Calling Out the Blackfive Blog’s Extremist Rhetoric

25.05.10

Categorie: David Axe, Reporters |
Tags: ,

Jim Hanson

Jim Hanson.

by DAVID AXE

Two years ago in D.C., I had drinks with two founding members of Blackfive, a popular conservative military blog. Jim Hanson, who goes by the handle “Uncle Jimbo” at the blog , pitched me his idea for a private, Internet-based intelligence organization that would use young freelance writers as field agents. With their journalism credentials as cover, the writers would gather data for use by U.S. government agencies.

It was, I said, the worst idea I’d heard in a long time. Recruiting reporters as spies would blur the line between neutral journalists and partisan intelligence agents, endangering both the reporters and the principle of a free press. Hanson disagreed. He said it was about time that journalists started serving their countries. Objectivity, he said, wasn’t enough.

A few months later, Hanson left a comment on this blog:

Hey what’s up chump? Seems like nobody reads your BS and that is progress. Since I didn’t get you killed by inviting you to play with the big boys, you just keep up your propaganda. Soros rules.

Later, when I wrote about that strange evening in D.C., Hanson emailed me:

Not only are you wrong on your ass-umptions [sic], but you completely misrepresented what I spoke to you about. Make a point of not mentioning my name any more, you f***ing punk.

When I mentioned the incident a second time, I got text messages from one of Hanson’s friends, warning me that Blackfive might be planning some kind of punitive action against me — what, they didn’t say. My response: “Bring it on.” After lots of near misses courtesy of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Al Shabab and the Chadian army, I’m really itching for a stand-up fight.

All this is to say, Blackfive is not just a tacky blog, it’s actually dangerous — the kind of forum that encourages violence and hatred. Don’t believe me? In a recent post discussing the U.S. national debt, Blackfive blogger “Crush” all but advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government:

The federal government has done more damage to this country than if the Soviet Union had invaded during the Cold War. Now if we captured members of the Red Army, there would be military tribunals and they would be shot. I am NOT advocating such treatment for our elected officials. However, we should realize the gravity of the situation our nation finds itself thanks to their lust for power.

Now War Is Boring pal Craig Hooper is calling for a “blogger intervention” for Blackfive. “I’m worried that guys who find community and strength in Blackfive.net’s stock-and-trade of anti-government rhetoric will act upon what they read,” Hooper wrote after right-wing extremists killed two policemen in Arkansas:

If we — the responsible people — don’t do anything now, how will we feel when a vet in government service (or one of us, even) is killed by a vet who consumed too much of the stuff Blackfive.net produces? Intervene. Join me.

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40 Responses to “Calling Out the Blackfive Blog’s Extremist Rhetoric”

  1. wheeler says:

    On this matter, I support David Axe 100%. Stand your ground, you are not alone.

  2. Schmedlap says:

    “Recruiting reporters as spies would blur the line between neutral journalists and partisan intelligence agents, endangering both the reporters and the principle of a free press.”

    Neutral journalists? Not partisan? That train left the station a long time ago.

  3. Matthew says:

    Do they even speak other languages? Can they hack into foreign websites? I doubt it by the looks of their site. Also those type of guys are usually one trick wonders as far as languages goes. From their website, they just seem like typical angry white guys who didn’t quite land their dream job in life.

  4. wheeler says:

    ‘From their website, they just seem like typical angry white guys who didn’t quite land their dream job in life.’

    Real zinger of a dig, buddy. I’m sure someone who has seen, IN PERSON, truly historical moments on almost every continent over the last five years is wondering how life has passed him by.

    Also, real incisive on the language skills. As if Bob Baer is the only guy who took the time to learn Arabic.

  5. Dave Duchene says:

    David, just another note of support. Journalists as intelligence operatives is a truly idiotic and dangerous idea. And while it’s probably obvious to this audience, an independent press serves your country’s interests just fine.

  6. Ogremk3 says:

    Sounds like you need the assistance of your local police department. Last time I checked, they fall under the realm of terrorism.

  7. schweetpappy says:

    Actually you are alone…in a room, pounding your pud. I’m pretty sure the last person any SF vet would pitch as an intel source would be a “journalist”/blogger. Is this the throw everything up against a wall and see what sticks method of investigative journalism? 4 separate charges in 5 paragraphs is pretty thin, dude. Take a couple of puffs on your inhaler and wipe the fog off your glasses and calm down.

  8. wheeler says:

    Obviously this guy in his reading happened across the ancient fact that intelligence agencies—ALL intelligence agencies—use journalists for info gathering, white propaganda, etc. (Look no further than Filkins’ book re: the section in the CIA compound, or Knightley) just as they use businessmen, aid workers, academics, and any other human resource that will make easier the task of acquiring information in a world of 1.4 billion people. Not a new idea, by any means, and one always packaged as a choice between patriotism and idealism. Milbloggers can be assured that it is almost certainly happening now w US journos, and media can be assured that the vast majority of conflict reporters are probably not in the pay of Mukhabarat.

  9. [...] don’t know who “David Axe” is either, but he’s a big enough Moran that he deserves an honorary PHD from [...]

  10. Matthew Doye says:

    Without journalism independent government how is the citizen supposed to obtain the information with which to make decisions?

    Say goodbye to press freedom, journalists would be just government cheerleaders. Do these guys have any idea how many of the freedoms of western democracy they’re willing to throw under the bus in the name of security?

  11. Matt Garrett says:

    You couldn’t be more off base. I enjoy BOTH blogs and your agenda serving post only shows you don’t. You say the forums call for violence, and then you post an example that completely REFUTES that.

    I know you have a beef with Jimbo, and yes, he’s a handful. But don’t let your agenda blind you.

  12. princeton scotch says:

    Journals are already a bit of intel… opint. I mean WiB is a good off the books, non-biased, on the ground point of view from the other guy. I’m sure its not #1 on some intel analyst’s desk but Axe can get into some restricted spaces.

    As for Black5. They are just 2nd amendment nuts with a t-shirt from cafepress.

    Maybe there should be a WiB T-shirt?

  13. [...] other who attacked the blog is named David Axe. His post isn’t worth much more than this: I spent four days with David Axe aboard the USS [...]

  14. LittleGreenMan says:

    Agreed – B5 is over the top too much.

  15. Moose says:

    Great to see you join Hoop on this, Axe. B5′s really gone too far down the wingnut rabbit hole.

  16. altereggo says:

    Who _are_ these guys? What sort of name for a blog is that, anyway? I’d be ashamed to quote it in any kind of non-wingnut environment.

  17. TSO says:

    Hey douchetool, “Blackfive” is the call sign for an executive officer, the guy who makes sure the troops have what they need. Granted in the circles you run in taking care of military folks might be something to be ashamed about, but our wounded seem to like someone giving a shit about them. Presumably you know nothing about call signs.

    Superbowl6Romeo/Superbowl32Alpha out.

  18. Will says:

    @ TSO
    Hooray for making assumptions about others over the internet.

  19. [...] Blogger “dust up” Between “Black-Five” and “War is Boring” — War Is Boring [...]

  20. 626 says:

    @TSO
    Incredible show of intelligence by reasoning through fists and poor use of language. So do you clock the guy behind the counter of a burger joint the momment he forgets to include fries with you order? “Asshole, I ordered FRIES! ”

    Hmmmm… Come to think of it, somedays I want to do that… ANYWAYS.

    @Everyone
    Step down, both of you have differences of opinions and actions. Lets keep this thinking and reasoning instead of pissing off each other. You might not like someone else’s view but at least see your points and agree to disagree. The bad guys are in Afganistan not here.

  21. David, your comments about journalists and spies is right on. Even the professional spies, at least as I understand it, will not cover as a journalist.

  22. newsnut says:

    there are others names for the work of partisan “journalists”-propaganda. having a site to rant is one thing- but using journalists as spies and confusing their partisan blogging activities as journalism is just plain silly. Our enemies are over-seas,Blackfive needs to stand down.

  23. Sanmon says:

    Axe dude,
    Are you serious? Have you watched Jimbo’s videos? He never takes himself serious unless he is talking about our troops, or our wounded or fallen soldiers. That is the only time he is not joking around.

    You are none of those, can’t you tell when someone is yanking your chain as a reporter. And you think at a bar with a couple guys from B5 you had any portion of that conversation being serious? Dude bars are liar conventions, have you not noticed or don’t you get out much.

    I don’t know Jimbo but I have hung with a few like him and the one thing I know is they are always yanking my chain if I let them. You let them yank your chain and then 2 years later you write about it. Dude what is up with that! I followed this link from Michael Yon and read this. Yon is Yanking your chain also, or have you not figured that out yet either?

  24. Sam says:

    I also want to voice support here. I frequently read Blackfive, but it’s usually for the same reason I frequently watch Glenn Beck. A certain segment of this country is going off the rails with respect to national identity and what constitutes being a “patriot”, being mostly stoked by people who are frankly poorly read and unhinged stuck in angry, fearful groupthink.

  25. aggy says:

    Your example is … lacking. There’s nothing even remotely extremist about what you quote Blackfive as saying. Is that really the best example you could find? What are you smoking?

  26. The quote you give for claiming that Blackfive “all but advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government…” does not support your contention.

  27. wheeler says:

    for any of you who think that sometime in the last 100 years journalists and spies haven’t been mistaken for each other, worked together, used each other, and used each other’s jobs as cover, you really need to expand your reading.

    Start with Philip Knightley. And another thing, there are a hell of a lot more good books out there than what is repeatedly namedroppped on COIN sites.

  28. wheeler says:

    “Even the professional spies, at least as I understand it, will not cover as a journalist”

    after the battle of Mogadishu, John Macejunas went back into the city to look for his colleagues. What did he disguise himself as? A journalist. Spy? no. Delta? Yes.

    You guys are hilarious.

  29. Marsh says:

    Hmmm. A leftist milblogger. Interesting. You must feel like a unique little snowflake. It’s quite clear that you don’t understand socioeconomis whatsoever – because you’re an idiot – as evidenced by your fear and anxiety over someone saying something negative about the federal government. It would probably be best if you refrained from commenting on those kinds of politically related topics in the future and instead just stuck to your normal routine of watching Comedy Central in order to form your opinions on public policies – just like the rest of the *special* people on the left. And UJ was absolutely right about the need for the media to self-censor itself like it did pre-Vietnam. Releasing detailed information about our top secret spy programs to the enemy in the middle of a war is ~probably~ a bad idea.

  30. Will says:

    socioeconomis …. lawl.
    That whole run on sentence made me laugh.

  31. so, dissent is patriotic, except when conservatives dissent, then its” dangerous anti-government rhetoric”

    trying to tie those two remnants from the filter on the gene pool in Arkansas to any LEGITIMATE right wing movement is like me trying to tie Obama to the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

    its a very transparent leap that makes you look like a total ass.

    A+ Douchbaggery!
    Viva B5!
    Semper FI!

  32. wheeler says:

    No, media should not self-censor as before Vietnam. Not at all. Governments lie.

  33. wheeler says:

    In 1990-1991 a story circulated that during the Iraq’ invasion of Kuwait, Iraqi soldiers entered Kuwaiti hospitals and slaughtered babies in the infant wards. The story was reported by British and US papers and was referenced by politicians as a justification of military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime. In fact, a 15 year-old Kuwaiti girl, identified as a survivor and witness of the attack, was invited to speak before the US Congress and describe the atrocity. She gave a dramatic, emotional testimony, and President H W Bush publicly referenced the story six times in the weeks following her testimony.

    Two years later the story was revealed to be a lie. The girl turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, and the story was a complete fabrication by a PR firm hired by the Kuwaiti government.

    Before you go crazy and call me a traitor, let me say: I’m not saying Desert Storm should have happened for other reasons. But this is my point: wouldn’t you like to know if your government was outright lying to your face, even in time of war? Don’t tell me you think it’s okay for the American people to be deceived as long as it gives us a chance to get the bad guys.

  34. Will says:

    “Nice webernetz slang you fucking retard. LMAO”
    Perhaps you should just spell right the first time rather than lashing out when people mock your spelling errors. The word “lawl” is a sarcastic form of the abbreviation “lol”.

    You know Marsh, I am curious. Why did you decide to come on this blog and leave angry comments? Are you a reader of B5 or a different blog? Or do you run a blog yourself?

  35. [...] Centcom, the Afghan government, Wali Karzai and his recent run-ins with Blackfive (as readers know, good friends of the War Is Boring crew). A lot was discussed, and the interview eventually shifted from phone to [...]

  36. I don’t know much about your organization, nor do I really care to find out, but I’ll let you know that you guys aren’t alone in your contempt for Blackfive.

    Michael Yon has been harassed by them quite a bit, among others.

  37. Brant says:

    I gave up on BlackFive a while ago. I found their incessant “everyone but us is wrong” cheerleading to be a bit too much. I still read “War Is Boring” tho, and I have it linked to GrogNews.

  38. Bob Holden says:

    Blackfive and his tiny clique of mental midgets are simply low-IQ fascist punks. Surly, obnoxious and with a supreme sense of their personal superiority over everyone else.

    They’re the kind of hypocrites who while underscoring the horrors of war in one paragraph, embrace the tactics of Ghenghis Khan in the next.

    Here’s what one Blackfive writer, “Deebow”, wrote in a January 12, 2012 editorial:

    “But if our military is going to be effective in the long run, our enemies must fear us. They must believe that we are capable of unspeakable evil and every now and then…”

    In other words, mass murder, torture and unwarranted destruction every now and then is O-TAY. (Even if in violation of our military regs and international law which we are signatories to.)

    Let’s call Black Jive and his squad of social misfits for what they really are: Nazis, punks and uncouth savages out to mold the world in their own sick image.

    Sorry, Adolf, but we reject you. America hasn’t quite lost all its marbles yet.

  39. Bruce says:

    After 10 years fighting the VA it is making every attempt to deny me a PTSD claim.
    Who can I go to for help?

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