are under certain restrictions regarding their participation in politics. These rules are intended to maintain a bright line between military personnel and our civilian supervisors, and they are an important part of ensuring civilian control of the military. As I have a big mouth and am somewhat passionate in what I believe, I have crossed the line and broken some of these rules in the course of my blogging.
While that might have been at least ignorable as long as I remained an obscure writer at the far end of the long tail, I can no longer count on remaining below the radar. Ironically, a modicum of success has made my web site a bit too well known. A few weeks ago Linda Seebach of the Rocky Mountain News contacted me and asked if I would be interested in writing for them while I am deployed to Iraq. I agreed and contacted JAG and PAO to find out what the rules would be about such an assignment. In the course of making sure that would be acceptable, a member of PAO checked out my blog and observed that it was likely in violation of DoD directive 1344.10 (PDF), and that the additional attention I would likely receive in writing for the Rocky Mountain News might draw some unwanted attention to my personal blog.
It is therefore for both ethical and practical reasons that I have decided to shut down my blog. From an ethical standpoint, I cannot justify violating a directive without good cause, and having the opportunity to make shallow, fairly obvious observations doesn't strike me as that good a cause. From a personal standpoint, while I have no illusions about the future shape of my career in the military, I would prefer to avoid trimming my already modest career path further.
I want to thank everyone here at Obsidian Wings for the opportunity to write here. It was an honor and a privilege, and I am sorry that I didn't do a better job with the opportunity I was given. Fortunately I know the site remains in excellent hands (I'll avoid the obvious addition by subtraction joke), and I look forward to observing many fine debates here in the future as time permits. Thanks to the ownership and the commentariat for having me.