Pentagon quietly begins a Draft for the information age

Washington Post article “Pentagon Creating Student Database” (free registration, yada yada)

Genl. Hap Happablap: Now how do we possibly go about organizing an effort to revive our dwindling military forces when so many young kids are against this war, and against the President? And when the use of cellphones, IM, email, and blogs have made traditional uses of landline phone numbers and even addresses passé?

Gomer: Well sir, we could sneak around restrictions stating that the Government has no business keeping a database on its citizens by hiring a private firm to do it for us. This database could include all of their relevant information to be contacted by telephone or by a big butch Marine showing up on their doorstep with pamphlets.

So the Pentagon wishes to create a database of all the vitals, including SSNs, email address, home and cell phone numbers, race, GPA, even economic prosperity, for everybody between the ages of 16 and college graduation. The list would be used to harass young people via telephone and in-person interaction with military representatives into joining the armed forces.

In my mind, the most disturbing part (other than the sheer stupidity of making such a huge, financially succulent database centered on social security numbers):

So, to get out of the list, you need to put all your information, voluntarily, onto another list maintained by the same fucking people?

Maybe it’s the paranoia in me talking, but welcome to the first stage of the draft for the technological age! Congratulations to the various heads of the Armed Forces for coming up with a way to get all the information needed on precisely the people that it’s most beneficial for them to hound, without that pesky PROTECTION OF MOTHERFUCKING PRIVACY! Your enlistment numbers are too low for sustained action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea (TBA 2006)? Maybe if the military kept its syphilitic war-engorged dick in its pants, and didn’t start front after front, and wasn’t shocked when there’s insurgencies to mire down occupation efforts, then they wouldn’t need the constant influx of virgin blood. If this were treated as being the lives of American men and women dying with little accountability from the administration, and not a giant game of Stratego… And maybe, just maybe, they could try looking at the entire population of every college in this country as the intellectual and professional future, and not a great target demographic.

If this happens to me (unlikely, since I have now graduated college, but might fall back onto this grid for grad school), I’ll tell the 250-pounds-of-pure-muscle Marine to go fuck himself. I’m already doing enough for “national security.”

If they reinstate the draft, IIRC the end age is 26. Unless you’ve been a real slacker in school, there’s still time. Also, a student deferment just means that you get to do your duty after you’ve completed school.

That would be?

Fantasizing about telling marines to go fuck themselves, I think.

I got an idea. Everyone who gets above a certain score on America’s Army gets a free trip to Fort Benning!

true, it came upp the first try, but still: I hate registration for news articles.

Nope. The laws have changed since Vietnam, when student deferments created considerable resentment and charges that the rich were buying their way out of the draft by paying tuition.

If there is a draft today, a lottery will be instituted, same as before. A person who draws a low number, but is a student, may apply for a deferment.

The deferment period, though, lasts only until high school graduation, age 20 if the student hasn’t yet graduated high school, until the end of the semester if in college or until the end of the academic year if the student is a college senior. Deferments cannot be stringed together like in the old days.

I am a Selective Service local board member for a large county in Northern Virginia. I can cite further if necessary, but I hope this can be seen as authoritative.

If you don’t want to register, it’s on MSNBC

No Child Left Behind, indeed.

I wonder why this little factoid isn’t the “Facts and Terms every parent should know about NCLB”.

This whole thing makes me sick.

Confidence restored. :rolleyes:

Once you get your knee out of your forehead, could you tell me how this is really any different from requiring everyone to register with Selective Service when they turn 18? Or from all of the other information that the government already gathers on every citizen?

OMG! Recruiters are going to send people emails and mail them literature! The fascist bastards!

Well, for one thing the information I’m required to register with Selective Service is given by me, not the schools I’ve attended. Also, the information is pretty much just my name, SSN, birthdate, and address. It doesn’t include any info on my academic performance, or on my economic class, email address, home phone, cell number, etc. Plus, the information is given to the government for a specific, regulated purpose as opposed to being given to a private company in order to bypass regulations.

Really, it’s quite different then what you do when you register with the selective service.

Such as?

I was about to correct you, but Mr. Moto already has.

Under the new rules, people like Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, and possibly my father would have ended up serving.

That’s it. I’m never playing again. Besides, I’d only be any good at a mission that looks exactly like SF Pipeline. :slight_smile:

Mr Moto
Mr Moto, I know that you are somewhat conservative and I’m just a tad liberal but we usually agree on a great many things. I think we would agree that someday the draft will come back.
If you are a Selective Service board member what’s the purpose for that? After all, as just about everybody in America has said, the draft will never start up again.
If I remember correctly the cutoff age for being drafted was 35. As you mentioned, the laws may have changed but why would the laws change for something that no longer exists?

Gee, I wonder if this will make it tougher for young people to be 150% patriotic? Sure, it’s easy to shout “USA, USA, USA” when your team wins the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal in hockey. It’s a little bit tougher when you are being shot at.

Hey this will certainly bring back the old “chickenhawk” lists. John Wayne who fought so valiantly for his country as long as it wasn’t the real thing. How about Jack Kemp who had a medical deferment from serving in the military (while the Vietnam War was being fought) yet he found the courage to bravely play quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Damn that is patriotic.

People wonder why I am so bitter about the hypocritical conservatives and people half my age saying it was the hippies and protestors that destroyed our chances in Vietnam. Very well. Let’s see the draft start up again and maybe an unpopular war to go with it and let’s see some shining examples of patriotism among our nation’s youth.

OnlyMostlyDead said he is already doing enough for national security. And bravo for you. That equals a Dick Cheney “had other prioroties” response.
OnlyMostly Dead, I am not just singling you out. Should the draft be reinstated, I’m sure a LOT of people (millions) will feel the way you do.

I’ve probably opened up a can of worms and that’s great. This could get interesting. :smiley:

You guys all have to register with Selective Service when you turn 18? And part two - what the heck is Selective Service?

Old news for some of us. My daughter is in high school and we’ve know about this for a while. The school offers a form to opt out of having the information given to recruiters.

I can’t get too worked up about this – they give student info out to colleges and businesses all the time, and this is just one other destination. I wish they wouldn’t give information out to ANYONE, whether it be Gen. Buck Turgidson or Podunk state college.

It’s a list of draftable people that the government keeps in case they need it. Once you register, you can be drafted (if there is a draft). Not registering is a crime.

Shouldn’t this blame be laid more properly on the civilian leadership?

Yes. Euphamisn for Draft Board.

It’s a list of potentially draftable people. It doesn’t have nearly enough information to tell if someone could actually serve in the military (i.e., no medical history, criminal history, etc.).

Just name, SSN, birthdate, and address.

Hoodoo beat me to it. The blame for war mongering is incorrectly placed on the military. While there are likely hawks in the military leadership, it is up to the president to make any final decisions on the use of military force.

As for the information gathering, it’s already being done, and for much more sinister purposes. Where do you think all those credit card offers come from?

Wow - you’ve got this going on, and you get all bent out of shape about wearing seatbelts? (that’s the general you, not you personally, dave.)